Walentas’ $25M Clocktower triplex nears rent-to-own deal: developer

By Sarabeth Sanders | July 19, 2010 06:00PM

David Walentas’ Clocktower triplex in Dumbo

David Walentas’ 7,000-square-foot Clocktower building triplex in Dumbo — potentially Brooklyn’s priciest condominium unit ever
with an asking price of $25 million — has been yanked from the market
as the developer works out a possible rent-to-own deal with a
prospective taker, according to Asher Abehsera, a vice president at Two
Trees Management.

“The individual who is most serious about it is basically reserving it
to make a deal,” he said, declining to reveal any identifying
information. “It’s somebody who is not sure whether [he wants] to buy
it or rent it, or rent it and then buy it down the road. We are
considering both options.”

The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom unit, which has been reportedly eyed by Jay-Z, Ralph Lauren
and several other buyers of that ilk, boasts unobstructed views of the
New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge through four, 14-foot
glass-faced clocks. Atop the 16th-through-18th-floor apartment and its
private, glass-enclosed elevator sits a 400-square-foot private “crow’s
nest” deck.

The trophy apartment at One Main Street first hit the market
last year and is the creation of Two Trees founder Walentas, himself.
After Two Trees converted the former factory into 124 condo units
in 1998, Walentas moved into the 15th-floor apartment with his wife,
Jane. Meanwhile, he got to work on transforming the penthouse above it
into the 11-and-a-half-room icon that he would later reportedly pitch
to Russian billionaire and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

The $25 million listing price was more than twice the highest sale
price on record for a Brooklyn home and nearly three times the highest
amount known to have been paid for a condo in the borough. As the New
York Times previously reported, a triplex loft in the nearby One
Brooklyn Bridge Park condo recently took the priciest condo title when
it sold for $8.495 million, and Brooklyn’s most expensive residential sale on record is a Gravesend home that sold for $11 million in 2006.

Though the Clocktower triplex was never officially listed on the rental
market, Abehsera explained that there are “only a handful of people in
the world who can appreciate it and afford it,” so the developers have
been weighing offers from several of those who have shown interest.

No contract has been signed, so Abehsera declined to state the terms of
the deal, but offered, “it would be easy to rent it for $60,000 [per
month], I’ll tell you that much.”

Listing brokers Raphael DeNiro and Maggie Leigh of Prudential
Douglas Elliman did not respond to requests for comment, but Abehsera
explained that the apartment was pulled off the market because the
developers are confident that they can work out a deal with the offers
already on the table.

“Our strategy from the beginning when we developed it was never to
advertise it because that would cheapen its appeal,” he said. “We felt
that we’ve already reached the audience that we needed to.”