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The Williamsburg Bar Owner Looking For A View

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If reading The Hunt stokes your deepest hopes that someday everything in life could work out, then you, too, are obsessed with the New York Times Sunday Real Estate section. Join us as we venture into the depths of this weekend's installment.

Rob Carlo is a bar owner who fell in love with Williamsburg, so he decided to hunt for a one bedroom with a shared outdoor space and expansive views in the area. After looking at a handful of buildings, he knew that the Bridgeview on Broadway was the only building that was offering all the things he demanded. His work wasn't quite finished after the finding the apartment though...

-Mr. Carlo stepped into the Williamsburg office of the Corcoran Group, where he met Roni Dotan. Mr. Carlo told him that his priority was a view — bridge, river, skyline. -That meant he needed a building with a roof deck. “What could be better than to have a party with friends on a beautiful night with a view of Manhattan?” Mr. Carlo said.

-Mr. Carlo’s budget was $500,000 to $800,000, but he quickly realized he would rather forgo a second bedroom and stay near the bottom of his price range.

-A one-bedroom at the 30-unit Bridgeview, on Broadway not far from Kent Avenue, fit his requirements perfectly. It had nearly 800 square feet and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Williamsburg Bridge. “It is a big mural of a bridge,” Mr. Carlo said. “I fell in love with that view.” The asking price was $519,000, down from $565,000 several months earlier.

-Nevertheless, he continued the hunt. The roof deck at the Bridgeview had worthy competition at 125 North 10th Street, with its 86 units and attended lobby. The one-bedroom apartment Mr. Carlo saw, listed in the mid-$600,000s with monthly charges in the mid-$600s, also had a lovely private terrace. But he couldn’t see paying for it.

-At 69 Berry Street, a six-unit building with one apartment per floor, the 900-square-foot apartments were listed at a little more than $600,000. But the roof deck was small. Half of it belonged to the top-floor apartment, and the other half was shared by the building.

-Across the street, in the 38-unit Allan building at 70 Berry, one-bedrooms were in the $400,000-to-$500,000 range. But at that point construction wasn’t complete. “Rob is not the kind of person who can buy an apartment off a construction site,” Mr. Dotan said. “He needed to see it more done.”

-All along, he found himself comparing every place with the Bridgeview, so back he went to the one-bedroom there. The apartment originally sold for $535,000 in July 2007, when the building was new. The owners, a couple with a baby, were leaving the city. Mr. Carlo paid $505,000. Monthly charges are in the mid-$300s.

-Then, he found himself flummoxed by the empty rooms. “I am a retired fireman,” he said. “What do I know about decorating an apartment?” So Mr. Dotan referred him to the interior designer David Alhadeff, the owner of the Future Perfect, who had furnished some model apartments for him.

-Work included painting, wallpapering, adding shelves and darkening the floors and kitchen cabinets, said Mr. Alhadeff, whose smoky color scheme echoed the colors of the bridge. After $50,000 worth of design work and custom-made furniture, Mr. Carlo, who was eager to move in, arrived late last fall, too late for the warm weather. “Everything always takes longer than you planned,” he said.

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