Businesswoman, Real Housewife of New York City, and Bridgehampton homeowner Bethenny Frankel has teamed up with her agent BFF, Fredrik Eklund–a native Swede known for celebrity real estate deals, Million Dollar Listing on Bravo, and in the Hamptons, the Barn & Vine development–to flip an apartment in Manhattan’s hottest building, 10 Madison Square West. All will be filmed in the new reality series Bethenny and Fredrik.
Some background: in the Flatiron District, 10 Madison Square West features some great amenities (besides being next door to Eataly!): 24 hour doorman, live in super, gym, pool, steam room, yoga and pilates studios, a playroom for the kids, and a garden.
In the first episode of Bethenny and Fredrik, which aired last evening on Bravo, Fredrik explains that he bought the apartment years ago pre-construction. It is 1690 square feet, with two bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Fredrik wants to transform into into something spectacular, custom, not cookie cutter standard. High-end buyers want custom.
He brings his team of designers and contractors to see the site. With the specifications Fredrik wants, it’s estimated that the work will cost around $400,000. Fredrik has never before flipped an entire gut-renovated apartment before. He brings in Bethenny to take a look at the place–she is impressed, except for the amount Fredrik plans to spend. Also, while admiring the enormous amount of space allotted for the master walk-in closet (which is indeed lavish for NYC), Bethenny discovers that no budget has been set for fitting it out. Clearly, Bethenny is here to rein in Fredrik’s spending.
Finally, the two get down to brass tacks at a business meeting with advisors. Fredrik bought the apartment in 2013, at a preconstruction price of $2.975 million. It has recently (2017) been appraised at $3.75 million in its current state without finishes.
Bethenny wants to partner with Fredrik at the level he bought in at in 2013, $2.975 million, so offers $1.4875 million.
Stalemate! Fredrik doesn’t think this is fair and that Bethenny is wiping out his potential profits. He asks if the two sides can meet in the middle. Everyone goes out and takes a breather.
Bethenny decides to offer $1.7 million (half if the apartment is valued at $3.4). Also, she insists she wants to cap the renovation budget at $300K. Offer accepted, much hugging commences.
In episode two, also airing last night, we get to know Bethenny and Fredrik a little more up close and personally, whether we wanted to or not.
Bethenny shares matcha tea with her friend Carole Radziwill. They discuss the perils of middle-aged dating and whether or not blowjobs add to your “number” or not. (For the record: Carole says yes, Bethenny says no.)
Then we see Fredrik shopping for baby clothes. Awwwww. He explains he and husband Derek are pregnant. Fredrik’s assistant shows up and they discuss baby clothes.
After those riveting moments, Bethenny meets Fredrik and his team of contractors and designers in the apartment. But shock horror! Bethenny has also brought her own contractor and designer along for advice without telling anyone. Fredrik is appalled.
Fredrik and Bethenny now explain to the team that the budget for the reno, previously $450K, needs to be cut down by a third. Oh and this needs to happen in two days, not two weeks, so chop chop, designers.
Bethenny and Fredrik then go to a stone dealer to pick out new kitchen counter and backsplash that was cheaper. Fredrik just looooves stone, but the price difference between Calacatta statuary marble and a giant slab of marble-look porcelain is $20K.
Fredrik likes the giant slab of porcelain, but wants more veins. Bethenny says that too many veins make the stonework look like a vagina and then brings up a picture on her phone to prove it. Fredrik demurs.
Bethenny goes on a blind date set up by Fredrik with a handsome actor, who asks for a Skinnygirl cocktail. The actor used to be on Guiding Light, apparently. He doesn’t seem Bethenny’s type.
Oh no! The first problem has arisen in construction! There’s a problem with the guest bathroom shower! The shower floor needs to have the drain configuration changed, which will mean the contractors will have to drill through the floor!
This will result in a delay of months! This is a disaster!
Guess we’ll just have to see how this cliffhanger resolves in episode three next week.