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Real Estate Showcase - Brooklyn Properties

The Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO is best known for its austere century-old concrete loft buildings - which is why Marvin H. Meltzer of Meltzer/Mandl Architects designed something completely different for his new building in DUMBO, The Nexus, at 84 Front Street.

When it is complete in 2005, The Nexus will be the largest residential building ever built from the ground up in DUMBO. It will, in fact, be similar in size to many of the nearby converted loft buildings.

“We tried to design something that fits in with its older neighbors but is also attractive and contemporary,” says Meltzer.

Rather than concrete, The Nexus’ facade is composed of metal panels and brick in tan and green. Behind the facade, there are 56 apartments, an on-site garage, a 1,500SF landscaped common garden and a health club. Buyers can also purchase private rooftop terraces for gardening, sunbathing and picnicking. Apartment prices range from $500,000 to $1.7 million.


The 92-foot-tall bell tower of an 1866 Early Romanesque Revival church in Cobble Hill has been converted into a spectacular $1.8-million apartment. “There is nothing that compares to it - a 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom quadriplex rising up through the tower,” says Lester Petracca, president of Triangle Equities, the company responsible for the conversion.

The catwalk-like observatory at the apartment's highest point offers panoramic views of Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. Robert Scarano of Scarano & Associates Architects, who designed the church-to-condo conversion, says the observatory is perfect for writing or painting. But artists aspiring to work there will need strong legs - the observatory is at the top of a 20-foot spiral staircase.

The main living areas of this exceptional residence are carved out of the nave of the former church. They feature vaulted gothic double-arch ceilings at least 17 feet high, as well as four original stained-glass windows.

LESLIE MARSHALL 718.923.8034
KIM SOULE 718.923.8005

When Debra Ziss could not find an affordable Manhattan apartment for herself, her domestic partner, two dogs, a cat and numerous fish, she turned to Brooklyn.

“I found a lot of really expensive apartments in the city that were very small” she says. Having exhausted almost every Manhattan neighborhood, she landed in an attractive 2BR in a small building in Boerum Hill. “We have every single train line within a two-minute walk, and we look onto beautiful back yards.”

The combination of quality of life and value for the dollar draws many Manhattan residents to Brooklyn. Nancy McKiernan Realty is now selling a 780SF, 2BR, 1.5bth cooperative apartment in the neighborhood for $539,000. “It would cost a third or half-again more in most Manhattan neighborhoods,” estimates James Crow, an agent with McKiernan.

“Brooklyn is just less expensive,” says Crow.

    “When I was growing up in Brooklyn, for many young people ‘making it’ meant an apartment in Manhattan,” says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “But today, for many young people in Manhattan, ‘making it’ means moving to Brooklyn. It’s chic to have a zip that starts with 1-1-2!”