Exclusive: The boundless views from Brooklyn Point, the borough’s tallest building

Eye on Real Estate: City Point's only condo tower will top out soon

March 12, 2019 Lore Croghan, Paul Frangipane and Liliana Bernal
Brooklyn Point seen in the Downtown Brooklyn skyline before it’s topped out. Eagle photos by Paul Frangipane

Here’s the new king of the Kings County skyline.

Brooklyn Point, now the borough’s tallest building, is set to top out at 720 feet at the end of this month. Last week, we became the first reporters to take a journey to the top and capture the views.

Paul Frangipane and Liliana Bernal shot photos and video during our recent visit to the condo tower that Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is building at City Point, the retail and residential complex in Downtown Brooklyn. Architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox designed the 458-unit high-rise.

From a freezing floor near the top of the building, we saw famous Manhattan skyscrapers, three bridges, iconic Brooklyn buildings and the waters of the East River. Check out the video below.

When we stepped into Brooklyn Point‘s construction hoist with Extell exec Ari Goldstein, I took a deep, cleansing breath. Actually, I took a ton of them. When you’ve got vertigo, a trip in a temporary construction elevator can be angst-inducing.

We rode 600 feet into the sky to the 61st floor. There was a bare concrete slab under foot — but no exterior walls. Orange-hued construction safety netting was the only thing separating us from the infinite air.

Ari Goldstein, vice president for development at Extell, looks through construction netting to see a view of Midtown and the Empire State Building. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
Ari Goldstein, vice president for development at Extell, looks through construction netting to see a view of Midtown and the Empire State Building. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

A construction worker used a box cutter to slash small rectangles in the protective netting, which gave us windows for viewing the epic scenery.

A bone-numbing breeze stirred. The real-feel temperature was 19 degrees.

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Ink pens don’t work well when it’s this cold, so I scribbled notes with a pencil.

Now let me give you the tour.

The World Trade Center and the Empire State Building

The Brooklyn waterfront serves as a foreground for a sweeping view of Lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge spanning to the side. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
The Brooklyn waterfront serves as a foreground for a sweeping view of lower Manhattan, with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge spanning to the side. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

We started our circuit around the 61st floor by looking to the west, where lower Manhattan’s towers stand tall.

The World Trade Center and the famous Brooklyn Bridge, icons new and old, were the stars of this stellar vista.

In the foreground, behind a row of recently built Downtown Brooklyn residential towers, I glimpsed 16 Court St. The landmarked, 1920s neo-Romanesque tower is Brooklyn’s tallest office building.

Next, I looked to the north and saw mighty Manhattan towers. There were brand-new Hudson Yards skyscrapers on Midtown’s far western edge. I recognized them because of their asymmetrical silhouettes. The majestic Empire State Building was a prominent sight.

On the Brooklyn side of the East River, I saw cars cruising up Flatbush Avenue Extension and onto the Manhattan Bridge.

The Navy Yard and Williamsburgh Savings Bank

To the north, the bustle of the Brooklyn Navy Yard is easily seen with the Williamsburg Bridge behind it. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
To the north, the bustle of the Brooklyn Navy Yard is easily seen with the Williamsburg Bridge behind it. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

To the right, on Wallabout Bay, I saw the name “Brooklyn Navy Yard” spelled out on a building in the historic shipyard. It’s a manufacturing center now. The Williamsburg Bridge stood slightly further in the distance.

I moved to another opening in the safety netting and looked east. The poignant Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument was easy to spot in Fort Greene Park’s snow-dusted landscape.

The Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park is a nearby neighbor to Brooklyn Point. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
The Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park is a nearby neighbor to Brooklyn Point. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

On the south side of Brooklyn Point’s 61st floor, there was a dramatic view of Flatbush Avenue stretching down, down, down to the farthest reaches of southern Brooklyn. I saw the clock faces on top of the landmarked 1920s Williamsburgh Savings Bank, which stands near the busy avenue.

The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower stands tall over 300 Ashland Place and Flatbush Avenue. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower stands tall over 300 Ashland Place and Flatbush Avenue. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

Next to the famous clock tower, Two Trees Management’s 300 Ashland Place stood. High-profile architect Enrique Norten designed the residential, retail and cultural building, which has an aluminum composite facade.

Here and there, I glimpsed bits of Fulton Street. One building that caught my eye on this retail corridor was the former A.I. Namm & Son Department Store. It’s a low-rise landmark with an Indiana limestone facade.

I saw the half-century-old Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge off in the distance.

How tall is 720 feet?

To put Brooklyn Point’s height into perspective, let your mind play tourist. Imagine you’re at Crissy Field in San Francisco, gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge. Brooklyn Point is about as tall as the bridge’s towers, which are 745 feet high.

Imagine you’re in Seattle, at the famous Space Needle. It’s 604 feet tall. Brooklyn Point is taller.

Brooklyn Point is also taller than St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, which measures 571 feet to its peak, and the Washington Monument, which stands 555 feet tall.

After we left Brooklyn Point we stopped by its sales office. Goldstein, who is Extell’s senior vice president of development, said the condo tower’s views are a big selling point.

To capitalize on the scenery, sales-office staffers use footage shot by a drone to show prospective buyers the exact views from the specific apartments in which they’re interested.

There’s something else that’s going to capitalize on Brooklyn Point’s views: an infinity pool on the building’s rooftop.

The proposed infinity pool at Brooklyn Point. Renderings by Williams New York
The proposed infinity pool at Brooklyn Point. Renderings by Williams New York

It’s going to be the highest residential infinity pool in the Western Hemisphere.

By the way, Goldstein said he expects residents will start moving into Brooklyn Point in first-quarter 2020, and construction will be completely finished by the end of 2020.

Brooklyn Point, located at 138 Willoughby St., is one of three residential towers at the 1.8 million-square-foot City Point complex. It is the only condominium property.

Two rental-apartment towers, 7 DeKalb Ave. and City Tower, have already been built at City Point. Commercial tenants include Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Target and Century 21 stores and a food hall with an outpost of famous Katz’s Delicatessen.

Rezoning brought a wave of residential construction

The Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge can be seen spanning over the East River. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.
The Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge can be seen spanning over the East River. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane.

The Brooklyn Point development is part of a Downtown Brooklyn construction surge that resulted from the neighborhood’s 2004 rezoning.

The rezoning was expected to generate significant office development, but most of the projects have been residential.

Brooklyn Point’s condo sales started in March 2018. Asking prices for currently available apartments range from $853,740 for a studio to $3,483,330 for a three-bedroom unit, the development’s website indicates.

According to the state Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau database, Brooklyn Point’s condos are projected to sell out for a total of $901 million.

Brooklyn Point will likely enjoy its status as the borough’s tallest building for a few years. A 1,066-foot tower is planned at 9 DeKalb Ave., which is right down the block.

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Clarification (March 15 at 10:37 a.m.): This post has been updated to reflect Ari Goldstein’s position.

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