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Gaia Real Estate: Sorry, No Billionaires Allowed

Can money buy you love? Perhaps. But if you're a billionaire, you won't be getting any from Gaia Real Estate, the firm says. “We are not looking for the Chinese billionaire to buy a penthouse,” Gaia managing partner Danny Fishman says. “We’re looking for someone who can buy a one-bedroom for under $1M and a two-bedroom for $2.5M." Gaia recently purchased a few buildings to upgrade and convert them into condos, including one Midtown Manhattan 156-unit tower for $156.5M. Instead of targeting billionaire luxury shoppers—who seem to be all the rage these days—the firm courts mid-market buyers ($500k to $2M) to avoid the risks from the exploding luxury market. Developers are loving the influx of foreign money parkers, but the number of billionaire condos outweighs the number of billionaires, leading to questions about the true demand of the market. Instead, the real demand, Bold New York's Jordan Sachs says, lies in the middle market. This seems to be the familiar strategy, since the firm itself started and benefited during the 2009 financial crisis. "Our clients are empty nesters and New Yorkers," Danny says. [TRD]