01/28/15 4:30pm


395 Clinton Street: New Meets Old With Regrettable Results [PMFA]
Hundreds of Neighbors Raise More Than 30K To Help 773 Lounge Rebuild After Fire [DPC]
Learn What’s Happening on 5th Avenue at Upcoming BID Meeting [South Slope News]
A Snowball Fight Gone Wrong During the Blizzard of 1888 [Brownstone Detectives]
Counterpoint: Brooklyn Bridge Park Condos Are “One of the Greatest Cons of All Time” [Gothamist]
Photos: Unfazed by a Few Inches of Snow, Everyone Went to the Park Today [Bensonhurst Bean]
“Bronies” Set to Gallop Into Brooklyn for “My Little Pony” Convention [DNA]
Sunset Park Playground to Close for Year-Long Reconstruction [DNA]
Take Me Down Like I’m a Domino [Eagle]

Photo by Steve Sherman

01/28/15 4:00pm

dumbo arts fest jane kratochvil

The Dumbo Arts Festival won’t return this fall, after 18 years in the gallery-filled waterfront neighborhood, Two Trees announced this afternoon. It began in 1997 as the Art Under the Bridge Festival, a grassroots art initiative meant to attract art lovers and artists to Dumbo. One of the original organizers, Joy Glidden, ran the festival until 2009, when Two Trees took over organizing the event.

“But as the festival grew and grew – more than 220,000 visitors flooded the neighborhood for the festival weekend last year – it became clear that we could no longer mount the festival ourselves without commercializing it in a way that didn’t feel right. We were getting too far from the original mission of the festival,” Two Trees’ cultural affairs director Lisa Kim wrote in an email. 

Instead, Two Trees will spend the money for the Dumbo Arts Festival on other arts programming, including Dumbo galleries, the First Thursday Art Walk, a studio program that offers free work space to artists, subsidized rent for cultural organizations, public art commissions and art projects at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg.

Photo by Jane Kratochvil for Two Trees

01/28/15 3:00pm

578-584 Wash Ave,CB, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 578-584 Washington Avenue
Cross Streets: Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1868
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: William Rushmore (builder)
Landmarked: No, but in Clinton Hill South historic district on the National Register

The story: These four lovely houses are unique in Brooklyn. They are the only known, or remaining elliptical arched window and doorway Italianate row houses in the borough. The only other elliptical grouping like this in the entire city is at 208-216 East 78th Street in Manhattan. Those houses are brick, not brownstone.

The houses were built in 1868, during the post-Civil War building boom that grew the neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. Their rapid growth was part of the expansion of the city outwards, as public transportation improved, allowing more people to live farther from downtown and the Manhattan ferries. The builder was a man named William Rushmore. (more…)

01/28/15 2:00pm


When we were strolling Atlantic Avenue this past weekend, we noticed newcomer Boomwich doing a brisk business. It specializes in heroes, and the menu includes buffalo chicken, cheese steak, cubano, reuben and falafel heroes. The sandwich shop opened at 311 Atlantic Avenue just before Thanksgiving. It’s located between Smith and Hoyt. Anyone been? GMAP

01/28/15 1:30pm

531 6th avenue park slope 12015

The recently renovated two-family at 531 6th Avenue in South Slope isn’t exactly to our taste, but we are sure someone will love it. It’s bright and cheerful, and the parlor floor has been opened up and now has a swanky new marble and walnut kitchen.

Since the house is small — 16 feet wide with about 2,000 square feet over three floors — we think it would work better as a one-family. In any case, the ask is $2,300,000, which works out to about $1,150 per square foot, according to our calculations. Do you think they will get it?

531 6th Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP

01/28/15 12:55pm

35 pierrepont street brooklyn heights 2 12015

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op at 35 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights just hit the market with an asking price of $1,599,000. It’s been recently renovated and has lots of prewar charm. Some potential buyers may not be thrilled to learn this place is on the second floor, but otherwise we can’t see anything to grouse about.

35 Pierrepont Street, #2C [Stribling] GMAP

01/28/15 12:15pm

469 4th avenue park slope 12015

If you’re hunting for a bargain in Park Slope, this three-bedroom on 4th Avenue is probably about as cheap as it’s going to get. The apartment isn’t huge, but there are three reasonably sized bedrooms and a decent living room. The kitchen even has a dishwasher. One caveat is that it’s on the second floor, so you’ll probably hear the traffic and feel the R train rumbling beneath you. But it’s only two blocks from the F/G/R at 4th Avenue and 9th Street. What do you think of it for $3,100 a month?

469 4th Avenue, #2R [Citi Habitats] GMAP

01/28/15 11:30am


Proof that public opinion can influence building design? SSJ Development has hired Durukan Design to rein in the crazy space-age look of the 70-unit apartment building now rising at 785 Dekalb Avenue in Bed Stuy.

Durukan Design sent this new rendering and details to Curbed, which published them yesterday. (Click through to Curbed to see more details, including an interesting atrium.)

The new plans are nothing short of amazing, because the structure of the building, including the balconies, is already in place. The new design jettisons the gold dome and the slanted oval portholes, swaps in more sober cladding materials, and flattens what appeared in the first rendering to be an undulating facade.

That’s quite a feat, but a quick stop by the work site this morning revealed the building facade is, in fact, already flat. (Except for the rounded center, which is staying.) The balconies, however, are wedge-shaped. Perhaps they will be able to shave them down into rectangles?

Of all the many controversial new building designs planned for Bed Stuy recently, we have to admit, this was one we actually had a soft spot for because it was just so out there and wacky. But we were probably alone in that view. We find the new design much more tasteful and in keeping with the look of the neighborhood.

Click through to see the previous rendering and lots more photos. What do you think of the building’s new look?

Formerly Hideous Bed-Stuy Rental Is a Monstrosity No More [Curbed]
785 Dekalb Coverage [Brownstoner]


01/28/15 10:45am

324 20th street greenwood rendering 1

This rendering for a four-story apartment building at 324 20th Street in Greenwood Heights is surprisingly traditional and restrained. The brick building will have traditional windows, a traditional dark cornice, and simple dark lintels above the windows that echo brownstone architecture.

NY YIMBY published the design yesterday, which is by Marin Architects. (The firm is also designing 247 Bedford Avenue, Apple’s future Brooklyn address, as we noted in our 10 am story today.)

Each of the first three floors will have two apartments with balconies, and a full-floor penthouse with private roof space will sit on top of the building, set back from the street. Overall, the development will have seven apartments, averaging more than 1,400 square feet each. NIMBY speculated the spacious units will be condos.

Plans were filed in July. Two 19th century wood frame houses currently sit on the property, and demolition permits were filed in September. The rest of the block is mostly 19th century buildings, including a lot of three-story wood frames. Click through to see what the back of the building will look like.

What do you think of the design?

Revealed: 324 20th Street, South Slope/Greenwood Heights [NYY] GMAP


01/28/15 10:00am


New York YIMBY found two so-far-unpublished renderings for 247 Bedford, perhaps best known as the future home of Apple’s first Brooklyn store. The renderings shows an additional story at the north end and, notably, big square windows. The building previously had distinctive arched windows. These also appear in a previously published rendering.

It’s not clear which of the designs will actually be built — or if both sets of renderings are obsolete. BTW, Apple will occupy the southern corner of the building, closest to Metropolitan Avenue, at one time home to a bagel store. The late, lamented mom and pop shop Kings Pharmacy until recently occupied a large space on the northern end of the building.

Marin Architects is the designer. The firm has designed Duane Reade pharmacies and a Muji store, among other retail projects.

When we stopped by the construction site in late December, the unoccupied southern part of the building had been completely demolished. The part of the building that houses a Corcoran real estate office and former apartments above was still standing. A green construction fence and scaffolding covered the building.

Click through to see more renderings as well as a photo of the property we took in December.

First Look: Williamsurg Apple Store, 247 Bedford Avenue [NYY]
241 Bedford Coverage [Brownstoner]
First two renderings by Marin Architects via NYY; third rendering via The Real Deal

Update: We’re thinking the two new renderings may actually show the North 4th Street side of the building. That would explain why the smokestack is missing.


1525 bedford avenue crown heights 122014

A Crown Heights gas station and car wash at Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway has just sold for the jaw-dropping price of $32,500,000, and is already being dismantled to make way for an eight-story apartment building. Developer Adam America was the buyer of the 24,000-square-foot property at 1525 Bedford Avenue, as The Real Deal was the first to report. The new development will have 133 units spread across 91,337 square feet of residential space, and 20 percent of the apartments will be affordable, according to new building applications filed yesterday. Issac and Stern are the architects of record.

There will also be 14,669 square feet of commercial space, 42 underground parking spots, a gym, roof deck and basketball court, according to broker TerraCRG. The gas station closed last month, and a construction fence went up around the site a few weeks ago. The photo above shows workers taking down the BP sign in December. 

Adam America’s first project in Crown Heights was a seven-story rental building at 500 Sterling Place, which began leasing last summer and sold last week for $48,000,000, according to The Real Deal.

Adam America Developing 130-Unit Crown Heights Building [TRD] GMAP