08/20/14 9:30am

Massey Knakal, Chart from BK PSR

A new report out from real estate firm Massey Knakal finds that the Brooklyn investment market is on track for another record year, eclipsing even the bubbly markets of 2006 and 2007. In the first half of 2014, 1,068 investment properties (apartment buildings, mixed use, industrial and office buildings as well as development sites) sold, a 92 percent increase over the first half of 2013. And that is the largest number of sales of any year, beating out the previous high from the first half of 2007. Purchases of elevator buildings were up 342 percent in the first half of 2014 over the same period the previous year. Even the total dollar amount of sales was up dramatically: 142 percent over the first half of 2013. The total dollar figure of all Brooklyn deals, $3.4 billion, far surpassed the previous high of $2 billion in the first half of 2006.

For investors, this boom is drawing in far more cash and resulting a lot more deals than we saw during the real estate bubble in the run up to the financial crisis. If investors are throwing this much money around, should the rest of us be worried?

Chart: Massey Knakal

08/20/14 9:00am

260-knickerbocker-avenue-081914

In March, WyckoffHeights.org reported big changes are coming to the corner of Knickerbocker and Willoughby, right across from Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick. The two-story church at 260 Knickerbocker Avenue is slated to be converted to an 11-story apartment building designed by Scarano protege and now-prolific Williamsburg architect Nataliya Donskoy, which would make it the tallest building on the park.

We were curious about the progress, and figured it would be well along by now. But in fact, the plans were disapproved this month and there is no sign of construction at the church, not even a rendering or, of course, any kind of permit. (more…)

08/20/14 8:30am

trolley cars

As the Sun Sets Over Coney Island, Nostalgia Glows With Renewal [NY Times]
Itinerary: The Discreet Charm of Clinton Hill Brooklyn [NY Times]
‘Brooklyn Made’ Certification Guards Against Borough Posers [NY Daily News]
Hey Brooklyn Heights, Pierhouse is Literally Growing on You [Curbed]
New York Remains a Mecca for All-Cash Home Purchases [The Real Deal]
Ranking Brooklyn’s Biggest Builders [The Real Deal]

Photo: Bob Jagendorf

08/19/14 4:30pm

mt joy baptist church crown heights 82014

Get Involved: Volunteers To Clean-Up 86th Street, 18th Avenue Tomorrow [Bensonhurst Bean]
Sean Casey Animal Rescue In Need Of Cleaning Supply Donations [Ditmas Park Corner]
Jared Leto Played an Impromptu Acoustic Set in Bushwick This Past Sunday [Bushwick Daily]
A Mobster Flick Is Setting Williamsburg Back Four Decades [B+B]
Thousands Celebrate Pakistan’s Independence At Brooklyn Mela [Kensington BK]
Group Behind No Pants Subway Ride Brings Formal Wear To Coney Island [Sheepshead Bites]
Cornerspotted: The Schaefer Brewery on Kent Avenue [Curbed]
Module Deliveries on Hold; Changes at B3 Site For Green Roof Work [AYR]
The 32 Most Park Slope Things That Have Ever Happened [Buzzfeed]

08/19/14 4:00pm

cadman plaza east brooklyn heights 82014

When we biked down Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn Heights today, Department of Environmental Protection workers were tearing up the road to repair the sewers. Workers onsite told us that they expect the project to take anywhere from three to six months. They also said they’re going to repaint the bike lane that runs next to the courthouse.

Later in the year, they plan on doing work on Red Cross Place and the southbound section of Adams Street, next to the Brooklyn Bridge approach. This section of Cadman Plaza East is closed to traffic. Cyclists who take it to get out of Dumbo will have to find an alternate route for the next few months.

08/19/14 3:00pm

451 Clarkson Ave, KCH, ABC unit, Google Maps 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Nurses Training School, now ABC Building at Kings County Hospital
Address: 451 Clarkson Avenue
Cross Streets: New York and Albany Avenues
Neighborhood: Wingate/East Flatbush
Year Built: 1930-32
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival with strong Art Deco influences
Architect: Leroy P. Ward
Other Buildings by Architect: mostly mansions on Gold Coast of Long Island and Hamptons
Landmarked: No

The story: Kings County Hospital started out as the Kings County Almshouse in 1831. Located at the time, far out on a farm, far away from everyone else, the almshouse was a Dickensian work house and farm for the poor and indigent on 70 acres of Flatbush farming land, with 40 acres dedicated to farmland. As the 19th century progressed, the dormitories and work houses of the Almshouse were joined by the Lunatic Asylum, a place where those with developmental problems, mental illness and other disabilities such as blindness could also be removed from society. Both institutions were early forms of public care, supported not by private charities, but public tax funds. As can be imagined, life here was pretty awful, too. (more…)

08/19/14 2:00pm

162 flatbush avenue park slope 82014

Verizon has closed its Viva Movil cellphone store at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street, only a year after Jennifer Lopez came to Brooklyn for its grand opening. Verizon Wireless and J Lo launched the retail stores in July 2013 “to lure Latino shoppers to the brand,” according to Betabeat. A tipster told us they saw the signage coming down on Friday at 162 Flatbush Avenue. What do you want to see on this corner, which is directly across the street from the Barclays Center? GMAP

08/19/14 12:58pm

99 berkeley place park slope 82014

This first-floor co-op at 99 Berkeley Place in Park Slope just hit the market with an asking price of $1,395,000. The three-bedroom apartment is located in a beautiful building but (unfortunately) doesn’t have much original detail left. (Sweet front windows though.) The floor plan is larger than your typical floor-through apartment and it comes with a private back yard. The maintenance is a modest $850 a month.

99 Berkeley Place, #1 [Halstead] GMAP

08/19/14 12:15pm

513 macdonough street bed stuy 82014

Dixon has produced another lovely, modern renovation with this four-bedroom, 4.5-bath house for rent in eastern Bed Stuy. The home has oak floors, high ceilings and ensuite bathrooms in each bedroom. The bathrooms feature radiant heated floors, white Italian marble and glass-encased showers. And in the back, there’s a private terrace and landscaped zen garden. But all this doesn’t come cheap: the rent is $7,995 a month. Do you think it’s worth it?

513 Macdonough Street [Town] GMAP

08/19/14 11:30am

45 india street greenpoint 82014

A four-story, seven-unit condo building we first wrote about last year has risen three stories at 45 India Street in Greenpoint. Lubrano Ciavarra Architects is designing the building, which will feature a “corduroy” brick facade, according to the architects.

The 9,920-square-foot development will have two one-bedroom units on the ground floor, one of which will have a private garden and terrace, two two-bedroom, two-bath apartments on each of the second and third floors, and a three-bedroom penthouse on the top level. Each unit will have its own independent HVAC system, washer/dryer and cellar storage unit. The development’s amenities will include a shared garden, terrace and gym. We found a rendering on the fence that matches the one we published last year. Click through to see it.

Rendering and Details About New Greenpoint Build [Brownstoner] GMAP
(more…)

08/19/14 10:45am

Tag house, Brooklyn Standard Union, 1916

After a day of making wedding plans, and stacking presents in a spare bedroom, the Tag household took to their beds on the cold and frosty evening of February 3rd, 1916. Mrs. Hannah Tag and her two daughters, Caroline and Helen, lived in the large 5 story townhouse at 243 Hancock Street, in the upscale Bedford neighborhood. They had lived here since 1893, the first family to occupy this grand home. At that time, Hannah’s husband, banker Casimir Tag, had been one of Brooklyn’s most successful financial men, the president of two banks and a board member on several more. His background and the story of the family house and neighborhood can be found in Part One of this story.

Casimir died in 1913, leaving his widow and six children in financial comfort. The Tag children were all now adults. The eldest son, Charles, was a medical doctor, with a home right behind the Tag house, at 284 Jefferson Avenue. The eldest daughter had gotten married on Hancock Street, and lived elsewhere. So did the other two sons. Only Caroline and Helen were left at home, and the wedding preparations were for 25 year old Caroline’s nuptials, which were to take place here at the house in two more weeks. Caroline’s older sister Helen, who was 31, was lame, and could not walk for any length of time. She stayed home most often, and was an artist. (more…)