By Liana Grey
Linda Feder, a senior associate at Corcoran, has moved back and forth from the East to West coast a handful of times since launching a career in the music industry and promoting the likes of Sting, Bon Jovi, and Elton John.
Raised in Brooklyn and New Jersey, she landed a job at KSAN, a radio station in San Francisco, after graduating from college, and then joined the record label MCA in Los Angeles.
“I had a great run, but I missed the East Coast,” she said. “MCA was able to transfer me to Philly. People laughed, ‘You’re moving from LA to Philly?’ But I loved it there; I lived there for three years.”
Next, she took a job at a record label in New York, then one in Los Angeles. In the late ‘90s, she produced an album, A Very Special Christmas 3, to raise funds for the Special Olympics, as part of a charity initiative by Maria Shriver.
And then she was back in New York, promoting Etta James and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson for XM radio.
To accommodate all the travelling, Feder bought a pied-a-terre in Carnegie Hill and purchased a house in Beverly Hills from actress Angie Dickinson and her husband, pianist Burt Bacharach. “I met him at an eye glasses store,” Fedder recalled. “I said, ‘I love your street.’ He said, ‘want to buy my house?’”
Eight years ago, tired of constantly uprooting her daughter and son, who is now a musician in a Los Angeles-based band, Feder returned permanently to New York. “My goal was always to get back,” she said.
Having bought a Manhattan pied-a-terre, Feder was able to walk contacts in Los Angeles — and eventually referrals from places like Toronto, Miami and Baltimore – through the apartment hunting process.
Though she joined Corcoran four years ago, just when the market crashed, “I turned a bad market into a good one,” she recalled. “People I knew in Los Angeles, and people who knew of me, were able to afford a pied-a-terre in New York. Before, prices were too high.”
She was often familiar with where her clients lived in Los Angeles, and was able to steer them towards Manhattan neighborhoods that would be a good match. Many, in fact, were displaced New Yorkers who had moved to the West Coast to pursue careers in the music industry, and hoped to return to the home of their youth.
“A lot of people from LA like the Village,” said Fedder, who herself lived in Greenwich Village while studying for a sociology Masters at NYU. “They live near canyons, or near the ocean. They want to sit by their window and look out, and have a New York vibe.”
For this reason, her West Coast clients tend to prefer charming, older construction to flashy new condos. “I am somehow able to find them co-ops,” she said. “They don’t want a condo, they want pre-war.”
At one point, a pair of pied-a-terre seekers bought a co-op in the West Village without even looking at it. “I called and said, ‘I found an apartment.’ They had their son come look. They made an offer that night and got it,” Fedder recalled. “They flew in for the board interview.”
Recently, she helped ballet dancer Lisa Rinehart and her husband, Mikhael Baryshnikov, secure a pied-a-terre in the Upper West Side, another neighborhood that’s popular among Fedder’s clients. Fedder had met Rinehart at a book club, and the dancer mentioned that she was interested in purchasing an apartment. Rinehart and her husband had a primary home north of Manhattan — their children were enrolled in school in Riverdale — so they settled on a co-op near Columbia University, between West End Avenue and Broadway. “It was more convenient [than the Village],” Feder said. “Parking was good.”
Occasionally, Feder manages to place her clients in pre-war condos. She secured a walk-up condo at 148 Waverly Place in the West Village, for instance, and another at 110 West 86th Street.
The latter condo wasn’t far from her own neighborhood, Carnegie Hill, where she hopes to do more business after returning from a trip to Australia with her college-age daughter. “I’d like to be able to sell up here,” she said.