The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn could see a new resi record. But a lot can change before the deal closes.

Brokers react to the news that a buyer is in contract for a spread at the Quay for $20M+
By Meenal Vamburkar | October 15, 2018 07:00AM

Quay Tower at 149 Bridge Park Drive in Brooklyn (Credit: Quay Tower BK)

A massive Brooklyn Heights penthouse is in contract for more than $20 million, a record-setting price for the borough. But don’t count on it being a bellwether for the broader luxury market in Kings County.

The penthouse at Quay Tower (Credit: Quay Tower BK)

The seven-bedroom combination of two penthouses atop the Quay Tower was asking $22.75 million and is reported to be in contract, according to Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, which is leading sales at the project, developed by RAL Companies and Oliver’s Realty Group. Whether it actually closes at a record price remains to be seen, brokers said.

“Who knows what it will close at,” said Lawrence Treglia, an agent at CORE. “I’m glad it’s in contract, but I think it’ll be for less.”

The current record in the borough is a $15.5 million townhouse sale in 2015. The other pricey deal brokers pointed to is the penthouse at the Standish in Brooklyn Heights. Actor Matt Damon is reportedly in contract for the unit, which was asking $16.645 million.

“Everyone had the same kind of reaction with that,” said Eric Sidman, an agent at Compass. “And that deal still hasn’t closed.”

The penthouse, originally intended to be two units, spans about 7,400 square feet and has a roughly 1,100-square-foot terrace. Douglas Elliman said the buyer is a New Yorker who works in finance and looked at apartments in Tribeca before selecting the Quay spread. The home is also equipped with Amazon Alexa to control lighting, shades and temperature — a kind of high-tech perk that appeals to a particular kind of buyer.

The Quay penthouse is an anomaly in the market, agents said. High-end properties used to be much more cookie-cutter, according to Jeanne Kempton, an agent Stribling. Now, the finishes and amenities are more in line with Manhattan’s luxury market — so buyers are looking for unique properties and more willing to pay for them.

“I don’t foresee a $20 million penthouse trend,” added Warburg’s Jessica Swersey. “Somebody really wanted this and was willing to pay for it.”

Quay Tower at 149 Bridge Park Drive in Brooklyn (Credit: Quay Tower BK)

Even if the sticker price does officially create a borough record, plenty of developers offer concessions behind the scenes to bring down buyers’ costs. For example, the buyer’s monthly maintenance costs could be covered for a period of time, Treglia said. Or other services, like parking and storage, could be taken care of.

At the high end, there’s “usually something more going on” with incentives, Sidman said. But it’s rare to disclose the contract price if the seller isn’t confident it’ll close near that level, he added.

“It’s a big number,” Sidman said. “It would be an embarrassment if it did go south.”