How developers are selling their condos now: Nursery school FAQ sessions

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To market new condos, developers  will often invite guests to all sorts of celebrations at their trophy properties. The idea is to lure potential buyers through the door with events like art exhibits, fashion-y soirees, and, as the New York Times recently reported, dinner parties, and then entice them into buying somewhere else in the building or—in the best case scenario—said trophy apartment.

But an event happening tomorrow night at 388 Bridge Street, Brooklyn's tallest residential tower, is going less for glamor and more for practicality. The building is hosting a private nursery school information session, where guests will hear tips on how to navigate the notoriously complicated system, while taking in a killer view, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows in a 53rd floor penthouse. (Wine and snacks figure into the equation, too.)

The event is something of a marketing no-brainer at 388 Bridge, which appeals to families with an outdoor playground and  indoor playspace, and has about 24 apartments (out of 144) that are three-bedrooms or larger, according to lead broker Vanessa Connelly. Almost half of the apartments are two bedrooms, she says.

The building's playspace comes with a puppet theater.

Joyce Szuflita of NYC School Help, an expert on Brooklyn schools, will run the event, where she says she'll explain the private school admissions process, help parents explore different preschool philosophies, and give tips on what they should be looking for in a school and what schools, in turn, are looking for in prospective students. Similar events cost $40 per couple, she says, though this one will be free.

As it happens, the condo is zoned for a school that has pre-K seats, but according to, it has an awkward location and low enrollment, which in turn affects resources as "the school does not have enough money to hire art or physical education teachers, because the budget is based on enrollment." It's not one of those super desirable schools that would naturally entice parents to a building.

And Szuflita says she has run programs like this in other condo buildings before. "They're usually popular. Preschool is the main entry point for people into the school system, and often even parents who plan to send kids to public school eventually want to know what their private preschool option are," she explains. The event tomorrow, which is open both to current owners and prospective owners, is, she adds, "a way for us to showcase the beautiful views and the apartments while providing something really helpful." 

Last week, the building hosted a trunk show in the same palatial penthouse apartment.  "We're hoping to reach prospective buyers, of course," says Connelly. 


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