Eye On Real Estate
Happy New Year, Brooklyn.
To honor the arrival of 2015, we’re eyeballing the Brooklyn real estate that Father Time loves best.
Surely he favors properties with big, beautiful clocks, so he can see when the stroke of midnight arrives without having to elbow his way into the ball drop in Times Square.
First we must give Manhattan its due, for just a moment, when it comes to clocks and the real estate that accompanies them.
The finest clock in New York is in the center of Grand Central Terminal, in our real estate-obsessed, preservationist-minded opinion.
The golden-rimmed, globe-shaped timepiece has been a rendezvous spot for generations of commuters and their friends, loved ones and occasional blind dates. The grandeur of its setting — a landmarked train station with constellations glowing in the ceiling — is indisputable.
That said, there is so much for Chronos to love in our borough. Take a look …
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We’ve got the perfect condo for Father Time, if he has $18 million to spare.
It has four giant clock faces embedded in circle-shaped windows on the walls of the apartment. He won’t need his ominous hourglass.
Of course we’re talking about the Clock Tower triplex penthouse that’s for sale at 1 Main St. in DUMBO. The Corcoran Group has the listing.
“We have had a tremendous amount of interest,” said Corcoran’s Frank Castelluccio, a licensed real estate broker who is handling the assignment.
“We have had prospective buyers currently living in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as buyers from France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Russia looking to relocate to Brooklyn. And yes, some celebrities too,” he said.
The apartment has been on and off the market at various times over the past several years. Corcoran has had the assignment since 2013.
“This is a specific property for a specific buyer,” Castelluccio said. “We knew this was going to take time and the sellers are okay with that.”
The condo conversion of 1914-vintage 1 Main St. by the Walentas family’s Two Trees Management is one of the key developments (or re-developments, if you wish to be literal) that put DUMBO on the map as a neighborhood the whole world notices.
As for that penthouse, it’s so stunning it looks like a movie set. Actually, it was a movie set, used in the 1985 film “Year of the Dragon,” starring Mickey Rourke.
The views from the penthouse are so fine, they might distract Time from the serious business of Marching On if he lived there.
“Visitors often remark that videos and pictures of the Clock Tower don’t quite capture the breathtaking views,” Castelluccio said.
“No matter where one stands in this unique home there is something special to see,” he added. “It’s quite magical.”
You might think there’d be a lot of loud tick-tocking going on inside the apartment. You’d be wrong.
“If you pay close attention to it you can hear a very low click as the minute hand moves; it happens on one clock but not all four simultaneously,” Castelluccio explained.
If Father Time could bear to leave the extraordinary penthouse, he could while away the hours in 1 Main St.’s storefronts eating divine desserts at One Girl Cookies or checking out the skateboards, snowboards and surfboards at Aegir Boardworks.
By the way, condos on other floors of the Walentas Building, as it’s also called, command solid sums. For instance, in September Barbara Crosby sold Unit 9D to Jonathan Burn and Andrea Shallcross for $3.5 million, city Finance Department records indicate.
The property — which is located in the landmarked section of DUMBO — dates back to the days when industrialist and developer Robert Gair (1839-1927) was a big cheese in the neighborhood.
It was the dominant building in Gairville, which is what his factory complex was called — and was considered the world’s tallest reinforced concrete building when it was constructed, according to the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s DUMBO Historic District designation report.
David Walentas turned 1 Main St. into an office building that housed the New York State Labor Department before doing the residential makeover.