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                                                      Exterior of
                                                 AKA Central Park
                                                     on E. 58th St

Live a
With N.Y. as their base, AKA Hotel Residences
 upgrades the model for the long-term stay
     BY WENDY ILENE FRIEDMAN                   turn-key units designed to feel like a
                                               home with high-end hotel amenities.

        or Korman brothers Larry, Brad-           Spotting an upward trend in the ex-
        ley and Mark, spotting real estate     tended-stay market segment, the broth-
        opportunities is in their blood.       ers set out to acquire properties they can
        Steven, their father, can rightfully   convert into spaces that rival luxury ho-
        take credit as the inventor of         tels for long-term guests. They look
flexible-term housing.                         for buildings in prime locations that
   In the late ’60s, while managing the        contain unique amenities, have condo-
Plaza apartments in Pennsylvania, one of       minium-quality construction and spa-          and financial industries, so major cities    AvroKO, Studio Intramuros and in-house
the four-generation Korman Communi-            cious floor plans.                            like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wash-       Nicholas Cardone. For each property
ties residential buildings, the senior Kor-       “Not easy to find,” says Bradley who       ington and Chicago are high on their list    Korman envisions a sanctuary — a place
man had difficulties renting the circular      handles financing and acquisitions. The       for expansion.                               to get away from the frenetic pace of city
building’s pie-shaped apartments on a          end result, though, are condo-quality            For now, the group owns and operates      life where “everything is geared around
year-long basis. So what did he do? His        accommodations with finishes like             four buildings throughout the city in lo-    a good night’s sleep.” His philosophy in-
entrepreneurial spirit took over and he        Waterworks fi xtures, Bosch appliances        cations near the United Nations, Times       volves two words: tranquility and seren-
struck a deal with a national furniture        and Sony electronics.                         Square, Sutton Place and Central Park.       ity. Korman consulted the New York
chain, furnished the units and marketed           “We are not looking to operate budget      They anticipate buildings in Brooklyn,       University sleep school to develop the
them as temporary-stay apartments. He          hotels. Rather we look to buy properties      Tribeca, Chelsea, uptown east and west       optimal sleep environment. He special-
recognized that people in transition, like     that have the unit size of an apartment or    and near Wall Street.                        orders “REM” mattresses exclusively
during a divorce or job relocation, needed     condominium with the amenity package             Their goal is to maintain an 85% oc-      made for AKA by Sealy. The scent of
space on a monthly basis.                      of a five-star hotel,” says Bradley.          cupancy rate. To achieve that, they adjust   soothing aromatic essential oils continu-
   “Out of a mistake my father saw oppor-         New York is the core city for the group,   pricing given the time of year and eco-      ally permeates the air.
tunity,” says Larry, who with his brothers     and they consider holdings in other cities    nomic circumstances. Average monthly            “There is an ethereal quality we want to
decided to take their father’s concept a       based on their relationship to the Big        rates run $265–$625 per night.               capture when you enter the space,” he says.
step further and set up AKA hotel resi-        Apple. A large percentage of AKA’s busi-         When developing a space, the group           Here’s a rundown of their local
dences — boutique hotels that combine          ness is generated from the entertainment      collaborates with various designers, like    properties.

                                                                                                                                                                      Larry Korman,
                                                                                                                                                                          who owns
                                                                                                                                                                          AKA Hotel
                                                                                                                                                                    Residences with
                                                                                                                                                                        his brothers
                                                                                                                                                                                        ANTHONY LANZILOTE

The lobby at AKA Central Park                  Exterior of AKA Times Square                  AKA Times Square kitchen
                                                                                                                                     BEST PLACES.NYDAILYNEWS.COM
  The terrace
       at AKA
 Central Park
 old and new

                                                                                                                        Left, the exterior of AKA Sutton Place looks like a prewar apartment house.
                                                                                                                        Above, the indoor swimming pool looks like nothing else in the neighborhood
                                               PHOTOS COURTESY AKA

AKA CENTRAL PARK                                                                                                                                           Above, exterior of AKA United Nations has
42 W. 58th St.                                                                                                                                             international appeal. Left, the Zen garden at
                                                                                                                                                           the UN property, and, below, a living room
   At this location, Korman says, “they
struck lightning with the entertainment
industry.” Because of its low-key envi-
ronment, many producers, directors and
celebrities have stayed for periods of time.
AKA has a relationship with the Tribeca
Film Festival and Silvercup Studios,
so they are often full to capacity with
industry people. Kirsten Dunst and Ryan
Gosling set up shop there when filming
“All Good Things.”
   The flagship building of the AKA
collection, the 134-unit Central Park
location contains artwork and design el-
ements from some of the world’s preemi-
nent artists. The location offers studios
and one- and two-bedroom suites.                                        General manager Jenna Arin says AKA        Williams. “It was neglected and in           during home renovations. She recom-
   The penthouse unit was designed by                                Times Square caters to a theater lifestyle    awful shape.”                                mends AKA for anyone undergoing
Joan Pierpoline of Studio Intramuros.                                that includes late morning housekeeping          AKA gutted the 95-unit space and          construction in their home.
Guests are greeted by a large steel bar                              for late-to-bed producers and actors.         rebuilt a luxurious, discreet spot where        “It made me feel like we still had a
that opens to the main living area with                                 The 109-unit landmark building was         visiting dignitaries and business consul-    home when ours felt like a bomb hit it,”
views of the Steinway Building. The ex-                              built in the late 19th century and convert-   tants come for months at a time.             she said, adding that the staff was beyond
pansive high-design all-stone shower                                 ed into studio and one- and two-bedroom          The minimum length of stay is 30 days;    accommodating, even helping her move
with sitting bench looks out to the wrap-                            suites by AKA over the last few years.        the average stay is 90 days. Costs run       boxes when her home was ready.
around terrace.                                                      The spaces have a loft-like quality and       $9,000-$12,000 per month depending on           Rates start at $325–$625 per night de-
   “The penthouse at AKA is my gem in                                provide a good sense of what it feels like    the time of year and suite.                  pending on room type and season. With
the sky when I am in NYC,” says film                                 to live in New York.                             Williams says each AKA building           a 60-day average stay, general manager
icon Diane Keaton.                                                      The top-floor pitch-roofed duplex once     has its own special part. At the United      Jennifer Adair says, “it’s nice because we
                                                                     housed former Secretary of State Mad-         Nations building, it is a rock tranquility   are able to really get to know our guests.”
AKA TIMES SQUARE                                                     eleine Albright.                              garden in the back.                             The location is free of neighboring
123 W. 44th St.                                                                                                                                                 buildings, so spaces have unobstructed
   Located in the Theater District, AKA                              AKA UNITED NATIONS                            AKA SUTTON PLACE                             views and receive sunlight throughout
Times Square receives many interna-                                  243 E. 46th St.                               330 E. 56th St.                              the day. The two-bedroom penthouse has
tional guests along with theater people,                                AKA’s initial foray in New York City,         The Sutton Place is the smallest AKA      a glass-enclosed solarium where guests
like Broadway producer Floyd Mutrux.                                 the United Nations site was built in the      building, with 76 one- and two-bedroom       can enjoy the city night and day.
Mutrux insists on AKA Times Square                                   mid-1980s. AKA purchased and reno-            units. Neighboring resident Allison             On the lower-level spa and fitness
whenever he is in town working on a pro-                             vated the structure in 2004.                  Julius, owner of Maison 24, a boutique       center, an indoor pool is set at a constant
duction; he’s here now for his new show,                                “You should have seen it when we           and online retailer of home goods, stayed    96 degrees. Massage therapists can be
“Baby It’s You!”                                                     first got it,” says general manager Barbara   at AKA Sutton Place for several weeks        arranged for guests.

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