In 2005 when Eli Karp noticed a big for-sale sign on an abandoned rundown lot in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, he saw one thing: opportunity. In fact, Eli decided to buy the entire block and turn it into something unlike anything else in Brooklyn with the help of his development company, Hello Living.
“There were empty properties with junk cars and tires piled up all over the place,” recalls Eli. “I started out with just one development, but then I realized no one was going to want to live in an area surrounded by abandoned property, so the solution was to develop the whole area.”
Making a Dream Reality
Since 2005 Hello Living has transformed Prospect Heights and Pacific Street into a vibrant community with numerous distinct residential properties. However, before embarking on his development adventure, Eli was already active in the construction industry.
“In 2002, I founded Supreme Builders, a general contracting company,” he explains. “When the market crashed it became too difficult to be a general contractor and I had to choose where I wanted to focus, but my background in construction is an advantage. Since I was once a general contractor, I know how the business works and how to stay on top of them.”
Eli went the development route in 2005, founding Hello Living because he’s always been fascinated with the industry. “Watching plans and drawings become a reality is what I love,” he admits. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m still fascinated by it. I’ve seen the things I dreamed of actually happen; that’s what it’s all about.”
Today, Hello Living operates out of Brooklyn with 10 employees. The company focuses on a fresh approach to urban living through breathtaking design, distinctive architecture and above-average amenities. From Pacific Street to Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, Hello Living has built six unique condominium buildings known as the Hello Community.
“Our residential units aren’t the typical cookie-cutter style,” shares Eli. “Our mission is to revolutionize the definition of what a modern neighborhood community is and maximize the individuality of each home. We build structures that people remember.”
A Diamond in the Rough
Eli admits he’s not too worried about other developers and competition, because Hello Living goes where most won’t. “Unlike our competitors, we want to go to the rundown areas to restore and revitalize the community,” he explains. “Every project is a learning experience because each is very different and unique.”
At the Pacific Street development, Eli’s team delivered an above-average 32-loft condominium. “Each unit has its own private elevator,” he reveals. “The elevators alone push the cost of construction up by millions, but in the end it’s worth it. Each development has its perks, which in turn attracts a better paying clientele and makes our work memorable.”
Not only do the residents of Pacific Street enjoy private-access elevators, but the facility also boasts spacious living rooms, private balconies with large sliding doors, a fitness center, private storage rooms, bike racks and secure parking. Built with super insulated concrete forms, the Pacific Street lofts are energy efficient and virtually soundproof. Additionally, the kitchens come with standard butcher block countertops and stainless steel appliances.
“We’re gearing up for 651 New York Avenue,” shares Eli. “This 40-unit condo will have four separate elevators for individual private access. The elevators will be costly but the extra expense and effort is worth the end-result. Even in a down market, people come looking for us, because we go the extra mile and our projects are distinct.”
Eli’s work is so well-recognized that he’s been asked to speak at the Massey Knakal Brooklyn Real Estate Summit in September 2013. The discussion series highlights opportunity in developing neighborhoods and finding diamonds in the rough, so to speak.
“We’re currently in the process of two new, very exciting developments in Prospect Lefferts Garden, an emerging Brooklyn neighborhood that’s rapidly becoming a new real estate frontier,” notes Jim McCormick, executive assistant for Hello Living. “We’ve also been focusing on the Owner’s Club, which allows smaller investors to get in on the ground floor and purchase units at preconstruction cost.”
After nearly eight years of bringing new life to Brooklyn, Eli doesn’t see anything slowing down. “I want to do 10 times more than what we’re doing now,” he says. “It’s going really well, and I think we’re completely capable of doing more. I’ve learned what not to do and what to watch out for; even through the market crash we knew how to avoid getting hurt.”
For Eli, the promotion of Hello Living isn’t just a job; it’s his passion and lifelong career. “As they say, if you like what you do, you don’t work a day in your life; so I guess I don’t work,” he says. Thanks to Hello Living, Brooklyn is welcoming thriving communities and developments that provide a place for neighbors, families and friends to simply enjoy life.
For more information about Hello Living, please visit: www.helloliving.com.
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