Mystery Shoppers: Why Is One57 So Secretive About Its Buyers?

one57 livingdining1 Mystery Shoppers: Why Is One57 So Secretive About Its Buyers?

Nobody knows who’ll live here and it’s driving us all crazy. (Extell)

Remember when sales started at 15 Central Park West? And how the buyers were “supposed to be kept secret,” but everyone was too excited to keep quiet and they gossiped like crazy and all the buyers turned out to be really famous, exciting celebrities like Denzel Washington and Sting? Wasn’t that great? We were almost like best friends, us and 15 CPW, whispering late into the night together, swapping secrets.

One57, on the other-hand, is mysterious and distant and never tells us anything, huffs The New York Times in article about how different One57’s approach to publicity is from the good natured and totally cool about everything 15 CPW.

In 15 CPW’s case, the leaks turned out to be a brilliant marketing strategy, The Times claims (take a hint Extell). The Times speaks with Michael Gross, who is penning a book about 15 CPW and confirms their  suspicions about the awesomeness of 15 CPW’s approach.

“There was a constant drip, drip, drip of information that made 15 seem like the most fascinating building in New York,” Mr. Gross said.

One57, on the other hands, is so weirdly reticent about divulging details that people, out of sheer boredom and frustration, have been forced to make up stories about the Qatari prime minister buying a $25o million block of apartments in the building.

Gary Barnett, can’t you see what you and Extell are doing to us? Even after speaking out to say that the Qatari Prime Minister had definitely not bought anything in the building, you continued to torture us with riddles. Yes, the $90 penthouse was in contract and yes, the penthouse most recently listed for $115 million was also in contract, but the buyers were not from Asia or the Middle East.

“Neither is on the right continent,” Mr. Barnett told The Wall Street Journal when he shot down the Qatar rumor, “So they have another five guesses to go.”

Six months and 50 percent into sales and only one buyer—Richard Kringstein, the co-owner of outerwear company Herman Kay Company—has been disclosed, The Times marvels in mock-fascination before going a little mean girl on One57. Is it because there’s actually something to hide?

Sure, sure, maybe it’s a different market now than when 15 CPW went up, or maybe people don’t like to brag about their really big purchases as much as they once did (although the most recent moves of the luxury market could hardly be called discreet), but maybe it’s the fact that Mr. Barnett doesn’t want anyone to know how many foreigners are buying into the tower.

“Some brokers murmur around town that Mr. Barnett may be trying to avoid revealing the number of foreign buyers at the building, because that might scare off other potential domestic buyers,” The Times writes. Not that The Times believes that, but they just thought you should know what people are saying about you, One57.

And the one outed One57 buyer? He doesn’t even care that people know he bought there, in fact, he told his friends and family that he was moving there with his wife. And why not? Confidentiality  “is not such a big deal,” he tells The Times.

Are you listening Mr. Barnett?

kvelsey@observer.com