One Couple's Dumbo Real Estate Story

In a story that makes you wish you did what they did, the NY Post wrote about one couple’s real estate sales in Dumbo in a span of 14 years. Victor and Athena Calderone bought in Dumbo in 1998 for $275 per square foot at 1 Main Street (when Two Trees redeveloped the building), a 1,700 square foot condo for $467k. For approximately the same cost today, you can get a 565 square foot studio at 205 Water Street.

The story continues with the sale of their place for more than double and upgraded to a two bedroom condo on the same floor, which was then sold three years later worth twice. They invested in two penthouse condos at 70 Washington Street (“one a two-bedroom for $2.2 million, or $1,269 per square foot; another a one-bedroom for $1.5 million, or $1,197 per square foot”), which we profiled in April 2010 and was sold in 4 weeks for under $4million.

They purchased a condo at One Brooklyn Bridge Park before buying back into Dumbo, a $2.3 million, 2,187-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse (with two terraces, a balcony and a private roof deck that total 2,344 square feet.)

Karen Heyman handled all of their sales and purchases since their purchase at One Main in 1998.

28 Comment

  • SO smart! Good for them… And just in time because two and a half years of construction and no more view… So sorry for the people that bought their place at 70 Wash…

  • SO smart! Good for them… And just in time because two and a half years of construction and no more view… So sorry for the people that bought their place at 70 Wash…

  • Seems like each move was a downgrade. What so terrible about 1 Main. I could understand selling 70 wash while it still has the views. But 1 BBP is a downgrade… Its not even Dumbo. At least they profited.

  • Seems like each move was a downgrade. What so terrible about 1 Main. I could understand selling 70 wash while it still has the views. But 1 BBP is a downgrade… Its not even Dumbo. At least they profited.

  • I didn’t even read the whole article. So they left one of dumbos best buildins 1 main and now are going to live in Vinegar hill closer to the projects at 205 Water. Big upgrade.

  • I didn’t even read the whole article. So they left one of dumbos best buildins 1 main and now are going to live in Vinegar hill closer to the projects at 205 Water. Big upgrade.

  • I guess DJs can make a lot of money?

  • I guess DJs can make a lot of money?

  • Outdoor space is nice but 1 Main has protected views and will probably hold better re value. 205 is next to a con Ed plant and 1 block from the projects. I guess DJ wants to keep it real.

  • Outdoor space is nice but 1 Main has protected views and will probably hold better re value. 205 is next to a con Ed plant and 1 block from the projects. I guess DJ wants to keep it real.

  • That PH at 70 Washington was far and above the best apartment of all of them. They never should have sold it.

  • That PH at 70 Washington was far and above the best apartment of all of them. They never should have sold it.

  • Agreed, I bet someone dangled alot of money in front of them and they left for 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park and have been trying to get back to something like that 70 Wash PH ever since. Sometimes money ain’t everything- that PH loft was sweeeeeeeeeeet

  • Agreed, I bet someone dangled alot of money in front of them and they left for 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park and have been trying to get back to something like that 70 Wash PH ever since. Sometimes money ain’t everything- that PH loft was sweeeeeeeeeeet

  • Seems like a lame story placed by Karen Heyman. Anyone with a bit of real estate understanding will quickly realize that they lost money on 70Wash (although by all accounts a beautiful apartment) and barely broke even on 1 BBP. That’s because when you buy directly from a developer, you pay the fees that would normally be covered by the seller. So you can add ~5-10% to their purchase price of the apartments. For 70, their totals for the 2 condos add up to $3.7M +~$300K for closing +~$200 (if not more) for renovations, and they are well above $4M invested. They sold for just under $4M. After broker fee to Karen, doesn’t seem like a great investment to me. Same thing goes for 1BBP, after all the closing costs on the front and back end, and fees to Karen. Where they did make money is at 1Main, but so did everyone else who bought early. Seems like another spin by Karen, which she’s very good at.

  • Seems like a lame story placed by Karen Heyman. Anyone with a bit of real estate understanding will quickly realize that they lost money on 70Wash (although by all accounts a beautiful apartment) and barely broke even on 1 BBP. That’s because when you buy directly from a developer, you pay the fees that would normally be covered by the seller. So you can add ~5-10% to their purchase price of the apartments. For 70, their totals for the 2 condos add up to $3.7M +~$300K for closing +~$200 (if not more) for renovations, and they are well above $4M invested. They sold for just under $4M. After broker fee to Karen, doesn’t seem like a great investment to me. Same thing goes for 1BBP, after all the closing costs on the front and back end, and fees to Karen. Where they did make money is at 1Main, but so did everyone else who bought early. Seems like another spin by Karen, which she’s very good at.

  • agreed, she seems to be old school- her stuff is all overpriced and not very well marketed.

  • agreed, she seems to be old school- her stuff is all overpriced and not very well marketed.

  • Agree that the 70 Wash was probably the best place.
    Who cares if the view will one day be obstructed.
    205 Water has a view of the Con Ed plant. And they are not making any money flipping units after 2008.

  • Agree that the 70 Wash was probably the best place.
    Who cares if the view will one day be obstructed.
    205 Water has a view of the Con Ed plant. And they are not making any money flipping units after 2008.

  • The view won’t be obstructed. That’s scare tactics from brokers and developers trying to push buyers to less desirable buildings and areas. Main and Washington will always be A plus locations, Jay and east C minus or D.

  • The view won’t be obstructed. That’s scare tactics from brokers and developers trying to push buyers to less desirable buildings and areas. Main and Washington will always be A plus locations, Jay and east C minus or D.

  • HazzyDaisy – your analysis leaves out a major fact from the Post story. They bought two units in 70W, combined part of one, and sold the remaining studio for $1.1m. Combined gross sale price for the two units is just under $5.1m, not just under $4m.

  • HazzyDaisy – your analysis leaves out a major fact from the Post story. They bought two units in 70W, combined part of one, and sold the remaining studio for $1.1m. Combined gross sale price for the two units is just under $5.1m, not just under $4m.

  • aps, good catch on 70W. So it does look like they made money on that investment: after counting closing costs and broker fees, the profit was probably just under $400K. Here’s how I get there: ~500K sponsor fee and closing cost on the front end, 200K renovation, 300K broker commision and closing cost on the back end. So a total investment in the property of ~4.7M and a sale south of 5.1M.

    That’s ~9% over 3 years, which is probably more if they financed part of the purchase price.

    The point still stands though that it’s not Karen’s prowess, but more a fact of the market. Show me one person who lost money in Dumbo in the last 5 years, and I’ll show you plenty more who made much more with much less.

  • aps, good catch on 70W. So it does look like they made money on that investment: after counting closing costs and broker fees, the profit was probably just under $400K. Here’s how I get there: ~500K sponsor fee and closing cost on the front end, 200K renovation, 300K broker commision and closing cost on the back end. So a total investment in the property of ~4.7M and a sale south of 5.1M.

    That’s ~9% over 3 years, which is probably more if they financed part of the purchase price.

    The point still stands though that it’s not Karen’s prowess, but more a fact of the market. Show me one person who lost money in Dumbo in the last 5 years, and I’ll show you plenty more who made much more with much less.