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The Closer, July 31: The latest real estate news and gossip

07/31/2009, By

The Closer, July 31: The latest real estate news and gossip

Friday, July 31st 2009, 8:08 AM

NYAt the Rivington Hotel penthouse, Babak Hakanian’s Birthday party was held.
Harbus for News
NYAt the Rivington Hotel penthouse, Babak Hakanian’s Birthday party was held.
  • If architect Philip Johnson personally designed your showroom and world-class industrial designer Karim Rashid is among your close friends, you better know how to pick a party space. Babak Hakakian, who owns domus design collection (ddc) on Madison Ave. and 34th St., showed his clients and his friends he could. Partygoers at his 40th birthday wore masks to the festivities held in the triplex penthouse of the Rivington Hotel, where the views from the top-floor deck are some of the best in lower Manhattan. Rashid, who has furniture items in the Museum of Modern Art,  deejayed the event, sponsored by Surface magazine. Hakakian’s showroom, one of the last spaces designed by Johnson, is more cathedral or art gallery than design store. To visit the store, go to We hear another showroom could be in the works. 
  • While everyone cries housing crisis, some local real estate companies keep thinking expansion. Residential specialists Bond New York, led by principals Bruno Ricciotti and Noah Freedman, acquired a new office and began a commercial division in one swoop. After long-standing local company Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy folded, Bond picked up the lease at 64 W. 21st St. The new office, a brownstone triplex, will house Bond’s rental and resale agents on the ground floor, with 23 commercial agents upstairs, led by industry veteran Frank Gerage. “In this market, you have to grow and diversify,” says Ricciotti, who went to high school with Freedman in Philadelphia. “We’re the biggest independent-owned real estate company in the city. It was time to offer our clients full-service real estate solutions.” With more than 400 agents and six offices, Bond keeps growing. According to Ricciotti, the rental, sales and commercial sides of the business have to work together.“We have solid relationships with landlords from our rental division,” says Ricciotti. “Now, we can offer them the ability to sell entire buildings, and rent and sell the apartments. Our rental division is among the strongest in the city. It’s helping us grow while others less diversified are in trouble.” Go to for info.
  • Looking for a house on the water? There’s a great deal in Stamford, Conn. Prudential CT Realty agent Steve Anastos has the exclusive listing on a 2,240- square-foot 1968 Colonial with its own private beach. While it needs updating, the house, at the end of a cul-de-sac, is listed at $1.495 million. “There’s not another house in the area this close to the water,” says Anastos, who lives in nearby Shippan. “The views are panoramic and the deck is as much a part of the house as the living room. It’s literally on the Long Island Sound.” We like the neighborhood, which has a family feel. The four-bedroom house could become a mini-Kennedy compound for a big family or a smart downsize for an older couple looking for water views. Hurry, though. Anastos reports healthy showings. For a closer look, call him at (203) 461-0153. Buyers would be in good company. William F. Buckley and Harry Connick Jr. lived in the area for years.

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