House of the Day: 6 South Oxford Street


There are no interior photos of this brownstone in Fort Greene at 6 South Oxford Street, probably for good reason. We’ve heard from more than one neighbor about the poor condition of the house, which reportedly has birds and squirrels living inside. The listing says, “Bring your contractor and architect to design the home of your dreams. This four-story, three-family building requires a complete makeover, including new mechanicals, floors, stairs, roof, electric and brownstone re-facing.” According to PropertyShark, it’s a three-family. Do you think the sellers will get their asking price of $2,750,000 for what is, basically, a shell?
6 South Oxford Street [Douglas Elliman] GMAP P*Shark

33 Comment

  • LMAO

    I’m sure there are comps in Brooklyn, but that ask is more than 9 Commerce St (West Village) got less than a year ago. The Cherry Lane 1826 federal 21′ TH in a superior location and much more historically significant fetched $2.15 in 2007, $2.45 in 2010, and $2.65 in June, 2012. It still doesn’t have electricity.

    What have shells around the brownstone belt been going for? I’m assuming around $1.5M?

  • Interesting. I believe I just saw a mention in some publication or maybe on a blog that this home was just acquired by a group of investors for $1.5 cash. Appears that they’ve literally just turned around and put it back on the market for nearly double their acquisition cost. Anyone know if this is true?

    • i heard 1.3 but yes, it’s true.

      • So essentially the same story as 9 Commerce (nobody actually did any renovation, and it got flipped multiple times).

        150 Bond was a shell and took a severe beating post-Lehman. The One Girl Cookie folks bought it and (*gasp*) finished it out to LIVE IN. Much bigger corner house, 3 garage stalls, not in any way a comp – but it also didn’t have a gaping hole in the roof.

        374 Pacific lacked both a roof and a back wall when it sold at auction. How long has the developer been working on that (off and on) – 2.5 years and counting?

        $1.5M and $1.3M for those two non-comps, both of which dwarf this listing in sqaure footage..

  • People are paying these prices for houses in Clinton Hill; I’d be surprised if this place doesn’t sell for over $3M for an all cash buyer. Beautiful street few houses away from the park.

  • This house is in desperately bad shape. It has a gigantic hole in the roof where rain (and snow) has been pouring in for a very long time and the lower part of one side has eroded away. There are cracks running up the sides and parts of the house occasionally fall into neighboring yards. According to neighbors the owner intentionally let it fall into decay – can’t say whether this is true or not. The back windows of the house have been open for years through snow and rain and it is one large pigeon coup. The birds will be so sad when it is restored although it will finally cut down on the vast pigeon population within the backyards on this block. The chimney is tilting into the roof due to the large hole. I doubt one can even call this a shell. I think it is a complete rebuild.

  • stranger things have happened

    (edit, nevermind, thought it said south portland)

  • I (rented) a flat across the street from this address for three years. It is one of the best streets in one of the best parts of NYC. That tells me the sky is the limit. Never underestimate what a rich person will pay to live in a brownstone.

    However, if none of the interior historical fixtures are salvageable (and perhaps not even the facade), then I’m not sure.

  • Well if 20whatever on South Portland sold close to $4mil. You figure this place probably needs 200k a floor so figure a million dollar reno,(which is probably on the high end) its right up there with a comp around the corner. If 7 Arlington Pl sold for $1.8 why wouldn’t a more desirable location not sell for $2.75? I bet this is gone already…

    • Based on recent experience, not sure a million does it if it needs facades and mechanicals. Forget about HVAC and a new roof.

    • Not really they want to sell as is for $2.75m.
      Please see our description above. Also we walked thru with an experienced contractor who priced the renovation / reconstruction at around $300K per floor and an additional $300K for asbestos abatement on the roof, new windows, and new brownstone facade. The biggest worry is obviously changing SRO status and getting permits…can easily take 1-3 years while paying the mortgage!
      We do agree the location is very good :)

  • Place is an SRO. No way it goes for that. No one in residential understands what that means. 3 year iffy process where former tenants can live there if no certificate of non harassment which this doesn’t have. A passed on it a year ago at a lower price and I specialize in hairy stuff.

  • Ok we are late but here is what we know: We tried purchasing this place but backed out during negotiations due to a lack of Certificate of Non-Harassement and the overall abysmal condition of the house.

    This is by far the worst place we’ve seen including properties with trees growing in them up in Harlem. The roof has a gaping hole in it with consequential flood damage to all the joists and floors. The back wall is collapsing and will need to be rebuilt from scratch. There are a few beams collapsed thru out the building notably in the cellar and 2 & 3rd floors. All the stairs are completely rotted and the very few plaster details that are left aren’t salvageable given the extent of water damage. There are no baths or kitchens to speak of and the whole house was dotted with overflowing plastic tubs to catch rain water and snow on the palor and 3rd floors. The facade and windows speak for themselves and of course this is not habitable at this time. It will need new everything from structural walls, plumbing, electricity, wiring, joists, floors etc.

    It was so dangerous walking around given all the huge holes in the floor and rotting wood supports that the owners made us sign waivers before entering the house.

    The only thing good here is the location and land which is clearly not worth anything close to this silly listing price. As others have mentioned there are no comps!

    And yes it sold for $1.3m so seems rather ballsy to re-list for $2.7m without doing a thing. Ridiculous is putting it mildly!

  • Curious why PropertyShark has it listed as a three-family even though its an SRO. Pierre, do you know? Just a mistake?

    • Don’t know why people keep calling this an SRO or a three family. One family lived in the building for at least 20 years. It’s a fact. Also a fact, no one lives there now so there’s no reason for a CO Harassment. I don’t know what pierre’s talking about. The previous owner refused to entertain offers.

  • With Pierre we appear to finally have an intelligent commentator on this thread who apparently has some experience in SROs. Most people don’t understand what they involve. Without the cert, any former resident could live in your place for nearly free after you have spent a fortune renovating. And, what’s even better of course, is you can’t get approval for any C of O — meaning good luck renovating legally! There is a sucker born every minute… and this listing is designed to attract them. If the market cleared $1.3m a month ago, does anyone honestly believe it is worth more? I bid on the place last year and it was one of those bids, despite being well below the current ask but modestly above 1.3m, where I was sweating bullets. I pulled out even though I do this stuff for a living. I could be wrong but whoever bought it at 1.3m probably realized the challenges ahead and is hoping to get out whole with a ballsy mark up. Good luck! Sometimes one has to learn by mistakes. For fun look at 278 Clinton Ave. 10m ask but down by half and heading lower — an SRO designation is like a very bad STD. It can be dealt with but it isn’t fun, turns most people off, and doesn’t go away easily. If only there were drugs to take to decrease the headaches and flu-like symptoms caused by litigation and NYC housing court!

    • IT”S NOT AN SRO! Pierre- what year did you actually presume to have looked at this place? A FAMILY, then one man lived here since at least the early 90s. Yes, I know what I’m talking about.

      • Hey we looked at the place this past March and even the owners weren’t sure of the status. After much research we went to the DOB and pulled the records with that great Brooklyn Architect Scott Schnall and yes IT IS AN SRO!
        Listen believe it or not the man that lived there in the squalid conditions was the actual owner. He came in 2 to 3 nights per week. We know this place cold since we own a house just one block away. Also very experienced in SRO and bought our current house after a Cert of Non-Harassement was delivered by the seller!!!

  • To waste even more time anyone interested should check out the class 2 “major violations” from the DOB on this place — building has long been a magnet for problems with many uncured violations for which any new owner will be held liable (including penalties). LLCs won’t shelter you and the liability could be personal and possibly worse. I love this stuff — and at the right price it makes sense. But the ask is absurd and I consider it community service to help the residential neophytes understand the issues. They have still-active violations going back 20 years. The gall of the sellers! They are clearly hoping to find a residential chump with no experience. There should be a whistleblower law for this kind of misleading advertising (… they don’t even mention it is an SRO in the listing…). As much as I loathe Wall Street, this sort of behavior rival’s Wall Street’s worst misdeeds. The broker should be ashamed… and sanctioned in my view.

    • Sigh. You guys, who will never begin to ever afford this building, know so little about this address. The violations came fromt neighbors trying urge the resident out of the building. People will do anything to get an eyesore like this off their block.

      • Hey Pretzel we are only trying to shed light and the absurd pricing. Have you been in any direct contacts? Sigh but see above comments…we even have an extensive collection of photos and a video of our walk thru!

      • Pretzelwagon is right that it is a great location. I agree with that. But he clearly is a neophyte dealing with SROs (since he ostensibly didn’t realize it is an SRO despite a DOB designation —- either that or he is the broker in which case there should be a law against what he is doing). All I know, as a specialist in this stuff, is that it is a very tough case with huge headaches. My last comments on an SRO on Brownstoner (278 Clinton) were met with similar derision by shills but have been validated… price reduced, place unsold and they decided to go through the hell of getting the cert. I have spent enough time in this business to believe there should be a law against unethical brokers and sellers. SRO issues should be disclosed and the truth should not be obscured. Some people have no shame.

      • Ha – as if boiler and landmarks violations came from the neighbors. No doubt they contributed to some of the violations — but this is 20 years worth of uncured violations and that isn’t even the tough part. Enjoy having an SRO tenant from the 90s, when this place was a war zone, getting nearly free room and board once you have put $2m into this place. NYC courts aren’t exactly landlord friendly for these certs. Burn the cash if you have it — it’s the best way to learn.

        • Of corse its an SRO just look it up.(http://www.nyc.gov-type in the address) The SRO can be cured if you are willing to spend some time. When researching a Letter of non Harassment they go back to tenants of the last 3 years (they find them through phone and electric records). That letter on an un occupied building would take anywhere from 3 months to a year to procure. The other violations could also be cured. Again time. figure a year before construction can legally begin. Then another year till and end user could move in. I’d budget 1.250 mil based on the condition and work required to bring the house back to a nice (not super high end) home. then in todays market in that location I wouldn’t be shocked at a 3.2 Mil sale. So how much is your time and money worth and you can figure a proper value for the shell. Hint, its a lot less then 2.75mil but more then the 1.3 someone reported the sale.

  • I hope there aren’t that many people at the open house; the floor might not take it.