This model apartment has magical powers, metaphorically speaking. It's Unit 3G at 51 Jay St., a century-old industrial building in the DUMBO Historic District that has been undergoing a historically sensitive condo conversion. The model apartment has been open since late July. "We sold five apartments from the middle of August to now," Halstead Property Development Marketing agent Debbie Zolan told the Brooklyn Eagle.
"In the dead of summer we were selling. It was because of the model apartment." Now, 82 percent of the condos in the 74-unit building are under sale contract, said Zolan, who's the sales manager for 51 Jay. The first closings are anticipated to begin at the end of this year. There are 13 homes left to sell at 51 Jay. Originally, the factory was a machine shop for wealthy industrialist Eliphalet W. Bliss's business, E.W. Bliss Co., according to the city Landmarks Preservation Commission's DUMBO Historic District designation report.
More recently, the building belonged to metal-stamping firm Ben Forman & Sons, whose name is on the outside of it.
At this moment, the unit with the highest asking price is Penthouse B, at $5.995 million.
The 13 units include a townhouse, which is a three-floor home with a rooftop terrace and a private entrance on the Water Street side of the building. The townhouse's asking price has yet to be released.
Adam America Real Estate and Slate Property Group are the project's co-developers. ODA New York is the architect.
Hard hats required
Like all visitors to the model apartment, we we required to wear a hard hat to walk through the halls of 51 Jay because construction is ongoing elsewhere in the building.
But when Zolan opened the apartment door, we stepped into a serene space, bathed in soft light from big windows and furnished with understated good taste.
Unit 3G is in the southwest corner of the building, at the intersection of Jay and Water streets. So it has eye-pleasing views of historic red-brick buildings on Jay Street and the classic stone structure that's part of the Manhattan Bridge.
The three-bedroom model apartment is under sale contract — but a similar unit with even better views, 5G, is available for sale at an asking price of $3.279 million.
We can vouch for Unit 5G's views because we saw them last March during a hard-hat tour. Reporters and investors in the development were the only people allowed to tour the property prior to the model apartment's opening.
The first people who got to see the model apartment were buyers who'd already made condo purchases at 51 Jay without ever stepping inside the building.
The model apartment helps prospective purchasers to imagine with great specificity what other, still-available condos will look like.
“We're giving them the visuals they need,” Zolan said.
A number of people who checked out 51 Jay a year ago and weren't comfortable with moving forward with a purchase at that time recently gave the property another look after the model apartment opened.
Visitors to the model apartment are not permitted to walk around other floors of the building.
So no sneak peeks are allowed of the amenities floor below the lobby. It will have a pet-washing station, a commercial-grade laundry room for items like duvets that might be a bit bulky to clean in the washers and dryers inside each condo, bike storage, a gym, a kids' playroom and a resident's lounge.
Model-apartment visitors do get a glimpse of trees that have been planted in 51 Jay's courtyard, which they pass through on the way to the staircase leading to the model apartment.
There's going to be a grove of birch trees in the roofless courtyard.