10/01/14 9:30am

newtown creek wastewater plant park

The city is building a methane gas recycling facility on land it promised for a park 10 years ago, according to community group The Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. The group supports the facility but is demanding the city move it elsewhere, Brooklyn Paper reported.

“It does not look like we are going to get any of the open space they promised us,” at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 329 Greenpoint Avenue, pictured above, a member told the paper.

The Department of Environmental Protection said they put the gas facility, which includes “an 18-wheeler-sized mechanism” to produce energy from sewage and compost, as close to the plant as possible. The site between North Henry and Humboldt Streets will be a fenced off construction site till 2016. 

Activists: Newtown Creek Gas Plant Squashes Park Promise [BK Paper]
Photo by Google Maps

10/01/14 9:00am


After a big jump in prices in one year, home prices in north and northwest Brooklyn continue to climb. Average sales prices of all types of housing were up 24.6 percent in the third quarter, vs. the same period last year, to $1,192,424, according to a report out today from real estate firm Ideal Properties Group.

Both the average and median price per square foot, a more accurate measure, were up as well, to 24.4 percent, or $924 per square foot, and 28.2 percent, to $895 per square foot, respectively.

The report did not cover all of Brooklyn but only the north and northwest areas, where some of the borough’s most expensive real estate is found, including Red Hook, Windsor Terrace and Prospect Heights, but not Bed Stuy, Crown Heights or Prospect Lefferts Gardens. (See the report for a graphic.)

“To have this kind of expansion take place in a mere 365 days never ceases to astonish us,” said the report.

The average price of a one- to two-family town home in the area increased 10.4 percent to $2,081,428 in the year-over-year period, although it dipped 1.5 percent vs. the prior quarter. For all types of properties, time to close shrunk by an average of 10 days, or 4 percent vs. the same quarter last year. Twenty-three percent of homes sold below ask; 11 percent sold at ask, and 66 percent sold for more than the list price.

Residential Sales Q3 2014 Report [Ideal Properties]

10/01/14 8:30am


City to Publicly Shame Harassing Landlords [NY Times]
Adidas Is Opening a Design Studio in Brooklyn Early Next Year [NY Daily News]
Bushwick Gets a New City Landmark: Doering-Bohack House at 1090 Greene Avenue [Eagle]
Activists: Newtown Creek Gas Plant Squashes Park Promise [BK Paper]
Listings Appear, Disappear for 160 Imlay Conversion in Red Hook [Curbed]
“Street Seats” in Downtown Brooklyn [Curbed]
Bushwick’s New Forrest Point Boasts the Neighborhood’s Coolest Garden [Gothamist]
Isabella Rossellini’s Daughter Buys Landmarked Fort Greene Townhouse for $2.2 Million [6sqft]
Why East New York Isn’t the New Bushwick [BK Mag]
Former Cropsey Avenue Nursing Home to Be 24-Story Condo Tower [Bensonhurst Bean]
Williamsburg Rental Marks Third Deal for Massey Knakal Fund [TRD]
Pratt Students Transform Myrtle Avenue Storefronts Into Gallery [DNA]
Four North Brooklyn Restaurants Awarded Michelin Stars [DNA]

09/30/14 4:30pm

tom fruin house axel taferner

Voorhies Tower to Have Gated Entrance, $700K One-BRs, No Affordable [Sheepshead Bites]
Old-Timer Tony’s Pizzeria Is Organizing “Movies in the Park” [Bushwick Daily]
Cornerspotted: Coney Island Avenue and Kings Highway [Curbed]
Self-Proclaimed Owners of Slave Theater Tear Down Developer’s Barricades [BK Brief]
Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Aftermath at 4th Avenue and Degraw [Streetsblog]
50 Cent’s “Power” to Shoot in Brooklyn Heights on Yom Kippur [BHB]
In Contract in Clinton Hill: 368 Grand Avenue [BK to the Fullest]
Neo-Bistro “Le Fond” Lends French Charm (and Great Food) to Greenpoint [Greenpointers]

Photo by Axel Taferner

09/30/14 4:00pm

st gregory the great crown heights 82014

The Crown Heights North 7th Annual House Tour takes place this Saturday. Highlights include the Bedford Central Church on Nostrand and an original Kinko-style home built by the Kings and Westchester Land Company. Altogether there will be eight homes, two churches and the Bergen Community Garden.

The self-guided tour starts at 10:45 am on Saturday with a continental breakfast and opening ceremony at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church (pictured), on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and St. Johns Place. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. They’re available on CHNA’s website, at Barbara’s Flowers at 1096 Bergen Street, or at Yanatiba at 714 Washington Avenue. 

09/30/14 3:00pm

126 St. Felix St. BMS, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Brooklyn Music School
Address: 126 St. Felix Street
Cross Streets: Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: Original houses- 1850s, but totally reconfigured in 1920-1928
Architectural Style: Vaguely Mediterranean/Spanish Revival
Architect: Original architect unknown, 1920 reconfiguration by Meyer & Mathieu, 1928 addition by John Infanger of Slee & Bryson.
Other buildings by architect: Hans Meyer taught architecture in NYC schools, and is on record for alterations at Tudor City in Manhattan.
Landmarked: Yes, part of BAM HD

The story: Sandwiched in between the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Hanson Place Methodist Church is the Brooklyn Music School. This venerable institution is almost always forgotten when most people think about Fort Greene and its arts institutions, which is really a shame, as it has a long and proud history in the Brooklyn community. Many well-known musicians and performers got their start here, either as children taking lessons, or as emerging young artists taking the professional stage for the first time. This school should be as famous as its much larger next door neighbor. (more…)

09/30/14 2:00pm

542 st marks avenue crown heights 92014

After only a year in business, it looks like Cafe Allegria has closed its doors at 547 St Marks Avenue in Crown Heights. On Saturday morning, we spotted a sign on the front that said the property had been sold and the cafe was closed. Does anyone know what happened? When we interviewed the owners last year, they told us they had bought the house in 2003 and then decided to renovate and move into it three years ago. The public records don’t list any recent sales.

Crown Heights Cafe Opens in a House Just off Franklin Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP

09/30/14 1:30pm

475 bay ridge parkway bay ridge 92014

On the face of it, $779,000 is a nice price for a one-family townhouse in move-in condition in Bay Ridge. Plus, 475 Bay Ridge Parkway is also cute, and there’s parking. Problem is, the house is tiny. It’s only two rooms deep and the ground floor has been given over to the garage. Though one could park in the front yard and use the garage for storage, as the listing suggests. The listing looks really good online, but we’re wondering if there is enough house here to justify the ask?

475 Bay Ridge Parkway [Halstead] GMAP

09/30/14 12:56pm

255 eastern parkway crown heights 92014

Here’s a nice blank slate for someone who wants to put his or her mark on a prewar pad. The 1,618-square-foot classic seven apartment at 255 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights has original floors, plaster walls and 11-foot ceilings. The only negative we can spot is that it appears it might be on the ground floor — or at least just up from street level. The asking price of $999,000 comes in at $617 per square foot.

255 Eastern Parkway, #A3 [Corcoran] GMAP

09/30/14 12:15pm

809 president street park slope 92014

This two-bedroom, two-bath duplex in Park Slope has plenty of original detail and outdoor space. We spot moldings along the windows, doors and ceilings, as well as a pier mirror. The kitchen was recently updated with granite countertops, a dishwasher and an island. There’s also a private garden and a deck. It looks pretty sweet, and it’s zoned for P.S. 321, according to the listing. Do you think it’s worth $5,500 a month?

809 President Street [Elliman] GMAP


The mayor’s affordable housing and rezoning plan seems to be causing real estate speculation, which could make the plan difficult to carry out. Land prices for development properties in East New York have nearly tripled in one year, from $32 a square foot to $93 a square foot, reported The Wall Street Journal. (Though a careful look at the Journal’s accompanying graphic seems to show an unexplained spike in 2011.) The sample size was very small, as both the Journal and Gothamist pointed out, but affordable housing developers said land is already too expensive for them. Even if affordable housing is built, it could have unintended consequences, according to the story.

“The de Blasio administration wants to create significant new development in East New York but without price increases that push out existing residents. That could be hard to do. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment has risen 10% to more than $1,200 a month from $1,082 a month in 2012, according to Nancy Packes, a development consultant.”

Higher Land Prices Test Affordable-Housing Plan [WSJ]
City’s East New York Study Included Only Five Properties [Gothamist]