PLG House Razed, 8-Story Building Planned

185oceanave040907.jpgThe charming, turn-of-the-century brick house at 185 Ocean Avenue (pre-demo, on right) is no longer. The building, which was the subject of an intense bidding war this spring, has been demolished, and in December the DOB approved plans for an eight-story, 20-unit property on the site. Across the Park, which has been covering 185 Ocean’s demise, says that we have received very few details about what will be built in its place – as we’ve said before, it had better not be some ugly piece of shit. It’s worth noting that an eight-story building will tower above most of the houses on the block, and we second the call for something that’s not an ugly POS.
PLG Shocker! 185 Ocean Closes 33% Above Ask [Brownstoner] GMAP DOB
185 Ocean Ave. One Step Closer to Biting the Dust [Across the Park]

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  • maybe it’ll be an olympic training facility

  • Let me guess, Condos?
    Stupid motherfuckers

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end….

  • It looks like a modest home of minimal architectural note.

  • Oh, no. No no no no no. That lovely little row along the park…even in the roughest days for PLG, it always seemed like a genteel little gateway from an earlier and gentler time. And now the capstone to the row is going to be a bloater. So stupid and sad.

  • Lol. I am absolutely savoring this. I hope they build the biggest, ugliest turd on this spot that this city has ever seen.

  • the dob website says the building will be 23,000 square feet. what’s up with that? that can’t possibly satisfy even the more generous residential zoning standards, can it?

  • there are only about 4 or 5 houses there, sandwiched between massive, ugly, apartment buildings. Its a crap stretch, but the few houses there are nice. Who does the developer really think will buy there? They’d better have their open house early sunday morning before the locals start hanging out on the sidewalk . . .

  • they’ll sell units even if they build an ugly building. House is right across from the park and upper floors should have really good views of Prospect Park

  • Brenda, there are blocks and blocks of “genteel little getaways to another time”, inside Lefferts Manor which is landmarked. Nicer houses in better condition. You can’t see it in the photo, but this section along the park are all big coop buildings. You might regret those big coop buildings being built many decades ago, but right now it’s the way it is, and a large condo building is more “in context” here than a house.

    The population of NYC is growing and there is more and more interest in Brooklyn which improves amenities, schools, quality of life and brings more service jobs and commerce to local retailers, all of which helps everybody. There needs to be SOME place in every neighborhood of Brooklyn where new condo buildings can be built. It’s absurd to protest all new development and all large buildings all the time. Pick battles wisely. I think it’s far more important to landmark some of the PLG blocks surrounding Lefferts Manor, and more appropriate.

  • 11:22, while most of this stretch of Ocean Ave is large apartment buildings, this part of the block are mostly a row of beautiful limestones, set way back from the sidewalk, with deep front gardens and balustered terraced entranceways. Then you have about 3 later brick houses, including this one just torn down. The limestones were built by a prominant Bklyn architect, and would be special, wherever they were. One of my friends owns one, and the joy of looking out of any front window, and seeing the green vista of Prospect Park is priceless. Many of the houses are dripping with period detail and have been lovingly preserved by their owners. Why not save the row?

    While I agree that new buildings are needed, that doesn’t mean they have to be here. Nobody cared about this stretch for the last 50 years, park or no park. It was seem as dangerous and “sketchy”. Now everyone wants a park view, even though it’s still as “sketchy” as it ever was.

    I hope the new building is not fugly, but the track record of today’s developers does not inspire much hope that it will be either complementary to the buildings around it, or even semi-attractive. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Who cares if it “towers” over houses down the block, contextually it fits in with the rest of the apartment blocks on the other side

  • Montrose Morris, there are no other spots available on this edge of the park for a whole new building or redevelopment of a building into condos. Those are well established coop buildings.

    So what other spots do you suggest, when you say “not here”? One could have hoped for Empire Blvd to receive more attention long ago from community economic development groups, but now the only new developments coming when property became available were a couple big storage facilities. Where new condos or apartments could have been built if developers had been courted by the community. These kinds of efforts need to go from reactive where they are now, to proactive. Or else the few spots in PLG on Empire overlooking the park and gardens that would appeal to any beautiful & high-end new condo development, will end up with a parking garage or another fast food restaurant sitting on it instead.

  • Wasn’t the previous owner of this house a big PLG booster? Thanks a lot, man…

  • 23,000 buildable SF for $1.2 million? That’s just a little over $52/SF. Sounds to me like one hell of a bargain for the developer.

    (Comment not to be taken as voicing an opinion for or against the appropriateness of the tear-down or re-development)

  • 12:12, please explain to me why we “need” high end condos here? We definitely need housing, especially middle income housing, but I really don’t see where this corner of Brooklyn needs a high end condo. Just because the park is across the street?

    As you said, this block has well established coop buildings, and they are geared towards the population that has been in this area for some time – lower and middle income people. Leave it alone. The rich are not the only people who should be blessed with expansive park views. I’m all for development along Empire Blvd, especially close to the park, there isn’t much there at the moment, and a developer would not be knocking down perfectly good houses to build.

  • 11:08,

    Actually there are twelve left–ten limestones and two brick houses.The limestones were designed by Axel Hedman whose other limestones on Maple II and Midwood I are among the finest in the PLG Historic District. The limestones facing the park are somewhat more elaborate than Hedman’s Lefferts Manor rows and are certainly worthy of landmarking (as IMO are the two remaining brick houses which contribute to the integrety of the row. There is an active effort to designate this row as either a separate HD or an extension of the existing one.

    IMO there are other PLG blocks that should also be part of an expanded historic district, including, but not limited to Chester Court and Parkside Ave., west of Bedford. That would leave lots of room for new development. Indeed, condos are being built on a number of blocks in the eastern part of PLG and new two or three family houses [unfortunately quite ugly] are being completed on Parkside. The latest word is that a twenty story condo is being planned for the former bowling alley [later church] on Lincoln Road off of Ocean.

    I agree with 12:12 that Empire Blvd. would be an excellent location for new residential development. Unfortunately, I don’t think present zoning allows that. It’s a shame that the former Empire Roller Rink is being made into a new self-storage building and a new self-storage facility is being built on the north side of Empire.

  • Bob’s correct, building anything more than about 2 stories on that part of Empire would require a zoning change, but I agree that it would be nice to see some residential development there to break up the desolate monotony of storage facilities and carpet warehouses.

    As for the PlanetPLG house, I’m sad to see it go. What made it interesting for me was the funny juxtaposition of that house with the apartment buildings next to it.

    Despite my sadness about the demolition, I certainly don’t think an 8-story building would be off scale here, and hopefully it WILL be a nice condo building which will bring some money in. Just trying to look on the bright side.

  • It just seems so odd to me that we are so willing to tear down lovely house like this one, put up something that will never have half the charm or be built nearly as well, and yet there are loads of properties in Brooklyn that could be used. maybe not right on the Park, but if we let it happen once, it will happen twice and so on….eventually all the beauty, charm and history of the neighborhood will be lost in a pile of people warehouses- and the neighborhoods will be cold and uninviting. I think the city is big enough that we should nave to sacrifce one for the other because in the end everyone really does lose. And in the process warehousing people- packing them in in cramped, very high density areas dehumanizes- you can see it all over the city, and not just in so-called poor areas.

  • If the condos are nice, they’d be a good addition to the nabe.
    We need more, not fewer, apartments to own in PLG.
    Why is it so wrong to put 20 people a view of the park where 1 family had it before?
    The house was nothing special–unlike the limestones, which definitely are.

  • Montrose Morris, if only low-income buildings were ever built in NYC, isn’t that giving them a special privilege too? What about capitalism, just chuck it? Do you REALLY think that’s going to happen? It’s deluded. And where do you think jobs come from, and commerce for retailers and services that creates more jobs? The improvements in Brooklyn have allowed way more working class people to make MORE money than it has held people back. The statistics support this. Year after year NYC has lower unemployment, not higher.

    You’re ridiculous. Sometimes you talk socialism just because you feel obligated because of who you are, not because it actually applies to reality or helps a situation. This trait is so irritating it makes me stop reading your posts a few words into it.

  • 6:17 – I talk socialism because of who I am? A very talented, but quite dead, 19th century architect? Wha??? If I had to ego to think my opinion actually meant anything, I’d be running for something. Not interested.

    Look, we’ve got a gazillion condo buildings going up in this borough, not to mention the entire city, and 99% of them are so called “luxury apartments”. And now we have way too many, yet more and more are going up as we speak. This one proposes to plonk itself down like a yacht among rowboats. Twenty minutes ago, you couldn’t pay people to come to that stretch of PLG. “Danger, rows of low income apts, mugged by thugs in the park, ghetto, etc, etc, etc.” The only reason this location is now desireable to any developer is because of the fabulous park view location, and as we all know, anything fabu like a parkside or waterside location should be the exclusive parvue of the rich, not the poor, or even the middle class. The new owner of this plot can probably do almost anything he wants, I just hope he respects his surroundings architecturally. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking he’s solving a housing crisis.

    I never said only low income housing should be built. That would be foolish. However, they are hardly building any, and even fewer middle income condos or houses. Those are what we need, especially in middle and lower income areas like this. I will continue to say this because it is true. If that is irritating, so be it.

  • This isn’t a discussion about condos all over Brooklyn. It’s about this one area. There are no new luxury condo buildings yet completed in PLG, Montrose Morris. And we wouldn’t mind having one, that’s all. Don’t have a cow over it. Also stop judging other neighborhood’s needs when you don’t live there and aren’t really affected by what happens there.