There is an end in sight for the long-stalled Bed Stuy build at 339 Greene Avenue. The building has been sold to Bonjour Capital for $16,000,000, reported The Real Deal. The firm plans to finish construction on the 57-unit, 12-story rental building. The project was delayed for years by a foreclosure and bankruptcy filing.
Bonjour Capital Takes Over Bed-Stuy Rental Building Stalled for Last Six Years [TRD]
Vultures Circling 339 Greene Avenue? [Brownstoner] GMAP
At this point, probably we are the only ones surprised to learn that 770 MacDonough has sold for $692,000, $17,000 over ask. This is the house at left, a HOTD whose beautifully intact details were recently lost to a new brick veneer facade. We were watching this one carefully, since we live around the corner and the price of $675,000 was high for the area, particularly for a frame house and this block, which consists mostly of large tenement apartment buildings rather than owner-occupied brownstones. The location is east of Saratoga, so technically this is Ocean Hill.
This loft at 105 Lexington Avenue in Bed Stuy strikes us as a pretty good deal at a time when those are few and far between. The open-plan apartment has over 1,100 square feet with high ceilings and nice aged wood floors. And with Classon and Franklin Avenues getting more amenities by the day, the location seems like a good long-term play too. The asking price is $699,000.
105 Lexington Avenue, #2F [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
A neighbor contacted us about a new development at the long-troubled Spencer Street condos. The building at 209 Spencer Street has sat empty for years because of fraud on the part of the developers, and a few weeks ago homeless people and kids broke into the building, above, which is now exposed, he said. Neighbors are worried it will burn down, and have called 311 and filed reports with the DOB, but so far no action has been taken. Curiously, the building appears to be for sale, although it apparently never received a certificate of occupancy. Owners of condos in other buildings in the same development have been unable to sell their units because the buildings do not conform to zoning laws. The listing says only the building “needs cosmetic work completed throughout” and “is well-positioned to be utilized as a rental building in an area growing more popular with young professionals.”
Spencer Street Condo Saga Drags On [Brownstoner] GMAP
A new judge has taken over the Broadway Triangle case after the previous judge retired, and critics of the proposed housing development worry the new one will approve it because he’s Jewish and has ties to its political backers, such as now-resigned State Assemblyman Vito Lopez. An unnamed “community watchdog group” is considering asking that the judge, state Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler, to recuse himself but has feared to do so because of possible reprisals if he stays on the case, The New York Daily News reported. Legal experts said there was no basis to pull the judge off the case. The project would add about 1,800 apartments on a nine-block area located at the Bed Stuy-Williamsburg-Bushwick border; critics have charged the housing is unfairly intended exclusively for the Hasidic community.
Critics of Triangle Development Worry Judge Will Clear Way for It [NY Daily News]
A farm stand-cafe of sorts called Bread Love has opened in the yard of 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, complete with picnic tables under a magnolia tree. They have farm-fresh eggs, milk, pastries and sandwiches. “Staff was super friendly,” said a tipster who checked it out. “I had a delicious ginger scone. If they can expand just a bit to include things like fresh flowers and bread, I think it’ll be a homerun.” This is the same space that was home to a Christmas tree stand a few years ago. The hours are 7:30 am to 9 pm seven days a week. GMAP
A look at Brooklyn, then and now.
The changes that take place on our streetscapes are often subtle, especially on residential blocks. One can often look at a century old photograph of many of our residential blocks in our brownstone neighborhoods and see the same streetscape as today. That is rarely the case on commercial blocks, which is part of the reason why so many historic districts don’t seem to extend to the major commercial thoroughfares. The changes are too extreme, and the original is often long gone. Take a look at one of Brooklyn’s largest neighborhoods’ main street: Fulton Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, as a prime example.
For much of its length, Fulton Street was filled with brownstone buildings, most dating from the late 1860s, through the 70s and 80s, with ground floor storefronts and flats above. These storefronts held lots of small businesses; including the grocer, butcher, hardware store, bakery, clothing shop and more. Back then, as now, people liked one stop shopping for their needs, and being able to simply walk a length of street, and find everything you need was as important to people in the late 19th century as it is now. And Fulton delivered. (more…)
The brick rowhouse at 44 Monroe Street that was asking $1,650,000 — and whose interior was made over by its architect owner with an urban rustic vibe – has entered contract, as a commenter in the Forum pointed out yesterday. You can still see the photos on Streeteasy. When it was a House of the Day back in July, we said, ”Overall, looks like a nice effort. The bigger question in our minds is whether a three-story house (and one with relatively modest proportions, at that) in this location can command a price of $1,650,000 but we’ve learned our lesson about betting against the Minsk!” Did they get their ask? Well, it’s not so simple. We don’t know because, strangely, the sale has not yet hit public records, although the contract was signed in January, according to Streeteasy. Ominously, right about the same time, a lis pendens was filed against the property by the mortgage holder, although the amount is not listed in PropertyShark. (The mortgage was only $150,000.) Could title problems be holding up a sale? In the meantime, prices have really taken off in this corner of Bed Stuy. What do you think the property is worth now?
“Automobile Row on Bedford Avenue became almost as well known throughout the United States as Automobile Row on Broadway…In those days, Bedford Avenue was the Sunday afternoon walk of the most substantial portion of Brooklyn. It was the Easter Parade street, the auto parade street, the center of life and recreation. It was Automobile Row!”
These were the fond memories of Charles Bishop, one of the pioneers of Automobile Row in the first half of the 20th century. He and his father, Eli Bishop, were two-thirds of one of the most successful automobile dealerships in Brooklyn: Bishop, McCormick and Bishop, which operated out of a series of showrooms on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Halsey Street. Eli Bishop had started out in the real estate business, and was responsible for a great deal of the development of the Bedford area, but had turned to the automobile in the first years of the 1900s, realizing that this could be big, perhaps as big as real estate. He was right. (more…)
If you’ve got Brooklyn property to sell, fantastic. It’s a seller’s market. People are clamoring for Brooklyn property. Your listing may even ignite a bidding war. You will probably be sitting on a lot of cash after you sell. But then what do you do? Hopefully you’ve got plans to move to, say, Kansas, because buying another place or even finding a rental in Brooklyn is going to be very, very, very difficult, according to DNAinfo. ”Right now is a horrible time to be a buyer or a renter,” said Catherine Witherwax, director of sales for Stribling’s first Brooklyn office. ”There’s very little on the market. We’re seeing unprecedented interest in Brooklyn and people staying in Brooklyn. And we’re seeing a large international component. The borough’s popularity goes beyond New York City and the metropolitan area.” Buyers will need perfect credit and enough funds to win a bidding war with all cash. The story gives an overview of the market in four neighborhoods with tips and deets on prices in each: Crown Heights, Bushwick, Bed Stuy, Dumbo. Crown Heights, for example, “is really starting to boom” with prices for renovated homes in the $1.2 to $1.5 million range. Rents are 10 to 30 percent cheaper than in Manhattan, with studios going for $1,200 to $1,500. Depressed yet? The article has some advice: If you’re priced out, try Queens.
Rent vs. Buy: Navigating Brooklyn’s Tight Real Estate Market [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row houses
Address: 348-352 Decatur Street
Cross Streets: Stuyvesant Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard
Neighborhood: Stuyvesant Heights
Year Built: 1885
Architectural Style: Neo-Grec, with elements of Queen Anne styling
Architect: John S. J. King
Other Work by Architect: None discovered as of yet
Landmarked: Yes, part of new Stuyvesant Heights Extension HD (2013)
The story: In any discipline there are rules that are expected to be followed in order for a work to meet the criteria of style, convention or even law. My musical education taught me that in Western music, for example, there have been times when certain chords and note progressions were forbidden. The tritone, a diminished fifth or augmented fourth interval, perhaps best illustrated as the first two notes in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story song “Maria” – the “Ma-ri” notes, was called “Diabolis in Musica”, the devil in music. Why? It was an uneven and unfinished dissonance that wanted to be resolved. Medieval musicians up through the Baroque period avoided it like plague. It would not be until the Classical period that the interval was freely used, and even then, was most often used to introduce an element of evil or deviltry into a piece. Today, it’s an integral part of jazz, modern classical and popular music. Go figure.
What does that bit of trivia mean to architecture? It’s just an illustration to point out that sometimes, the rules need to be broken, and the result can be delightful. Sometimes the rules are broken by iconoclastic geniuses, but more often than not, they are broken by the small, unnoticed folk who either don’t know better, or don’t care, and don’t have anything to lose. The rules say that rooflines are flat and horizontal across the expanse of buildings. John King said, “Why?” (more…)
It looks like they’re putting the finishing touches on this nine-unit apartment building (technically three three-families) at 817-821 Dekalb near Throop. Here’s the permit for No. 821. We’re guessing by the balconies these might be intended for Hasidic families, but who knows. GMAP
This Romanesque Revival-slash-Neo-Renaissance brownstone at 593 Jefferson Avenue has plenty of original details as well as a new roof and updated mechanicals. It was designed in 1891 by Langston and Dahlander and has pier mirrors, a hall seat, stained glass, three wood-burning fireplaces, original parquet floors, bay windows, and plenty of wood work, including wainscoting and an intricate screen. The three-family is set up as an owner’s duplex with two rentals over four floors. It is located in the proposed Stuyvesant North Landmark District. We’d also like to note it’s the first exclusive listing from Brownstoner commenter Amzi Hill, who is now officially in the real estate biz. The ask is $1,425,000. Click through to the jump for some exclusive photos.
593 Jefferson Avenue [Evans&Nye] GMAP P*Shark (more…)
The Bed Stuy house with an unusual renovation and price tag to match that we featured as a House of the Day in December sold in April for $1,050,000. Thanks to BK to the Fullest for alerting us to the sale. Back when it was HOTD, we said we’d be surprised if it went for more than $850,000. (The ask was $1,150,000). How wrong we were! Also, is it just us, or does the stair and underside of the loft look kind of like the Starship Enterprise cruising through space?
Closings of Note: Short Supply in the West, Value in the East [BK to the Fullest]
House of the Day: 442 Hancock Street [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark
A new gallery and community space called The Bishop opened at 916 Bedford Avenue in March. The gallery, run by two Pratt graduates, has already hosted two shows and is prepping for two more. Opening on Saturday, May 18 is Six Sides of the Cube, an art collection that “explores international similarities and differences through the universality of the cube.” Curating for a Cure, a charity art auction to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, will debut Thursday, May 23. In addition to exhibits, the Bishop plans to host educational workshops and special events. The space is also available for event rentals. GMAP
Photo by Scott Levin
“As Brooklyn goes, so goes the world,” Charles Bishop told the Brooklyn Eagle in 1941. He was referring to the automobile industry in Brooklyn, a world he knew as well as anyone, being one of the pioneers in the industry that once dominated the core of the city along Bedford Avenue in Central Brooklyn. In the space of forty years, approximately between 1905 and 1945, the automobile industry took over Bedford Avenue and its environs, creating one of the most lucrative and far-reaching areas of business, the likes of which we will never see again.
It all begins with the road and the wheel. The road was Bedford Avenue, the main north-south roadway in Brooklyn, stretching the length of the city, a vital thoroughfare connecting the towns that make up the city of Brooklyn, running from Greenpoint, south to Sheepshead Bay. By the end of the 19th century, Bedford Avenue, between Grant Square in Bedford, and Williamsburg, was one of the busiest and most important streets in the city. There were blocks with fine homes, especially in Williamsburg and central Bedford, but it was also filled with large houses of worship, clubs, theaters, schools, restaurants and businesses. The street was connected by trolleys and omnibuses, and the Long Island Railroad stopped at Bedford, near Fulton and Atlantic, but in the mid-1880s, a new mode of transportation had also taken to the streets. No, not the car, I’m talking about the bicycle. (more…)
Corcoran broker Andrea Yarrington sent this summary of the townhouse sales in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy as part of a marketing mailer last week. Whether you’ve been in the market or not, if you’re reading this blog chances are you have heard plenty of anecdotes about mobbed open houses, multiple bids and all-cash offers. This one-pager is about the best summary of the market over the past few months that we’ve seen. Pretty amazing.
A five-story, 24-unit apartment building is going up on a former parking lot at the corner of Dekalb and Throop in Bed Stuy. This corner has been empty for a long time. Tax photos show it was a rubble-strewn lot in the 1970s. The property at 836 Dekalb changed hands in June 2012 for $900,000, having previously sold in 2010 for $100,000 — quite an appreciation in only two years! An application for a new building was approved in August.
Brooklyn, one building at a time
Name: Row houses
Address: 337-347 Stuyvesant Avenue
Cross Streets: MacDonough and Macon Streets
Neighborhood: Stuyvesant Heights
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect:W.R. Bell & Co.
Other work by architect: houses around the corner, at 371-375 MacDonough St.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Stuyvesant Heights Extension HD (2013)
The story: For many people, Stuyvesant Avenue is the border of Bedford Stuyvesant, but in reality, it’s only the center of the Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood, which was developed quite independently of Bedford. Bedford Corners was a thriving crossroads town as far back as the end of the 17th century, but Stuyvesant Heights was largely a suburban community, with little development until the latter part of the 19th century. It wouldn’t be until the 1930s that the two communities were joined, called Bedford Stuyvesant by a Con Edison article in a newspaper.
Stuyvesant Heights extends many more blocks eastward from Stuyvesant Avenue,and is one of the main north/south streets. Most of it is residential, with only scattered commercial buildings here and there, primarily on some of the corners. Development here stretches from 1850s wood framed houses, to the early brownstone styles of the Italianate and Neo-Grec variety, to the late 19th century Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Renaissance Revival styles, on to the rich Beaux Arts houses near Fulton Park, with a few mansions and much later 20th century infill houses tossed in for good measure. (more…)