A History of Elegance and Class

BellTel Lofts, located in Downtown Brooklyn, adjacent to the Metro Tech Center, was built in 1929-1930 as the headquarters for New York Telephone headquarters. Its traditional Art Deco silhouette was designed by Ralph Walker one of New York’s preeminent twentieth century architects and a master of the Art Deco style. In 2004, the building was designated a landmark by The New York City Landmark Preservation Commission. Today it is a luxury condominium with 250 residences that offer great space, light and views to Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the river and its bridges.

Described by the Commission as a “great architectural masterpiece in New York City,” BellTel Lofts brings classic style and sophistication to an area booming with new construction. Largely because of architect Walker’s work, the Art Deco style became synonymous with modernity and the rapid advancement of technology in the 1920s.

In 2005, Clipper Equity LLC purchased the vacant office building and hired the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, renown for its renovation and restoration of Grand Central Station, to convert the space into condominiums and to restore the Art Deco grandeur to the building. BBB infused many modern elements into the classic pre-war design.

The 27-story building is comprised of iron-spotted orange brick that rises in a series of sculptural setbacks to a prominent central tower. The masterful brick patterns and undulating planes are suggestive of draperies and reinforce the verticality of the building and its Art Deco style. This is further emphasized by the striking ornamental metalwork on the display windows and entrances on the street level and the grand marble walls, terrazzo floor and metalwork in the lobby.

In both the exterior and interior, BBB’s modifications and additions respect the principles and concepts of the original architect, but their designs clearly belong to the present. Among these, the handcrafted wood wall that divides the residential lobby from the commercial space. As envisioned by BBB, the artistic wall becomes an extension of the original terrazzo floor, and adds a new identifying character to the lobby that suggests the past and clearly speaks to current design sensibilities.

With this same eye for detail, BBB restored the floors, fixed the ceiling plaster and matched its gold paint. The building had 12 elevators, which is not necessary for residential living, so BBB took one elevator shaft and created the mail room framing it with the elevator’s original metalwork doors.

There are now 250 residences in BellTel Lofts and due to the tiered set backs there are 100 different floor plans; 58 residences have terraces. BellTel Lofts has studios to three bedroom lofts ranging from 600 to 2,700 square feet.

The residential interiors have bamboo flooring, sliding glass walls, open kitchens, spa-like baths and en-suite storage spaces. BellTel Lofts offers more space for the money as compared to similar luxury apartments in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

In addition, to the residential condominiums, there is approximately 39,000 square-feet of retail space available for purchase or lease on the ground and below-grade floors. There is also a newly constructed one level underground parking garage

BellTel Lofts is in close proximity to the borough’s most coveted neighborhoods including Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Boerum Hill and Fort Greene, as well as all the cultural and recreational offering of those areas. BellTel Lofts is convenient to the LIRR Atlantic Avenue station, numerous subway stations, including the City’s second largest subway hub.

BellTel Lofts has been approved for a J-51 Property Tax Abatement by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

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Building Statistics:

  1. 12 buildings were removed from the site to create the building
  2. Built in 1929 – 1930
  3. 27 stories = 350 Feet in Height
  4. Cost $5,500,000 in 1929
  5. Original Contractor – Caldwell-Wingate Company (contractor of the
    Brooklyn Municipal Building)
  6. Original Architect – Ralph Walker of Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker
    (architect of the Barcley Vessey Building in NYC)
  7. Part of the Metro-Tech complex
  8. The conversion received a unanimous vote from the community board
    and the NYC Landmark Commission.
  9. Historic restoration and conversion by Beyer Blinder Belle
  10. Designated a New York City Landmark in 2004