View Full Version : MTV's "The Real World" Coming To Downtown Brooklyn

June 2nd, 2008, 01:23 PM
From: NY Daily News


A cast of 'pioneers' to invade Belltel Lofts for 'The Real World: Brooklyn'

http://www.nydailynews.com/img/2008/06/02/amd_belltel.jpg (http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/galleries/real_world_brooklyn/real_world_brooklyn.html)
This 27-story art deco beauty is the home of "The Real World: Brooklyn." Click for more pictures.

Updated Sunday, June 1st 2008, 11:16 PM

The young and beautiful cast of next season's "Real World" will live the suite life in a $6 million, two-story penthouse perched high above downtown Brooklyn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Downtown+Brooklyn).
The art deco-era Belltel Lofts on Bridge St. was named Sunday as the site of the MTV (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/MTV+Networks+Company) reality show's 21st season after weeks of frantic speculation.
"We're excited," said David Bistricer (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Bistricer), owner of the 27-story building that once held a telephone company but was converted to condos last year.
"It is what it is. It's the 'Real World.'"
The 6,000-square-foot, two-story penthouse includes two terraces, five bedrooms and 10-foot windows. A Jacuzzi and other amenities are also on the way, said Bistricer, whose building beat out 24 other Brooklyn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brooklyn) digs for the starring role on the show.
He also said there are safeguards in place to make sure the reality show's stable of rowdies don't irritate the 100 families who call Belltel home in real life.
The show, which premiered in 1992, has been shot twice in Manhattan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan) and in other large cities across the world, including London (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/London) and Chicago (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chicago).
Each season the seven members of the cast - some of whom have been as young as 18 - have become increasingly promiscuous and rambunctious.
"We've done a lot and the 'Real World' has done a lot to institute measures to make sure this doesn't bother the neighbors," Bistricer said.
A contract signed Friday prohibits taping in the gym and other common areas of the 90-year-old building. A spokeswoman for MTV did not return calls for comment.
The site will have the dubious distinction of being the smallest of the 20 previous "Real World" homes.
Since MTV announced the series would jump to Brooklyn from its current Hollywood (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hollywood) set, blogs have speculated that the cast would be housed in Williamsburg (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Williamsburg+(Brooklyn)).
But Bistricer said producers made the right choice. "Williamsburg is a story that is three years old," said Bistricer. "Downtown is a story in the making."

The Benniest
June 2nd, 2008, 03:04 PM
Very cool. I'm a fan of the show, so this will be exciting to see one of my favorite areas of Brooklyn ... again.

June 2nd, 2008, 04:20 PM
Well that's it, the last draw. Brooklyn as we knew it is now dead!

June 2nd, 2008, 04:49 PM
Is it "The Real World" or something quite different?

June 2nd, 2008, 05:06 PM
lol in 3 months i'm moving to poly for school.... which is a block away from belltel

The Benniest
June 2nd, 2008, 05:11 PM
Well that's it, the last draw. Brooklyn as we knew it is now dead!
Only for around ~ 9 months :p

June 2nd, 2008, 11:06 PM

June 2nd, 2008, 11:12 PM
People still watch that show?

June 3rd, 2008, 12:33 AM
Well, now we know where the puddles of vomit, the child-like catfights, and the stumbling drunks will be.

If you live in the neighborhood, put aluminum foil in your windows. It f*cks up the filming.

June 3rd, 2008, 02:26 AM
I experienced a close-to-home situation like this once before while I was attending SUNY Buffalo.

Back in the late summer of '02 MTV chose to film my school's greeks for the 2003 season of Fraternity and Sorority Life, which also coincided with the US Weekly ranking of us as the number six party school in the nation. Naturally, we celebrated all this national attention with lots of alcohol and a healthy dose of drugs, but we weren't really sure what to expect having MTV roaming our campus.

It was somewhat weird, but ultimately it got old quick. One minute you're eating food with friends in the student union and next thing you know bright lights and a six-person production crew are 40 feet away from you, pointing their cameras in your general direction and making you feel incredibly self-conscious. But as it happened more and more (they came to the bar I frequented several times) and you saw them around a lot (their Land Rover SUVs were instantly recognizeable because a) nobody else owned those cars in Buffalo and b) they had super bright lights inside them on at all times), you learned to not care.

Er, I forget what this has to do with anything. I guess I just wanted to reminisce about the good ol' days.

July 11th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Did "Real World" boost Belltel deals?

http://s3.amazonaws.com/trd_three/images/41330/Do_buyers_want_their_MTV_articlebox.jpg (http://ny.therealdeal.com/assets/41330)
Belltel Lofts in Downtown Brooklyn, where the next season of MTV's "The Real World" will be filmed.

By Katherine Dykstra

Since they started more than a year ago, sales at Belltel Lofts, the conversion of the former Verizon building in Downtown Brooklyn, have been, in a word, slow.

Back in February, Prudential Douglas Elliman's Terry Naini, who also owns a unit at Belltel, was hired to increase traffic at the building. And she did.

Not long after coming on board, she was contacted by a series of "scouting agents" who eventually revealed themselves to be working for MTV's "The Real World," the reality show that throws badly behaved twentysomethings from vastly different backgrounds into the same living space and then "watches what happens."

Within months, a deal was done. According to developer David Bistricer of Clipper Equities, the show will be filmed in two duplex penthouses, one north-facing and one south-facing, on the 26th and 27th floors of Belltel Lofts. The units, which will be combined, are 2,700 square feet apiece, and each has four bedrooms.

The rent? "Much more than $50,000 a month," said Bistricer.

Though the number of units sold hasn't increased dramatically (Naini said in February the building was less than half sold, while Bistricer said it is now 45 percent sold) there's hope that the buzz created by the show will draw attention — and buyers — to the property. And there's even some evidence.

"Last week we sold seven apartments," said Prudential Douglas Elliman's Ilan Bracha, who took over the building's sales not long after the contract with "The Real World" was signed. "We have three negotiating."

Bracha estimates that since the announcement, traffic has increased "35 to 40 percent." The building is hoping to get a further sales boost from Belltel ads that appeared late last month in the New York Post featuring "The Real World" logo.

"Buyers are coming in just to take a look because of the buzz," Bracha said, noting that the story has been all over the local news media, not to mention on blogs. "And then they're buying because of the building."

"In my opinion, 'The Real World' contract is worth a couple of hundred thousand dollars in advertising, branding and PR," Naini said. "They have to mention Belltel in every episode and have a shot of our lobby in each episode. Every bit of press about 'The Real World Brooklyn' will have Belltel in it, and as you can imagine MTV is a much stronger press machine than Clipper Equities, the developer."

Bistricer knows this as much as anyone.

"They have 30 million viewers that look at this show," he said. "It's the longest-running reality show on TV. It's very well-regarded."

Well-regarded might be a stretch, but the show certainly has fans.

"My sister is 38, and she watches it religiously," said Jeff Ross, who with his wife bought a unit in Belltel in October of last year. "She was like, 'You'll be the center of the world!'"

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, Belltel is not without its conveniences, subway access being one of them. This, Naini said, was one of the major selling points for "The Real World" team. Another? The fact that they could have as much elbow room as they needed because the upper units are still empty.

Nearly all of Belltel's sold units are in the lower half of the building. Despite the lack of light (some of the bedrooms have no windows at all), buyers have been drawn to their spacious floor plans and low prices, some of which were less than $500 a square foot. In contrast, the units on upper floors with terraces, views and heftier price tags have languished.

"['The Real World'] didn't have a lot of choices," noted Naini. "How many buildings are half empty? They needed a building that would allow for that. They're not going to disturb anyone because they're so far away."

For the most part, the residents of Belltel don't seem to be too worried about disruptions. Some are even looking forward to the arrival of the camera crews.

"I don't have any negative feeling about it at all," said Jody Arenella, who moved into her new three-bedroom Belltel apartment with her husband and two children last October. She looks forward, she said, to running into Real Worlders in the building's amenities rooms. "[Though] they go to bed really late and sleep until afternoon. We're the opposite."

That said, there are certainly residents who aren't keen on the situation, and even more peeved that they didn't have a choice in the matter (Arenella, like most, found out about the acquisition online rather than from anyone affiliated with the building.) But as for her, she is hopeful that the attention will be a plus.

"I think it's going to be great for the neighborhood," said Arenella. "There's not one grocery store in the neighborhood, and I need a grocery store. So I think that by drawing so much attention, it will bring the services a lot faster."

Her hope may already be coming to fruition. Bistricer is in talks with a "major coffee retailer" to occupy the retail space in the building. He said the retailer was turned onto the project by "'The Real World' contract."

"They heard of our building because of 'The Real World,'" he said.

July 11th, 2008, 11:16 PM
real world back in the ghetto

July 12th, 2008, 09:38 PM
Definitely not the ghetto. Hopefully MTV won't try spinning it that way.

July 12th, 2008, 10:08 PM
^ Agreed.

July 13th, 2008, 12:35 AM
MTV has already ruined its image and televsion in general. Keep your fingers cross when they make it to Brooklyn.

July 15th, 2008, 12:57 AM
Updated On 07/14/08 at 04:34PM

Real World could be moving


By James Kelly

MTV's "The Real World, Brooklyn" could be moving from two penthouse duplexes at Belltel Lofts, where the show has been used a selling point by the development's marketing agency, Prudential Douglas Elliman.

The show appears to be moving to a five-unit, six-story brick walk-up at 116 Third Place in Carroll Gardens, between Smith and Court streets, as first reported by Brownstoner.com (http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2008/07/belltelreal_wor.php). The 4,500-square-foot prewar building was renovated in 2006, according to public records.

Equipment that will be used for the show's filming has been transported from Belltel to the new location, a source familiar with the show said.

Meanwhile, the show plans to keep a single floor of Belltel that it had originally planned to use for production, the source said.

Brownstoner reported that the slow pace of unfinished construction at

Belltel has caused the MTV show to consider either postpone the start of filming to mid-August or move the location.

It is unclear if Elliman and broker Ilan Bracha will continue using 'Real World' branding on ads (http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/brooklyn-s-belltel-using-real-world-logo-in-ads) for the project if it turns out that the production facility, but not the cast, remains in the building. As The Real Deal reported (http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/did-real-world-boost-belltel-deals) in this month's issue, the show helped create a buzz at developer David Bistricer's conversion, which had been selling slowly.

At 116 Third Place (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/01/31/development_du_jour_116_3rd_place.php), the apartments were listed for between $1.2 million to $2.6 million, and average $1,200 per square foot. The property's owner told the Brooklyn Paper (http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/31/21/31_21_gardens_man_claims_hell.html) that MTV had been scouting it before the show picked Belltel.

July 16th, 2008, 07:35 AM
It made little sense to put the show at Belltel so this is not a surprise. Conversely, Williamsburg makes so much sense for this show if they are set on putting it Brooklyn, it puzzles me as to why MTV doesn't seem to be seriously considering that area. Red Hook seems like a confused choice as well. It's apparent that the people from MTV running this search for space don't know much about Brooklyn.

July 16th, 2008, 11:13 AM
It seems the number one need for the show is to be in close proximity to some bars and clubs where the "kids" can get drunk enough to do stupid things to each other.

July 16th, 2008, 12:52 PM

July 16th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I would say keep MTV out of New York period. This channel's programming is nothing but trash now tailored towards turning today's youths into retards.

July 16th, 2008, 10:55 PM
MTV HQ is in Times Square in 1515 Broadway (Minskoff Building).

It's owned by Viacom, which also owns CBS.

Ya wanna run the whole lot of 'em out of town :confused:

btw: This will be (at least) the 3rd Real World filmed in NYC. The very first series was filmed in SoHo at Broadway & Prince back in '92 --above where the Victoria Secret store is now situated.

July 17th, 2008, 07:13 AM
I'm fine with the show being filmed in Brooklyn but MTV needs to be realistic about what they're trying to do here. They're picking Brooklyn b/c it has become stylish among teens and young adults. The epitomy of this focus is in Williamsburg aka the Lower East Side Annex. If they pick Red Hook, they're not going to get what they're looking for by way of Brooklyn scene (too much family (and other non party people) mix along 5th Ave, Smith Street and Van Brunt - the closest nightlife scenes). They'll have no local BK real world night out scene - everything will need to be a night out in "the big city". Put the show in Williamsburg and they're set. This is such a no brainer.

July 17th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Realistic? It's TV -- no matter what the show is called.

And even if they shot the show in the farthest reaches of Brooklyn the kids would find a place to get drunk -- if that involves long cab rides then so be it. No doubt the show will foot the cab fare to insure serious drunkenness -- which is required for the hijinks & chaos the show now thrives upon.

July 17th, 2008, 09:26 PM
I hate MTV now a days... It could be because I'm 27 now and one would say I'm growing up and not as into shows I was once into like the real world... ...but I honestly do believe shows like The Hills were the death of MTV... I hate the show the Hills and the posers on it... It is disgusting to see all these people walking around trying to look and act like people on The Hills... I hope MTV bringing The Real World to Brooklyn will not make The Hills Wanna bes want to flock to Brooklyn.

July 18th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Brooklyn Paper

MTV hangs up on Downtown
By Sarah Portlock

It was all just a prank call!

MTV’s reality show “The Real World” will no longer house its seven cast members in the newly renovated BellTel Lofts in Downtown, a member of the building’s board confirmed.

The production crew prepping the 21st season of MTV’s long-running series is on a tight deadline to begin filming by early September and was getting nervous about construction delays, explained Francesca Sorrenti, who lives in the building and is familiar with the deal.

Even though residential tenants are rapidly moving in, the building, a former telephone company headquarters on Bridge Street, is not fully finished. At one point, MTV saw that as a perk because it meant that the music television network could build out the space to its own specifications.

But obtaining the necessary permits to do so became an issue.
An MTV spokeswoman, Anastasia Lee, would only say that the production is “staying in Brooklyn” and that it will air starting in January 2009.
MTV signed a lease with BellTel Lofts in May to occupy three floors: the cast would live in two $3-million duplex penthouses on the 26th and 27th floors, and the production crews would work on the 25th floor.

Two giant 18-wheeler trucks were parked outside the building over the weekend as crew members unloaded equipment. Asked if it was for “The Real World,” a production assistant said, “Maybe.”

The real estate blog Curbed speculated on Tuesday that the cast would join IKEA in Red Hook this summer, quickly fighting it out for the neighborhood’s hottest import. The Web site reported that the seven housemates could wind up at Pier 41 on Van Dyke Street, an old building that has been used for Hollywood movies before.

When asked if he had a deal with MTV, Red Hook land baron Greg O’Connell said, “I really can’t discuss it.”

He added, however, that he had “signed some papers.”

Back in early June, when MTV announced it would come to BellTel, residents were excited and, in the last few weeks, real-estate brokers began touting the show’s arrival to prospective buyers.

But the building is busy itself as new residents move in.“The building is new and needs to have a lot of things set in place before it takes on such a responsibility as a TV show,” Sorrenti said, adding “If they’re not filming here, it’s their loss, not ours!”

©2008 The Brooklyn Paper

July 19th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Some perspective on the significant changes Brooklyn has seen over the past 20 years. The first MTV Real World took place in 1992. The film Straight Outta Brooklyn was filmed in 1991. For those who haven't seen this film - watch it and you'll understand its acute relevance.


July 25th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Is Real World Moving to the Ugliest Building in Red Hook?

Friday, July 25, 2008, by Robert

[Left photo via Yovanoff/flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yovanoff/); right photo via Property Shark (http://propertyshark.com/)]

Well, the Real World Red Hook location may have taken a turn for the worse. Much worse. Or possibly it's another in a series of weird rumors. Daily Intel reports (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/07/real_world_still_fishing_aroun.html) that there's an itty-bitty problem with the telegenic Pier 41 location (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/07/22/red_world_red_hook_watch_report_from_the_front_lin e.php): no Certificate of Occupany and lists 152 Beard Street as an alternate address on a map. If it's not the ugliest new construction in Red Hook (http://www.gowanuslounge.com/2007/05/16/what-were-they-thinking-red-hook-ed/), it's close. On the other hand, those garage things in front could be useful for parties and things. Desperation or elaborate smoke screen?

The Benniest
July 26th, 2008, 12:42 AM
I'm sure Brooklyn residents in this area are just THRILLED that they are getting these seven new neighbors soon! :cool:

July 30th, 2008, 09:57 PM
Williamsburg unfortunately, does seem like the best choice in Brooklyn. The vicinity of BellTel looks incomplete.They will have lots of areas to choose from. Not too sure about Red Hook.

August 13th, 2008, 02:58 PM
The filming location of MTV's The Real World: Brooklyn has been relocated from the Belltel Lofts to another location.

August 13th, 2008, 10:27 PM

Where ya been the past month Jim?

August 28th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Details on The Real World Red Hook!

by Em Whitney | August 28, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/RealWorld.jpg Em Whitney
The view from Pier 41

Recently, we water-taxied to Brooklyn to follow up on reports (http://gawker.com/5038963/nobodies-theyre-just-like-us-) of The Real World in Red Hook.

Cast members are staying in a newly renovated house on Pier 41. Their entrance is the long driveway that leads to Liberty Sunset Nursery and Steve's Key Lime Pie (famous for his key lime Pie on a stick).

Before The Real World (or Ikea), fallen concrete slabs behind Liberty Sunset were open to the public as a sort of make-shift garden. As it was, the nursery seemed to spill out into the East River, and shoppers could sit with key lime pie, on a stick or otherwise, and fraternize.

Post-Real World renovations, a fence has been built along one wall of the nursery (between the flower shop and The Real World's landscaping) and a partition now blocks patrons from the permanently landscaped, half-submerged concrete blocks.

I spoke with one of the former workers on The Real World project. He noted all of the helicopters in the area: "They're MTV's probably. They're doing aerials."

We discussed the state of the house and whether or not it might return to a garden. "It wasn't exactly safe back there," he said, doubtful about it ever returning to a public space.

I complimented him on the iron fence design of their new back gate (very viewable from Ikea's water taxi); the boat motif (with an actual boat beached on several rocks for effect on their patio); their sizable Jacuzzi with views of the East River and Statue of Liberty; and the several (very New York) street lamps, carefully positioned around the deck.

The worker laughed about never actually seeing the show before, "until that John Mayer song had a lyric about it, I kept asking everybody what The Real World was," he said. "Write that in you're article: most of us that worked on the set had never actually seen the show."


© 2008 Observer Media Group