At just under $20 million, this 14 room “castle of privacy and quiet” is now the priciest home in Brooklyn

by Matt Scanlon

The borough’s roster of ultra high priced residences has expanded geometrically over the year, with the 7,750 square foot townhouse at 146 Willow Street briefly hitting a record $15 million last October, followed by 192 Columbia Heights (above the Brooklyn Heights Promenade) at $13.25 million, price tied with Park Slope’s almost hidden 1890s built six bedroom home at 45 Montgomery Place, and hot on its heels the sprawling and landmarked Dumbo townhouse at 15 Willow Street, at $12.5 million.

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As of October, however, we have a new top of the heap; the single most expensive of the 925,000 odd homes in Kings County is this five bedroom, four and a half bath condominium at 360 Furman Street (aka One Brooklyn Bridge Park), which lists for $19.5 million. A manorial 8,500 square feet of divided loft like space, along with 750 square feet of terrace and a deeded parking space (reportedly the best in the 449 unit building), its living areas are seemingly suspended over the East River, with views of virtually every major city landmark from every window. The property, according to listing agency Corcoran, “has no equal in either Brooklyn or Manhattan.”

The site of a longtime shipping center for the printing operations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and built in 1928 by the New York Dock Company as a warehouse, the redesigned 360 Furman Street is unique in several respects, not least in that, while a private development, it’s tasked with using revenue to finance the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation a not for profit entity responsible for planning, construction, and maintenance of the 85 acre park (which includes 1.3 miles of waterfront and Piers 1 through 6) a first of its kind economic structure for the city. Gutted and renovated in 2007, with the architectural firm Creative Design Associates and developer RAL Companies & Affiliates overseeing the transformation, the 14 story building is the largest Indus trial to residential conversion in borough history.

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Common amenities include a 3,000 square foot gym (with three cardio rooms), in addition to other recreational areas like game rooms, a golf simulator, a screening room, music room, meeting areas, kids play areas, and a children’s art room. There is also a concierge, a porter, doorman, an elevator, garden terraces, and a yoga studio.

Gardian Spread

RAL Companies & Affiliates, in its portfolio summation of the conversion, pointed to “echoes of the bustling waterfront shipping center that was 19th century Brooklyn, reflected in the adaptation of the structure to modern use. The building also incorporates retail and commercial uses complementary to the surrounding park and public access corridors,” adding that “its ongoing subsidy of the park is a textbook example of a win win public/private partnership.”

So, apartment 1216 seen here is, then, uniqueness within uniqueness. The massive floor plan is actually a combination of nine apartment spaces purchased by the owners early in the development process, then united by architect Jared Della Valle, co founder and CEO of the Jay Street based development firm Alloy.

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Homeowners enter the duplex on the 12th floor and proceed into a gallery that spokes to all common living spaces. A right turn presents the ballroom sized formal living room with adjacent office/bedroom, while a left pivot leads to an eat in kitchen. Appliances in the latter include a Sub Zero fridge, Gaggenau and Wolf cooktops, and double ovens from Miele. Behind the kitchen is a formal dining room that seats at least 18, along with a temperature controlled wine cellar with 3,500 bottle capacity. Two powder rooms complete the main floor.

The lower level (11th floor) includes five bedrooms and four full baths, including a marble master bath with soaking tub, walk in shower, and separate toilet room. A movie theater style screening room, game room, professional equipment filled gym (including climbing wall), and a full sized laundry room complete the lower level. There’s also custom sound proofing throughout, along with a Crestron sound system.

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“I’ve been selling real estate for 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it in either Brooklyn or Manhattan,” said Corcoran listing agent Deborah Rieders. “That has to do not only with the sheer scale, but because there are dead on, protected water views from every windowed room. In many cases in upper end homes, you’ll get a master bedroom or living room with a great view, but then you’ll have ancillary bedrooms in the back [that don’t]. This is because a developer is always trying to maximize the number of units with views, but this home was a combination of apartments, so the owners were able to purchase exactly what they wanted.”

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Owner modifications didn’t end there. Where there was a wall adjoining another residence in the building, they added additional soundproofing to the already rugged concrete masonry.

They made it like a self contained townhouse in the sky,” said Rieders. “It feels like you’re in a castle of privacy and quiet.”

The veteran agent also pointed to the home’s expansive terrace spaces. “They’re contiguous to all of the interior square footage. If you’re having a party or just living your life, there is an easy flow from common spaces kitchen, dining room, and living room right out to the terrace,” she said. “Again, a component that typical homes just don’t have.”

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It’s difficult to separate the glories of the residence itself from its environs. Steps out the front door is Brooklyn Bridge Park, which includes gardens, running trails, sports fields, dog parks, and special event spaces. Then there’s, steps further, the only practical access Brooklyn boat owners have to the water for miles (at least until they hit Sheepshead Bay): ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina, with slips available for more than 100 vessels, equipment to protect watercraft from wind and ferry driven waves, and an associated sail club and sailing school.

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“The site, the home, itself, and how poised it is to take advantage of the waterfront’s continued development…it’s just an extraordinary listing,” said Reiders.