City Moves on Stalled Brownsville Housing Project [BK Bureau]
What a Downtown or Brooklyn Rental Cost in 1983 [Ephemeral New York]
Help P.S.10 5th Graders Fund Classroom Chromebooks [South Slope News]
Brooklyn Nets Guard Drops $15.8M On Tribeca Penthouse [Curbed]
Dramatic Development in Run for Brooklyn Borough President [The BK Ink]
Petition: Gowanus Must Develop Marine Mammal Rescue Protocol [Patch]
Breakers Condo Development Rebuilding Pier Wiped Out By Sandy [Sheepshead Bites]
Photo by Atomische â€¢ Tom Giebel
Despite postponements, the Flatbush Avenue Capital Streetscape project moves ahead little by litte. Tomorrow morning, the broken clock at the 6th Avenue and Flatbush triangle will be taken down. According to the North Flatbush Avenue BID, the clock will be replaced by a new Madison Victorian clock, although it won’t be installed until 2014. The Flatbush “triangles” are all due for major upgrades. Pictured above is the rendering of the 6th Avenue Triangle with more pedestrian seating and landscaping.
Rendering by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, via the Architect’s Newspaper
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Originally “Constitution” Engine Co. 7, Volunteer Fire Dept.; then Engine 8, BFD; now residential
Address: 227 Front Street
Cross Streets: Bridge and Gold Streets
Neighborhood: Vinegar Hill
Year Built: 1870-71
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown, 1903 expansion by H. W. Billard
Other Work by Architect: Billard – small projects here and there, with at least one in Williamsburg.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Vinegar Hill HD (1997)
The story: This building was built by the Fire Department of the City of Brooklyn around 1870-71 and is on the site of one of the city’s oldest firehouses. Engine Company number 7 started out as a volunteer fire company in 1828, taking as its motto, “The Constitution and the Union Forever.” They were first located on Hudson Street, near Front Street. They later moved to the south side of Front St, between Bridge and Gold, and then to this location.
This new firehouse must have been a perfect place for them to show off their two year-old “piano box” engine, a marvelous machine with a mahogany box with rosewood panels. The box was embellished with carvings and gilt work. According to the “History of the Brooklyn Fire Department”, written in 1892, “the arms were of polished steel, and the wheels blue, striped with gilt. There were paintings on three sides of the condenser-case, in oval panels, 22 x 20 inches. Attached to the engine was a neat tender, carrying eight lengths of hose; she was named “Independent.”
According the that same source, the fire company ceased being a volunteer company in 1869, and many of the volunteers joined the Brooklyn Fire Department. It was at that time that this firehouse was built for them, on the site of the old one. Though the LPC report says differently, and dates the building for 1855, two different fire department sources seem to confirm this later date for the building. The original building, the one this replaced, appears to have been built in 1855. (more…)
An affordable housing development is going up in Williamsburg at 59 Frost Street. Dunn Development, also responsible for the Navy Green and Putnam Court, will develop the property. Right now it’s too early for renderings, but the plan is to build 47 units of affordable housing over seven stories. Construction should start in April. There’s currently a warehouse at the site. The developers haven’t yet filed demolition permits and the DOB disapproved new building plans earlier this month. GMAP
Photo via PropertyShark
A CVS Pharmacy is slated to move into 30 Flatbush Avenue, the Downtown Brooklyn office building. An architect for the project will present to Community Board Two on Tuesday, February 5, because the building is on city-owned land and changes must be reviewed by the Public Design Commission. The pharmacy will occupy the ground floor butting up to Nevins Street. There’s also a Chase Bank on the ground-floor, as well as storefront space up for lease. If you’re interested in attending the meeting it’s at Metcalfe Hall, Long Island University, at 6 pm. GMAP
Photo via PropertyShark
Personally we prefer our brownstones to feel a little less new, but this completely redone place at 82 Lexington Avenue in Bed Stuy may appeal to buyers who might otherwise be considering a new condo. Certainly the location has only gotten better and better in the last year or two, with commercial and dining options continuing to improve on both Classon and Franklin Avenues. If the seller is successful in fetching anywhere near the asking price of $1,645,000, it’ll be nothing short of a home run given that he purchased the four-story building last summer for $520,000.
82 Lexington Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
It’s amazing to think that the going rate for condos in Central Williamsburg is $1,000 a foot but that’s where we’ve arrived, for the nicer ones anyway. And this one-bedroom at 101 North 5th Street is a nice one. Though lacking the kind of views you might get in a similar price range on the waterfront, this third-floor pad is well laid out, has plenty of windows and is centrally located. It’s also got high ceilings and high-end appliances. The asking price for the 671-square-foot apartment? $649,000.
101 North 5th Street, #3B [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP P*Shark
Here’s a two-bedroom rental in a Prospect Lefferts Gardens home, 294 Fenimore Street. The bones look good and the kitchen’s been renovated. It’s a few blocks from the park (between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues) and asking a reasonable $1,400/month.
294 Fenimore Street [Fraziers Realty] GMAP P*Shark
The last section of walkways have been installed and the railings are up on the Squibb Park Bridge linking Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Construction has been moving quickly. The previous section of the pedestrian bridge went in just six weeks ago. According to Brooklyn Bridge Park spokesperson Teresa Gonzales, work is ongoing on the installation of the guardrail mesh fence and handrails as well as on the underside support structures for the approach spans. “Work will continue through the first few weeks of February,” she says. “And we hope that bridge will be complete and open to the public soon after.”
Photo by Marc Agger
Today we bring you the 12th of an anonymous weekly column about real estate by one of the most experienced agents in Brooklyn:
Following last week’s column on the difficulties of being a buyer of real estate in brownstone Brooklyn, I want to share my thoughts about competitive bidding. Unfortunately there are as many approaches to this as there are sellers and brokers.
This is how I do it. When I first meet a seller, we discuss the possibility of multiple bids. Usually the seller becomes gleeful at the prospect and wonders how that could possibly be a problem. Then we discuss how to approach it. This is one of those subjects which is best addressed ahead of time. I recommend that if we get multiple bids we will hold a “best and final” round, asking buyers to give it their best shot and promising to accept one of those. It takes some convincing — the seller often wants to know why it isn’t best to just show each bid to all the other bidders. I explain that revealing other bids is so difficult on buyers’ psyches that many good ones drop out. Most sellers get this. I really mean it when I say “best and final.” The process will be over and the best offer will be accepted.
The 303-unit, 40-story Oro condominium building finally sold out, reports The Real Deal. Sales for the one, two and three bedrooms began in 2007. (The building hit 50 percent in 2010.) A broker for the development told TRD they sold 60 apartments in the past year, many selling “north of $900 per square foot.” Fifteen units sold through the development’s “rent to own” program. Now, on to Oro 2…
Downtown Brooklyn’s Oro Condos Sell Out [TRD]
If you live in the later brownstone neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Heights, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights, chances are your row house or flats building was built during a time of great changes in the decorative arts, known as the Aesthetic Movement. From the mid-1870s through the 1890s this movement, often called the “Cult of Beauty,” mesmerized and then inspired great advances in all kinds of art, literature, music and culture including architecture and the interior decorative arts.
It was brought to life by Englishman William Morris and his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Then the movement gained steam, drew in its other superstars and influenced craftspeople, architects and artists of all kinds as well as the popular culture on both sides of the Atlantic. “Beauty for beauty’s sake” was one of the mantras, and what better place to show off one’s taste and love of beauty than in one’s home?
Like most things in the world of culture and the arts, there is no one moment where one style of anything ends and another is born. There is always a flow, an evolution of design that leads from one form to another. In Brooklyn architecture, the Neo-Grec brownstone, with its Eastlake-inspired, incised, carved lines, geometric patterns and shapes, was falling out of favor by the beginning of the 1880s.
Replacing it was the expansive massing of the Romanesque Revival, followed soon after by the freestyle Queen Anne period, which expanded on the Romanesque Revival themes. The Neo-Grec was order and line, Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne were imaginative and open, given to, well, more. In the house itself, more woodwork, more built-ins, more, and better, lighting, much more stained glass, color and texture. (more…)
Yesterday PropertyShark posted the above graph ranking the median sales price of co-ops, condos, single-family and two-family homes sold in 2012. Dumbo, previously ranked the most expensive Brooklyn neighborhood, was dethroned by Boerum Hill, which is now the borough’s most expensive address and is fifth city-wide, with a median sales price of $950,000. Dumbo, at $869,256, comes in at ninth place overall. Boerum Hill has seen a huge property value increase in the past eight years: since 2004, the price per square foot on residential sales increased by 30 percent. As The Real Deal noted yesterday, sales at 233 Pacific Street (which sold 20 units for more than $1 million each) account for some of the big sales jump. On a related note, you can check out this Property Shark map, just posted, tracking all the co-op and condo sales in Brooklyn in 2012. The map also tracks average price per square foot.
Move over Dumbo, Boerum Hill is Brooklyn’s Top Neighborhood [PropertyShark]
A vacant, three-story brownstone with a commercial space on the ground floor at 75 St. Marks Avenue, just three blocks from the Barclays Center, sold for $1,640,000 earlier this month. The 3,270 square-foot building last changed hands only months ago in September of 2012 for $965,000. That’s a whopping 70 percent increase in just four months. From the outside it doesn’t appear that the new owners did much, if anything, to improve the property that would warrant such a massive increase in value. The listing indicated that the apartments needed a gut renovation and there are no new permits pulled with the buildings department. It’s possible that the sellers got a very good deal when they bought last year–they did purchase it from the estate of the previous owner who had held onto the property since 1970. When the home was on the market in 2011, it had the asking price cut from $1,650,000 to $1,350,000 without any luck in moving the property. The broker, Ofer Cohen, founder of TerraCRG says, “this sale is an example of the tremendous growth and transformation that the area surrounding the Barclays Center has seen and its effect on the immediate neighborhood. Properties in this area especially with retail spaces are gaining considerable notice from investors who are willing to pay a premium for the location.” What do you think? Has the arena really boosted the value of commercial properties, or is this an outlier?
Price Cut on Prospect Heights Mixed Use [BK to the Fullest] GMAP P*Shark
Since hitting the market about five months ago, two of the three condo units are under contract at 253 Pacific Street, the ultra-modern townhouse designed by architect James Cleary. According to a Corcoran broker responsible for sales, the penthouse unit is in contract at ask, $2.6 million. See the listing for the 2,603-square-foot duplex here. Unit #2 is in contract over ask, which was $2.4 million. The last remaining unit, a 2,280-square-foot garden duplex, is asking $2,150,000.
Modern Look for New Building at 253 Pacific Street [Brownstoner] GMAP
New Flood Lines Are Here [Sheepshead Bites]
The Sandy Chronicles: Rebuilding After the Storm [Eater]
Park Avenue Safety Plan Slowly Moving Forward [The Local]
At Swirled End: Pinkberry Is Opening in Dumbo [Grub Street]
So You Want to Adopt Prospect Park’s Ghost Dog? [Patch]
New City Bike Rack Reveals Neighborhood Tension in Crown Heights [BK Paper]
Long Island College Hospital May Be Sold for a Cool Half-Billion [BK Paper]
Percolating in Park Slope: A Go-To Guide to Local Coffee Shops [PS Stoop]
Delicate Vintage Meets Rugged Handmade: Fort Greene Residence [Design Brooklyn]
Photo by vandalnyc
The website On The Real just posted a long, informative interview with St. John Frizell, Red Hook resident and Fort Defiance owner. They chat about the state of Red Hook in the late nineties, what drew Frizell to the neighborhood before any bars had opened on Van Brunt Street, where he learned to make cocktails and opening Fort Defiance. Of course he discusses the huge challenges the neighborhood faced after Hurricane Sandy and what it took to reopen Fort Defiance. Definitely worth a listen.
Radio On The Real. St. John Frizell. [On The Real NYC]
Photo by Craig LaCourt via OTR
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row house
Address: 168 Hancock Street
Cross Streets: Nostrand and Marcy Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1881, addition added 1890s
Architectural Style: Neo-Grec
Architect: M. J. Morrill, addition by Montrose Morris
Other Work by Architect: Morrill-houses on Berkeley Place, Park Slope, also Prospect Heights; Morris-houses in Bed Stuy, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights North, Arlington, Alhambra, Roanoke, Imperial, Renaissance Apartment buildings, among other buildings.
Landmarked: Almost. Part of soon to be designated Bedford Historic District.
The story: This house has a connection to the first Dutch settlers in Brooklyn, a prominent real estate auctioneer, a famous Brooklyn architect and a mysterious tie to prohibition. All of this is wrapped up in a very large house with a very large yard on one of the most prominent streets in Bedford Stuyvesant.
The house is one of a group of three Neo-Grec style, four-story brownstones designed by M.J. Morrill for developer H. A. Weed. Morrill, who designed brownstones and other buildings in several brownstone neighborhoods, used his signature “v” shaped bays, creating something a bit unusual for a block soon to be filled with eclectic homes. This house is different from the others because it includes a double lot of land adjacent to the house, which has boundaries that stretch behind the five houses to the east of this house, giving the owner a great deal of land.
The first owner of the house was the Jeremiah (Jere) Johnson family. If you are a devotee of Brooklyn’s architectural history, you’ve run across the Johnson name often. Jere Johnson was the owner of Brooklyn’s largest real estate auction house. There are literally thousands of ads in the Eagle announcing auctions of property and sometimes the contents of estates from 1872 until 1902 when digitization of the paper stops. (more…)