Apparently everyone wants to live like Christian Grey. Following the release of the widely popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer last month, fans of the E.L. James erotica book series have been clamoring to get a glimpse inside the Escala condos in Seattle, Washington, the same residence the fictional, BDSM-practicing billionaire resides.
Erik Mehr, the real estate broker for the upscale apartment complex, says women ranging in age from 19 to 50 have been calling to request a sneak peek inside Grey’s infamous abode. “Our silly phone calls have spiked again where people want to rent the room,” Mehr recently told CNNMoney, adding that despite fans beliefs, the building's penthouse, bought by a family from Oregon for $6.2 million in 2013, doesn’t house Grey’s infamous “Red Room of Pain" or helicopter pad. “I don’t think they realize that this is a condominium building that residents live in,” he said.
While James’ decision to use the apartment complex as Grey’s residence in the book series may be causing some headaches for its residents, including the need for increased security measures since the first installment’s 2012 debut, the complex’s rise in selling costs prove the recognition hasn’t all been negative. CNN reports that while the median sales price for Seattle condos has risen 10 percent in the past four years, the sales prices for Escala apartments, located on Seattle’s 4th Avenue, have soared by more than 75 percent.
Mehr disagrees that the books and upcoming film adaptation has increased the complex’s popularity.
“Most of the unit owners are like you may expect, they’re business people or a bit older so the book wasn’t on their radar,” he said. “For the most part, they would rather downplay where they live.”
Only four Escala properties are currently listed. Prices range from one $849,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo to $6.5 million for a 5,181 square-foot penthouse. Unfortunately for fans looking to view a penthouse similar to Grey's, guests are now required to be pre-qualified for a potential purchase before securing an appointment, Mehr confirmed to Zillow in 2012.
While “Fifty Shades” fans may be barred from visiting Grey’s infamous abode, fans can rest easy knowing that they can get an inside look into the fictional billionaire's apartment when the film adaptation, starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, premieres in theaters Feb. 13, 2015.