Local numerologists can stop wracking their brains — 21123 is not an arcane biblical prophecy of doom, but something a bit more mundane: the address of a new condominium development in the South Slope.
For about a month, graffiti, posters, rollerbladers, T-shirts, and a Web site all begged the question, “What is 21123?” puzzling — and occasionally perturbing — those in and around Park Slope.
Those behind the scrawls told this paper this week that the initiative was an ad campaign to generate buzz for 211 23rd Street, a high tech, boutique condominium developed by Staten Island-based Leewood Real Estate Group.
“We believe it’s a very unique building,” said Leewood vice president Jeffrey Li. “Why not have an unique campaign?”
Leewood hired Red Hook based Pier 41 Advertising for the campaign. “Everyone does print ads and that’s great for a regular building. But we think we have something special here,” he continued.
Interior work on the project is ongoing, and the building is expected to be completed by 2010, Li said. Prices range from the mid $500,000’s to just over $800,000 for a duplex. Those who register for a hard hat tour of the building can be eligible for a chance to win an Apple MacBook Pro, according to Li. The building will feature a cyber-doorman, an off-site flesh and blood human who monitors the property, and does everything a traditional doorman does, save for bring up residents’ groceries, Li said.
The campaign generated consternation on the blog Brooklynian, where one poster called the guerilla advertising campaign “a desperate ad stunt.” Another said, “Defacing a neighborhood isn’t the most enlightened way to sell a new development in the area.”
Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6 and a Park Slope resident, said he noticed the curious string of numbers with “an alarming intensity and frequency.” He said the board has so far received no complaints though. “What’s interesting is that someone would resort to breaking the law and disrupting and diminishing the quality of life in a neighborhood just to make a buck,” he said.
In a statement, the company said that Leewood and Pier 41 are “conscious of their civic responsibilities and are arranging to send street teams in not only to clean up after the campaign, but to clean up other stickers and posters as well, leaving the neighborhood cleaner than before the campaign started.” The statement continues,“There were no complaints made to the street teams and residents seemed to enjoy the campaign, especially the rollerblader tricks, T-shirt giveaways and, of course, the mystery of it all.The objective was to create a buzz and get noticed in a world deluged with advertising messages.”
Li added, “We understand we are part of the community. We’re not here to deface and spoil the community. We definitely have plans to clean it up ourselves.”