Co-op of the Day: 75 Henry Street

75-Henry-0409.jpg
The listing for this 1,500-square-foot three-bedroom at 75 Henry Street makes a big deal about architectural lineage of its renovation but we gotta say it’s not doing a whole lot for. Nor is the asking price of $1,600,000 which seems very pricey for this building. Most folks who can drop this kinda dough on an apartment in The Heights are going to want something prewar. Granted, we’re sure the views are nice and there’s some cheap parking available, but we’ll be very surprised if this fetches anywhere near the asking price.
75 Henry Street [Douglas Elliman] GMAP P*Shark


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  • no floorplan = weak sauce

  • I you challenged me to differentiate the between the exterior of that building and the exterior of one in the projects, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

  • more4less

    We have NOT lost the desire & ability to dream. 1.6M – wonder if the agents chuckled when sellers ask them to list properties as these ridiculous prices

  • ok – it has amazing views and great space am also hoping they throw in that copy of Us Weekly casually escanced on the “ladies vanity” in the bathroom”…

    but um if I am paying 1.6 I want my own Washer/dryer in the apt and to live in an building that doesn’t look like it was leftover from the Lefrak Housing plan

    I think maybe 1.2 moves this

  • God I hate ‘broker’ talk.

    ‘with it’s million dollar view’
    So without a view, do you knock off a million bucks??

    “The kitchen and open living room area is a masterpiece.”
    A masterpiece??? have you seen a Titan Painting?

    ‘and a marble bathroom with his and her sinks, and a makeup vanity for the lady.’
    I guess it can’t be his and his sinks or her and her sinks.
    And only ladies can sit at a vanity and put on makeup.

    ‘You know what people say about real estate——-’
    Sure do….Brokers are idiots.

  • more4less – don’t always assume it’s the sellers wanting these crazy prices – it can be the agents as well!

  • delepp

    Jeez, the brokers must be using comps from the richard meier bldg.

  • lol bayridge girl, but there are no trannies in brooklyn heights.

    *rob*

  • Having sold my own 1800 sq foot coop apartment with a “million dollar view” last year in the same neighborhood for $800 psf, i would put the chance at roughly 0% that these clowns could sell this POS at this price. I’d be surprised in they got more than $1MM. What a joke. These brokers are doing a huge disservice to the owner of this place. It will sit, sit, sit and die a slow and painfully stale death.

  • it looks like a battery park city apt…but in Brooklyn, with no Brooklyn charm.
    The only reason I could see someone buying this over Battery park is if you wanted your kids to go to school in Brooklyn.

  • more4less

    gemini10, sometimes it’s the agent (ie that’s the lie they sold to the seller so they can get the listing) but when in doubt assume it’s the buyer. Agents know a low price gets the property sold and sold fast vs. a massive asking price just lingers 4ever. Besides, agent’s commission (3% or 1.5% if buyer comes with his/her agent) doesn’t sway that much if the sale prices sways $100k (3k or 1.5k). So other than lying to seller with promises of selling at high prices, agents know a low price is preferable – ie they can churn through more transactions (vs. waiting, waiting,… on a high price ppty)

  • But the nearby amenities include “a beauty salon that gives great blow drys.” Surely that merits the price.

  • Not everyone likes pre-war.

    “Most folks who can drop this kinda dough on an apartment in The Heights are going to want something prewar.”

    Ridiculous commentary.

  • This whole row of buildings is a Robert Moses abomination. Tear them down and start over.

  • What is the deal with these buildings? I thought they were subsidized for mid income families. In fact I put in an application in 1994. My friend lives there and pays like $800 for a 2 bed (it was originally grandmas).

    Of course they could have turned co-op with insider pricing since I last visited. Just curious?

  • A ridiculous price for a building I only recently realized wasn’t housing projects.

  • Snark: – OMG I totally missed that
    wow – I am in shock – what is with these agents – what horrible copy!

  • “but there are no trannies in brooklyn heights.”
    Maybe there should be, liven up that neighborhood.

  • more4less

    come on, let’s not hate on these bldgs because agent / seller put a stupid price on it. Just hate the price. They’re not premium luxury bldg, etc. but they not bad. One good thing about buildings like this is they usually have generous size rooms, windows, good light etc.

    would this get some love if it was prices say 725k?

  • What’s with the asterisk by the “bedrooms = 3*”? Does that stand for “only kidding”?

  • Seconding BRG’s “brokers are idiots,” but what gets me isn’t the price fantasy, it’s the grammatical nightmare. I’ve stopped even noticing everyday misuse of contractions, but this

    “combined with it’s million dollar view and its terrace overlooking the harbor and the NY skyline”

    is a classic. What possible rule could they be thinking justifies the different treatment? Use an apostrophe to seem classy when you’re talking about money?

    Argh.

  • Wow, the broker speak on this one really is laugh out loud funny. DO they really think we fall for that?

    From what I can tell it’s a pretty nice place but Gemini is right on about

    “but um if I am paying 1.6 I want my own Washer/dryer in the apt and to live in an building that doesn’t look like it was leftover from the Lefrak Housing plan”

    I think they’ve REALLY overshot the mark on this one.

  • Am I being to generous with my 1.2 then?

  • The photo above is actually not 75 Henry Street, its actually 140 Cadman Plaza which is directly down the street. There has been extensive exterior work going on at 75 henry for the last year and a half which has actually made the building less depressing to look at.

  • These two agents will never work at Corcoran as they used every word that’s banned by Corco.

  • lame that streeteasy has K line floorplan, but realtor doesn’t.

    http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/building/48954/floorplans

  • more4less

    gemini10, I can sell you that great stone bridge nearby for $1M. $1M more and you can OWN a core piece of that million dollar view

  • New Yawker, I think you’re completely off the mark when you dismiss as “ridiculous commentary” Mr. B’s assertion that “[m]ost folks who can drop this kinda dough on an apartment in The Heights are going to want something prewar.” Of course it’s true that not everyone likes prewar. However, I daresay that most people looking to buy in Brownstone Brooklyn DO like prewar.

  • Aaaack! Imagine living in that enormous monstrosity with a few thousand of your closest friends. eeergh.

    Oh, and you get to pay $1.6 million for that privileged. Not to mention another $1400 a month.

    I don’t think I have the constitution for that sort of living… even if I had the money.

  • Wasnt this – isnt this Mitchell-Lama?

  • a mill to live in a building that looks like the Farragut houses, pfft..

  • The building was originally Mitchell-Lama but went co-op back in 2001 I think.

  • NewYawker, I would add to Park Sloper’s comment thusly: while it’s true not everyone prefers prewar, I do think everyone prefers it to ‘postwar.’ ‘Postwar’ not including ‘modern’ buildings, of course. But, come on, no one prefers postwar (buildings built in the 1950s through 1970s). They are – without exception – ugly box buildings with low 8 ft ceilings.

  • Nomi

    Could the “gives great blow drys” be a bit of gallows humor? If I were an agent right now, sticking in a line like that might be the only thrill I could get.

    Agents are suffering badly. They need things to move, not sit there for months and months and months. I bet $5 dollars it is the sellers who are demanding this too high price.

  • BTW – I think most of you people are crazy (especially brooklyndoug) – NO ONE CARES WHAT THE OUTSIDE LOOKS LIKE – except the people who dont live there.

    This is a REAL 3BR 2Ba apt in BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – with SICK views, outdoor space and a doorman – and fully redone….the maintenance isnt that much (considering) and it has parking underneath. I do not know what the “market” is in BH these days but 2yrs ago 1.6 would be a deal.

  • > “no one prefers postwar (buildings built in the 1950s through 1970s).”

    I’m perfectly fine with postwar buildings. They have clean, uncluttered lines and much more livable floorplans than a lot of pre-war buildings.

  • These buildings used to be Mitchell-Lama, but went private a few years ago. I don’t know about the price, but I beg to differ with some of the comments above. This is a full-service building in a great location, right next to both the 2/3 and A/C stations, with breathtaking views. The renovation isn’t to my taste, but it is certainly well done.

  • Killer views in large 3-bedroom apartment in BHeights is worth a million, but not ask. Ive been in a 2-bedroom in this building and can attest that the views are killer, the location pretty good – but the building is a bit blech – sort of institutional middle-income housing (not that theres anything wrong with that – we need more middle income housing frankly, just not blech ones). But what did they do the kitchen???!!!

  • daveinbedstuy

    The problem with the older post-war and virtually all of the pre war buildings is intolerable closet space.

  • >

    Well, I care about how the outside of my home looks. The building’s aesthetic also usually affects the lobby, the elevator, the hallways… which I also care about. Plus, I really hate 8-foot ceilings and (probable) linoleum hallways. But I guess to each his/her own.

    I’m not saying the location, view, and renovation aren’t very, very nice. They are. But, to me, a postwar building is a pretty big con when the asking price is so high.

  • more4less

    again, hate the price. dont hate the bldg or the unit. it’s not $1M+ good but it’s not bad. ugly are those crappy new developmt ppties sitting vacant

  • Nomi

    >”but the building is a bit blech – sort of institutional middle-income housing”

    Yes. The sf., location and views might justify the price, but the uninspired interior doesn’t cut it. (Poorly lit photos not helping either. Perhaps less depressing in life?)

  • > “(probable) linoleum hallways.”

    I’ve looked at 20-30 postwar buildings in the past couple of years. One, maybe two had linoleum floors. I’ve seen far more carpet and terrazzo. The latter I particularly like.

    Another I like about postwar buildings: terraces.

  • You people are brutal. Your comments are beyond obnoxious. This building was once a Mitchell Lama, designed for affordable middle income folks. It privatized about 10 years ago (or a little more). The apartments are great sizes and the building is very well maintained. You may not like this style but others do.
    I do not necessarily agree that a 3 bdrm should go for 1.6 but you are getting an amazing apartment, with amazing views, in an amazing neighborhood. You will get your money worth…and, NO, I am not the listing broker…
    stop bashing the broker(s) and stop critisizing everyone and their mothers for living there. jeez, i’d love to see where some of you folks live…

  • Snark, I take your point about decent layouts and appreciate that you like postwar. Consider me schooled that not everyone shares my dislike of postwar.

    Regarding the comments that some of us being too hard on this place: you can’t evaluate an apartment without taking the asking price into consideration. Price is relative to value. If the listing price was 800k, everyone (including me) would be gushing how fabulous it is!

  • just me – How in the world do you survive as a broker with such a thin skin?

  • these buildings were built as part of the urban renewal movement of the 1960′s. They were not built as projects and do not look anything like the Farragut Houses. Such snarkosity! All of Brooklyn Heights would have looked like this if the preservation movement had not intervened. Anyway, I think the buildings, though not pre-war, have a certain vintage appeal. The problem is that most of the residents are the old Mitchell-lama crowd who, well, that’s enough said.
    I agree this is not worth the asking even if it were a real 3-bedroom which I doubt it is.
    I do like the mod townhouses that are part of this grouping, you never see those coming up for sale though.

  • Nomi

    I don’t think it’s necessarily thin-skinned to point out that there unnecessarily insulting comments on here about brokers.

  • 100% true Kris.

    Oh, and about brokers…. Cry me a fucking river!!

    If the market is so “hard” right now, maybe you should have saved some of your money over the years. It’s like a NBA star that wonders why he’s broke at age 28 when he’s forced to retire.

    If you are a *new* broker, maybe you should have realized that the market couldn’t possibly sustain 10 million brokers for long…. and you made a BIG mistake becoming a broker.

    Brokers need a thick skin and start ACTUALLY doing WORK to sell their properties. Yeah, you actually have to spend some money to sell a place. Yeah, you can take ALL of the 3-5% as pure profit. Oh, and it could be a total risk and you may not sell the place… THAT’S HOW BUSINESS WORKS!!!

  • The realtor should mention the trick-or-treating if they are thinking a family would spring for this…

    …growing up I had classmates who lived in the Cadman Plaza complex (75 and the “townhouse” things off Clark). We’d go in to 75 with a black trash bag and take the elevator to the top floor. Then we’d walk down and hit every floor, hall, and door.

    One year I could barely drag the bag back to Remsen St.

  • denton

    Believe it or not, I’m more with fsrq and just me on this one… These were built as Mitchell-Lama coops back in the good old days when middle class meant a certain degree of comfort, i.e., space. 1500 sft 3BR 2 bath is nice space by any standard. Now they’ve been taken out of the program. I bet none of those 4th Ave 3br condos are near that amount of sft.

    As someone who spent a few years in the Heights, I’d say that while one reason to live there is the nice architecture, an even better reason is the water views, if you can find them. That’s why I always thought a place in Two Montague Terrace or similar would be preferable to a brownstone apt, unless you’re on Columbia Heights. And with this building you lose the summer nightime drunken noise from the promenade, which can be considerable. Those views are pretty protected also, I might add, unlike the Toren et al when anything can be built next to it the day you close.

    Parking would be key also, altho I thought there was a waiting list (?). I’d wanna check that out.

    If you can afford 1.6 mil, most likely you can send the laundry out or have the maid take care of it.

    Having said all that, 1.6 mil is a mighty big stretch. I’m gonna go w 1.3.

  • Kris – Sometimes I think my ideal apartment has a pre-war exterior and a post-war interior. Though I do like some nice built-ins and woodwork. I looked at a cute apartment in Prospect Heights this weekend and the (sadly non-functioning) fireplace was stunning. Beautiful woodwork in the living room in general. Nice high ceilings too.

    It’s very true that many of the post-war building have bland exteriors at best. But there’s something about a big wall of windows that can overcome that for me. I will, after all, be spending far more time inside the building than outside looking at it.

  • I like those townhouses. At least from the outside. How are they on the inside? I could see a whole shag carpet/eames chair/aalto lighting thing going on in on of those. Plus parking! No wonder they are never on the market.

  • There is a waiting list for a spot in the garage under 75, but you might get lucky and this apt owner might already have one you could take over…

    … the wait was upwards of 6 months a while ago (just after Love Lane/College Place closed which might have spiked it) but it might not be so bad now…

  • Sorry to be brutal or snarky or whatever you want to call it, but I hate these abominations and wish they would be pulled down and replaced with the low-rise buildings that were there before Good King Moses tried to destroy the neighborhood.

  • fsrq –

    my comment is based on what i sold my apartment in the eagle warehouse for one year ago. $800 psf for a larger coop apartment in better shape with full skyline views and 10 foot ceilings. these guys are asking over $1K psf in a market which i think we can all agree has been “challenging” since i sold last spring. it will only hurt the seller for this to be priced so out of line with what the market will bear. there is no way this goes close to ask, IMHO.

  • How do you know how long the wait for a parking space would be? If you live there, you either have a car or you don’t right? What would make turnover so easy to predict? Seems odd to me.

  • tyburg,
    With regards to the parking, it is based on average turnover of spots and # of names on the waiting list.

    The garage is a public lot, not exclusive to the Cadman Plaza complex residents, so it is more fluid a garage than if it were strictly for residents. A lot of people who work at Borough Hall use that garage, other BH residents, etc.

    My folks use to park at the Love Lane/College Park garages. When they closed they went to Cadman to ask about a spot. They were told the waiting list was approaching 6 months long

  • 420K tops to live in the housing projects, and “just me” needs to grow a pair if he is going to be a real estate agent in this market.

  • The price is delusional. Streeteasy shows a 3 BR in this building that sold in ’06 with a final ask of $1.2m. Prices have not gone up 1/3 since ’06.

    An investor expecting to make 8% wouldn’t pay any more than $550k for an apartment that could rent at 5000/mo and has a maintenance of $1384/mo.

    Even in a coop that cannot be rented, rental value should be the basis for an owner-occupant’s calculation too, because rental value (or less) is the market equilibrium price.

    Rental value is key, because in NY there is an ample supply of comparable units that investors can easily change from investment into owner-occupied. If owner-occupants are willing to pay more than rental value, investors can make money by selling out to them. Some will. That will increase the supply of units for sale to owner-occupants. More supply means lower prices. Prices should keep dropping until all units are owner-occupied, or the rental value is no more than the owner-occupant value, whichever comes first.

    If you pay more than current rental value, you are betting that the market will never reach equilibrium or that it will reach it by rents going up rather than prices going down. As we’ve seen, bubbles can lead markets to move far away from equilibrium. But they can’t do it forever.

    To justify this asking price, you need to believe that the rent for an equivalent to this apartment will reach 12k/mo in short order. Or you need to believe that NYC is exempt from the usual rules of market economics.

  • Why are people gushing over this being a building orginally designed for middle income level folks that are now being sold for 1.6mil? – GIMME a BREAK
    who cares who it was designed for orginally, now they are trying to sell this thing for 1.6million? hardly middle income?
    Agreed with the poster who said if the price was for $800K – people would be loving on this place – but for double the price – nahhh – I’d pass

  • Hideous exterior, but absolutely amazing view, big place, and a beautiful neighborhood (BH, Cadman Plaza Park, DUMBO, etc.).

    Don’t read too much into this admittedly imprecise comparison, but here’s some food for thought. Which would you rather do at least twice every day:

    1. See the exterior of this ugly building and know that you live there.

    or

    2. Walk under the BQE or take an airport-style shuttle.

  • Hi finance guy,

    So people in NYC should never pay more for an apartment or townhouse than what it would cost to rent the same unit, taking into account tax deduction?
    That tells me people have been overpaying even before the current bubble and the market still has third or more to correct.
    Not saying you’re wrong, just seems that people may always want to pay a premium to control their space and keep a lid on their longterm costs.

  • BTW FinanceGuy, it appears that its the same unit from 06′ being sold today.

  • Yes, for $800K there would be many takers (and a bidding war), because of the location, real 3-BR space and views (with balcony). And people who can afford $800K in this city are okay with living in an ex-Mitchell-Lama housing. But someone who can afford $1.6 million is, for the most part, someone doing quite well who wants to live like someone doing quite well – which means not an ex-Mitchel-Lama building. Remember, most of the folks living in these buildings are holdovers who couldnt afford to live there at fair market value. People still are somewhat classist in this city – and noone I know who does that well and can afford $1.6 million residence would ever want to live there.

  • bklyndoug – Sorry but the Eagle Warehouse is barely in Brooklyn Heights (especially compared to this building – every train w/in 5min), and your skyline view had to be through some very small windows (which is all you got over there) and also the $per sq ft goes down the bigger the apt – btw how how much was your maintenance?

    Financeguy – the rent to purchase price has been out of wack for a LONG LONG time – so if someone is looking for a 3br TODAY for LIVING then your analysis is irrelevant – if someone is buying an investment – then your right. And while the Mkt price may not have increased 33% since ’06 – it is definitly up, so without knowing the condition, line, sq ft or views of your ’06 comp – it is possible that the price is far from “delusional”

    Gemini10 – if you expect to get a 1500sqft 3br 2ba apt in a doorman building with world class views, in PRIME Brooklyn Heights for 800K (assuming a reasonable maintenance) then you are the one who is delusional – and if you expect the prices to fall to that level very quickly then I hope you also have a gun – cause you’ll need it to deal with the social dislocation that will have to happen in the rest of NYC to result in such a drop.

    Glad to have you on my side Denton but really do you truly believe:
    “If you can afford 1.6 mil, most likely you can send the laundry out or have the maid take care of it. ”

    Cause I know alot of people who afford circa $1.6M apartments/houses – and I dont know anyone who “sends out their laundry”

  • Sam-in-the-hood “People still are somewhat classist in this city – and noone I know who does that well and can afford $1.6 million residence would ever want to live there.”[i.e. w/ middle-class Mitchell Lama folks or their Banker grandchildren]

    Sam – get some new friends

  • ontheparkway: The long term statistics are limited and I don’t know of any for NYC, but they show pretty consistently that over long periods over many geographical areas, homeowners about the same as renters. Google Shiller for the best charts. Anything else would defy Adam Smith.

    (Some US studies that compare median rents to median owner occupants show the owners paying more, but that is because they aren’t adjusting for the difference in quality between the median rental and the median suburban split-level. When they correct for quality, they show that ordinarily, annual rents are 1/8-1/10th the cost of comparable houses.)

    In NYC, comparable rentals are available in all price ranges. Based on my anecdotal knowledge, from at least WWII until 1995 or so, owners almost always paid less, after the tax subsidy, than renters for comparable places. With the exception of the mini-bubble of the late ’80s, usually dramatically less.

    Owners, after all, take a bigger risk than renters, invest more money, lose the opportunity to invest elsewhere and are less diversified. Rational buyers ought to refuse to take those risks unless they are paid for it.

  • dar16 — What did it sell for?

  • more4less

    if someone pays 1.6M for this place, I will definitely try to sell the brooklyn bridge to that sucker.

  • Thanks finance guy, definitely food for thought.
    I know there are a few ways to crunch the numbers but if you aren’t counting on appreciation, NYC prices are still way way too high compared to rents, even counting the tax deduction.

  • Havemeyer

    Well said, Financeguy.

  • fsrq: Rent/buy ratios have been out of whack since about 1995, when the current bubble started to take off here and nationally. A very LONG time for a very big bubble that is likely to have a very unhappy ending for people who assume that it is going to continue forever (or think that prices are up since ’06).

    As for the “social dislocation” — seems unlikely to me. BH was a pretty nice neighborhood the last time prices were at that level. In any event, do you really think that the bubble buyers — most Wall Streeters, in the last few years — are going to turn to (violent) crime if they lose their home equity? Or is your fear that the rising middle class, suddenly able to buy middle class housing for middle class prices, will take to the streets in protest?

  • ontheparkway: the numbers have a high fudge factor — the difference between 6% and 12% is huge — but the fudge necessary to get to HALF this asking price is rich for my taste.

  • BRG asks
    “‘with it’s million dollar view’
    So without a view, do you knock off a million bucks??”

    Answer: Yes. Or a bit more.

  • No Financeguy – I think that your metrics (rent vs. own) are accurate over the long term but irrelevant for a person looking to Buy and live NOW (you cant buy ANY 3br in true Brooklyn Heights for under 1M)

    As for social dislocation, if you expect sale prices to fall in the short term (6mo-24mo) to bring sale and rents in line again in Brooklyn Heights – then that means that you are predicting prices will fall 50% in 1 to two years (or rents to rise FAST) in Brooklyn Heights – and therefore presumably more in less ‘nice’ neighborhoods in Brooklyn. If prices fall that much, that fast then allot of people (of all stripes) are going to be in real trouble and abandonment, neglect, massive cuts in city services etc… are likely and THEN – riots in the streets are not too far fetched.

    It took a long time to get here (using your ’95 date) -approx 15 years (and I’d say longer); real estate doesn’t generally trade like equities and therefore it should take a long time (albeit less than on the way up) to fall – which brings me back to the point….in TODAY’s market – this apartment doesn’t seem all that over priced and someone looking to buy today will have to pay close to this to get this apartment.

  • FSRG – I wasn’t saying that this apt SHOULD be listed for 800K – I was making the point agreeing with a previous poster that if this apt WAS listed for 800K the price would make that hideous exterior of the building tolerable
    I do not beleive this apt should be listed at 800K, it’s worth more than that – I know for sure!

  • **correction**
    I meant to say the apt should be listed for MORE than 800K

  • fsrq – I agree with you that it will take alot of cash to buy this place. And the rental market is close to irrelevant (though not totally). But the fact remains that the market for $1.6 million residences arent looking at Mitchell-Lama buildings. Ive got all types of friends, and my piss-poor friends who live in s__holes and are cool with that, would kill for this building. But my rich friends who can pay $1.6M on the other hand wouldnt consider it.

  • Nomi

    So . . . no one thinks “gives great blow drys” is a joke?

  • > “no one thinks “gives great blow drys” is a joke?”

    Either that, or a glimpse into the broker’s future.

  • more4less

    fsrq, you hit right on the nail. to buy now, this baby is $1M or more. Anyone who wants to buy it cheaper than that or to find what is the bottom, only time can tell. Conceptually, there’s no real reason why prices cant drop 50% in a 24month period. Fundamentals (income, savings, consumer confidence, job security,…) are much much worst now than when prices spiked during this bull run so a 50% drop is possible conceptually (albeit even my bearish selfish is not that confident that could happen). Do agree a 50% drop comes with more troubles than most bears care to admit – ie any banks solvent then? how many of us will be unemployed? MTA solvent?…..

  • Biff Champion

    “So . . . no one thinks “gives great blow drys” is a joke?”

    Apparently many posters think the asking price is a joke.

  • more4less

    think that’s code for the other blow j***

  • Who still uses a blow dryer? I retired mine in the 80s.

  • Finance Guy — thank you for taking the time to explain all of this.

  • Homowners take more risk and put out more capital than renters Financeguy? Please see current bailout situation and what this country has become thanks to your risk taking homeowners.