How Much to Live in that Slope Scarano?

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The Scarano-designed condo on 1st Street between 4th and 5th avenues shook off its scaffolding in July, and some of the building’s 10 units have been on the market for more than a month at this point. (If the broker’s website is accurate, a few of them are already in contract.) Listings in the building are ranging from $649,000 for a 1,012-square-foot, 1-bedroom unit to $1.15 million for a 1,691-square-foot three bedroom. Has anyone checked these out in the flesh?
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  • i walked right into one of those a week or so ago. there was no around. the door was slightly ajar. i was like um, can i just squat here? it was creepy.

    *rob*

  • i didnt wander around tho because i felt like i was trespassing or something and didnt want to get in trouble. i do like how they look from the outside, but that block is beyond fugly. but maybe it’s because of all the construction and scaffolding or whatever.

    *rob*

  • If they sold (in contract) at prices close to the published asking (625+ sq ft) then the Great Housing Bust certainly hasnt hit PS yet, if ever.

  • It looks fake…

  • benson

    FSRG;

    I live in City View Gardens condominium, one block from this condo. We’re still pulling in about $725/sq ft on some recent resales.

  • I went to an open house there not too long ago. The “townhouses” or triplex units that are in contract are actually pretty decent. the big plus was that the triplexes have private closed garages. i would def have an inspector go through the condos since the construction might be suspect. the rest of the units that are not in contract yet are typical scarano layout “weird” and hard to use.

  • benson how do you like living there? I looked at a place and it looked nice.

  • benson

    Joe;

    I’ve been meaning to respond to you. I saw your post that you were looking at a place at 309. I know the present owners there well.

    Well, here is my review of CVG:

    Good points:

    -if you’ve got lots of kids, it’s a great place. The condo is swarming with young children, due to the large apartments.

    -all things considered, we’ve had relatively few start-up problems. You’ll always have some issues with new construction, but by-and-large they’ve been contained.

    -financially we’re doing well. Good-sized reserve fund built up.

    Bad points:

    -we still don’t have our permanent C of O. It’s been dragged out for 5 years now. It looks like we’re finally there, but as the old saying goes, don’t catch your chickens until they’re hatched.

    -Passive culture wrt the Board. The Boards operate with little comunication with the shareholders. They don’t seek input, nor do they provide. Seems to be fine with most folks there, but it drives me nuts.

  • @benson – city view is the ones between 4/5 on 2nd st?

  • thanks benson.

  • benson, i can’t believe you actually list “swarming with kids” as a plus :-/

    *rob*

  • Joe:
    I live at the “Heritage” which is # 309 2nd Street. Our building budgeted so nicely the first year that we got a free month’s common charges in August, the charges were reduced 15% as of Sept. 1st and we have a very nice reserve in the bank. Our FINAL C OF O was issued 10/1/09 after a correction was processed. Construction problems were minimal.
    The developer here sold 15 of 21 units before the market crashed. A 16th unit recently went in contract but I don’t know the price as it hasn’t yet closed. He is renting out 4 of the 1st floor/basement duplex units, these apartments are least desirable since the cellar “storage” rooms are really recreation rooms with very high windows that many folks might use as bedrooms, but are clearly overpriced. A large 2 b.r. unit on the top floor is currently being marketed at the high $700′s per s.f.
    Good luck!

  • benson

    Quikazoid;

    It’s on both 2nd and 3rd Street between 4th and 5th. We’re the condo development that is more towards 4th Ave.

    Rob;

    Even though I am any empty-nester now, I still like to have rugrats around. Kids bring life to an area, don’t you think? Come on, Rob, admit it!!

  • benson

    Hey Joe;

    Maybe Muffie is right: we owners are now reduced to shilling for our condo complex!!!!

  • thanks mariong as well. nice to hear about the finances — sounds like there is an advatage to a little seasoning in these condos. at least in 20005 the developers actually had money to fix problems! I didn’t realize 4 of the basement units never sold. I believe 2 are for sale now.

  • who would want to live on 4th ave? ;)

    kids = noise ;)

    sales will soon occur for $350/sq ft.

    seriously, what a combo: i couldn’t pick out a sketchier architect or broker. what the heck, let ‘em get married. i guarantee you the divorce will be ugly.

    this is a strange story. a&h were posting ‘sold’ signs before it was even listed on their website (this week).

    i am not comfortable that those “in contract” units aren’t insider deals. if i were buying i would need them to convince me otherwise in order to feel like they were real comps. and i’d need to see the contract price.

  • MarionG – those units also stink because the are street level with huge windows – essentially they have to have curtains down all the time otherwise pedestrians become your house guests of sorts.

    Benson – good to hear

  • Joe:
    Only one “basement” unit previously sold: 1A. 3E is supposedly in contract and 4A is the only remaining unit for sale above the first floor. Building has mostly young families, a good number of children and is maintained nicely. If you want more specifics write me at: marion11217@aol.com
    (I used to own and lived on Lincoln Place, hence the old zip)

  • thanks again guys — nothing wrong with pointing out the good qualities of your place. I think condo finances are a big landmine out there for some of the new places so it’s good to hear about a good sitch…

    I’ll save your email but it’s too early for me to pull the trigger now. definitly short-list for next year though.

    what do you think are the chances that they butcher the 321 zone in the next few years?

    And I will say one thing for 4th ave: if you drive to work in south brooklyn, you are loving it.

  • I went inside these 2 weeks ago – agreed the triplex is pretty sweet and a cool layout, but out of my budget, didn’t see the other apts

  • benson

    “what do you think are the chances that they butcher the 321 zone in the next few years? ”

    Joe,

    I don’t keep up with this issue, as I no longer have school-aged kids. Just off the top of my head, it seems inevitable given all the development that continues to take place.

    May the force be with the public official who has to split up the 321 zone, that’s for sure. He or she should get a bodyguard.

  • denton

    “benson, i can’t believe you actually list “swarming with kids” as a plus :-/”

    Rob, he’s allowed to use ‘swarming’ since he claims it’s a plus :-)

  • My wife and I are actually in contract on one of the ground floor units at 267 First Street so I found the comments left very helpful. We spent a year looking around the Slope and Carroll Gardens for a place (and actually went into contract on a previous place in CG but pulled out because the developer was having problems).

    Given the amount of time we spent looking, we thought we knew pretty much everything we needed to know about the market in Brooklyn. Couple of things that were helpful about the comments (or at least showed me the things we should have known before going into contract but didn;t}:

    1. I didn’t realize there was a danger of them butchering the 321 zone (we intend to stay long term and I already have dreams of walking my son, who is a couple months from being born, up the street to Seventh Avenue and school). Something we’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for.

    2. I’m amazed how well-informed Brownstoner readers are about developers and architects. I have to confess I had never heard of Scarano or knew that he had designed the building I’m going to be moving into until your comments today. While our experiences with the developer have been good so far, we’ll definitely take the advice posted in one of the comments and get an inspector to go over the condo carefully.

    All in all, we’re very pleased with the prospect of living there. Our chief “wants” for our home were three bedrooms, good school district, proximity to the subway and low taxes. That the condo gets lots of light has its own garage made it a package too good to pass up.

    My only disagreement with the comments that were posted was with respect to the comment that stated:

    “If they sold (in contract) at prices close to the published asking (625+ sq ft) then the Great Housing Bust certainly hasnt hit PS yet, if ever.”

    As I said, we looked at places all over Brooklyn for a year, and had been monitoring listing one the Internet three or four times a week for a couple of years before that. Even in these “bust” times, I think it’s very hard to find a place with all of the amenities I noted above as our goals for less $650-700 a square foot. In fact, compared to “pre-bust” times, I think that kind of price is a relative bargain. New construction in the Slope before the bust would have been much more expensive.

    In any event, just wanted to say how instructive the comments were. Always interesting to hear other people’s perspectives.

  • welcome to the (micro) hood, Momimo.

    i don’t know about the price you paid, but imo prices have come off peak about 20% for seasoned condos.

    search this site for fuller discussions of the risks associated with new condo purchases. there will be post-closing issues that you;ll hope to get the developer to pay for so you should research this side of the equation perhaps harder than the other (arch/broker). one piece of advice — it’s free so take it for what it’s worth — if you can’t feel good that the developer will be there for the foreseeable future (and it should not be considered inflammatory to have serious doubts in this environment) then i would insist on holding a significant chunk of your purchase price in escrow (50K?). if there are no post closing construction issues within 2 years then it can be released. this may cause a fight and don’t expect the broker to fight for your side. make sure to enlist a solid fighter of a lawyer.

    don’t know your financing situation, but it certainly will be difficult for the lenders to close if below 70% sold situation.

    i wouldnt worry too much about 321. this is a recurring gossip item more than anything. i was in exact same situation 8 years ago when the initial wave of 4/5th ave condos came on and everyone worried about the same thing. result: no change. i think it’ll be more of the same this time around, though there’s no way to know for sure.

    Congratulations.