Development Watch: 614 7th Avenue

After years of struggle, the development site at 614 7th Avenue that caught media attention for its potential to block the views from the Minerva statue in nearby Green-Wood Heights Cemetery to the Statue of Liberty finally ended up with a design that both DOB and the community could live with—eleven 14-foot-wide townhouses. Though not completed yet, they’ve been on the market since January, now for $999,000. A tipster walked by last week and was not particularly impressed: Along with this photo of the townhouse at the corner of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue, here’s what he had to say. “No rebar in this wall, many holes cut, many filled in and now, wacky windows.” Update: In the name of fair and balanced coverage, we’ve posted a photo below from Denton of the front of this development.
Development Watch: Fabled Minerva ‘Coming Soon’! [Brownstoner]
New Minerva Looking Wonky? [Brownstoner] GMAP
The New Minerva Begins to Sprout [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 614 7th Avenue [Brownstoner]
Video: SWO Action at 614 7th Avenue [Brownstoner]
The Minerva: Signs Point To Go [Brownstoner]
First Rejection by DOB of Minerva II Plans [Brownstoner]
Minerva. Take Two. Roll ‘Em. [Brownstoner]

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  • Mr. B, if ya ask me, that’s kind of a low blow to show the unfinished side of a mostly finished development. I know there are a lot of development haters, but still.

    For some balance, here’s a shot of the front taken a few days ago.

  • What? Is this the same place? The photo Denton posts is gorgeous. The place in the photo in the original post, a complete and utter mess.

  • Very interesting Denton.

    And yes…it looks MUCH nicer from the front! Dare I say good even.

  • I went to an open house a few weeks ago, and the house exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. The big front windows really let in a lot of light and took advantage of the great views of the cemetery and the harbor and city in the other direction. It felt very clean and open, despite the narrow width.

  • The top three floors look good, but that bottom floor entrance is a bit unfortunate. Perhaps a better light fixture and some other gussying up would help.

  • I agree with Denton. I walked through the show home and it is truly a beautiful development. They definitely did not maximize the soutfacing side windows, but I’m sure they finished product will look fine. Otherwise, inside and out, these are beautiful and in my opinion, a bargain for the $$. The show suite in particular, offers beautiful views of the cemetary, a ton of square feet, and great views of the city with ample outdoor space.

    The neighborhood is a little quiet for my looking, but as a neighbor living down the street in the South Slope, I wish all the developers had the esthetic taste of this one. BK Developers, please take note.

  • I think to save face Mr. B should ask if he can use denton’s image and post or post the good one that he shot. Otherwise I think overall credibility of the site takes a hit.


  • Point well taken, Denton. We’re going to add your photo to the post…

  • I suppose it’s nice to have the garage, but do you think there is any way to fit some greenery in front of these places?

  • pretty cool – but only 14′ wide? I believe I’ve heard wider places called “hallways” on here before.

  • Is it possible that those funky windows are there because that is the side that faces the cemetary, and it was actually thought out so as to encourage as much privacy as possible for the homeowner…? If so, kudos to a BK developer actually putting some thought into the process.

    If not, I still don’t think the back will look hideous. It looks like Satori or whatever down in Gowanus (which I happen to kinda like).

  • The Graves Have Eyes.

  • This annoyed me so much I walked over just now to get some, shall we say, ‘contextual’ views?

    If you go to the below image and click ‘next’ you will see a series of four images. The last image shows a close up of the wall that the OP sent to Mr. B.

    If you look at it in closeup, it appears that this wall was part of another older building, and that the developer chose to incorporate it into the new building in some way. Don’t they call that ‘green’ these days?

    imo these are quite a bit above the ‘fedders’ buildings that have been inflicted on the SS/GH area. As to the quality of construction, who knows? Any worse than what’s gone up on 4th Avenue?

  • PS: The second series of shots, along with the shot from the OP, are on the 23rd Street side, not the 7th Avenue side.

  • “I suppose it’s nice to have the garage, but do you think there is any way to fit some greenery in front of these places? ”

    SS, you can always go across the street and plant some flowers :-)

  • Many developers would have put much uglier, less functional, and intentionally more downmarket construction on this site– and many continue to do so on nearby blocks.

    Regardless of how you feel about the aesthetic, I think it’s wonderful that someone attempted slightly upscale and modern design for single family homes across the street from this landmark cemetary.

  • Very, very bad feng shui living within sight of a cemetary. They look better than most other new townhouse development that we’ve seen.

  • > Very, very bad feng shui living within sight of a cemetary.

    The dead are quiet neighbors. Until they aren’t, in which case, aim for the head.

  • dibs that was racist.

  • So no one thinks its horrible design to have the entire front of the house taken up by a garage door, which means the entire curb frontage is a cut? What a travesty! This is like the grossest of San Francisco 50’s-80’s style houses which have the same layout.

  • The Corcoran site lists these from $799,000 to $999,000 with a $25k discount for closing costs.
    Still, I’ve walked by these during construction and don’t think they’re well built at all (look at photo from 10/31 post).

  • > the entire curb frontage is a cut? What a travesty!

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of that. It makes the front of the building look like the back.

  • Does anyone have an issue living close to a cemetary here?
    Thoughts on resale value
    I for one wouldn’t mind it – my husband though never would…
    I actually think the buildings look good and the renderings on the Corco site are nicely done as well

  • Is living across from Greenwood really a problem for people.

    To answer Gem’s question – it wouldn’t bother me. I’ve always just thought of it as a big park that happens to have dead people in it. If I lived near it I would enjoy taking frequent walks through it.

  • I would love to overlook a cemetery! No threat of development, and you get a park-like view. But I’m sure it would be creepy for many folks.

  • DH – apparently that’s how most of Europe feels – I think it might be a cultural thing

  • Ha Gem – oh those silly Euros — with their excessive wine drinking, cigarette smoking and hanging out in cemeteries.

  • In Buenos Aires, one of the most coveted addresses in the city is surrounding the Recoleta Cemetary where Eva Peron is buried.

    Many famous people were buried in Greenwood as well, including one of the all time greatest conductors, Leonard Bernstein. Also Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Cooper and a host of other who’s who of notables.

  • Well…you wouldn’t have very far to go… ;+)

    Anyway, this is so funny and timely. My husband and I went on a quirky what-can-we-do-on-a-rainy-day jaunt on Saturday and decide kind of on the spur of the moment to drive by the site of the mattress factory/warehouse that is going to become the co-housing building (I think we actually saw one of the young men who’s involved in the project walking on the street)…and then, on spur of the moment, we decide to walk all over Green Wood Cemetery…in the rain!

    It was so kooky. My slacks were soaked by the end of the cemetery is pretty hilly…plus the grass was very squishy…but it was blissfully deserted (almost) and we forgot we were in Brooklyn! The birds were out in force singing.

    The text on the Minerva statue on Battle Hill was very moving. It’s very symptomatic of its moment but still, the sentiment is moving even if it *is* dated.

    I can’t believe we slogged around in the rain…it was funny…we had a mini-vacation in a couple of hours.

    What’s so funny is I wanted to comment on finally seeing this condo project from the hill looking down toward the Statue of Liberty and Jonathan decided to post this today!…Kismet?

    The building is not right near any of the entrances to the cemetery unfortunately but with a little extra walking down to the main entrance, I guess you would have a nice place to walk and stroll. And it is very quite there.

    Look, it’s not Père Lachaise but it is relatively picturesque and a darned nicer view than you’d get in most places in this city, no? Granted, the rest of the buildings in the immediate area are a little depressing to me but the quite and greenery might be a nice change…

    So…we imagined for a second (or at least I did) what it would be like to move there and we then went to Steinhof and had a lousy, quick early dinner that at least I didn’t have to cook.…whoever said their food is edible? The sauerkraut was terrible. Oh well, the long walk in the rain over hill, over dell made us ravenous.

    Clean and mod today
    Viewing death out my window
    Washing two glasses

  • Sorry…typos galore…

    One I’m shocked at: “over dell”. I meant “over dale”. Oh, wale…

    Typos too numerous
    To tickle my humorous,
    A rainy day, amorous
    And supper not so glamorous

  • Um, has anyone looked at older posts on this blog as to what exists behind these white stucco exteriors? Nothing to do with “look here,” Denton and everyone else.

    Incorporating the old foundation being “green?” (it was from 2005, a Scarano and far from green…or safe, or legal for that matter).

    And I will add I admire the thought of new single family home development in the neighborhood, just not at 14 ft. wide, with 7 shared curb-cuts (parking on the sidewalk anyone?) and the “crapsmanship” that was clearly shown in earlier brownstoner posts.

    The only reason to invest in one of these properties is if you need a tax shelter.

    My post is late to the game, but having walked and driven by these POS’s (ie. how they were built) for the past year and a half to visit friends in the ‘hood, one would be foolish to purchase one of these bad boys, considering the poor construction and bad omen the entire site has caused since 2004.

    And at 14 ft wide, while silly, had they been built to some level of craftsmanship (add another tick on the chart of bad building in Bklyn), perhaps we could look at a lower density solution to the original multi-family option from Bobby. But gargage in is garbage out.

    And I have been told of no dry wells in the rear yard…water table issue anyone? Highest point in Bklyn has the biggest sloose of water on our ever present rainy days. My friends on 22nd St. can hear the pumps going before every open house!

    When the white stucco goes green with moss, blighting the scenic views from the cemetery, and the wood joists begin to fail, we’ll see who made a wise investment.

    Such a shame. Such a prime location. 478 acres of beauty and history across the street, such poor design and construction on the other. Had they done 6 20-25 ft. wide buildings, then maybe one could give this some small praise.

    None from this man. I’m sure Lenny is rolling in his grave up on the hill.

  • I’m with Action Jackson. The workmanship is utter crap, and the model already shows it. The New York Times Real Estate section this week spoke about the deals to be had in this failing market. They warned buyers not to be fooled by price cuts — like Corcoran cutting from 1.2 to 999. These buildings were not built to last, which is why the cutting will continue until some sucker bites.

  • “Had they done 6 20-25 ft. wide buildings, then maybe one could give this some small praise.”

    How many 20-25 ft buildings exist in SS/GH? Most of the frames are 16′ wide, at best. Or less. Double the 13′ wide houses to 26′ and now they sell for $2 million, not $1 million. There is no market for $2 million dollar houses in SS/GH. And the developer knows this.

  • Lenny B. is dead
    Such a strange fellow he was
    Brilliant, sad, confused

  • True, Denton, not many 20 ft wide buildings in this part of town, but how many of the current owners paid even 1/2 the price of these Corcoran cardboard boxes? NONE! I bet there are excellent appliances in every unit and beautiful, expensive handles on the doors, but buyer beware — it’s what lies beneath the decorative cover!

  • How many 20-25 ft buildings exist in SS/GH?

    The majority on the side streets from Prospect Ave to 25th Street. 18-25 X 100 ft. Single or multi-family. Look at the existing multi-family , circa 1900 next to the site on 22nd St.

    yes, quite a few “slimmer” houses, but not the majority by any means.

  • HouseHunt: You say that “The workmanship is utter crap, and the model already shows it” yet in your next post you say “I bet there are excellent appliances in every unit and beautiful, expensive handles on the doors” which shows that you havent been in the homes or the model unit. So my question is how can you make such statements about a place that you have never walked through before? Why dont you go see the places before you make such stupid statements.

  • Streetwise 123, your name suggests you’re smart, but so am I. Last comment for prospective buyers of these poorly built units, NOT for the blogging brokers: check out the PUDDLES the basement.