Last week, the real-estate agent Nick Gavin put up a $4.75 million four-bedroom loft for sale in the building at 136 Baxter — a 1915 former stable turned into a minimalist boutique condo in 2007 by the art dealer Max Protech. The renovation stripped the building down to its quality structure: high pine ceilings, cast-iron columns, and thick brick walls. Gavin’s four-bedroom is shown decorated in a warm take on millennial minimalism: pale oak floors, white walls, Noguchi lamps, a Pierre Jeanneret easy chair below a Rene Ricard painting. When he posted the listing on his Instagram, Gavin added the text, “Very excited to share this one!”
Compared to Gavin’s other downtown listings, there’s almost a quaint feeling to his own 2,600-square-foot loft (priced $1 million more than he and his wife, the model Katrin Thormann, paid in 2021). Gavin, who started at Corcoran in 2008, has become something like downtown’s answer to Serena Boardman, the agent whose name seems to pop up next to listings with a certain cachet. When Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner sold their old place at the Puck Building in 2021, they used Gavin. When the Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was selling a $50 million Tribeca penthouse, he used Gavin. Gavin doesn’t just represent fame and money; clients lean on his team for its “discerning aesthetic sensibility,” according to his team’s site at Compass, which he joined in 2015. To wit: Last month, Gavin represented the seller of a $5.95 million maisonette on Perry Street with ’70s vibes, a serious art collection, and low-slung leather furniture. Simultaneously, he repped a $9.75 million Cape Cod–style cottage penthouse atop an East Village apartment building. Both sold within weeks.
Then, there’s Gavin’s record at 136 Baxter Street. He has represented sellers of six different high-ceilinged condos at the 1915 loft building. When he sold one of the penthouses last year, he represented both the buyer and the seller. And for two of his Baxter Street listings, he has represented himself.
When Gavin listed his first apartment in the building — his own 2-bedroom condo duplex on the fifth and sixth floors, which he bought in 2016 for $2.6 million — he did some press, telling Surface magazine that he and Thormann were leaving for a bigger, brighter four-bedroom unit on the fourth floor. (The same one that is now for sale with a 34-foot-wide great room that peers over Baxter Street.) He has also, over the years, chirped to the New York Post about his listings, including that Cape Cod–style penthouse. But he rarely talks about himself. The last time he agreed to a profile appears to be in 2011, when Crain’s marked his meteoric rise with a few short paragraphs that are so outdated, they’re humorous. (His favorite social media site is “Facebook” and his favorite restaurant is the formerly scene-y “Indochine.”) In 2020, he let the Times into his Shelter Island getaway and told the charming story of renovating it to fit his growing family — then quarantining there during the pandemic.
The only news release to sell this apartment came on Instagram, and Gavin chose not to return an email, text, and phone call on the listing. Which seems typical for him. In an era when agents take courses in TikTok and YouTube walkthroughs, his reticence matches the “discerning aesthetic sensibility” shown in the listing photos: a blank canvas on which any potential buyer might see themselves.