This one had been around the internets a few times already, but where if not here would you find one of the coolest lofts in NY.Â This striking triplex penthouse in a clock tower overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor has gone on the market for $25 million, more than double the highest price known to have been paid for a home in Brooklyn.
The main floor of the sleek modern apartment is dominated by four working clocks housed in four 14-foot-high round windows, which provide nearly unobstructed views (well, except for the clock faces) out to the four points of the compass.
The penthouse sits atop one of the tallest buildings in Dumbo, the cobblestoned neighborhood that sprang to life in the 1980s in a former industrial area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
The 3,000-square-foot main floor has a huge open living room, dining room and kitchen with 16-foot-high ceilings. The loft also includes a glass elevator and a staircase made of stainless steel, glass and oak. A glass-walled elevator and a three-story floating staircase at the center of the space lead to smaller floors that narrow toward the top of the tower. There are three bedrooms on the 2,300-square-foot second floor (watch your head as you walk along the exterior walls), and on the floor above that, a 988-square-foot open loft with a 15-foot ceiling. Finally, up a narrow staircase at the very top of the building is a tiny (well, compared to the loft, it’s actually 400-square-foot) windswept crowâ€™s nest roof deck.
The apartment was created by David Walentas, the creator of the Dumbo neighborhood itself, in an old industrial building built by a cardboard box manufacturer. Mr. Walentas renamed the factory the ClockTower Building and converted it first into offices for the New York State Labor Department, and then, in 1998, into 124 condominiums.
Mr. Walentas kept an apartment in the building, where he lives with his wife, Jane, as well as the apartment with the clocks on the 16th floor. He negotiated a deal with the condominium board a few years ago to incorporate the tower space into the 16th-floor apartment.
In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Walentas shared a few insights about the apartment:
Mr. Walentas, 71, is the founder and principal of the Two Trees Management Company, which has developed and managed more than four million square feet of commercial and residential real estate, mostly in New York City. Mr. Walentas is also credited with establishing the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Q. Could you explain the genesis of the Dumbo name?
A. We were in SoHo almost 40 years ago, and then we did the Silk Building in NoHo. When I was in NoHo, I asked one of the artists, one of the kids, SoHo, NoHo, whatâ€™s next? And somebody said, â€œDumbo.â€ I said, Where the hell is Dumbo? He said, â€œDown Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.â€ So I came over one day, walked around the neighborhood and said, Wow!
Q. And thatâ€™s where the bulk of your development has been since â€” by the Manhattan Bridge.
A. We bought two million square feet 30 years ago for $12 million, about $6 a foot, which today seems incredibly cheap. But for 20 years everybody thought I was the dumb in Dumbo; now they think Iâ€™m a genius.
Q. What are you getting per square foot now?
A. We routinely sell condos for $1,000 a foot. We have a 6,000-square-foot triplex at One Main for $25 million â€” the Clock Tower.
Q. Do you think someone will pay the $25 million asking price?
A. I donâ€™t know. Itâ€™s kind of an icon â€” somewhere between real estate and art. Itâ€™s really a spectacular space, with the best views of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and New York Harbor. It has four 15-foot-diameter clock faces in each direction on the first level. It has a private elevator that goes up three levels in the center of the space, with a staircase around it. It has a private roof deck, which is half enclosed and half open.
Q. Did you and your wife, Jane, ever consider moving there?
A. Itâ€™s just too big. Itâ€™s really a showplace, a party place, a statement. We live right below the Clock Tower.
Q. Why do you have â€œNo Guts No Gloryâ€ on your cuff?
A. Itâ€™s on all my dress shirts. To succeed in life you have to take chances â€” no risk, no gain. People used to ask me what I do, and I said, I go to battle everyday.