Is 1702 Avenue Z cursed? It could be, because what once was among Sheepshead Bay’s glitziest properties now has signs of a downhill turn.

First of all, it’s almost a year behind the completion date of the building and work is still being done on the interior of East 17th Street and Avenue Z. Things started to look up in August, as the commercial broker, Massey Knakal Realty Services, told us they were closing a deal with a group of local doctors to use the entire office/retail space as a medical center. Then, in November, the posh residential units hit the market under the elite Corcoran name, with asking prices of more than $800,000.

Now, just a measly three months later, all the big boys have pulled out. The deal with the doctors fell through, and Massey Knakal is no longer representing the building. Similarly, The Corcoran Group has pulled the listing from its website.

Click to see broker's sign

The entire development – commercial and residential – is now represented by the mysterious Dreamlife Realty, for which we can find little information. Their website is dated 2008 and is notably blank and sets off anti-virus alerts. Similarly, a Google search for the agent – Olga Orak – reveals little more than she represents a few McMansions out in New Jersey.

So what’s the deal? What has made two of New York City’s biggest brokers turn tail and run for the hills? And will Little Miss Dreamlife Realty have the pull to market such a high-priced, mixed-use development?

I guess what I’m asking is: are these ever going to sell, or does something smell fishy in Sheepshead Bay?

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  • Jim

    Don't go to the Dreamlife Realty site without good virus protection. My Norton security notified that there were Trojans and other questionable stuff there.

    • Mold Removal Gainesville

      Oh does it really have virus like that?

  • Local Broker

    like i said in the last post about this property those brokers had no business marketing this project. the only way they are going to get anything done here is lower prices and start giving out mortgages so people wont have to go to banks.

  • Ned Berke

    Thanks for the warning. I've removed the link and noted the virus issue in the article.

  • Ned Berke

    And you think the new broker is better?

  • Lisanne!

    The building is owned by 1702 Avenue Z Inc, whose offices are listed as being at 1318 Gravesend Neck Road. They are the owner of record since March 2007.

    1318 Gravesend Neck Road is also the address of Dreamlife Realty.

    Things do get curiouser and curiouser.

  • Lisanne!

    The contracting firm is also given a 1318 Gravesend Neck Road address in DOB records.

  • Local Broker

    i have no idea who that broker is. but if they are from the area they should have a better understanding of what and who would want the space. from the picture above you can barely see the sign through the glass so thats already a bad sign. i have not seen the space but it doesnt look like it was made for retail stores so you need office tenants. right now there are so many options for office space its not even funny. as for the apartments does anyone want to live there for 500-800k. in that price range there are also many other options.

  • frankiev

    It amazes me how these developers will build and expect big bucks for apartments that overlook a car wash, a muicipal parking lot and have to listen to mail trucks loading and unloading all day long. My son just bought an apartment, with bigger rooms, on Prospect Park SW for less than that. Of course it's not silvery, glitzy and labeled a “luxury” apt.

  • Lisanne!

    They even run a commercial driving school out of that office. There were two attorneys there at one time, but I don't see a sign anymore.

  • jim

    As a broker, I can tell you that mortgages should be from banks. That is the only way you can be sure of an independent appraisal of the property. Beware of loans from builders. They can be scams.

    Moving right along. If you want to live somewhere, live in a residential building. Who wants to live in something that looks like a hospital or, heaven forbit, a car dealership? One professional apartment is enough for a building. Don't forget that doctors have business plans. If a location doesn't look profitable, they aren't going to be there. Then the space will have to be used for something else or just rot.

    This building is just another poorly conceived structure.

  • Lisanne!

    Interesting, as the owners also run an architectural consulting service called Cityscape. They have their fingers in every pie. They are even listed as mortgage brokers.

  • Local Broker

    i agree with everything you mentioned. i know for a fact getting a purchase money mortgage is a way to get deals done when times are rough. you save on fees and makes the process faster. as far as scams go make sure you get a good lawyer to protect yourself.

  • dj komputer

    I dont know anything about this Dreamlife Realty company but I know there were a few real estate firms in our area that were buying up houses, lots for conversion to condos. Most of these would turn a 1-2 family private house into a small condominium (~10 units). Isnt it possible that Dreamlife Realty did the same but on a bigger scale?

  • dj komputer

    Also wasnt there a car dealership renting the first floor of this building when the construction was finished 2 years ago? I remember that they had a car dealership that was selling expensive cars (Ferraris, Lambo's, etc.) and than one day it mysteriously disappeared?

  • Ned Berke

    The car dealership was in the condominium building next door, a big, brown brick thing that actually isn't so bad on the eyes. They closed down around the time this blog started (mid '08). Probably because no one in Sheepshead Bay needed Ferraris and Lambos when their homes were being foreclosed upon. It is now a retailer of luxury kitchen furnishings.

    The building we're discussing has not yet completed construction, and has never had tenants. It was a mechanic's garage in a previous life.

    Also, welcome to the site 😉

  • sheepsheadboys

    I personally wouldnt buy in this developement or anywhere around it because it was built on an old gas station, and gas stations are notorious for having leaking gas tanks which can contaminate the ground for decades. These types contaminations can cause inhabitants to develop cancer.

  • Local Broker

    on sites like this they have to do environmental testing to make sure its clean if not clean has to be cleaned. you shouldn't want to live here because its a horrible location and overpriced.

  • Ned Berke

    I've already said my piece in terms of criticizing this building. That said, I don't think the location is as bad as some make it sound. You're near a lot of stuff, and the size of the building isn't so offensive to the buildings around it. The price, on the other hand…

  • sheepsheadboys

    just knowing there was a gas station there would be enough to keep me away. I wouldnt trust any “environmental testing” with my families health, especially with the fraud, corruption and lack of moral standards that are so ever present in our society.

    • Local Broker

      fair enough! a few years ago when the building next door was finished i went to look at the apartments with no intention of buying one just curious. the agent showed me an apartment with a balcony facing the parking lot and was the furthest to the north and asked her if she knew if there was going to be a building put up next door she said definitely not. i asked here if she knew what was on the property before the whole in the ground next door and she said i have no idea. she was full of it. they already excavated the property and permits on the fence next door. i told her she was full of it and had no intention of buying she got pissed i told her she should find a new job. everybody in the hood new that the gas station was a russian gangster hangout. Little Odessa was filmed there with Tim Roth and Edward furlong.

  • Local Broker

    that is a commercial strip not so much residential thats why the other condo buildings are having trouble selling. i dont care about the size makes no difference to me if it was 20 stories. for 800k if you want to be in this immediate area you can buy any house on the side streets be within 1 block to all the stuff you are talking about and have more than enough money to fully gut renovate it the way you want. so why buy the condo with traffic, parking lot views and probably shitty layout/construction.

  • Anonymous

    went to see Z condos today….the apartments have really nice lay out and are extremly large 1700-1900 square feet. the price for the units are in the lower-upper 700′s…bare in mind that house prices in the neighborhood are also in the 700-800 range however unlike these new developement all of these houses are 100 yrs old and have to be gut renovated. so what’s better to buy?

    • Lisanne!

      A 100 year old house has a lot more character. And it doesn’t have to be gut renovated unless you wish to destroy its character.

    • Knightmare6

      The asking price is ridiculous considering the noise pollution and traffic of the area, not to mention the lack of view. There’s tons of other condos in the neighborhood with better views and such. Also my gut feeling is telling me you’re from the company trying to hawk the merchandise…

      • Anonymous

        i m not from the company, i am considering buying one of the units. i currently have a condo 2 blocks down the road which is in contract for the same price per sq foot, sdo what other condos are u taking about? i havent seen any that come close in size and to be honest the lay outs on the top floors have a great city view. what developments close to the train have lower price per sq foot let me know bc i am looking for a bigger place, have 1200 sq feet now

    • Local Broker

      there are no houses in the immediate area that have sold or are for sale for more than 500k. i would rather buy the hell house for 800k.

      • Anonymous

        really not more then $500k? i will purchase it for that price today. how do i reach you?

        • Local Broker

          i don’t sell houses. if you do some research you will see that nothing has sold for more than that. if you do find one post the address here and prove me wrong. by the way asking prices don’t count. you can ask for anything you want doesn’t mean you are going to get it.

          • Ned Berke

            2529 East 12th Street. Closed on 2/5 for $700k. A little further away, 115 Dooley went for $545+


          • Local Broker

            im sorry ned but stick to what you know. the E12th st house is 3,000/sf on a 5,000/sf lot and you can build another 3,000/sf as of right. and its not in the immediate area. i looked at 2-3 blocks around. this is in a commercial area east 12th is a residential block and is not 100 years old and it doesnt look like it needs to be gut renovated. 6-7 blocks is a big difference especially in this city you can have million dollar homes and walk 5 blocks and be in the projects. not even going to comment on dooley st. that thing looks like a mini apartment building.

          • Ned Berke

            So long as you’re sorry…

          • Local Broker

            lol i want my pizza

          • Lisanne!

            Oh yes, the pizza. We must plan another pizza date. Try to make it sure it doesn’t snow this time, Ned. Rain isn’t acceptable either.

          • Local Broker

            friday sunny no rain

          • Lisanne!

            Friday would be a good day.

          • Ned Berke

            1) I’m out of the area on Friday.

            2) Take this to the open thread.

  • Anonymous

    I saw some workers inside that building yesterday. I love the “No Tresspassing, 24 Hour Video Surveillance” sign. What are they afraid of?

  • PayPaul

    The size and its architecture is VERY offensive. This is NOT Manhattan and I'm getting sick of the cheerleaders in here for loving all these disgusting condos being built and driving away long time residents for the benefit of the nouveau riche. I hope they lose their shirts and more. Enough already.
    Gut a 100 year old home? Show some respect for the history of this area. What these historic buildings need is restoration not renovation or destruction to be turned into another glass box.
    It's amazing how the number of gas stations has been so reduced considering the well heeled driving around in their climate busting SUVs and disrupting our lives with traffic, blocking the sidewalks and honking their horns constantly. I guess those people can afford to have less choices and higher gas prices as a result. I'd rather see a gas station than a glass mansion out here.

    • Local Broker

      who is being a cheerleader? all these years have passed the building boom is gone and people are still complaining. it was the old timers that were selling to developers and getting top dollar for their properties you didn’t hear them complaining. you shouldn’t blame the developers blame the city they allowed it. there are zoning laws that most follow and did nothing wrong. there are some developments that are out of characchter at the same time they are better than old bungalows that were used 100 years ago as weekend beach homes. i do agree that old houses like the hell house are very nice and somehow should be preserved but who is going to do it. it takes time and money and someones got to make something at the end of the day. it seems like a lot of people bring it up after the fact why didn’t anyone notice when certain properties were for sale not after they were sold. as for the cars yes there is a lot of traffic in this area it has gotten bad the last 5 years but telling someone what to drive is absurd. 100k sports cars are just as bad as trucks but until some asshole politician makes it illegal to drive a truck or build a condo building i guess we will have to deal with it.

      • Lisanne!

        While a desire to sell at a large profit may have motivated some it was not the universal reason people sold their properties here in recent years. The old timers were dying off, and their heirs, (my generation and peers) were selling off the properties. They had no use for them.

        Now here’s the really funny thing. Back in the 1980s a lot of my friends were looking to buy houses here. We grew up here and wanted to stay. But not in apartments. And certainly we couldn’t live with our parents after we married and started families. But there was hardly anything on the market at that time, and that which was available wasn’t worth buying. So a lot of us moved to Staten Island, New Jersey and elsewhere. Eventually I got an apartment because my desire to stay here superseded my need for a house. And I waited things out.

        Condos wouldn’t have been a solution for people who grew in houses and wanted a house of their own. By the time their parents died these people had acclimated to new communities and became involved in it, maybe even more than their parents had been with Sheepshead Bay. So they sold the houses, little considering how that act would become part of a larger change in the place they grew up in. Of course, in some cases the older parents, still alive, became unable to care for a large house, and sold as well.

        Given all the factors of the marketplace and the community the eventual scenario could have been predicted twenty years ago. Planning could have been begun to ensure orderly development which would preserve the character of the community while providing additional housing units. But city planners in NYC are discouraged from making responsible long term projections. Instead they focus on what vested parties would like to see occur.

        • Local Broker

          I hear everything you are saying but it doesn’t matter which generation sold for profits. its all about money. this place is so corrupt you cant stop it. if you want to try and stop it you need lots of money to fight. our government is corrupt. the building dept, local politicians and developers all in it for a profit. look at marty he wants to build the theater in seabreeze park for 64 mil you know what kind of kickbacks are going to be thrown around for a project like that. look at the atlantic yards people are having their homes and businesses taken away for that project and there is nothing they can do about it. you want to stop a project from happening here get a group together to stop the shopping mall they want to build on sheepshead bay road that will ruin this area more than any condo building ever built here.

          • Lisanne!

            Point taken. I knew Marty before he was sucked in by greed, that is, before he decided to hold political office. I would have never expected him to turn out the way he did. But I suppose that’s how one survives in politics, the idealists just don’t survive.

            But eventually the pendulum swings too far and the people get outraged. But in our times a guy like Tweed would have lasted far longer than he did.

      • Animo916

        For years, before my mother died in 2008, she would go around the neighborhoods and take photos of houses that were for sale and those being leveled in favor of these high rise monstrosities. She also was on the Board of Directors for The Bay Improvement Group, and took part in BIG’s fight to prevent the Loehman’s shopping Center development. She would then submit the photos and reasons for opposition to the local politicians. Unfortunately her efforts as well as many efforts by BIG fall on deaf ears.

  • Russ

    So here are some interesting facts about Dreamlife realty:
    1. It is owned and managed by the same individuals out of the same 1318 Gravesend Neck Road office as “Gravesend Neck Corp”.
    2. Their last project where these people were both sponsor and realtor was 1389 East 18th street Condo.
    3. The craftsmanship on their last project was far below average. Most units are suffering from water leaks, have mold, and have had electrical water heaters installed instead of gas fired as promised by the offering plan. The electrical water heaters lead to $350 electricity bills in most units (about 90% units there are one bedroom).
    4. The common area electricity used for construction and other things have not been paid and now current residents are on the hook for the huge sum. Dreamlife management refused to pay.
    5. Dreamlife Real-estate continued to sell units knowing all of the defects without taking any steps to remediate them.
    6. At this point they are being sued by the residents of that condo.
    7. One of the partners – name is Alex Sirota is currently in jail for defrauding government.

  • Ned Berke

    I really need to put the following text on every page of the site, but here goes:

    Statements, opinions and claims made in the comments section of Sheepshead Bites do not reflect the opinion or reporting of Sheepshead Bites or They have not been verified and do not have the backing or endorsement of Sheepshead Bites. They are solely the claims of the commenter and not of the editors or publisher of this website.

    That being said, we'll look into it. Gracias for the info.

  • Arthur Borko

    Just add it to the ABOUT page…in bold.

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  • Mold Remediation

    i think there are more good idea!

  • sheepsbay_resident

    I know a person who bought a condo on 1389 East 18th early last year, and his entire apartment is damaged by water leaks. I was told that they are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the builder.

    I didn’t know it was built by the same people as Z tower.

  • Arthur Borko

    That's between N and M. There are no Condos on that block….

  • sheepsbay_resident

    I guess 1389 East 18th used to be a private house in the past as it’s on a 30×100 lot, but now there is a 6-story condo with 4 parking spaces and like 10 apartments.

    I’ve heard that people are regretting that they bought these apartments as everything is falling apart. I don’t have any facts, just the opinions that I’ve heard from a couple who lives in there.

  • Arthur Borko
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  • richmond real estate listings

    That's really what is realistic for the East side about now, and the retail element is crucial for urbanity.Hopefully this is an indicator of what's to come as available development space fills in and the need to build tall increases.We especially need taller residential buildings with ground level retail along Market street and the surrounding blocks after the ramp comes down.

  • Trumpresidences


    Thanks for providing real estate commercial and residential information, it’s really nice to get awakens.

    I guess you are right.

  • marinaforever

    Dreamlife realty is one big scam they have signed a lease with me for one of the apartments for rent in the ave z towers. Took my money cashed it and then MRs. Orak had the nerve to call me to breach my lease. To make matters worse she also took my apartment under contract for sale. Speak about a Godzilla!!!! Which makes the whole thing even more curious why is ave z corp registered address the same dreamlife realty? Did i mention the reason I cant have my apartment is because she got a bigger offer? there we go Mrs. Orak working hard to earn an extra buck ….real working girl really does belong in New Jersey.

  • BklynBorn

    A scam, sham office for sure……one of her own agents in NJ (who unfortunately i used to know) has been trying to sell her own house for 3 years and can’t….changing the price every week and each time proclaiming its a new listing. They opened a fancy office some 7 years ago on Route 9 in Marlboro, but then moved out a year or two later to a different office…their fancy logo sign is still there. They proclaim to have all this experience…this Olga person was I think an agent at Coldwell Banker on route 9 in Manalapan and decided to go out on her own….she took with her and recruited only Russian speaking agents…most of them nobodys in the business who I wouldn’t buy a cup of coffee from…..YES THEY ARE ONLY LOOKING TO MAKE FAST MONEY….and she and her agemts are probably so leveraged and battling so many lawsuits that the scams will continue……It is a shame agreeing with alot of the previous comments that Sheepshead Bay — where I grew up has given birth to these ugly over priced, badly built condos…the community boards and politicians don’t do anything to stop the maddness — it looks terrible what the commercial stip of sheepshead bay road has turned into with every nook and cranny that overlooks the belt parkway. The esception is waterview village one condo built on Emmons in 1986 on the site of the old captain Walters…it is run like a tight ship, and in the black because people monitor the costs and take care of it. Remember when there was all this hoopla about when Loehmann’s wanted to come to Sheepshead bay, people were up in arms about the impact on the fishing marina area and taking away that charachter …well guess what they were wrong it has improved the area…..but when you start adding these ugly condos built on every possible vacant lot and being led by unscrupulous builder/brokers like dreamLife…I wish they would go away or soemone would put them away.

    • Animo916

      I remember the Hoopla over Loehmann’s. I, along with the Bay Improvement Group stated our objections, along with many neighborhood residents. What we had predicted then has come to fruition. The marina or fishing fleet as you mention is less than half of what it used to be before Loehmann’s started construction. Increased traffic due to insufficient parking facilities and double parking on the streets has become the norm. What was originally in our plans for Sheepshead Bay was similar to those in other similar areas like Freeport Long Island (The Nautical Mile), Fisherman’s Wharf in Gloucester Mass, Mystic Seaport in Ct. All have maintained their character, while still adding residential and commercial space that fit the neighborhood. What happened to Sheepshead Bay is a travesty. If you were around for the last 30 years or more, you would have seen the difference in the character of the bay. But Loehmann’s wasn’t the start. The start occurred with the zoning variance for 3030 Emmons Ave. Tell me, how much “character” does the condo across from Roll n Roaster have? I used to keep my boat in that little marina 30 years ago. Now this monstrosity is wrapped around and blocking the view of the bungalows that still remain. Lot’s of “character’ with that new Best Western Hotel too. But according to you, this seems all for the better. When the last of Sheepshead’s fishing fleet disappear, the “character” will be gone. In addition to fighting Loehmann’s, we have been continuosly active in fighting the overdevelopement of the community, but we fight a losing battle because so feww are willing to take the time and energy, to stand with us.

  • Guest1

    Why would anyone want over priced place? 800k for what? Too funny!

  • Dude

    overpriced 800k condo + hazard to health (zoning) = hm….would the developers consider buying these condos?

    Sounds like someone was reaching for the stars and later had a reality check. (Like)

  • guest

    I am not sure how often you visit Manhattan? Do you see ho wmany new Buildings are being built that dont particularly fit the look of the rest of the block. I feel like that’s the way of life-change. As for the Sheepsheadbay, I disagree with you as well. I have lived in the neighborhood for the last 20years and Emmons was truly disgusting and basically dying out back then. There were homeless people burning fires in the area where the nice house is right behind Applebee’s. Cappucino on the Bay used to be the only place you were able to get an espresso and a dessert. Run down boats populated the Bay itself and look at it now. If you don’t like th enew condos, think about how much money in taxes they are bringing to the city. How much money Loehmann’s and the new restuarants and stores are bringing. I feel like some people just like to see their area being run down rather than improve because they have some fond memories of the good old times.

    • Lisanne!

      I suggest you look back on the census information for this neighborhood twenty years back. Because you haven’t a clue of what things were like here. Your assessment that a neighborhood is succeeding only when you cram as many people as possible in it is absurd. It used to be a nice, quiet neighborhood not overwhelmed by people. It is a pigsty NOW!

    • Anonymous

      This is not Manhattan, developers are trying to make it that way. Why destroy this area? Go build the eye sores on a lot that is vacant instead of burning down a house to make a lot.
      It’s all about greed. Yes, gluttony, they are all going to hell.
      There are still homeless people here, the boats are the character of Sheepsheadbay (not some rude party boat), Loehmann’s is overpriced, (I think they are losing money), there were always restaurants. Yes I do have fond memories, there is no real reason the good old times had to stop. Except for
      GREED. Believe it or not people travel to places like Montauk-Cape Cod-and other sea side communities for the peaceful simplicity of it.
      That has been ruined forever.
      Bigger and grander is not always best.

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