08/04/15 11:31am


Sponsored By Rocket Factory Lofts.

Rocket Factory Lofts in Williamsburg offers chic, renovated apartments with authentic industrial charm and stunning views.

Created By BlankSlate

Rocket Factory Lofts is shaking up Williamsburg’s rental market. Located in the neighborhood’s vibrant Southside area, the property offers industrial-chic lofts in a former rocket and plane parts factory. (How cool is that?)

The pre-war building has had many incarnations over the years. Built in 1910 as a Gretsch musical instrument factory, the seven-story building also served as the headquarters of the Interstate Electric Novelty Company in the 1920s. Fun fact: they developed the first portable electric flashlight there in 1923.

Rocket Factory Lofts underwent an extensive renovation after it was purchased by Meadow Partners in 2014. Although they were careful to preserve the property’s historic character, the developer outfitted the turn-of-the-century factory with marble hallways and a glass-paneled elevator. (more…)

08/04/15 10:33am


Workers are wrapping up the foundation at a small but attractive apartment building going up at 170 South 1st Street in south Williamsburg. We expect these will be condos and walls will be rising soon.

Permits approved in July call for a five-story building with seven apartments over ground-floor stores. The architect is Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture & Design, a former Robert Scarano protege who is building a reputation for better-than-average design with an average budget.

This particular building is a variation on a motif Donskoy has used elsewhere in Williamsburg: A building housed within a geometric frame.

The rendering we found on the fence is new, although the design does not appear to have changed. (more…)

08/04/15 9:45am

Brooklyn-Roasting-Company-072315_0019_Brightness_Contrast 1

Artisanal coffee purveyor Brooklyn Roasting Company is about to move into a newly renovated building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brownstoner got a sneak peek of Building 123, a former power plant built in 1900 that is now part of the Yard’s Green Manufacturing Center. Brooklyn Roasting Company will soon transform the entire 32,852 square foot industrial space into a haven for the coffee-obsessed.

Company co-founder Michael Pollack told Brownstoner, “What we work with is the original power plant — coffee trees and beans. So this is the perfect place for us to call home.”

The building will serve as a centralized location for the company’s roasting, packaging, and distribution process, which is currently spread across BRC’s two existing Brooklyn locations.


08/04/15 9:06am

2015_07_26 250 Ashland Place 17

After many years stuck in development, the BAM Cultural District is starting to take shape as several towers in the master plan start to rise. One of the farthest along, BAM North Site 1, at 250 Ashland Place, has fewer than 10 floors to go before topping out at 52 stories.

Developed by a partnership between the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar along with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation on city-owned land, it will offer a significant amount of affordable housing and cultural programming.

FXFOWLE is designing the 568-foot tower, which features a bundle of rectangular volumes clad in glass and bricks of different color to distinguish the separate extruded forms. Bricks on the central volume facing Fulton Street are dark maroon, while the tower elements facing Ashland Place and Rockwell Place are light tan. (more…)

08/04/15 8:30am


State Senator Savino: Cops Should Patrol “Other” Coney Island [Eagle]
De Blasio’s LICH Problem [Capital NY]
Rare Batch of New Brooklyn Heights Rentals Now up for Grabs [Curbed]
New Look for 39-Story Tower at 10 Huron Street in Greenpoint [NYY]
Bergen Beach Shopping Center investor Sells Stake for $32 Million [TRD]
Greenpoint Park’s Renovation Fully Funded With $850K From Borough President [DNA]

Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

08/03/15 4:30pm


Watch out for High High Levels of Harmful Blue-Green Algae in Prospect Park Lake [DPC]
BQE and Atlantic Avenue Are Among the City’s Worst Roadways for Potholes [FGF]
Truck Crashes Into Nostrand Avenue Storefront to Avoid Hitting Bicyclist [Sheepshead Bites]
Tasty Deals at Grand Street Summer Restaurant Week [Greenpointers]
Checking in on the Conversion of Dumbo’s Empire Stores [Curbed]
Photos: The Mysterious McMansions of Mill Basin [Gothamist]

Photo by Joel Zimmer via Flickr

08/03/15 3:10pm

radiator-cav-080315 - 1

Brownstoner reader ps158 writes:

We recently completed a reno and had all the radiators in our unit and the rental unit painted with oil-based Rustoleum paint.

I’m expecting them to smell the first time the radiators come on. Does anyone know with this brand / type of paint exactly what to expect, e.g. should we leave the apartment when the heat first comes on, how long will it take for the smell to dissipate, etc etc.

And, if it’s bad enough that we can’t be in the house overnight, how should I handle this with my tenants? (more…)

08/03/15 2:27pm



Many famous Brooklyn streets were named after powerful and influential New York residents of the 19th century. And many of these are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery. The famous resting spot will host a trolley tour of these famous figures who lent their names to our borough’s streets:

Bergen, Schermerhorn, Martense, Havemeyer, Berry, Tompkins…to New Yorkers, these are household names. They grace our roads, our subway stations, and our parks.


08/03/15 1:00pm

500 State St, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Our neighborhoods evolve over time, and a building built for one use can be repurposed for something the builders never would have imagined.

Name: Row houses, then funeral parlor, now Zen temple
Address: 500 State Street
Cross Streets: Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
Year Built: Probably 1850s
Architectural Style: Originally Anglo-Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The architecture
Boerum Hill is one of Brooklyn’s older row house neighborhoods. The houses on these blocks represent development taking place from the 1840s until about 1870.

492-500 State Street — originally a group of five 15 foot wide houses — was probably built in the late 1850s to early 1860s, when the Anglo-Italianate style of architecture had a brief popularity.

These were the first “English basement” houses, with low stoops, leading into an ornate reception area and the central stairs. The kitchen and mechanicals were also down here behind closed doors. Guests would go upstairs to the parlor level. Above that were the bedrooms floors and private parlors.

498 and 500 State Street were combined in 1924 to create the State Street Chapel. Up until the early decades of the 20th century, funerals were generally held at home.


08/03/15 12:00pm


Brokers are fond of calling places “a rare find” – well, this one really is. You may have seen plenty of brownstones with period detail, but this one – at 46 1st Place in Carroll Gardens — is downright aristocratic.

Check out the columns, the stained glass, the ornate woodwork and crown moldings, the scrollwork, the inlaid floors. We don’t know how many they made like this, but not many survive, and certainly not in this kind of condition.

The house even has a name: Wisteria.

The place is huge as well. It’s 24 feet wide and four stories, for around 6,000 square feet. (more…)

08/03/15 11:31am

Red Hook Stores, SSpellen 2

Sponsored By The O'Connell Organization.

The O'Connell Organization is a family owned and operated real estate development business with over 150 properties in New York State.

Created By BlankSlate

A trip to the Red Hook Fairway may be your excuse to visit the iconic warehouses of Red Hook, but once you are there, stop for a moment and look around.

You are looking at American and international history.

It’s a story of how these Red Hook warehouses—or “stores,” as they used to be called—were the conduit between the cotton fields of the South and the textile mills of upstate New York and New England. And it’s the story of how an Irish immigrant not only made his fortune, but gave Red Hook its shape.

This is the story of King Cotton, and its connection to Brooklyn. (more…)

08/03/15 11:00am

Introducing Brownstoner’s first-ever reader renovation diary based in Sea Gate. It will document the renovation of a 100-year-old oceanfront home on the edge of Coney Island. Our intrepid blogger can also be found at Brooklyn Beach House.


A Coney Island beach house. Yes! They exist.

I know, because we bought one a year ago. If you start at Nathan’s in Coney Island and head west toward the baseball stadium (keep the ocean on your left), in about a mile you will find that the boardwalk and Surf Avenue dead end into gates in the water and the street.

This is the beginning of Sea Gate, a 120-year-old gated community that boasts tiny bungalows, apartment buildings, mega-mansions, and everything in between. And the cool part is — despite the gate — anyone can live here!

After spending a delightful four years in a Park Slope brownstone on 6th Street just off the park, followed by an even more delightful seven years raising our new family in a large Queen Anne in Ditmas Park, I can honestly say THIS is Brooklyn’s best kept secret. (more…)