This “bomb” penthouse in Brooklyn is listed with graffiti left on bare walls — and for millions of dollars.
The triplex condo atop 160 Imlay St. in Red Hook, priced at $2.99 million, is available in its raw state — showing spray-painted tags left over from its days of derelict and disrepair.
While the other units in the project, dubbed the Red Hook Lofts, received a fresh coat of sheetrock before hitting the market, the sales team at Living New York opted to show this unit, PH-C3, as-is — tagged-up walls and all. With apparent affection for the spray-painted names and letters, they hope a buyer will leave some of it on display.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing, when you’re renovating it, to leave some of that exposed to celebrate the city’s history?” said Camille Murphy, marketing director at Living New York.
It’s to respect the buyer, too, she added. “Why not leave it in a state where they can make that choice for themselves?”
Aside from two small scribbles on the first floor, much of the artwork is on the third level. The most eye-catching display shows a large purple R and an illegible word, possibly “RACER,” sprayed in blue.
The latter drawings are located above the area an architect would likely build a staircase, said Kelly Rogers, the Living New York agent representing the property alongside Devin Someck. He believes a buyer might leave them exposed for the aesthetic.
“That seems like the place where it could be built into the design of the home,” Rogers said.
The waterfront edifice was built in 1910 as the country’s first reinforced steel and concrete building. Once owned by the New York Dock Co., along with its neighbor 162 Imlay, it experienced a series of ownerships in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s.
Christie’s eventually took over No. 162 to house its fine art and other precious treasures, but No. 160 remained jobless until it was developed for residential use in 2014. It was during those vacant years that graffiti writers and the like spent time inside.
The six-story, 70-unit condo now boasts upscale amenities including a 24-hour attended lobby, a gym with private showers and saunas, and a top-floor residents’ lounge with 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.
Its pièce de résistance, however, is this graffiti-tagged penthouse, which sits waiting for a visionary buyer — if not one with an edgy taste for design. A mansion among the Red Hook rooftops, the 4,127-square-foot home has a private elevator and ceiling heights of 12 to 16 feet. It has two outdoor spaces, a 1,800-square-foot terrace on the first floor and a 1,270-square-foot private roof deck.
The agents aren’t sure what the triplex will be worth once it’s renovated — “It’s hard to comp because there’s nothing else quite like it,” Rogers added — but other units in the building that lack the same potential are also listed for more than $2 million.
A finished duplex penthouse in 360 Furman St., another former New York Dock Co. warehouse over in Brooklyn Heights, is currently listed for $14.99 million. It spans 8,500 square feet, but has just one 750-square-foot terrace.
As is typical in off-beat waterfront neighborhoods, a number of artists, designers, film directors, and other creators of cool toured this penthouse so far. Interestingly, there’s also been significant interest among real estate agents themselves.
“They recognize such a unique space when they see it,” Murphy said.
But graffiti is polarizing, and not everyone thinks the apartment’s complimentary aerosol art is worth keeping.
After seeing it, Mariana Bekerman of BOND New York posted a video on her Instagram with a poll asking followers what they think. One commenter loved it and another said it “sucks.”
While 160 Imlay sported graffiti from as far back as the mid-1980s before it was converted to residential, New York City graffiti veteran John Matos, 61, who co-owns the streetwear shop Wallworks Two in The Bronx, said the hand-styles and paint quality indicate the pieces in this penthouse were done in the last 10 to 15 years.
While they’re nice enough art, Matos said they don’t add monetary value, and admitted that he’d cover them up if he were the buyer. They clearly weren’t meant for public admiration anyway or they’d be painted outside, he noted.
“They’re just tags,” Matos said, referring to the difference between casual spray painting and vibrant works of street art. “I don’t think they were done with the intent of being seen.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.