Brooklyn Heights penthouse could sell for more than $20 million

A Brooklyn Heights penthouse is poised to take the borough’s home prices to a new high.

The condominium — a 7,433 square-foot space created by combining two units in a luxury tower under construction in Brooklyn Bridge Park — is in contract for more than $20 million, according to Douglas Elliman Development Marketing.

The firm said the deal is slated to close in July, and once executed, will break the record $15.5 million spent on a Cobble Hill town house in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal. (That $15.5 million milestone could also be surpassed by a penthouse that was asking $16.65 million, which the Journal reported Matt Damon was in contract to buy.)

The purchaser, a New Yorker who works in the financial industry, had initially been house hunting in TriBeCa, according to Andrew Anderson, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman. But Anderson said the buyer was struck by the views at Quay Tower, one of two projects authorized near the foot of Pier 6 under the stewardship of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.

“I can’t state strongly enough how special the views are,” said Anderson, who said the deal did not include developer concessions, other than handling the cost of merging the two units. “Once they came to see the project, I think everything else just fell in line.”

Quay Tower at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Oct. 10, 2018.
Quay Tower at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Oct. 10, 2018. Photo Credit: Vincent Barone

The project has a controversial history. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, a nonprofit charged with maintaining the park through revenue from a limited number of development projects in the green space, sought to allow two residential projects on Pier 6. The Brooklyn Heights Association questioned whether constructing housing was necessary to finance park operations and maintenance, a stipulation of development under an initial Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation governing document. The civic group sued in 2016 and lost.

That paved the way for RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group to construct the 30-story Quay Tower, according to Douglas Elliman. It also facilitated the construction of a 15-story rental building, of which about three quarters of the units will be rented at below market-rate, the corporation said.

That arrangement will direct about $600,000 annually to the corporation from 99-year ground leases and roughly $2.5 million annually in payments in lieu of taxes, according to the corporation.

The corporation’s compensation could grow, if Quay Tower’s sales average out to more than $2,200 per square-foot when the building is filled.

Anderson declined to say what portion of the building was sold, but said he has seen significant interest in the tower.

“This is an incredibly unique property; it’s a huge number for Brooklyn,” Anderson said of the five-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom condominium that came with a 1,179 square-foot terrace and had a $22.75 million asking price. “It says a lot, and I think it says it loudly.”

When asked about the sale, Jonathan Miller, who leads an appraisal firm, said the penthouse was an anomaly, and therefore its price was not emblematic of larger trends in the luxury housing market.

He added that Brooklyn Heights’ residences have been increasingly sought after, and that demand has fueled higher prices in the area.

Ondel Hylton, content director for CityRealty, added that the park-side location, in particular, was a plus.

“While the volume and prices paid for new development transactions continue to languish around the city, one bulletproof corner of the market has been apartments in close proximity to parks, which continue to sell near record prices,” Hylton said in an email. “Each of the new developments that have gone up in Brooklyn Bridge Park (One Brooklyn Bridge, 1 John Street, Pierhouse, and now Quay Tower) have achieved near record prices. The other record-holders are just steps outside the 65-acre park.”

Some of the pricey homes on the market in other boroughs, according to StreetEasy’s current listings.

Manhattan: 635 West 42nd St. #45, price $85 million, 10 bedrooms

Queens: 181-14 Aberdeen Rd., price $21.88 million, 3 bedrooms

Bronx: 4490 Fieldston Rd., price $7.395 million, 4 bedrooms

Staten Island: 67 Nicolosi Loop, price $4.9 million, 5 bedrooms