A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]

08/28/14 9:30am

76 north 4th williamsburg lewis steel 1 82014

We are sad to report the amazing and unusual interiors planned for the Steelworks Loft conversion at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg will not be happening after all. Now that the building has changed owners and is a rental rather than condos, AvroKo is no longer designing the interiors, which originally had kitchen cabinetry resembling iceboxes, beams salvaged from the site, and other reminders of the building’s past as a steel factory in the 1930s.

new teaser page for the building shows a few tiny thumbnails with less expensive finishes that are more typical of rentals in the area, such as a kitchen with dark wood cabinetry and white subway tile.

Leasing starts this fall, according to developer Cayuga Capital — and fall is almost here. (more…)

08/28/14 8:30am


State Program Causes Delays in Affordable-Housing Projects in Bed Stuy and Beyond [NY Times]
Mother Nature’s Daughters, Farming in Brooklyn and Beyond [NY Times]
Straphangers Want Free G-to-J Transfer to Be Permanent [NY Daily News]
West Indian Day Carnival Parade Coming on Labor Day [NY Daily News]
Nurses’ Court Order Throws Wrench Into NYU’s LICH Plans in Brooklyn [Brooklyn Eagle]
Revolutionary War-Era Houses Grace Brooklyn Neighborhoods [Brooklyn Eagle]
The Leif Bar Reopens in Bay Ridge [Brooklyn Paper]
Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg News]
Lightstone Group Project in Gowanus Still Emitting Fumes [GYFO]
Judge Temporarily Halts Sale of LICH Over Failure to Hire Laid-off Nurses [DNAinfo]
Smorgasburg Founders’ 9,000-Squar-Foot Beer Hall Berg’n Opens in Crown Heights [DNAinfo]
Price Cuts, But Not Necessarily Bargains, on Rise in Brooklyn [DNAinfo]

08/27/14 4:30pm

j crew store williamsburg greg lamarche mural 82014

Which of These New Delis Is Williamsburg’s Kale-Chip Champ? [B+B]
Contractor Charged With Defrauding Workers at Shuttered Crown Heights Hospital [NY Observer]
Point-to-Point Car-Share Service Car2Go Getting Ready to Launch in Brooklyn [Streetsblog]
Rally Held to Keep Free Transfer for G, J and M Train Riders [Brooklyn Brief]
City Fences off Red Hook’s Valentino Park Without Notice, Angering Residents [DNAinfo]
Support Flatbush Farm Share at Tonight’s Bake Sale [KensingtonBK]
A Tale of Two Brooklyns: There’s More to My Borough Than Hipsters and Coffee [Guardian]
Mapping Hundreds of Greenpoint Apartments Now on the Rise [Curbed]

08/27/14 4:00pm

higgins hall 61 st james place pratt bryan chang

Pratt is kicking off the launch of its new MFA writing program with performances and readings from local artists tomorrow. Performers include Jacques Servin, cofounder of the Yes Men; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, interdisciplinary poet and sound artist; Celina Su, author and Associate Professor of Political Science at CUNY; Mendi Obadike, poet and a member of Pratt’s writing faculty; and Keith Obadike, composer and sound designer teaching at William Patterson University. The event will take place tomorrow from 6 to 7:30 pm at the auditorium in Pratt’s Higgins Hall at 61 St James Place (pictured).

Photo by Bryan Chang

08/27/14 3:00pm

184 Kent Ave, Austin Nichols, Dmadeo for Wiki 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Austin, Nichols & Co. Building
Address: 184 Kent Avenue
Cross Streets: North 3rd and North 4th streets
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Year Built: 1915
Architectural Style: Egyptian Revival
Architect: Cass Gilbert
Other Buildings by Architect: Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bay Ridge. In Manhattan- Woolworth Building, U.S. Customs House, West Street Building. Also U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington DC
Landmarked: Yes, then no. Listed on National Register of Historic Places (2007)

The story: By the first decade of the 20th century, the Austin, Nichols Company was the largest wholesale grocery business in the world. They not only wholesaled food items to retailers, institutions and other buyers, they also packaged and manufactured products, including fine foods, coffee and imported specialty items. Austin, Nichols & Company was founded in 1879, by James E. Nichols and five former associates of Fitts & Austin, a Manhattan wholesale grocery business which was founded by Fred Fitts in 1855. In the very late 19th century, the company’s headquarters was in Tribeca, which was the wholesale food district in Manhattan at that time. (more…)

08/27/14 2:00pm

ted and honey cafe navy yard 82014

Ted & Honey Cafe at the Navy Yard’s BLDG 92 is closing this Friday, according to an email from Navy Yard reps. When we stopped by, the worker behind the counter told us business hadn’t been good. We don’t know what will replace the cafe, which is a branch of the original Ted & Honey Cafe and market on Clinton Street in Cobble Hill. But T&H will still run their catering operation, Parker Red, at a commercial kitchen in the Navy Yard. Food options are supposed to return to BLDG 92 in the spring. GMAP

08/27/14 12:58pm

146 columbia heights brooklyn heights 82014

The sleeping arrangement won’t be to everyone’s liking but otherwise this co-op at 146 Columbia Heights looks very nice. The junior one bedroom (or is it a studio?) has lots of original details as well as a modernized kitchen and bath. The monthly maintenance is $832 and the asking price is $695,000.

146 Columbia Heights, #3 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

08/27/14 12:15pm

661 carroll street park slope 82014

This two-bedroom, two-bath condo for rent in a Park Slope brownstone has a clean but warm feel with original floors and a fancy kitchen. The 923-square-foot pad features an attractive living room with space for eating, an office and a balcony, as well as central air and two wood-burning fireplaces. But the caveat is that it’s only available for a year, furnished or unfurnished. Rent is about what you’d expect for the north end of the Slope — $4,500 a month.

661 Carroll Street, #3 [Town Residential] GMAP

08/27/14 12:00pm

Over at Brownstoner Queens, Montrose Morris profiles a landmarked cobblestone (yes, cobblestone!) home standing in Bayside, Queens. The house is one of the rare examples of the Arts and Crafts style in New York City, and one of the earliest houses of this type to be constructed here. Read the full history right this way…