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What do people generally think of BellTel? I'm not looking for a luxury building. Just nice decent construction in a decent location.
Ive closed many units at the BellTel Lofts. Generally, many people like the high ceilings and the units are similiar to some new developments in the city but at much cheaper price. People there also look at the Oro Condos.
I actually don't like it. It feels like a huge government office building. Some bedrooms don't have windows, and there's not much natural light. Hallways are a bit dark. I think there are over 200 units in the building which is a little bit too much for me.
Oro is actually nice except for the fact that it's a block away from the prjects, and they're not going away anytime soon. Besides, there's not much neighborhood in the area right now. There's a police station nearby, and the subways are about four blocks. It is pretty close to Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge though, and it has amazing views of Manhattan.
I checked it out well over a year ago even though we weren't quite ready to buy and I think it was the first building we looked into. We were looking at one bedrooms but they also showed us the models for the huge studio w/home offices that were set up as bedrooms. I liked the floors, ceiling height, finishes and they different types of layouts. My husband didn't care for the finishes so much and didn't like the floor color against the cabinet color (or vice versa). I thought the proximity to subways was good, area still changing and a lot of new construction starting around the building (including a hotel), From what I've read, the building has A LOT of families and a lot of kids (personally a turnoff for me), and I could be wrong but I thought there might have been some issues with the developer.
In the end, we decided to purchase at Rockwell Place in Fort Greene. We liked the finishes much better, had a nice layout, high ceilings, outdoor space and the building is much smaller at 37 units. Also, nearly every subway line is 4 blocks or less and we felt it was centrally located to all of the other neighborhoods.
I've also looked at Rockwell Place and BellTell. The finishes and layouts at Rockwell are generally much better. New2fg, I looked at a 2 bedroom at Rockwell but couldn't get comfortable with the price per square foot and the common charges. How did you think about the price relative to the other comparable properties in the area (One Hanson, Oro and Forte)?
We only looked at 1 bedrooms so I can't speak about the 2 bedroom prices. 1 Bedroom prices I thought were definitely on par with the others. For comparison, I just looked up on street easy to compare units to the one we're in contract for and one hanson has a 1bd, similar size and price listed for $879/sq ft with common charges $467, and oro for a similar size and price has one listed for $849/sq ft with common charges $510. Our unit is $832/sq ft (cc $814) but has outdoor space, other 1 bedrooms are listed at rockwell for $683/sq ft with no outdoor space - which is much cheaper than oro and hanson.
The common charges are a bit higher than the other 2 buildings, but it's a much smaller building with 37 units compared to 200+ so that is to be expected. The abatement should help offset things a bit for us.
Also, the 2 bedrooms at Rockwell all have outdoor space (1 has a large terrace and the others balconies) which is probably why the sq ft price is higher than 2 bds at the others if they don't have outdoor space. I guess it's just a personal thing if you value the additional outdoor space and how much it's worth. For us...the outdoor space was a major selling point and it still remained within our budget.
I am looking to buy in the Belltel. Can anyone tell me about the building?
What would you like to know about the building? Ive closed for many people who purchased there and I ask always ask what their opinions are. It is a building where you can move in immediately. That whole area is still not fully developed but has lots of potential. If you have any specific questions, please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am concerned about the qauilty of the buidling and finishes, the re-sale of the potential unit I am looking at with only 2 windows and wether it is a sounds market at the moment to buy?
Are they offering any discounts?
Search discussions for BellTel. Should be plenty of other info here. I'm recalling a person complaining about thin, poorly insulated flooring and the incessant noise of the upstairs neighbors.
45wall - Read this former thread http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/talk/discussion/2961-suing-developers-to-fix-noisy-floors-and-ceilings
It's going to be noisy. Better buy some earplugs and extra strength migraine pills. From looking at the speakeasy belltel lofts website http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/building/365-bridge-street-brooklyn it looks like there have been a price drops recently. If I were you I'd also have them address the noise issue and reduction in price. It's a shame since the building looks really nice from the outside.
Any other recommendations of buildings offering price and same sq footage?
I need to buy an apt by next March/.
45wall,you got the right location (Downtown Brooklyn) for tremendous upside in my opinion. There is a tremendous amount of construction in this area and City Point and Willoughby Square Park will be the icing on the cake. There is much to choose from for example Oro, Forte, Be@schermerhorn, One Hansen, 110 Livingston, Rockwell Place, ClermontGreene, 80 Dekalb, new condos being built on Tillary by Lazerian Family. Also Lawrence condos going up quickly.
Did I leave any out? I think that is an exhaustive list. I know there are more just can't think of all of them right now. A mental block.
Oh yea, Smith condos on Smith and Atlantic. I knew I forgot one.
Junkman, that must have taken tremendous restraint.
There's one other condo going up in Downtown Brooklyn...can't quite remember the name. It has a curtain wall and everthing...
Wow, Junkman, that was impressive! You did not mention the one in Myrtle Avenue. I have to agree though it's not really worth mentioning at all.
Other buildings in Atlantic Ave:
Boerum Heights in 556 State Street
The Atlantic in 457 Atlantic Ave
Little Black Arrows, gathering....
I recently went to see the bldg. Even if the surrounding area is certain to get nicer, I had a problem with the general "feel" of the building.
For example, the paint job was generally poor and it was all bumpy. Maybe they used cheap paint--I don't know. Also, the common areas have really cheap feel and look, with generic, nondescript low-end fixtures with absolutely no design flare--very much "Golden Girls." Also, the gym and the lounge, which are located in the basement smelled like--well, the BASEMENT.
Inside the units... Again, there is this cheap feel throughout, perhaps because everything is generic looking. Also, we noticed that, in some kitchens, the islands weren't placed right--they were way too far from the kitchen areas and too intrusive into the living areas.
In addition, the windows were small, and the apartments were generally dark. As if that weren't bad enough, the agent told us that, since they didn't have the air rights, some of the units may end up losing windows in the future.
With this said, I think the agent I dealt with (Rachel) is an ABSOLUTE PEACH. She was friendly yet courteous, and very convincing. I almost purchased a unit (despite all these faults) because Rachel was so good.
I enjoyed Rachel also when I took my initial tour. I especially appreciated her honesty with respect to highlighting the fact that almost all views will be blocked by new construction of City Point, Lawrence Street, and Bridge Street.
Not sure what previous poster meant by them "losing windows in the future". Do you mean losing window views due to new construction?
Good morning. I am so glad someone else thought Rachel was great.
Junkman, about my prior "windows" statement... Well, no, actually it's worse than that...
It's not just about views being blocked.
We saw a couple of lower-floor A-line (?) apts, each of which had a couple of windows in the main
bedroom facing the backyards of several townhouses.
Since BellTel does NOT have the air rights, should the townhouse nextdoor decide to go higher,
those bedroom windows will be gone--as in "bricked up." Given all of the planned changes in the area,
I feel that such a scenario would be inevitable.
Completely agree about the "cheap" feel of the units at Belltel. Home Depot grade appliances, awkward layouts, windowless rooms, etc.
I have a friend in the building and I can't believe some of the issues she's had to deal with. Some you can chalk up to teething problems common to most "new" construction, but other problems just point to shoddy workmanship, careless construction, and too many cut corners. If anyone's interested, I can provide a list of some of the problems she's had to deal with at Belltel.
Of all the new downtown Brooklyn condos, 110 Livingston and One Hansen are the best bets in terms of construction, finishes, workmanship, and--most importantly--location. 110 Livingston's location is particularly good, especially relative to other downtown Brooklyn condos.
It's too bad that modern addition on the top is so horrendous.
I would be interested in hearing about the issues your friend has encountered in Belltel. We are currently considering buying there, but have our concerns.
Here's a partial list of some of the issues that has come up in the 4 months she's been at Belltel. Mind you, this is not just isolated problems to her unit--many others in the building have reported the same problems, including the condo board president.
-The bathroom fixtures, toilet paper dispenser, and towel rod are ripping out of wall due to improper installation.
-The developer did a switch-a-roo with the fridge (from a Fisher & Paykel to a GE). The new one is much larger than the one the kitchen was originally designed for. As a result, the new fridge doesn't really fit into the old fridge cabinetry space--it sticks out about half a foot and is shorter to boot. To add insult to injury, not only were the bamboo floors damaged from moving fridges in and out, the developer wouldn't even hook up the ice maker! All the units had to pay the super $100 just to get hook up the ice maker.
-The front doors the developer installed in the units were too short for the frame. Hearing hallway noise from inside the unit was a huge issue. The developer tried to rectify the problem by installing a metal strip on top of the doors. Odd looking and ineffective.
-The vents in the windowless "bedrooms" that were supposed to blow in air at a specified temp often do not work. She's had to sleep in the living room several times because the bedroom became too hot and stuffy from the lack of air.
-The windows were poorly installed. Like most residents, she can't open them, and the sills were so shoddily constructed that it's already cracking on the wall.
-Load noises from the vents. They're trying to muffle the sound by wrapping the vents in something, but so far, no success.
-REALLY thin walls. You can hear everything your neighbor says. This is a building wide problem also reported by Francesca the board president and numerous neighbors on the Belltel blog.
-Rusty sprinkler plumbing due to incorrect paint job.
-Poorly installed and unaligned bathroom tiles, missing caulk, etc. The developers had to redo most everyone's grout because it was so poorly done the first time.
-Poor paint and plaster work (walls and ceilings not smooth, bubbles, etc).
There are more, but that's all I can remember from my conversation with her today. As I said, some are "minor" issues, but cumulatively they seem to point to shoddy workmanship. If the developer is okay with using cheap finishes and fixtures (the Danze faucets from Costo or the prison grade toilets, for example) on the stuff you CAN see, I'd be worried about the corners he's cutting on the stuff you can't see.
Have you checked out Be@Schermerhorn or 110 Livingston instead?
10013 thanks for the info.
We haven't checked out Be@Schermerhorn yet, I never see any available listings for 110Livingston.
Be@Schermerhorn is still under construction so you can't see any units yet, but Procida does solid work (they're also doing the Richard Meier building on Prospect Park). Floorplans are up online, and you could check out their Be@William or Be@ClintonWest buildings to get a sense of what to expect in terms of finishes and style.
I'm pretty sure that there are some units at 110 Livingston that are still for sale, even though they claimed they were sold out a while back. Because they handle the sales themselves, you have to contact the developer directly to get an idea of availability (their # is 718-222-5555). Two Trees also does good work--I think they're one of the better developers in the city.
If you do decide on Belltel Lofts (the price per square foot is really attractive), be sure to pick your unit orientation carefully. Laboz is planning a mega tower across Belltel on Willoughby that's sure to block some views/light, and the Claret Group's 51 story tower on Lawrence that's currently being built is going to block the western side of Belltel. It's pretty much going to get hemmed in on all sides, so make sure you're comfortable with that.
Best of luck on your apartment search. Keep us updated on the hunt.
Not just Laboz mega tower and Clarett Group's 51 storied Tower (by the way remember Clarett built the Forte) but you will also be overshadowed by the tallest building in Brooklyn City Point:
From my vantage point, this is a good thing for the future of Downtown Brooklyn and made it all the more imperative for me to buy a few months ago in the Toren. This neighborhood is being transformed from a basic dump to a mini Manhattan but with brownstone neighborhoods surrounding it as opposed to more tall buildings.
Not sure where Belltel's prices are going but I just came back from the Toren's sales office and they just increased prices further, which is shocking in this environment. If you have time, may want to wait for 80 DeKalb, condos by Ratner or even look at Lazerian condos off Tillary. Maybe a glut will create opportunity or maybe all these nice looking buildings will create a higher priced neighborhood.
Toren purchasers are having their northern exposure destroyed by Avalon Bay Luxury condos. Really have to do your research if a view is what you want. Very exciting time in downtown Brooklyn. If we can get the stadium by 2011, I'll be estatic.
By the way, this Lazerian project is moving quickly. Storage facility is staying put but storage capacity is 94% full. With Oro being inhabited within the next few months, that 6% will be gone.
Be@Schermerhorn profiled on Brownstoner today:
Comments aren't very favorable but I wouldn't let that stop you from checking it out.
First off, I own here. Visually, I like the building and units and if I was deaf I would be in heaven in my unit for the space I got and the price I paid per square feet in comparison to other developments. Saying that, you need to know that this building has MAJOR NOISE ISSUES.
The ceiling is unfinished concrete. The hardwood floors are glued onto thin 1/8" cork that was not entirely covering the floor. It was installed in a patch work with large gaps exposed, not in a 100% floor covering. Impact noise from above, noise from adjacent unit walls (thin party walls) and thin and hollow walls within the unit, noise from thin bathroom "wet walls" (can hear people doing #1 and#2, talking, yelling, yeah... sick), noise from hollow metal front doors with large gaps around the seam, noise from thin windows and on and on.
The developer cheaped out and ignored the noise and livability issue. Like I said, visually, I like it. For the price the appliances and fixtures are ok but I wouldn't call them "Homedepot". It's just the lack of soundproofing..
I just wished I knew about this before I bought in the building. Consider adding about $100 a square feet in additional construction cost on top of what you're paying in order to make this place livable. You're warned.
Unfortunately, negative comments are par for the course at Curbed and (to a lesser extent) Brownstoner.
If you read through the posts, you'll see that negative comments were made by posters who haven't even been to the development--the one poster who was at the launch party remarked pretty positively.
I probably wouldn't put a lot of stock in any of the comments.
Now, which bldg are we talking about, 10013?
Be@Schermerhorn is on a horribly depressed block--and I am not going to wait 5 or 10 years before "feeling safe" in my own neighborhood. I visited the site last Sunday around Noon, and there appeared to be a "service establishment" for the economically challenged nearby, where my realtor and I were followed and verbally assaulted by a couple of its clients.
No matter how beautiful the bldg turns out to be, I can't imagine anyone coughing up $1,000/sf to live in that area.
"Horribly depressed", nyc212? I think you're confusing the location with Belltel's...
Be@Schermerhorn is certainly not on the most aesthetically pleasing block in Brooklyn, but it's far from unsafe or "horribly depressed". If you think this area is horribly depressed, I'd hate to imagine what you must think of the Oro and Toren condo projects, considering they're located right next to the projects with no services or shopping nearby.
Be@Schermerhorn is around the block (literally) from the 14 townhouses development. All 14 townhouses sold at an average of $2.7 million a pop--hardly the kind of dough one shells out for an unsafe neighborhood.
It's also 3 blocks from Brooklyn Heights, 2 blocks to Atlantic Ave (antiques, boutiques), and a block from Smith (restaurants, bars, and shops galore). Walk 5 blocks and you're at the new Trader Joe's.
But maybe you're right. After all, the new Steven Alan boutique is a 2 minute walk away. Might as well be in Kansas! 5 whole blocks to Saul, the Michelin Starred restaurant? Who the hell walks that far for a meal?
Again, it's not the best looking block, but to say that you'll have to "wait 5 or ten years" before feeling safe there is beyond ludicrous. While there's definitely room for improvement, it's a fully functioning neighborhood NOW (which I can't say of any of the Flatbush projects) with tons of services, shops, boutiques, grocery stores, etc, and the area is bound to get better.
Also, Streeteasy shows the active listings are averaging $840/sf, not $1000. Not sure where you got that info.
10013, I got all of my info, including pricing, not from streeteasy but from actually visiting those developments, as well as from talking to my realtors and the sales reps at each development I comment on.
$1,000/sf was what I was quoted for the type of units I am seeking, and the number came from the sales rep at Be@Schermerhorn. Is that alright????????
Have you actually been to BelTell? The area is FAR from being depressed. I don't like the bldg as I have expressed here, but I cannot characterize the area to be "depressed." It is highly commercial and I didn't see any danger in living there. In fact, some of the best law firms in the U.S. have their branch offices right on the next block, with 1,000s of support staff working there...
Now, I've toured Oro and Toren as well, and yes, they are both in what one may call "bad neighborhoods." They are not "depressed," but economically and racially mixed. I won't buy those apts, the same way I won't buy Be@Schermerhorn, Forte, or even BelTell.
Well, 10013, I hope I've answered your questions. Sorry to have offended you. I just found being followed and verbally assaulted to be beyond my tolerance level, and it certainly tainted my perception of the area in which Be@Schermerhorn is located.
nyc212, I meant no offense. But really, only the penthouses are at the 1000/sf level--you implied that most of the building was, which is far from true.
I've been to Belltel many times. As I wrote previously in this thread, I have a very good friend who lives there. And the area is far more depressed than the area around Be@Schermerhorn. Right across the street (where Bagel Guys, Taco Rico, and Hibashi Boy used to be), the entire block is nothing more than shuttered stores. It'll be that way until Laboz starts his project--but who know if/when Laboz will even start the project he closed the stores for, especially in this economic climate? After all, it's been more than a year already.
So tell me, what's more "depressed"? Being across the street from a bunch of shuttered, empty storefronts or being across the street from Macy's (like Be@Schermerhorn)?
Second, I guess you haven't been to Belltel after 6 when EVERYONE from Metrotech (including the support staff you mentioned) goes home. No one actually lives in the immediate area surrounding Belltel--the place is a freaking ghost town after the workers go home (and they don't stay in the area to eat, drink, or shop because, well, there's nothing there). Fulton Mall is completely dead after 8 when the stores shut down--talk about feeling unsafe. It's actually LESS commercial than the area around Be@Schermerhorn around the time that you're actually going home.
The area around Be@Schermerhorn is not only more residential (it's within a couple of blocks of brownstones on State, 110 Livingston, 96 Schermerhorn co-op, 75 Smith, State Renaissance apartments, etc), but much more commercial after work hours as well. Not to mention it's much closer to the Atlantic, Court, and Smith corridor (where a lot of the Metrotech workers actually do eat, drink and shop).
And let's be honest. The area around Toren and Oro is not racially and economically mixed. It's predominantly poor and black, and it is indeed depressed by any measure. No shops, no restaurants, no bars, no grocery stores, no services--nothing. Just depressed.
Sorry you were harassed around Be@Schermerhorn. Unfortunately, that can and will happen in any part of the city, even in Manhattan. However, just because you had a bad experience in a particular part of town doesn't make the neighborhood unsafe or "horribly depressed".
"And let's be honest. The area around Toren and Oro is not racially and economically mixed. It's predominantly poor and black, and it is indeed depressed by any measure."
Wow,and I almost voted for Obama.
Where are you from 10013, the deep south?
This comment is almost as ridiculous as your promotion of Be@Scher....
Are you going to tell me that you looked at the apartments at Be@Schermerhorn and you were impressed?
Actually based on your prior prejudices, I really could give a hoot what you have to say. Very sad.
OK, I am so tired of seeing people talk trash about this building. I own at BelTell and have had none of these issues that everyone's referring to about sound and fixture problems in the apartment. We have Kohler faucets, GE refrigerator and stove. The fixtures are fine; the windows are fine; the floors are fine; the noise (or lack thereof) is fine.
There is noone that moved into the building that didn't know about the windows when they moved in. When heating bills double this winter, Belltel residents may actually be happy they didn't opt for the floor to ceiling loft-style that many of the newer buildings are offering.
The neighborhood is what it is -- an area that makes for a strong investment. You buy here if you want to be a pioneer and get in before the neighbor becomes much more developed. This neighborhood will probably be unrecognizeable in 2-5 years. IT'S CALLED AN INVESTMENT!!!
Proper service seems to have some strong agenda or an axe to grind when he travels from website to website talking about how loud it is in the building. I live below a family with a baby and next to a very large dog and once, in a blue moon, I'll hear something very faint. It's no big deal, I live in NYC, I kind of expect, in an apt building, to occasionally hear my neighbors. When I want absolute silence, I'll move to a farm.
I am more than a little disappointed that the developers have had a casual attitude about getting the building sold but there are still plenty of residents in spite of him dragging his feet and in spite of Proper Service making sure he gets on every New York-based website to say how loud and aweful the building is.It just doesn't make any sense. I even tried reaching out to him before I bought to see if there was any validity to his argument and he never responded.
I'll just end by say what -- surprisingly -- no one else will say, residents in the building are mostly very happy to be there, its a very nice building in an up and coming neighborhood. My apartment is about 4x the size of the one I lived in in Manhattan. The equivalent space in Manhattan would have cost me twice as much. I'm 7 minutes from downtown and within 2-4 blocks of every train that goes into Brooklyn (except the L -- but who wants to ride the L anyway? ;)
Junkman, the VAST majority of residents in the area around Oro and Toren (your soon to be new neighbors) don't live in luxury condos or middle class apartments--they live in the Ingersoll/Whitman projects, one of the largest (if not THE largest) public housing complexes in NYC. We're talking about 35 (that's THIRTY-FIVE) buildings of low-income government housing RIGHT NEXT to the Toren and Oro.
And yes, the VAST majority of them are poor and the VAST majority of them are black. How is that "economically and racially diverse"? I'm not making a judgment call, I'm merely stating a FACT.
Do you have your head so far up your relentless Toren-promoting ass that you think pointing out the demographics of the area qualifies as some kind of racist comment? I suppose in your world, I'd be a bigot if I mentioned that most residents of Chinatown are Asian.
I didn't look at any units at Be@Schermerhorn, and quite frankly, I don't want or care to. I'm not moving there, I'm not buying there, and I don't have a stake in what happens to it. You can hate on Be@Schermerhorn all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that the location is WORLD'S better than the Toren's.
"This comment is almost as ridiculous as your promotion of Be@Scher...."
Actually, ridiculous is thinking Toren's location is anything but awful.
Where do I begin. Let's first start with this statement:
"And let's be honest. The area around Toren and Oro is not racially and economically mixed. It's predominantly poor and black, and it is indeed depressed by any measure. No shops, no restaurants, no bars, no grocery stores, no services--nothing. Just depressed."
I don't know where you presently live but let's assume it is in the zip 10013, TriBeCa. If you are over 40, you know this area was terrible. There was nothing happening there for many years. Here is a quote from Forbes concerning zip 10013:
"New development is abundant in Lower Manhattan, and buyers are counting on TriBeCa and the Financial District's ability to transition from a 9-to-5 neighborhood to a vibrant 24-hour one. Tax abatements on office-to-residence conversions and lower price points than old-guard neighborhoods like the Upper East Side have also contributed to the price escalation."
This is what is happening to Downtown Brooklyn. There is one difference though, the transition in downtown Brooklyn is happening at a ridiculously faster pace.
Before I get into the economic facts of the area around Toren and Oro and Avalon Bay Luxury Rentals, and 80 DeKalb, and Lazerian's 2 luxury rentals/condos on Tillary and City Point and Catman's condo development which has started on Ashland plus MetroTech right across the street plus Sheraton and Loft and Lawrence Street condos plus Bridge street development plus....
I don't know whether you are condemning an entire population because they are poor or because they are black. Is the the combination that disturbs you? If they are poor white is that acceptable or wealthy black? Unlike you, I have walked numerous times in these projects and they aren't as bad as many on this board portray. The vast majority of the residents there are very decent people that are just trying to get along. Of course, I wouldn't want to pay 600K to live in a building that was in the middle of a project but your portrayal of this subgroup reeked with outright unabashed prejudice.
Let me get back to the Toren surrounding community. Looking west you have the Metrotech which is a thriving business community that is extremely populated from early morning to 7 o'clock in the evening. It is beautifully landscaped and a nice path for Toren purchasers to get to the A train (8 minute walk from entrance). Also, north of Metrotech across the street is NYU/PolyTech which brings tons of students to the area. To the south of MetroTech we will have the tallest building in Brooklyn that will have 500,000 square feet of retail plus a business community plus luxury rental. Go there. It is a huge project that will be completed in 2 years. To even hint that this project will not go forward is patently untrue. It is happening and all systems are go. The mix of developers from Arcadia Reality, MacFarlane Partners, Rose Associates, P/A Associates, and lastly Paul Travis, of Washington Square Partners, who I have personally talked to, are extremely enthusiastic about the project.
Also remember that LIU has a nice campus south of the Toren plus University Towers comprise a large part of the area immediately south of the Toren.
If we add the new population that will imminently (within 2 years) be moving into this area, it would make even someone, like yourself, very comfortable.
Oro - 40 stories of well capitalized individuals
Toren - 37 stories of well capitalized individuals
Avalon Bay Luxury Rentals - 44 stories of well capitalized indivduals
City Point - Tallest building in Brooklyn and almost a city upon itself in its scope and yes populated with well capitalized individuals.
John Catsimatidis project - Originally slated for groundbreaking this spring, now only construction on the first of three phases, to include about 100 of the project's 700 or 800 condos, will begin this year. Completion for that phase is expected in 24 months from its start date.
Lalezarian Developers - building a fourteen-story, mixed-use retail and rental apartment project at 235 Gold Street, a block north of Tillary Street. When completed in two years, both projects will have 512 luxury rentals/condos, retail space and parking.
Wolpert's 384-394 Bridge St. in Downtown Brooklyn foundation is being built and close to ready for construction to begin upward on a proposed 49-story mixed-use residential tower.
The Clarett Group (developer of the Forte) is building a 51-story, 491-unit, 456,000-square-foot residential tower t 107-111 Lawrence Street in Downtown Brooklyn; the architect is Gerner Kronick & Valcarcel.
80 DeKalb - As this one's an 80/20 deal, 292 units will be market rate, 73 low-income. Sorry about the low-income component. At least Catman didn't take financing on his Ashland complex which would have added those lower income sort in.
Add to this the Sheraton and Loft Hotels and Willoughby Square Park and currently dormant properties that are slowed due to economic environment such as Laboz's Bridge Street Tower, Oro II, Flatiron and Hampton on Tillary, Hotel Indigo on Duffield among others is just a matter of time and improved economic conditions.
Aemmert, phrased it perfectly when he said this is "a strong investment" .
If you cannot see that this area will be mixed racially and economically in short order then I give up. We may agree on one thing, I like a mixed racial composition, Fort Greene for example, that is good for New York and good for respective neighborhoods and the citizens that make up the area.
Aemmert - I'm so glad someone finally responded to all the BellTel haters. Even Junkman, who is clearly a staunch supporter of the area (and rightfully so), can't seem to mention BellTel in the list of promising developments with well capitalized individuals mentioned above. The fact is, BellTel is a great place to live. I've always been reluctant to post on these things, but after your display of fortitude, I didn't want the happy BellTel resident to stand alone. Here are a few of the reasons we decided to buy as well as a few pleasant suprises we've come across along the way:
The apartments are big; No where else will you get the kind of $/sq ft space that you do in BellTel. At least not in any of the already established neighborhoods or any of the well publicized up and coming neighborhoods. I mean, we have a huge apartment (it actually feels like a home) and we paid about $485 sq ft.
Location is fantastic; yes, we've all read about all of the development that is both here, nearly complete, or coming within next few years. But the fact is, it's a great location now too. There couldn't be a place with more convenient transportation anywhere in the 5 boroughs. Literally every major train is within an 8 minute walk and the A, C, F, 2, 3, R are all within 4 minutes. Metrotech is great. I never understood all of the complaints. The park is beautiful and super safe, and it is quiet in the evenings, which a lot of us actually appreciate. And another underappreciated aspect is that we are right in the middle of everything. Br. Heights, Cobble Hill, Ca. Gardens, Ft. Greene, Dumbo are all a short walk. Its a piece of cake to enjoy all of these neigborhoods. I'm not going to get into the whole is Metrotech area better or worse than Be@Schermerhorn discussion because the fact is, the entire area is totally changing. When areas gentrify, there are two schools of thought . . . bring the residents and retail will follow or vice versa. Well, in this case I think its a little bit of both, but clearly the residents are coming first. For anyone who thinks that the demographic won't change and retailers won't be fighting each other to lease space once the infusion of new residents and development in this area is complete, you're crazy.
The units are really nice. No they are not stocked with Sub Zero refrigerators and Viking ranges (if that's important to you, you could probably negotiate that with the developer). But generally, appliances and fixtures are fine. And if for some reason they are not up to your standard, they are in fact replaceable. If a towel rack is loose, or a bulb burnt out, the handyman fixes it in a day. No big deal. Whoever made the comment about small windows is being ridiculous. The windows are about 6 1/2 to 7 ft tall by about 3 ft wide. Maybe they just seem small because the ceilings are 12 ft. And if you can't open them, you let management know and they'll be fixed. Ours didn't open, we put it on our punch list, and voila . . . windows that open.
The residents, for the most part are great. We've met a number of great neighbors in the short time we've been living in BellTel. The people are just nice, courteous people. I would hope this is the case in most buildings, but I felt the need to mention because one or two posters on other sites have mentioned the elitist "stroller mafia". Couldn't be farther from the truth . . . I think those posters must just have some grudge to bare. Sure, there are always a couple of people that seem not so friendly, but I suspect (and actually happen to know in one case) that they are somoe of the grouchy BellTel haters on the blogs.
O.K., so is everything at BellTel roses. Of course not. Residents do have their share of complaints. Yes, some people needed grout to be redone, doors needed to be sealed tighter and there are other relatively minor fixes that needed to take place. We have upstairs neigbors (with a baby) and occasionally we hear their footsteps (though we almost never hear baby crying). Maybe its just luck of the draw for Proper Service because he has especially loud upstairs neighbors, who knows. Yes, occasionally we hear ours, but like Aemmert, I don't expect complete silence and the occassional noise we hear isn't particularly troublesome. I have been disappointed with the developer's pace of construction. After about 10 months from the 1st closing, the gym finally was finished, more recently the media and playroom were complete. We are still waiting for finishing touches on the lobby and common hallways. But, these are things that we deal with and are addressing; and the most telling truth is that if we had to do it over again, we would.
Excellent post Brooklyn.
I didn't mention BellTel primarily because it was mentioned in a prior post and it is past the new development stage. I looked at BellTel and thought it was a nice development and I'm so glad to have your building as a neighbor. Great building and I love Rachel. I wanted a glass modern building after living in pre war building my entire life of 54 years. Anyone with some concept of great architecture has to appreciate BellTel, One Hansen and 110 Livingston. Excellent structures. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beautiful Dime Savings Bank across City Point (now WaMU) and another great Beaux-Artsl building down the block that will eventually be a condo or luxury rental. (see attached)
The finest architecture I have seen is the Williamsburg Bank in One Hansen which will eventually be some sort of retail.
Your location is fantastic. With 111 Lawrence and Bridge Street going up quickly and the Laboz just a matter of time, you got a great investment. I have been living in this area for almost 30 years and retired for a good portion of that giving me the opportunity to walk the streets daily around downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and the rest of the great Brownstone community. I grew up in Manhattan upper west side and this area has the same feel.
Talking about older buildings being refurbished, right down the block from me, 20 Henry, is building up quickly.
And 166 Montaque
Both will be expensive and beautiful.
Last note, as I type, my wife just handed me a sixth amendment to the Toren, dated September 17th. Prices are going up on some of the newly released apartments. Prior higher priced apartments have been sold so I guess not everyone agrees that the neighborhood is a wasteland.
We're about to go into contract ot purchase a unit at Beltell. Any words of advice from people who've already bought here? We are concerned about the items which need to be fixed/completed, as we don't want to close on an apartment which isn't finished.
Eddie, not sure of the nature of the outstanding items in your potential unit, but just make sure everything gets on the punchlist. Most of the items that many of us had in our units were not major, it was just a matter of getting the contractor to take care of them. Better yet, indicate your willing to go into contract once your list of outstanding issues are addressed.
I am looking to put an offer on a unit in the belltel. Any other advice or concerns people have with the building would much appreciated.
Also, do you think prices are negiotable?
*** A bizarre call from BellTel! ***
Has anyone received this automated phone call from BellTel, saying "Hello, this is BellTel Lofts, calling to tell you that we are PAYING. Yes, BellTell Lofts are PAYING! Good bye." (or soemthing like that).
This is such a bizarre marketing effort. Not only is it annoying, it also says nothing... What are they paying? I thought they were offering to cover the closing costs a long time ago, so I am not really sure what they are paying... Any thougts?
Ughh, what a crap building. The lobby is stunning and the only nice feature. Otherwise there is cheap carpeting that looks poorly maintained and dirty, the overall feel is very institutional like a NYC public school. The units are dark, with poor construction quality, leaking windows, mid-tier finishes. Anything below the 10th floor feels like a dungeon, poor light quality and the rooms with no windows are like living in a basement. Most of the terraces are shared, not really a problem, but there are no views really. The building is surrounded by taller buildings and other than DoBro, you cant' really see anything.
looking for update on this condo...has anyone moved in recently..
just visited this building...the lack of windows does severely mitigate any benefit from extra space. I felt rushed out of each unit I looked at, as if staying any longer would enable me to find something wrong with it. The space certainly is nice, but I'd take smaller space with at least an average amount of windows any day.
The Little Black Arrows are BACK, BABY.
I purchased about 6 months ago; I really enjoy the feel of the building. It's a converted commercial building, but with the art deco style it feels like you are walking into a Batman movie when you come home. The building staff is friendly and very helpful. The lobby, roof decks, media room and gym are great and I have never had to compete for space - there is also a playroom next to the yoga room. BBQ on the roof deck makes for a great summer - you have good views of lower Manhattan to the Empire State building and Brooklyn on the second common roof deck. The building has a 4th of July party on the roof, the view of the fireworks and community feel is great.
The area is changing, with hotels going up one block away and the new park will likely be done in the next few years. The MetroTech commons makes it easy to walk to the other trains; plus, DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park is an easy walk. With the new underground passage you will have direct access to the R, A, C and F trains by 12-10-2010.
I'm on the 8th floor, east facing unit with a home occupancy. The amount of space for the price per sqft is amazing. I don't have any issues with the light, but this is not one of the long square units and there are only 2 or 3 lines of apartments like that - there are many floor plans available, with lots of light. I did have an issue with the windows, but the sponsor had them fixed within a week. The building super is great; any problems have been resolved in 24 hours. Some people have noted building noise on the post, but they have resolved all issues with noise though vents - the unit is very quiet. Plus the streets are low traffic, so it's a very peaceful place. I guess the carpet in the halls may not be the most amazing…. but that’s just the carpet in the hall. I was able to visit the unit multiple times to make sure everything was okay, I understand feeling rushed on the first visit as they usually show you many different floor plans.
The units are finished, wood floors, stone counters, GE/ Bosch appliances (and a wine cooler!), Viking on the upper floors. The kitchen is why I bought here. There is no drop ceiling so you get 11ft or 13ft ceilings depending on the floor you select. There was lots of closet space in this unit, it's great, but there is additional storage in the building.
stinarj - "The amount of space for the price per sqft is amazing." Can you elaborate and shed more details? are we talking $600/sq ft or $500/ sq ft?
It's 8N for $528 per ft².
Yes, and when you factor in the other incentives it comes in about $500 per ft^2.
Has anyone read about the Avalon Willoughby apartment highrises that are going to be built across the street from the Belltel in the next couple of years? I wonder how this will affect the light and the future resale at the Belltel lofts. I am considering a unit in this building, but these giant rental towers are giving me pause.
Looks like they will right across Willoughby. So if your apt is on that side you could have light issues. That's a significant downside. Upside is looking at the plans it should be a boost for the neighborhood in general. If they get anything near full occupancy then it's likely better retail will follow. Lots of ifs here of course, you're basically making a longer term play in this neighborhood.
Yes, the new Avalon is planned to go across Willoughby, and will affect light for some of the lower units on the south side of the building. But as fergalnyc said it will be good to have the development there as the current buildings are closed off. Another rental building is going in on Bridge Street toward The Fulton Mall, between those and the already constructed Brooklyner we should have a good number of residences right in the area. Overall the development should be a positive for resale as Belltel will have better access to services and don't forget the park going across Willoughby as well!
Have recently taken a look here and these units seem to be sitting.... any opinion as to why?
This is the monster going up south of the Belltel tower:
It is going be taller than the one up now west of the Belltel!!!!!
That's it: time for the developers to cut their prices 50%
thanks, nice picture. always makes me wonder why tallest vertail side is allowed directly on the lot line and not set back... oh well.
Curious as to whether any new buyers or other residents have any answers to the questions below:
- Is there still a lot of noise traveling through the fresh air vents?
-Are the fresh air vents keeping the windowless rooms sufficiently cool or warm?
-Does the developer owe the building money?
-Are residents generally happy or disappointed with their units?
-Any capital improvements to the common areas on the horizon?
-Is there truth to the fact that the developer has been banned from developing conversions in Manhattan?
Any answers are appreciated!
What does it mean to say "home occupancy"? Also, are people worried about having their windows on the east side of the building (near the corner of Willoughby and Duffield) bricked-up?
'Home occupancy'- means that, for legal reasons, a room with out an actual outside window can not be called a bed room (even though you as the owner might use it as such.
'bricked-up'.... only if the Church sells there property....
(spell check version)
'Home occupancy'- means that, for legal reasons, a room with out an actual outside window can not be called a bed room (even though you as the owner might use it as such)
'bricked-up'.... only if the Church sells their property....
Thanks! Any sense for what the actual selling prices have been recently compared to the prices set forth in the offering memorandum? Is there a Web site that reflects the sale prices?
I am aware of sales as low as 79% of the prioe reflected in the original Offering Plan. I would think twice before agreeing to pay an amount that exceeds the low 90s as a percentage of the price in the Offering Plan.
We did buy here: I would be truly surprised if a unit priced at 600k went for 474k (or 79% of plan). though I am sure the higher units have more negotiating room (this seems consistent with common sense: buy more= more discount, buy less= less discount). But I have no knowledge of that.
One also needs to consider the rent equivalency rate- a 1.5 bed room off Smith Street is btwn 2.2k/3.0k depending. I am not 'boostering', one just needs to consider one's own situation
NYC's website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/property/property_val_sales.shtml
Looking at the sales prices listed on the City of New York Web site reveals many sales at significant discounts off of the prices set forth in the ORIGINAL offering memorandum. The offering memorandum was amended to reflect what were essentially across-the-board increases in the prices listed in the ORIGINAL offering memorandum. The offering memorandum bears no relationship to market prices and anyone considering the purchase of a unit at BellTel--in any building, for that matter--should carefully study the documented sales prices and NOT be persuaded to negotiate off of the price listed in the offering memorandum--and especially the amended version.
I agree with Broker17. I put in an offer for one of the units two months ago at slightly below asking however the sponsor's sales agents were arrogant and said they did not want to negotiate. As of today, that unit is still unsold.
approx. 20 more units have sold here since the end of February. The avg discount seems to be between 0 and 5% for the last 20 units- measured from streeteasy price vs NYC recorded sales closing price. Can not speak to any sellers concessions.
We bought a 900sq ft unit- no kids, sound proofing is adequate and the super is responsive. The area is excellent, my wife appreciates the cameras and the security in the Metrotech complex. Parking in the building for a monthly fee.
No joke, at 6:30 am - apartment door to midtown office on 42 (in the chair)- 27 minutes- A, B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5. Can be faster on the way back around 5:30pm.
@belltel_look: I think it is a great buy if not for the dismal basement they call "amenities". Honestly, comparing Belltel to other new buildings in the vicinity - the furnishings are not great, the amenities ie gym, play area, function room are housed in the basement and there is no swimming pool. In addition, many of their bed-room/home offices do not have windows.
I still think the building would have sold more units only if the sponsor's sales agents were not so arrogant and un-negotiable.
Then you have made the correct decision (for yourself) not to buy in the building.
I can't understand why anyone would want to live in downtown Brooklyn. But then again people like living in Times/Herald Square. With the new stadium and the howevermany new highrises going up, it'll be like sleeping next to MSG. And that's from a 14 year East Village, soon to be Clinton Hill resident.
I'm thinking of making an offer on a unit in Belltel, and I've heard the same thing about the sponsor not negotiating (and in fact arbitrarily raising prices periodically). I do, however, like the building and even the neighborhood (Metrotech, Atlantic Ave, easy subway access, etc). I'm willing to take a few % in concessions instead of sales price, but I'd love to know from anyone who has purchased (or almost purchased) here what success they had in getting such concessions. Thanks!
The sponsor was willing to pay for transfer taxes and mansion tax (relevant if your unit is > $1million).
Yep, that's what they came back with -- an offer to do a "splitter" move to save me the mortgage recording tax. No/low cost to them, decent savings for me, but still not really a concession in my opinion. Or, should I take it and run?
The sponsor's paid the transfer tax on all the sales since March.
@dha, negotiate to have the sponsor at least absorb the mortgage recording tax, transfer tax and their attorney fees. Sponsors in many comparable buildings in Dobro are still doing the same plus slightly negotiable on the asking price. However, just fyi, my deal with Belltel fell through as they werent willing to negotiate on the asking price at all.
Closed sales in Belltel for 12 month rolling...
16D $1,170,987 1/26/2012
14G $860,000 2/6/2012
22C $1,230,000 2/17/2012
14A $957,155 2/27/2012
7K $545,000 2/28/2012
10J $370,110 3/5/2012
18B $1,100,000 3/13/2012
4B $780,000 3/21/2012
16PR $235,000 3/22/2012
21A $1,300,000 4/12/2012
12N $1,109,500 4/26/2012
18E $1,097,000 4/27/2012
8K $555,000 4/30/2012
11N $1,093,000 5/2/2012
14E $670,000 5/3/2012
14J $679,000 5/17/2012
21B $821,000 5/21/2012
17E $767,000 5/24/2012
7H $650,000 5/25/2012
8A $979,000 6/8/2012
16C $1,185,000 6/25/2012
13H $830,000 6/28/2012
2P $900,000 6/29/2012
9C $1,150,000 6/29/2012
15E $667,500 7/3/2012
12C $899,000 7/11/2012
19C $950,000 7/17/2012
19B $845,000 7/25/2012
12K $810,000 7/30/2012
10A $935,000 8/3/2012
15D $879,500 8/15/2012
18H $597,000 8/28/2012
13G $999,921 9/5/2012
12B $650,000 9/6/2012
8F $709,720 9/12/2012
14C $839,000 9/19/2012
12E $1,008,067 10/23/2012
10F $796,271 10/24/2012
18F $1,118,038 10/24/2012
2O $581,420 11/8/2012
Anyone have any inside skinny on what is going on recently at BellTel? I'm told the sponsor is no longer dealing at all? Anyone have any insight as to whether 90% sold is accurate? Is the sponsor putting units up for rent and claiming them sold?
Seems that there is virtually no room to negotiate. Prices are going up and up.