From the NBA to NYC real estate

Condo developers are using all sorts of enticements to lure buyers including, in one Brooklyn development, former NBA star John Starks.

Forget golf courses aimed at selling Sunbelt condos to retirees. Condo developers in New York City are hoping wealthy young hoops fans will be drawn to upscale developments that include basketball courts where residents can give their best high-flying Michael Jordan slam dunk impression a shot—or at least find a decent pick up game after a long day’s work.

At the launch party for 99 Gold Street in Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood, where luxury units will sell for up to $1 million, the developer even brought in New York Knick’s legend John Starks to shoot a few with prospective residents and sign commemorative gold basketballs.

“People want places they can come together and socialize,” Highlyann Krasnow of The Developers Group told The New York Times. The group is betting the indoor court and fitness center it is adding to its conversion of the toy factory, where water guns and toy soldiers were once made, will help appeal to condo buyers age 25 to 40.

Starks: a true New Yorker 

And they aren’t the only ones. The Atelier, a midtown Manhattan development which should have units on the market next year, is touting a full-size outdoor court as well as places to play volleyball and lacrosse. A new development by Phillip Starck features a maple-floored half court as well as a bowling alley.

While it remains to be seen whether the bets on basketball will pay off, one of the gold basketballs Starks signed at the building’s launch party didn’t seem to be fetching very much money in the online marketplace. With less than a day to go before the close of the auction last month, the ball, which was listed at $99 on Ebay, had received no bids.