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When you hear the words, "feng shui," it's hard not to think New Age-y hokum. And when a pair of condo developers in Long Island City adopts the ancient Chinese art to lure buyers, it's hard not to think marketing gimmick. Blech.
But Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island, who was hired to certify the newly built Vista condos, maintains that developers the Lions Group and Emmy Homes really got into the spirit--from elaborate groundbreaking and topping-off ceremonies, to somewhat unorthodox apartment layouts and the elimination of the supposedly unlucky fourth floor.
The philosophy is based on the idea that different spaces in the home represent aspects of a person’s life, from romance to family to career. The way you arrange elements of a home, from furniture to front doors, can impact your chances of success in each of those areas.
When construction began near the end of 2012, a small group of buyers joined the developers and brokers to bless the future residences—a ceremony that involved burning sage and doing a shot of vodka, says Eric Benaim, founder of Modern Spaces, the brokerage marketing the development.
“We had seven envelopes and we had to write down our wishes for this project,” Benaim says, “and bury the envelopes within the dirt of the site.” Then, when construction was complete in November, the developers hosted a lion dance, where three dancers donned a lion costume and danced in every apartment to bless the homes. It was “kind of like New Year’s Eve in Chinatown,” Benaim says.
Along with its 48 apartments—a mix of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms—the development has a rooftop terrace, fitness center, yoga room, doggie spa, bike storage and a parking garage.
The building, at 44-15 Purves Street, just sold out, but it looks like you can rent a feng shui'd space there--two one-bedrooms are available for around $2,600 a month each.