02/26/15 4:30pm

st marks avenue castle crown heights 22015

Nine Chains Artisanal Bakery on Church Avenue Will Close This Sunday [Kensington BK]
Neighbors Plan March Opening of Caton Avenue Food Co-op [DPC]
Storefront on Corner of 5th Avenue and 11th Street up for Grabs Again [South Slope News]
Monuments Shop Replaces Kosher Pizzeria on Jerome Avenue [Sheepshead Bites]
Change at People’s Republic of Brooklyn on Smith Street [PMFA]
Notes From Last Night’s Gowanus Canal CAG Meeting [PMFA]
Luxury, a Term Once Used to Denote Exclusivity, Grows Bafflingly Common in Brooklyn [NYO]
Brooklyn Borough President Plans Muslim Outreach After ISIS Arrests [NYO]
Four Children Rescued From Crown Heights Fire That Hurt 9, 1 Critically: FDNY [DNA]
A Counter Proposal to the PLG Zoning Study Request [Q Parkside]
Greene Hill Food Co-op Is Offering Work-Free Trial Membership [Brokelyn]
Here’s the Mysterious G Train Portal in Bed Stuy [Gothamist]

green-wood black history month

In case you missed it last year, in honor of Black History Month, Green-Wood is again offering a tour focusing on famous black New Yorkers buried in the cemetery. The trolley tour will highlight and celebrate abolitionists, freed slaves, artists, musicians and Civil War heroes. Notables include artist Jean-Michael Basquiat (pictured above); Jeremiah Hamilton, who was New York’s first black millionaire; and Susan Smith McKinney Steward, New York’s first black doctor (also pictured). The tour will run from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday and costs $20. Head over to Green-Wood’s website to buy tickets. 

Image via Green-Wood Cemetery

02/26/15 3:00pm

225-247 E.31St, 225, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 225-247 E. 31st Street
Cross Streets: Cortelyou and Beverly Roads
Neighborhood: Flatbush
Year Built: around 1905
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: The town of Flatbush, in Kings County, did not become a part of the City of Brooklyn until 1894. They liked their independence, and had remained a separate entity since the Dutch began farming there in the 1600s. The architectural development of the neighborhood was sporadic, and is a combination of all kinds of urban and suburban styles, ranging from mega-mansions on large lawns to huge block long apartment buildings, and everything in between.

I’ve always found Flatbush fascinating from an architectural perspective. In taking the bus through the various parts of the neighborhood, and later, driving, you can pass late 19th century row houses, early 20th century two family houses, wood-framed suburban houses and six story apartment buildings all in a three block radius. (more…)


Maple Street School, a Prospect Lefferts Gardens preschool founded in 1978, is expanding. The school signed a 15-year lease for 5,500 square feet at 626 Flatbush, the 23-story mixed-use 80/20 tower Hudson Companies is building in the neighborhood.

The school will mostly occupy the second floor of the community and retail space at the base of the building, pictured above. It will have a private entrance and a 1,200 square foot roof terrace, a Hudson spokesperson told us.

The school has been at 21 Lincoln Road since 2001. The new location will more than double the school’s space.

“Every year, Maple Street School has to turn away more students than it accepts. We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand to this second location, so that we can accommodate more children and help meet the great need in this community for quality early education,” said school Director Wendy Cole in a prepared statement.

The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2016, said Hudson. GMAP

Rendering by Marvel Architects

02/26/15 12:57pm

1138 ocean avenue ditmas park 22015

This big (1,279 square feet) two-bedroom condo at 1138 Ocean Avenue in Ditmas Park just came on the market with a price tag of $899,000. It’s got a nice modern feel to it and appears to be in great shape. Both bedrooms have a decent amount of room and there’s a private balcony off the living room. How does the price strike you for the area?

1138 Ocean Avenue, #5E [Corcoran] GMAP

02/26/15 12:15pm

463 union street gowanus 22015

This one-bedroom garden apartment in Gowanus is almost completely open from one end to the other, which might help bring some light into what appears to be a very long space, with two extensions, although PropertyShark says the building is only 38 feet deep. It has a nice loft-y vibe and a cool white-painted brick wall dividing the front room from the kitchen.

The Home Depot-style cabinets in the latter don’t add any style points, but there are lots of them and plenty of space for an island or dining table. Renters also get a walk-in closet, access to the shared garden and some basement storage. The Carroll Street F/G stop is two and a half blocks away, and the townhouse is located about a block and a half from the Gowanus Canal, in Flood Zone 2. Do you think it’ll rent for $2,700 a month?

463 Union Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP

02/26/15 11:30am

1133 manhattan exterior 1 22015

Last week we toured the new mixed-income rental building at 1133 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint — the one that famously received nearly 60,000 applications for its subsidized units. As for the market-rate units, they’re 40 percent rented after leasing kicked off in November.

The seven-story, 210-unit development is half affordable, half market rate, and move-ins began in early January. Thanks to tax abatements and subsidies from the state, the whole building is rent-stabilized. Market-rate rents start at $2,775 for a 636-square-foot one-bedroom and go all the way up to $5,900 for a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with over 1,000 square feet of space and a large terrace.

While not as over-the-top fancy as some equally big but more expensive buildings in Williamsburg, the finishes were about what we expected for the price, and the units were maybe even a little bigger than we expected.

Developer Domain Companies has assembled a typical laundry list of luxury amenities, including a full-time concierge, pet spa, ZipCar rentals, fitness center, free bike share and parking that costs $200 a month for tenants. Domain is also working with the homeless shelter across the street at 56-66 Clay Street, planning to offer job assistance and resume writing programs through the nonprofit arm of the company. Renters can also choose to donate to one of several local charities, including the shelter, when they sign their leases.

The Clay Street half of the U-shaped development opened on January 1, and the Box Street side is scheduled to open March 1. Click through to see more photos. What do you think of the look?

Eleven33 [Official] GMAP
1133 Manhattan Avenue Listings [StreetEasy]
1133 Manhattan Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]

02/26/15 10:45am

Pros Park, Troy, Garnet Baltimore, Composite 2

On July 4th, 1902, the bands marched, politicians waxed poetic, and the people celebrated on this, the grand opening of the Warren Hill Park, on top of Mount Ida, overlooking downtown Troy. The year before, after a few positive voices of agreement, along with the usual contentious wrangling and pompous posturing, the City Council of Troy voted in favor of purchasing the parkland to create Troy’s newest and most important public park.

After debating the issue for several years, the city finally owned the land. Now it was time to hurry up and wait. People wanted to see the view that had made Mount Ida famous, a panoramic vista that on a good day, allowed people to see for miles around. Troy lies in the Hudson River valley between the Catskills and the Adirondacks, and the view from the top of the mountain would allow you to see both ranges. It was a great place to take in the summer breezes and escape the hustle and bustle of one of the nation’s busiest and wealthiest cities. The only problem was that in the rush to get people in the park, they hadn’t yet gotten around to finishing it. In fact, it was barely begun.

That was not the fault of the city’s parks landscape engineer. Garnet D. Baltimore had already scoped out other cities and their parks, including Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and had great ideas on how to make Warren Hill Park a masterpiece. But first he needed to have his plans and a budget approved. Mr. Baltimore was a scrupulous record keeper, and the Troy newspapers faithful commentators, so we know what he had to go through to get the job done. For more background on the park and the man, check out Part One and Part Two of this story. (more…)

02/26/15 10:00am


Longtime residents of East New York care about the historic bank building at 91 Pennsylvania Avenue and want to save it. A group of about eight stood in the bitter cold Tuesday to protest its planned demolition, the Village Voice reported. As it happens, the protest was sparked by our story, we were surprised to read. Residents had seen the scaffolding and netting shrouding the building but assumed it was being repaired, not demolished.

We spoke last night to one of the organizers of the protest, Chris Banks, who is the director of local community group East New York United Concerned Citizens and a member of Community Board 5. He said the owner of the building has been in touch and they plan to meet, as he also told the Voice. Banks has also reached out to local Council Member Rafael Espinal and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries for help.

We hope a new use for the building can be found that will benefit both the owner and the community. Click through to the Voice story to read what the protesters said about the building.

Residents Brave (Seriously) Bitter Cold to Fight to Preserve Historic Brooklyn Bank Building [Voice]
Historic East New York Bank Building Will Be Torn Down [Brownstoner]
Demo Has Started at Historic Bank Building in East New York [Brownstoner]

02/26/15 9:30am

231 carlton avenue fort greene 22015

The five brand new townhouses at Carlton Mews in Fort Greene hit the market Tuesday, each with a triplex and a two-bedroom garden apartment. We took a tour in person the same day, and they look as incredible in real life as they do here in the listing photos.

We speculate these were built to sell, not rent, but issues stemming from the collapse that killed a construction worker in 2012 may make that difficult or undesirable for now, at least.

Kudos to the architect, who is Darrin Krumpus of Boro Architects, according to the permits.

For $12,000 a month, the triplexes feature four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a den, large living room and basement storage. The 3,200-square-foot homes have bronze cabinet handles, Viking Stoves, gas fireplaces, zoned central heating and cooling and five-inch-wide oak plank floors. There’s also a deck and landscaped backyard shared with the garden apartment.

Downstairs, the two-bedroom garden apartments are 1,000 square feet and asking $3,750 a month. The finishes are not as nice as the triplexes, but they still sport white oak floors, stainless steel appliances and central heating and cooling. Five of the 10 units — two triplexes and three garden apartments — have already been rented, agent John LaRocca of Arena Real Estate told us.

The Landmarks-approved townhouses at 225-233 Carlton Avenue were built in a traditional 19th century style that mirrors the rest of the block. We’ve been watching them since construction began two and a half years ago, as well as the adjacent church, which was converted to 12 rentals and began leasing last month.

More photos after the jump! What do you think of how they turned out?

231 Carlton Avenue [StreetEasy]
Carlton Mews Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos by Arena Real Estate via StreetEasy