09/16/14 10:45am

88th Precinct, SSpellen

On January 1, 1898, Brooklyn woke up to a new world in which it was no longer the master of its own destiny. It was now part of Greater New York City, where the seats of City power rested on the streets and in the buildings of Lower Manhattan, not at Brooklyn’s City Hall or in the office and bank buildings of Court Street. It’s hard to imagine what that may have been like. The closest analogy may be that it felt like Brooklyn had been conquered by another nation. All aspects of city life were different after January 1st, and in the coming months, it got a lot worse before it got better.

Take the police, for example. Since they were charged with maintaining order, stopping crime and apprehending criminals, all very important tasks, you’d think those in charge would have spent a lot of time planning for the re-organization of the police force, so that the transition of power and command would be swift and efficient. Yeah, you’d think… (more…)

09/16/14 10:00am

56-butler-street-091614

Decade-long residents of Cobble Hill and ex-Housewives of New York stars Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen are selling their townhouse at 56 Butler Street and moving to Australia “to be with family,” a spokeswoman for Stribling & Associates, which is handling the sale, told us.

Longtime readers will remember Simon, a Brownstoner commenter, and Alex from Brownstoner parties and this story about their renovation. The three-family, six bedroom house is asking $2,695,000. (If you are curious, they paid $1,275,000 in 2005.) The living room is still painted its controversial shade of red!

56 Butler Street Listing [Stribling]
Photo by Stribling

09/16/14 9:30am

278-macon-street-040714

We debated whether to ignore or call out The Post’s story on crime in Bed Stuy and Bushwick, which reads like something written by an Internet troll circa 2008. It even has the requisite gentrifier who says “More people like me are moving in and changing the neighborhood. So that’s comforting.” Newsflash: Violent crime is less than half what it was in the early ’90s, thanks to the efforts of people who have been living here all along, including community boards and Neighborhood Watch groups.

Bed Stuy does have a problem with young black men shooting each other, and it’s horrifying and needs to stop — as people in the community recognize all too well. That’s entirely different from saying white gentrifiers will be preyed on by black bogeymen, which is the implication of the story — but not supported by facts.

“There has also been an uptick in burglaries and muggings targeting the gentrifiers who move in,” said the story, but it did not give any evidence to support that. Crime is down across the board. In the 81st Precinct, for example, which covers part of Bed Stuy, violent crime to date this year is down in every category, including burglary and felonious assault, except rape.

We hope violent crime will continue to decrease, including rape, for the sake of everyone who lives here, not just the newcomers.

09/16/14 9:00am

429 kent avenue 1

The Dutch-designed, Chinese-developed Oosten condos debuted at 429 Kent Avenue in south Williamsburg this week, with one-bedrooms starting at $710,000. Halstead has 26 listings live for the block-long complex at South 8th and Kent , including four that were listed earlier this month and have already entered contract.

One-bedrooms range in price from $710,000 to $1,050,000; two-bedroom, two-bath units start at $1,185,000; and two three-bedroom, 3.5-bath duplexes are asking $2,660,000 and $2,770,000. There are also two large floor-through lofts with three bedrooms and 3.5 baths each priced at $3,470,000 and $3,620,000, and three four-bedroom, 3.5-bath townhouses priced from $3,375,000 to $3,635,000.

Designed by Piet Boon and WASA Studio, the development offers the full gamut of luxury amenities, including a children’s playroom, a rooftop reflecting pool and roof deck, swimming pool and parking. XIN Development Group, the American branch of Chinese developer Xinyuan Real Estate Company, is behind the 216-unit project.

These look miles better than the average Williamsburg development to us. What do you think of the design and pricing? More interior renderings after the jump!

The Oosten [Official] GMAP
Oosten/429 Kent Avenue Listings [Halstead]
Oosten Coverage [Brownstoner]

Images via Halstead

(more…)

09/16/14 8:30am

crane-red-hook-091614

A Mellower Beastie Boy, in Brooklyn, Adds Home Building to the Mix [NY Times]
Opinion: Distorted Media Coverage Marred West Indian Day Parade [NY Daily News]
Newly Proposed Sky Gondola Would Cut Brooklyn Commute to Manhattan [NY Daily News]
R Train Service Returns to the Montague Tube [Eagle]
Neighborhood Targeted by Mayor Braces for a Fight [Crain's]
L+M Signs “What Not to Wear” Star to Williamsburg Retail Lease [TRD]
Clinton Hill Building Value Jumps $1 Million Per Month [TRD]

09/15/14 4:30pm

williamsburg school juni safont

Girl Scouts Aim to Rout Gowanus Pollution [BK Paper]
Fried Pizza and Mac and Cheese Pies Coming to Williamsburg? [B+B]
BBP’s Photoville Has Free Photography Workshops and Talks [Brokelyn]
Fina Pizza on Fort Hamilton Parkway Starts Offering Wine and Beer [Kensington BK]
Listings for 388 Bridge’s Penthouses Arrive From $1.742 Million [Curbed]
333 Schermerhorn Street Still Waiting for the Hub to Rise [Curbed]
Topics: Diary of a Platinum Member [BK to the Fullest]
R.I.P. Classic Neon in Gravesend [Forgotten NY]
Accidental Find in Red Hook Recalls a Bit of Graffiti History [PMFA]

Photo by Juni Safont

09/15/14 4:00pm

church of the redeemer boerum hill

Real estate investment firm The Jackson Group has paid $20,000,000 for the Gothic Revival Church of the Redeemer in Boerum Hill, DNAinfo reported. Neighbors spent years fighting to preserve the 127-year-old structure at the corner of Pacific Street and 4th Avenue, but the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island began marketing the church as a development site last year. Church officials told DNAinfo that “mounting monthly costs” forced them to sell the building, which needs an estimated $4,000,000 in repairs.

The deal does not include space for the congregation, which was part of the church’s original plans to sell the property. The sale closed the week of September 5, but it hasn’t hit the public records yet. The Jackson Group hasn’t revealed whether they’re going to demolish the building, which sits on a lot zoned for a building as large as 70,000 square feet and up to 10 stories tall, a source told us.

Boerum Hill’s Church of the Redeemer Sells for $20 Million [DNAinfo]
Sale and Demolition Planned for 4th Avenue’s Church of the Redeemer [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

09/15/14 3:00pm

1160 Bushwick Avenue,CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Rectory for Bethesda Baptist Church, originally United Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church
Address: 1160 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Cornelia Street and Putnam Avenue
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1894-1896
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Fowler & Hough
Other Buildings by Architect: United Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church, next door; 23rd Regiment Armory (Bedford & Atlantic Aves); Dudley Memorial Building, Amity Street, Cobble Hill, and other buildings in New York City
Landmarked: No, but part of a proposed Bushwick Avenue Historic District

The story: This is a fine looking house attached to an equally impressive church. It was originally the parsonage for the United Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church, also designed by Fowler & Hough, between 1894 and 1896. That building is a former BOTD. The church and rectory were built on land donated by wealthy landowner Adrian M. Suydam, who was a devoted member of the congregation founded in 1887. He had also given the money to build the chapel that was in this location before they tore it down to build the church. The congregation’s building committee hired the firm of Fowler & Hough to design this mighty fortress of a church. They picked the right firm for designing fortresses. (more…)

09/15/14 1:30pm

828 union street park slope 92014

All this house needs is some fresh decor and it will be a stunner. The house seems to have everything, including the original passthroughs and a wood burning stove in the kitchen, not to mention the original butler’s pantry and elaborate late-Victorian wood moldings.

The six original mantels include a wooden one with Minton-style Shakespearean themed tile in the parlor and a faux painted slate one in one of the top floor bedrooms. The house appears to be in move-in condition, with updated bathrooms and kitchen.

It’s set up as a one-family, and is zoned for P.S. 321, according to the listing. Do you think they will get their ask of $3,710,000?

828 Union Street [Elliman] GMAP

09/15/14 12:58pm

115 south 8th street williamsburg 92014

If you’re set on living in Williamsburg but don’t have a million bucks lying around, you could do a lot worse than this tiny studio on the south side. The brick fireplace adds a little charm, and everything looks to be in good shape except for the kitchen floor, which clearly needs to be replaced.

If the floor plan is accurate, there’s roughly 213 square feet of living space. Maybe that explains the relatively low asking price of $175,000, or $822 per square foot. Maintenance is $600 a month.

It’s not often you find a co-op in Williamsburg. At one point, this was an HDFC income-restricted building, but if it still is, the listing makes no mention of it. Do you think it’s a good deal?

115 South 8th Street, #2 [Ideal Properties] GMAP

09/15/14 12:15pm

293 montgomery street crown heights 92014

Here’s an affordable and spacious five-bedroom, two-bath lower duplex in Crown Heights with no broker’s fee, although the recent renovation will not be to everyone’s taste. The 2,500-square-foot pad has a new kitchen and bathrooms, dishwasher, washer/dryer and living rooms on both floors of the duplex. Renters share the house’s backyard and front porch.

It’s for rent by owner. There’s one other apartment in the early 20th century townhouse — a top floor three-bedroom (also for rent.) The duplex is $3,500 a month, or an affordable $700 a bedroom. We’ve included the floor plan after the jump. What do you think of it?

293 Montgomery Street [FRBO] GMAP

(more…)