By Alva French
Special to DNAinfo
Penthouses, starting at $1.2 million
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Manhattan real estate brokers trekked out to Downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday last week to feast their eyes on the luxury penthouse lofts at Belltel. It was the first time dozens of visitors could gawk at the handful of available penthouses — starting at $1.2 million — in the converted condo at 365 Bridge St.
The solid brick, art-deco building, once home to the Long Island branch of the New York Telephone Company, had views that would give die-hard Manhattanites pause, said broker Kane Manera.
"It’s beautiful,” Manera said. “It’s hard to find a solid structure, pre-war building in the city, and I have lots of clients who would love the views.”
Belltel is located in the middle of not-so-residential downtown Brooklyn’s Metro-Tech campus and steps to Fulton Mall.
Still, Michael Ettelson, a vice president/associate broker with Douglas Elliman, who listed the property, insisted no hard sell was needed.
The two- and three-bedroom duplex apartments each had private terraces with breathtaking views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Hardwood floors and high ceilings, with modern kitchens and bathrooms made the building move-in ready.
“It’s not much of a leap," Ettelson said. “People see the value of the neighborhood. Five years ago it may have been a hard sale, but the neighborhood is in the news every other day and it’s only one stop from Manhattan.”
Another broker gushed, “I loved it. My daughters would love the closets and it’s great for this to be in Brooklyn. I would tell my Manhattan clients they’d definitely be getting more money per square foot.”
One resident on his way home from walking his dog said he loved the pet-friendly building and the evolving neighborhood.
“It’s definitely a neighborhood in flux, but I love it," he said. "It has everything: Fulton Mall and the DeKalb Market. It’s great that that they’ve changed these office buildings into residential ones."
He added: "I feel 98 percent safe in this neighborhood."