Why an apartment in the Big Apple? House planner Jack Thomasson shares the behind-the-scenes details.
Q. How did this whole project come about? And how did you land on New York City?
A. About a year ago HGTV came to me with the idea to create a “dream pad,” basically an apartment residence in an exciting urban location. I loved the idea and was certainly excited that they asked me to execute it. The next question was, where? Our country has some wonderful cities, but I kept coming back to New York City. After attending a sales presentation hosted by the W, everything started to point to New York as the right city and the W New York-Downtown as the place.
Q. What was the scouting process like?
A. I visited over 50 other buildings in cities across the country. I searched for about six months before finding the place that I was excited to present to the network. New York is our country’s largest city, and arguably the most exciting: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” right?
Q. What challenges did you face as you built out this amazing apartment?
A. It was definitely a new experience to be the small fish in the big pond. Our unit is a lovely 900 square feet, but in an over-50-story building. I had to learn how to navigate the challenges of building within a building! It was amazing to watch the coordination of a huge team of construction professionals, as each contributed his part to the whole.
Q. What would you consider the greatest rewards of this project?
A. With great challenges come great rewards. Getting our unit completed on schedule was very gratifying. HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Green Home and now HGTV Urban Oasis have their own unique challenges. None is easy and each is unique, but I’m really excited to apply what I learned during our first Urban Oasis to next year’s project.
Q. Did you envision a certain person when planning this space?
A. I leave the who in my projects to fate. After all, literally anyone can win. I simply — and sometimes not so simply — try to create spaces that fit into their unique environment, and leave the rest to chance.