04/24/14 10:45am

Courtroom, darvillsrareprints.com 1

Mrs. Harriet N. Kilmer was furious. The year was 1908. She, her daughter and son-in-law had just lost thousands of dollars in stocks at the brokerage firm of E. F. Hutton, on Wall Street. They had entrusted a great deal of the recently deceased Mr. Charles Kilmer’s family legacy to a man who was an employee of Hutton, for the purpose of liquidity. But when they went to collect on their stock dividends, they found that the stocks were gone.

A part-time “outside man” at the firm, the affable young man who greets potential clients in the lobby and is at a desk to explain stocks and bonds and tell people where the rest rooms were, had taken their money. Charles A. Bliven was that young man, and all fingers pointed at him as the thief. This theft had happened right under their noses. Was E. F. Hutton even listening, or better yet watching? Was this really making money the old fashioned way? The inevitable law suit was filed, and here’s when it got interesting. (more…)

04/24/14 10:00am

Grocery mogul John Catsimatidis’ real estate firm Red Apple Group has released renderings for 180 Myrtle Avenue, one of at least three large developments, all clustered together, it is building in Fort Greene. NY YIMBY found the renderings, designed by Dattner Architects.

The renderings show a large, boxy building whose design elements are formed by intersecting rectangles of yellow brick, glass and jutting balconies. Red Apple Group’s two buildings nearby at 218 Myrtle Avenue and 81 Fleet Place are also designed by Dattner. Dattner’s master plan for the area, originally scheduled for completion in 2008, called for four buildings, all next to each other, at 218 Myrtle Avenue, 180 Myrtle Avenue, 160 Myrtle Avenue, and 86 Fleet Place.

The 15-story mixed-use building at 180 Myrtle Avenue received its new building permits last week. Permits indicate the development will have 170,312 square feet total, including 10,485 square feet of retail space and 500 square feet dedicated to a community facility. The community space will be a medical clinic, according to Schedule A filings. The residential portion will have 191 units, and there will be 137 parking spaces, mostly underground. Through the state’s 80/20 housing program, 20 percent of the apartments will be affordable.

Check out more renderings after the jump. What do you think of the design?

Revealed: 180 Myrtle Avenue [YIMBY]

04/24/14 9:30am

A new boutique condo development has hit the market at 1329 East 17th Street in Midwood, with one-bedrooms starting at $399,000. The Graystone has “one bedrooms plus home offices,” according to the Aptsandlofts listing.

There are currently five units on the market at the six-story building, which has a common roof deck. Each apartment is about 815 square feet and has nine-foot ceilings, washer/dryer hookups, central heating and cooling, and private outdoor space.

1329 East 17th Street [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP



Real estate investment firm LIVWRK Holdings is in contract to buy an industrial building in Red hook for $21,500,000, which it plans to convert into offices and “creative spaces,” The Real Deal reported. The renovated property should be ready for move-in by mid-2015, the firm estimated.

Located right at the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, 160 Van Brunt Street has 98,650 square feet and is two stories high. A bidding war drove the price past the $19,700,000 ask.

LIVWRK Holdings is also working on similar projects for two buildings in Gowanus and is a partner with Kushner Companies and RFR Realty in the $375,000,000 parcel of Jehovah’s Witnesses properties in Dumbo.

What do you think of their plans for the building?

LIVWRK Inks $22 Million Contract for Red Hook Conversion: Sources [TRD]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

04/24/14 8:30am


Five Men Are Charged in a Brooklyn Beating [NY Times]
House and Garden Tours in Brooklyn and Beyond [NY Times]
De Blasio Wants to Ban New Wood Fireplaces [NY Post]
Landlord Accused of Trashing Apartments Hit With Subpoena [NY Daily News]
Sunset Park Has the Best Chinatown [WSJ]
Groups Demand “Responsible” Contractors at Park and Watchtower Sites [Brooklyn Eagle]
A Guide to Hispanic Bushwick [Brooklyn Eagle]
If Bank Sells Air Rights, 50-Story Tower Could Sprout on Junior’s Site [Crain's]
How NYC Can Solve Its Affordable Housing Crisis [Gothamist]
Dedicated Bus Lane Coming to Utica Avenue to Ease B46 Commute [DNAinfo]

04/23/14 4:30pm

Pierhouse Starts to Take Shape Beside Brooklyn Bridge Park [Curbed]
The Apocalyptic Landscape Near the Kosciuszko Bridge Is Now Complete [Greenpointers]
Four Arrested in Williamsburg Beating of Gay Black Man [Gothamist]
Senior Housing in Bed Stuy Will Undergo $6 Million Upgrade [DNAinfo]
Crown Heights Drivers Ticketed up to 88 Percent More This Year, Police Say [DNAinfo]
Paintings by Neighbor Karen Friedland Chosen for Kings County Hospital Walls [Ditmas Park Corner]
Tie Baron Seeks to Build Five-Story Retail Development on Kings Highway [Sheepshead Bites]
Tenant Profiles in “Brownstone” Brooklyn [The Q at Parkside]

Photo by Juni Safont

The Brooklyn Greenway is expanding to Columbia Street between Degraw and Kane, and a desolate stretch of waterfront is about to get much greener. There’s already a protected bike lane on Columbia Street, but the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is going to begin landscaping the first part of the Columbia Waterfront Park.

They’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with spreading compost, laying seed, and covering the seeded area with jute mats. Volunteers will work under the direction of landscape architect and ecologist Bryan Quinn.

The park is part of the Initiative’s effort to restore native plant communities and the ecosystems they support. Interested volunteers can find RSVP details here on BGI’s website. Gardeners will meet Sunday morning at 10 am at the BGI offices at 153 Columbia Street. To see what the Columbia Street part of the Greenway looks like now, click through the jump.

Rendering by Rogers Marvel Architects for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative


04/23/14 3:00pm

409-417 Grand Ave, Google Maps

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 409-417 Grand Avenue
Cross Streets: Gates and Putnam Avenues
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1909
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: John J. Petit of Kirby, Petit & Greene
Other work by architect: Houses in Prospect Park South and other Victorian Flatbush neighborhoods, commissioned homes in Park Slope, Stuyvesant Heights. Also designed Dreamland Amusement Park in Coney Island for William Reynolds
Landmarked: Yes, part of Clinton Hill HD (1981)

The story: It’s quite unexpected to come upon this group of three Colonial Revival houses on a block and neighborhood famous for its 1870s and 1880s era brownstones. Although they are a group, and share similar entryways, they are also quite different, lending one to believe that unlike most of the speculative housing in this neighborhood, these were built for three specific individuals. That would be correct. It figures, too, as the architect for this project was a man used to designing the eclectic and the different for his clients.

All three houses were built in 1909, long after the brownstones around them. They replaced other homes that stood there before. No. 409 was designed for Charles Pray, a textile broker, and one of the founders of the Huntington Country Club. They lived here for about 20 years. His house features blind round arched fanlights with laurel wreaths and splayed lintels. All three houses have their original ground floor entrances, entered by a short set of stairs.

No. 411 was built for Frederick De Mund MacKay and family. He was the most prominent of the trio. MacKay was from an old Brooklyn family, and was born in the family home on MacKay Place, in what is now Bay Ridge. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and then went to work for the E. W. Bliss Company, a well-known munitions and machinery factory. He worked his way up to Vice President, a position he held for over twenty years. MacKay was also on the boards of several banks, charities and a member of all the right clubs. Considered one of the best-known horsemen in the city, he was also a director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (more…)

04/23/14 2:00pm


The permanent signage for Nordstrom Rack and T.J.Maxx went up on the front on the Offerman Building at 505 Fulton Street last week. Nordstrom Rack is prepping for its opening next week on Thursday, May 1.

T.J.Maxx is still “coming soon” — and it probably will be soon. We saw an ad on a bus over the weekend. Thanks to a reader for the photo.

Nordstrom Rack Opening May 1 on Fulton Street, T.J.Maxx “Coming Soon” [Brownstoner] GMAP

04/23/14 1:30pm

There’s no lack of rustic atmosphere at this carriage house at 172 Pacific Street in Cobble Hill, which is bursting with dark wood built-ins, beams and exposed brick. There’s also a lavish kitchen with granite counters and a fancy stove, a big fireplace and a heating stove.

Set up as a two-family, one of the units was a former Rental of the Day. Now the ask for the whole house is $7,995,000.

We’re pretty sure the Cobble Hill record is the freestanding Greek Revival mansion at 491 Henry, purchased for $6,750,000 in February 2013 by Rag & Bone cofounder Marcus Wainwright and model Glenna Neece. Have prices really gone up that much in a year?

172 Pacific Street [Corcoran] GMAP

04/23/14 12:57pm

Here’s a nice “authentic” loft (as the listing puts it) in North Williamsburg. The 1,750-square-foot pad at 119 North 11th Street has two real (i.e. windowed) bedrooms and a third room that could also house a bed. The wood columns and beams are the signature design elements — and the slew of big windows is another point in the win column. Asking price is $2,000,000.

119 North 11th Street, #3B [Corcoran] GMAP