Since the release of the movie trailer for E.L. James’s hit 50 Shades of Grey, Erik Mehr’s phone has been ringing off the hook.
Mehr just happens to be the real estate broker for Escala, a luxury condominium complex that does actually exist, and that James inadvertently made famous when she decided to use the luxurious apartment building in Seattle as the home of fictional billionaire Christian Grey. (Don’t miss the photo gallery below!)
Not many of the phone calls, however, are from potential buyers. Instead, the callers are women, typically between the ages of 19 to 50, who call Mehr’s firm and beg for the privilege to spend the night in the Escala’s penthouse featured in the 50 Shades of Grey book, or, at the very least, to get their pictures taken somewhere in the Escala building.
“Our silly phone calls have spiked again where people want to rent the room,” Mehr told CNNMoney. “I don’t think they realize that this is a condominium building that residents live in.”
E.L. James heard about the luxurious Escala back in 2009 and used it in her book, although she did take a number of liberties. For example, there is not a helicopter landing pad on the roof, and, Mehr emphasized, “There is no red room.”
Although the publication of E.L. James’s kinky trilogy and the new movie release has caused some problems for Escala residents (security, for example, has had to be increased), there have also been some pretty significant perks. James herself held a private book signing for Escala residents, and the film crew for the movie took shots of the building’s exterior that will likely appear in the upcoming movie.
But unarguably, the greatest benefit of all has been the fact that the value of the apartments in Escala have skyrocketed. The median sales price for a Seattle-based condo has risen about 10% since 2010, while the median sales price for an apartment in the Escala have risen steeply by over 75%. However, Mehr refuses to attribute the significant rise in sales price to the publication of E.L. James’s 50 Shades of Grey, instead claiming that the rise in median prices is due more to an improving economy and the increasing popularity of Seattle. But 62% of that 75% rise in median price for a place at the Escala took place after the publication of James’s first book.
There are only 6 units available for sale at the Escala – the penthouse itself was purchased by a family for around 6.2 million dollars. A more modest Escala unit will still run a buyer well over a million dollars.
Those prices are so painful that even Christian Grey would approve of them!
Christian Grey’s Penthouse Featured In “50 Shades” Actually Exists – And It’s Breathtaking! [Pictures]
Hmmm...is that a red door?
Christian Grey probably would have hung some curtains...
Escala living room
It certainly looks inviting!
Escala penthouse master bedroom
Another view of the master bedroom
Escala master bedroom
For when another type of appetite needs to be satisfied.
Escala penthouse kitchen
For those cozy, intimate dinners of 20 or more...
Escala penthouse dining room
The master bath in Escala's penthouse
Another view of the master bath at the Escala
Escala penthouse master bath
Exterior view of the Escala
[Images via The Escala and E.L. James website]