04/16/14 11:30am

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We stopped by 88 Richardson Street the other day, and lo and behold, the building is almost up to its full seven stories. This is the Karl Fischer-designed building with 188 units that is rising on the site of the former Meeker Flea Market next to the BQE in Williamsburg.

The developer is Brooklyn-based Rabsky Development, which bought the lot for $18,000,000 in 2012. At the time, it seemed like an odd location for residential development. In hindsight, the acquisition of almost any site in Williamsburg seems prescient.

Fischer-Designed Apartments Rising at Ex-Meeker Flea Site [Brownstoner]

04/16/14 10:45am

564 st johns place crown heights 122013

This one-story garage at 564 St. Johns Place between Franklin and Classon in Crown Heights will be demolished soon and replaced by a Karl Fischer-designed eight-story apartment building. A demolition application was filed on Monday, but the DOB didn’t approve it because the filing lacked a plan exam. Developer Rabsky Group is behind the development, which will have 172 units spread across 136,373 square feet, as we reported in December. GMAP

Eight-Story Karl Fischer Building Planned for Western Crown Heights [Brownstoner]

04/16/14 10:00am

A mixed-use development is in the works for part of a very large empty site on Myrtle Avenue across from the Marcy Houses in Bed Stuy, New York NIMBY reported.

Architect Charles Mallea filed a new building application Monday for an eight-story, 46-unit building at 802-806 Myrtle Avenue. The street frontage will cover three of 15 contiguous empty lots, all 25 feet wide, on the block.

The 31,125-square-foot building will include 23 bike storage spots, a shared roof deck and 76 square feet of commercial space in the basement. The building will be 94 feet high, so “ceiling heights will be surprisingly generous compared to typical new developments in the neighborhood,” said YIMBY.

South Williamsburg-based developer Bright Villas LLC bought the 7,500-square-foot piece of land in a series of transfers in 2012 totaling $1,750,000; the properties were originally owned by a church called Mt. Zion Church of Christ Disciples, according to public records. DOB permits indicate the ramshackle three-story church was demolished in 2010. HPD owns the 12 empty lots next door.

“Positive changes are gradually occurring across the entire neighborhood, and developments like 802 Myrtle will go a long ways towards bettering the area’s reputation, which has typically revolved around the negative press surrounding its public housing,” said YIMBY. What do you think?

Permits Filed: 802 Myrtle Avenue [YIMBY] GMAP
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

04/16/14 9:30am

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As luxury high rises sprout up on nearly every vacant lot in south Williamsburg, sale prices in the area are expected to match those of north Williamsburg in a few years, said a story in The New York Times. Right now they trade at about a 15 percent discount, or $1,000 per square foot, vs. the north side’s nearly $1,200.

However, there isn’t much to buy: There were only 16 listings for sale in July, including co-ops, condos and townhouses. The average price was $1,780,000, according to Streeteasy.

About 90 percent of the housing in south Williamsburg is rental, said the story. Rents in the new buildings “are on the high side,” starting at about $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom. Some of the new buildings include 424 Bedford Avenue and 15 Dunham Place. Thousands more apartments are planned for the area, including the huge Domino redevelopment and The Oosten, the Chinese-owned condos.

South Williamsburg: Catching up to the North Side [NY Times]

04/16/14 9:00am

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Crazy weather — although this is not the latest it has snowed in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. That was May 9, in 1977. We hope this doesn’t wreck our tulips, which were just about to bloom today. (You can see their tiny heads at the far end of our yard, in front of the holly bushes, above.)

Some quotes from Twitter:

“My Farmer’s Almanac did not predict snow with a side of fireworks in Brooklyn in mid-April.” — Elizabeth Spiers

“Ugh, surprise snow overnight in Brooklyn, killed all the cherry blossoms in the back yard.” — Gregory Pattillo

“Did it snow tonight in Brooklyn or am I crazy and wasn’t it like 80 degrees yesterday hey God what are you doing.” — bay res

04/16/14 8:30am

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A No-Kill Approach With Brooklyn’s Feral Cat Population [NY Times]
New Brooklyn Perfume Stores: Atelier Cologne and Twisted Lily [NY Times]
Nirvana Plays Secret Reunion Gig in Greenpoint Dive Bar Saint Vitus [NY Post]
East Flatbush Tenants Suing Landlord Detail Illegal Tactics at Press Conference [NY Daily News]
Advocates: Under-Construction Parking Lot in Prospect Park Is Destroying Parkland [NY Daily News]
In Brooklyn Mentoring Program, Volunteers Get Tattoos Designed by Teens [WSJ]
City Contract Redefines a Neighborhood Boundary [AYR]
How, Where, and Why We Live in Brooklyn: A 2014 Real Estate Guide [Brooklyn Mag]
Landmarked Flushing Theater Will Now Be Condos, Not Rentals [Curbed]
An “Optimistic” Proposal for LICH [Capital NY]
Dior to Show Cruise Line at Navy Yard [NY Observer]
Brooklyn Church Fires Being Investigated as Hate Crime, Police Say [DNAinfo]
Artist Judy Chicago’s Feminist Fireworks Display Coming to Prospect Park [DNAinfo]
Greenpoint to Get a Convention Center [DNAinfo]

04/15/14 4:30pm

Teaser Site out for 210-Unit Greenpoint Development at 1133 Manhattan Avenue [BBH]
The Bergen Tile Building Is Gone [Park Slope Stoop]
See Films by Ditmas Parkers, in Theaters and From the Comfort of Home [Ditmas Park Corner]
Brooklyn Church Fires Being Investigated as Hate Crime, Police Say [DNAinfo]
Get Your Grilled Cheese Fix at The Wheelhouse’s Grand Opening Party Tonight! [Bushwick Daily]
Eight-Story Building Planned for Vacant Lot in Bed Stuy [YIMBY]
Local Barista Tabitha Holbert Making Film [Q at Parkside]
Bishop Ford High School Closing Its Doors in June [South Slope News]
Ugly Dumbo Parks to Become Workout Course [Brooklyn Paper]

Photo by Eugene Gannon

04/15/14 4:00pm

Tenants at Homewood Gardens Estates in East Flatbush claim their landlord is trying to push them out in favor of white tenants willing to pay higher rents, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court. The suit alleges that landlords Yeshaya Wasserman, Shay Wasserman and Yitzchok Rambod ignored repair requests, forced evictions and offered cash buyouts, the New York Post reported. The East Flatbush residents also say the landlords consistently refuse to make repairs for black tenants, fail to cash rent checks and delay the delivery of front door keys.

“In contrast, white tenants move into renovated apartments, their rent checks are cashed, they receive monthly rent statements and they are not subject to harassment,” the suit states, according to the Post.

The lawsuit also claims black residents have seen their rents double, while white tenants have seen minimal rent increases at lease renewal time. Wasserman and his partners bought the buildings on Brooklyn Avenue and Hawthorne Street in 2009. The state’s Tenant Protect Unit has been investigating Wasserman since last fall, when it subpoenaed documents from all eight of his properties in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Landlords Pushing Black Tenants out for Whites: Suit [NY Post]
Closing Bell: State Investigates Crown Heights, Flatbush Landlord for Tenant Abuse [Brownstoner]

Image via Google Maps

04/15/14 3:00pm

1301 Grand Street, Google Maps 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Charles J. King Iron and Scrap, formerly Louis Bossert & Son Co.
Address: 1301 Grand Street
Cross Streets: Gardner Avenue and New Town Creek
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: Unknown
Architectural Style: Eclectic factory
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Louis Bossert was a lumber man. He was one of the thousands of German immigrants who came to the United States and settled in Bushwick and Williamsburg in the mid to late 19th century. Bossert was an officer during the Civil War, and began a lumber business after the war. It was a fortuitous move, as Brooklyn had a series of building booms for the next fifty years, and Louis Bossert & Son was there to meet the needs of their customers.

By the end of the 19th century, in the 1890s, if not sooner, Louis Bossert’s lumber company was located here on Grand Street, along the Newtown Creek. The company was huge, with lumberyards, planing mills, warehouses and offices. Having the canal just behind the plant enabled Bossert to move goods by barge, and deliver large amounts of lumber to projects in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn with ease. This building was the headquarters and office of the company.

Lumber yards often had fires, so this may be the reason the Bossert HQ looks like a fireproof fortress. I was not able to find the date it was built, or the architect, and since the design is so eclectic, it’s also hard to date, but I’m going to go with early 20th century, in the ‘teens. By that time, Bossert’s plant was well established, and this building consolidated their operation, and replaced the company’s offices on Union Street. It’s an interesting building, certainly not pretty, but strong in personality. (more…)

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Popular Crown Heights eatery Mayfield plans to open a bar with backyard garden and taco truck at 323 Franklin Avenue, according to DNAinfo. There will be tacos, tortas and weekly specials such as roast pig and pozole.

There will also be movie nights for kids with films projected on the rear wall. Community Board 3 plans to support the restaurant’s application for a liquor license.

Electronic dance music label Dub-Stuy Records recently vacated the space due to rising rents, but is still in business while it searches for a permanent location, said DNAinfo. It’s also going to participate in Do or Dine’s annual Memorial Day celebration. 

Bed-Stuy Record Label to be Replaced by Taco Truck and Bar [DNAinfo] GMAP

04/15/14 1:30pm

This flip in the farthermost reaches of Bushwick has somewhat better than average finishes, including white subway tile, flat (not routed) white kitchen cupboards and vintage style lighting. The plumbing is all new, as are the floors, kitchens and baths. The owner left the mantels and exposed the brick.

There is also a deck and parking in the front yard. It’s set up as an owner’s duplex over a two-bedroom garden floor rental. But what really caught our eye about the listing is the price. It last traded to Boaz Gilad of Brookland Capital in November for $395,000. Now the ask is $1,195,000.

We could see this going to an investor, perhaps. But we’d be surprised if they get anywhere near ask. (To put it in perspective, a somewhat similar house nearby at 770 Macdonough Street sold for $692,000 in April 2013.) What do you think?

25 Moffat Street [Corcoran] GMAP

04/15/14 12:59pm

This new listing at 154 Broadway, a four-story loft building that was converted to residential back in 2007, has a ton of space (2,600 square feet) and other amenities you’d hope for in a loft (high ceilings, big windows). This place also has a lower level as well as a backyard and a deck. The only real negative is the fact that it’s on the ground floor with the front facing the street. Asking price is $2,500,000.

154 Broadway, #1 [Halstead] GMAP