Customize 580 Carlton Avenue for $2 Million


An eagle-eyed reader spotted this listing for the rundown wood-frame home in Prospect Heights at 580 Carlton Avenue, now on the market for $1,999,999. Turns out the house has its own website, too! Here’s what the owner promises: “This historical re-creation of one of the oldest homes built in the Prospect Heights Historical District will feature cedar clapboard, moldings, & windows inspired by the original fenestration resurrecting its 160 year old character. Pick all your own finishes including: kitchen cabinets, appliances, countertop and backsplash, floors, bathroom tile & fixtures, lighting design & fixtures, moldings and paint.” Construction should last until this October. What do you think? There’s a lot of work to be done to get this building back in shape. It previously sold for $480,000.
580 Carlton [Official Site]
Renovations Planned for 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Something’s Afoot at Dilapidated Prospect Heights Home [Brownstoner]
HOTD: 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark

28 Comment

  • expert_textpert

    “Pick all your own finishes including: kitchen cabinets, appliances, countertop and backsplash, floors, bathroom tile & fixtures, lighting design & fixtures, moldings and paint.”

    This can either be good or not good.

  • expert_textpert

    Dear Architect,
    The kitchen island isn’t deep enough at 1′-8″ to accommodate a sink* AND seating. um, where do you expect people to put their plates while eating at the counter? In the sink?

    * also why do you need a small sink when there’s a regular size sink on the counter behind it?

  • no-permits

    Construction should last till October? They haven’t even done a thing to this place besides the mock up extension on the back for LPC. That’s a very ambitious time frame.

  • rh

    Interesting concept, but honestly, I think most people aren’t good at visualizing the finished product. They should at least get it to a point where it’s clean and palatable. Start work and then put it on the market.

  • this is right near me, and i’m a fan of the restored exterior as drawn. i think the extension (2 floors x 21 feet) is pretty generous, especially at 20 feet wide. personally, i’d prefer to have a bit bigger yard, since you can’t actually get an extra bedroom or a formal dining room in there. but that’s just me.

    i don’t really care about the interior, but i’m curious how this kind of deal is structured. the pricing suggests that they are looking for a rare kind of family. serious money – enough not to mind the concept and potential of someone making a good profit off them in this market. (not saying it will happen, but i’s clearly possible. there’s a lot of work required, and they’ve invested time already, but $1.5mm is a LOT of room.) but also someone interested and willing to do the work of selecting the finishes. to me, the least enjoyable part of a renovation was picking out all of the finishes, but at least we were controlling the budget. i’m not sure i’d want to give someone else the profit of all of that work, unless i could be sure they were also taking on the risk.

    i’m especially curious how they are protecting against the various infirmities of the place next door. and now that i said that, i wonder if the cost of insurance of the renovation and maybe the issues around getting a mortgage due to that situation are part of the reason they are going this direction…

  • callalily

    Looks like the usual McMansion-Fedders mess.

  • The features sound pretty nice, but the asking price seems absurd for a pretty small (the floor plan says original structure is 1620sf + 800sf addition, making it only 2420sf) single family townhouse with no rental income. And let’s not forget that it shares a wall with an eyesore that looks just as likely to fall down as the “before” picture.

  • These folks are nuts to ask for that much money for this small building. It is nice that it’s that old, but it is a wreck and there will be little to nothing of the original building’s character left.

  • What could the seller possibly gain from listing it in this condition? I’m pretty sure that when you sell a property, the goal is NOT to have it sit on the market for several months/years. Do they seriously think a buyer is going to plunk down that kind of cash just to have the opportunity to pick their own cabinets and fixtures?

  • cara greenberg

    What chutzpah. The complete reverse of the common wisdom that a seller needs to finish and style a property to the nines, so prospective buyers don’t have to visualize anything at all. I passed this building the other day and noticed it looking worse, if possible, than it did before the recent sale (understandably, as things always seem to get worse before they get better when it comes to renovation). But putting it on the market now, and for top dollar yet, seems really, really premature.

  • callalily

    This seems like a big trend, flippers buying an all-cash property and then trying to market it at full (or more than full) price with them as the renovators before it’s renovated. Doesn’t make economic sense for the buyer, and who would trust the flippers when their usual product is to rip out all the walls and trim and sheetrock everything in sight?

  • callalily

    Flippers, I have words of wisdom for you: Buyers want upgraded mechanicals with all the old details intact. Hire someone who knows how to skim coat and pay them decently. Use mesh on all the plaster and the cracks won’t come back.

  • callalily

    What is happening here is the developer will hire unskilled labor for $100 a day to encase the entire house in sheetrock and make it look like botched new construction Fedders, then charge you $200 a day for the labor, for which price you could get beautiful plaster work.

  • cara greenberg

    I did a post about this place when it was on the market a year ago, with lots of interior shots (that will be useful in comparing later, when the sheetrocking is done); http://casacara.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/prospect-heights-landmark-district-shell-499k/

  • Sorry, but this looks like a piece of junk. Unless Washington slept here, I can see no reason not to tear the place down and build something new in its place, something that will not need an extraordinary amount of maintenance over the years. Not every old building is worth saving, particularly when it will sit next to another piece of rotting junk.

  • Sorry, but this looks like a piece of junk. Unless Washington slept here, I can see no reason not to tear the place down and build something new in its place, something that will not need an extraordinary amount of maintenance over the years. Not every old building is worth saving, particularly when it will sit next to another piece of rotting junk.

  • Will the equally dilapidated shack next store remain in it’s current sad shape?

  • Will the equally dilapidated shack next store remain in it’s current sad shape?

  • I disagree, someone like myself would relish the opportunity to design my house. Im in the market for a house and can’t count how many times I’ve seen homes with beautiful bathroom tile but unapealing floors, beautiful kitchen but a countertop that doesn’t match. This is out of my price range but wonderful idea 580 people

  • No Permits: You obviously work for Cock-ran.

    Mopar: You obviously spent more time critiqueing than doing your research. Dept of Buildings record show they are tearing down most of the structure and rebuilding new. In the words of the great poet, young jeezy – you think you ballin cuz you got a blog.

  • if the website is any indication of things to come, then i’m all for it. the proposed plans for this property are just what the neighborhood needs – progressive thinking.

  • NeoGrec

    I’m very late to this thread but if anyone’s still reading… Developer obviously needs a buyer’s deep pockets to get anything done here. But the only way to make this work would be to own both buildings and restore/rebuild them together. Makes no sense to pour money into one and share a common wall with the eyesore / firetrap next door. I live around the corner and heard some years ago that the two houses (well, just one now) are owned by a quarrelsome extended family so little hope of that outcome, I guess. Whatever happens here will have to go before Landmarks for approval. I would imagine LPC is pretty motivated to work with the owners because otherwise this is a “demolition by neglect” situation just waiting to happen.

  • NeoGrec

    I’m very late to this thread but if anyone’s still reading… Developer obviously needs a buyer’s deep pockets to get anything done here. But the only way to make this work would be to own both buildings and restore/rebuild them together. Makes no sense to pour money into one and share a common wall with the eyesore / firetrap next door. I live around the corner and heard some years ago that the two houses (well, just one now) are owned by a quarrelsome extended family so little hope of that outcome, I guess. Whatever happens here will have to go before Landmarks for approval. I would imagine LPC is pretty motivated to work with the owners because otherwise this is a “demolition by neglect” situation just waiting to happen.