House of the Day: 260 Decatur Street

The Bed Stuy listings just keep on coming. Here’s one we can sink our teeth into, with plenty of details and some interesting decor choices. The mechanicals have been updated, according to the listing, and most of the original details are in place. Just what we love to hear! Such details include a pier mirror, fretwork, built-ins, pocket doors, bay windows, stained glass, shutters, original closets, and mantels. The entrance is particularly stunning, with a ton of woodwork, a hat rack, a seat, and a little shelf, and what appears to be the original painted ceiling. The building is currently configured as two floor-through rentals over an owner’s duplex. They’re asking $2,000,000. That is quite close to the current Bed Stuy residential record holder, 254 Gates Avenue, designed by the Parfitt Brothers, which closed for $2,200,000 in January. Think they’ll get it?

260 Decatur Street [Corcoran] GMAP

27 Comment

  • This is another beautiful Bed Stuy house. Those of us who have lived here a long time, are not surprised at the wealth of details in these houses, especially on this, and other surrounding blocks. They were built as spec houses for the upper middle class, and it shows in the kinds of details present.

    But, again, can we stop the madness? This is not a 2 million dollar house. This is not yet a $2 million dollar neighborhood. I have no doubt it will be, whether I like it or not, but it isn’t here yet. Real estate today in Central Brooklyn reminds me of prospectors discovering diamonds in the Transvaal. The riches are being mined, some people are getting rich, but the everyone else is still living in the townships, trying to survive. ( Ok, it’s not THAT bad, but you get the point.)

    This house, specifically is not a 2 million dollar house. Too much of the woodwork is painted, too much is gone, and a lot of other detail are gone, as well. I love the patterned floor, but that’s not enough to spend that kind of money. The kitchen and probably the bathrooms would not be to everyone’s $2mill tastes, either.

    Corcoran, and other big RE companies – twenty years ago, you didn’t know Bed Stuy existed, and wouldn’t touch it with a gloved hand. Now you’ve got a beachhead with the most expensive real estate in the neighborhood. There is going to come a time, hopefully soon, when buyers wake up, and realize this is nuts. Let’s have some realistic pricing so that the neighborhood can develop in a sane way, for the good of many. Otherwise, you’ve only created another commuter neighborhood, where people sleep here, and then commute not only to work, but to shop, dine, school their children, go to entertainment, etc, and their money goes with them. Not good.

    • MM, I 100% agree with you this is outrageous!
      Lovely home overall. – Turn key property.
      This would have been a better investment property for that developer who purchased on Jefferson. At least he would not have had to do many if any renovations. The parlor floor has been closed off with a wall, so it is at least set-up as a proper 2 family.
      With that said, there are much more elegant ways to handle doing that rather than that hideous sheet rock wall, as we have learned from our dear Reno Dakota.
      21st Century – lets start being more innovative PLEASE!
      Bed-Stuy is an upcoming neighborhood, but has not arrived at that value yet.
      This house is beautiful, but has some really kooky renovations here and there.
      I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it gets this price…Side-note has anyone contemplated the fact that this country has a trillion dollar deficit and we might be starting a new war in Africa. I’m curious of the impact on this booming real-estate market.

    • WOW I Love you MM. This is quite possibly the best & most accurate comment I’ve ever read on hear.

  • If I spend $2 MM,and even lesser amounts, I don’t want to have to share my hallways and entry with tenants who live above me.

  • This is a huge house. At 2M, it works out to about $454/sq ft. I won’t be surprised if they sell for asking or more.

  • I went to the open house this weekend. The house had a great vibe overall. The current owners have an artistic temperament and that came through nicely in the aesthetics. One bonus of the house is the really high ceilings and large size of the cellar. I agree with Montrose Morris that prices have have gone up at an alarming rate in Bed Stuy. Even in the current crazy-town market, I think that this house is overpriced by a bit, at least $100,000 or so. There is a great comp around the corner at 407 Stuyvesant (http://www.bhsusa.com/brooklyn/stuyvesant-avenue/townhouse/9028954). We also went to the Stuyvesant open house this weekend. It was a real gem. A beautiful time capsule. At 1.8 million and just steps from Fulton Park and the A train, it seemed like a much better deal to me. But it also illustrates how steeply the prices have been going up. 407 Stuyvesant was on sale in 2011 for $925,000. Is the market so hot that it can justify prices doubling in 2 years? I wonder…

  • I like everything about it except the kitchen, which I think is really quite awful. Why put THAT kitchen in THIS house?

  • It’s a lovely house, obviously. But the renovation is kinda bare bones with much left to be done. Looking closely at the Corco photos, you can see plenty that still needs attention: layers and layers of paint on much of the woodwork; gloppy varnish on the floors; unrepaired window moldings; cracked fireplace tiles. Of course, these details don’t HAVE to be fixed but for $2million wouldn’t most buyers WANT them to be? Then there are the issues that Montrose raises. BedStuy is a beautiful community but it simply doesn’t have the amenities of brownstone neighborhoods that gentrified at a (slightly) saner pace. I’ve heard brokers say they think it’s over-heated. Buyers beware!

  • When Boerum Hill and Park Slope command $3-4m for the same caliber/size home then this is a $2m house. This escalation of home prices is just. There is a limited amount ( few good)on the market and they simply don’t make brownstones anymore. In the $1-2m range these homes are a steal considering most other brownstone based neighborhoods. Ultimately the housing stock is the draw and rightfully so. In this case the amenities will follow the the people and the prices. House on Jefferson just sold for $1.8 (thanks Amzi). This neighborhood is HERE and will remain hot because of the great homes.

    • These prices aren’t just, they are absurd.

      I feel as if I was struck by the old curse, “May you live in interesting times.” I’m the longest posting, staunchest Bed Stuy booster on this blog, and have been since 2007. At that time, the few of us who lived and/or bought property here were lambasted on a regular basis for daring to say that we enjoyed living here. Our motives were suspect, and I remember a couple of really nasty 100 plus comment posts where we were accused of all kinds of stupid stuff, including lying about our supposed happiness and safety to keep “propping up the prices of your dangerous hood,” in order to protect our obviously stupid real estate choices. We were accused of lying about crime stats, and those of us who touted the superiority of the housing stock, with intact period details and large houses, were blind to the reality of where we lived. I was even told it might be ok for me, because I’m black, but the neighborhood was too dangerous for white folks. And white folks with children? Not in a million years!

      Since that time, Corcoran and Prudential and the other companies “discovered” they could make big bucks here, and ever since then, Bed Stuy has been hotter than hot. And here we are today, with 2 million dollar houses in Bed Stuy. The million years sure went by fast.

      Yeah, if this house was in Park Slope, it would cost more. So what? It’s not in Park Slope. It’s not in Boerum Hill, it’s in Bedford Stuyvesant, and it’s always going to be in Bedford Stuyvesant. The six years that passed since I was “propping up my hood” have seen many changes in the old neighborhood, with a huge influx of new white, black, Asian and Latino folk, both renters and buyers, and some great new restaurants, and a store or two, but that’s it. Fulton Street is still mostly the same, the Chinese food places and many of the liquor stores still hide behind plexiglass, and the majority of the people you pass on the street on your way to your $2 million dollar home make much less than the median income. This is a great and wonderful neighborhood, full of history, tradition and culture. But it’s still a working class neighborhood, and still has some real economic and social challenges; it’s not millionaire’s row.

      I’ve said it before, and I”ll continue to say it. Such a vast gap between those who can afford $2 million dollar houses, surrounded by those who make $30K a year, or less, is no good for anyone. Lets have some calmer heads and some judicious city planning, and some rational housing prices. There is nothing inherently wrong with prices reflecting the superior housing stock, and the inherent greatness of the neighborhood. I love Bed Stuy passionately, and want it to be a success. But a success for the majority, as well, with jobs and education and opportunities for those who have been here for decades, or are just coming of age now. They deserve to reap the rewards of Bed Stuy’s “hotness”, and not just be in place for the boot to kick them out.

      • MM, you have been spot on, on all of the issues at hand here that come along with these crazy prices coming into a working class neighborhood. I hate to be the one to point out the Elephant in the room, but the reality is at the extreme pace these prices are jumping relative to the median income of the neighborhood – This scenario does not look good for either newcomers or longtime residents. I mean at this rate the kind of tension being generated between the two is not the makings of a culturally amazing neighborhood, but rather a quick demise and a very divided hostile one.
        I look out my window right now and see 4 police officers having to stand by on the corner as means of maintaining peace, because of this disparity.
        Everyone really should stop making the comparison to Park Slope/ Clinton Hill – Neighborhoods which have had time to establish themselves, thus warranting their prices. As far as I’m concerned the only valuable thing on Fulton St. is the Roti Shop btwn. Arlington Pl. and Nostrand Ave. people literally come from all over NY though they may have moved out of the neighborhood for this particular Roti Shop. They have amazing food for a fair price- But I don’t if you can build as MM more so eloquently stated a “Millionaires Row” on that alone. This is also not the flavor of Bed-Stuy in general.

        • The sad irony is, of course, that it’s probably at least partially in part to your work, Montrose, that Bed Stuy has been “discovered.” Not entirely, of course–but in part. I wish there was more profit in it for you!

  • In the end, blog posts and opinions won’t slow or perpetuate the pace, market conditions will. The big sales are getting all the attention, but there is a steady parade of renters and folks willing and able to buy in the hottest, up and coming area in Brooklyn. There is movement in upper and lower ends of both buying and renting. The neighborhood will always have a mix of wealth and poverty, sort of a unique feature of block by block urban living…not for everyone.

    By the way, some people of means have lived in Bed Stuy for years, lawyers, doctors, business owners etc.

    • I’m well aware of the lawyers, doctors, etc. I lived on a block that had one of each, and I owned my own business, so I guess I was one of the elite. But on a block of a couple hundred souls, there were about 6 of them/us, and 194 of everyone else. The black elite have always been here, especially in Stuyvesant Heights. They, and the everyday working people that held two jobs so they could buy their homes, held Bed Stuy together for the last 60 years, so that there is something here that now everyone wants. That still doesn’t justify sky high pricing.

      I realize prices will rise, I just don’t see the prudence or justification for a house like this one,perhaps not this one specifically, but in the neighborhood in general, going from half a million in 2007 to two million in the space of 6 years. Especially in this economy where many people are still out of work, and foreclosures in this general area are still higher than the city average. Obviously the great wealth that is prompting these prices is not trickling down here.

      I think people see real estate and housing as only an investment that you happen to live in. When it appreciates, everyone gets all gaga and giddy. But a house is more than that, it’s where you live, it’s also part of a larger community of people. We aren’t little 20×50 islands, we are part of Bedford Stuyvesant, or wherever. As such, the community is better off when everything is better for everyone.

      • MM – YES! YES! YES!
        I’d also like to add a little more time on your clock – at least 75yrs not 60 :-)
        My great grandparents moved here in 1941 – that’s a little more than half the age of the neighborhood at least on our end which is about 125yrs. old closer to Nostrand Ave. /Fulton section.

        I’m almost kind of curious in the areas that have low inventory (Park S., Clinton Hill, etc) – is this in part due to the slow development and evolution of these areas vs. Bed-Stuy’s rapid changes. This is just a guess with no factual basis, but what if the low inventory is due to the fact no one wants to move and not about whether they can get the 3-4 million dollar prices. Also what if they are invested in simply protecting the quality and culture of their neighborhood and not allowing these Developers/ Brokers to rip it apart.

        • You are of course, right on those dates, Omar. In fact, there’s been a decent sized black presence here since the 1930s. My brain was fried. I’m sorry I’m no longer in BS, you would have been a great neighbor.

          • Aw! you are too kind. I would have loved to have you as a neighbor as well.
            MM, I was going mention that I know a few family’s who have been here since the 1930′s. I’m glad you did.

      • MM, my point is the market will ultimately correct and respond accordingly as speculation is clearly driving the current increases. We have all watched from afar as LES, Williamsburg, east village, etc. moved from open air drug markets to the places they are now. Along the way the transition was similar to what is happening here.

        There are multiple dimensions to this discussion. The neighborhood is improving for all. When I was a kid, I only knew of food deliveries from TV. Now you can have pizza, sushi, wine, and your groceries delivered. Empty Lots are becoming gardens. Crack houses have become apartments or homes and so many long forgotten homes have been beautifully restored by people who have fallen in love with the neighborhood and actively participate n it’s improvement. There is a reason why Morgan Munsey’s story the other day was compelling…because its BEd Stuy here and now. Perhaps he has a counterpart in Brownsville…but without a similar type of feeding frenzy, no one cares. I remember when no one cared about Bed Stuy.

  • This question/statement has been made many times and has not been answered.
    which schools are people that are Buying 2M dollar townhouses in bed stuy sending their kids to?
    or are these buyers all childless?

    • I think this is very good question. I’m curious myself with all of the newcomers in the area. Where are they sending their children to school?

    • I don’t think a 2M buyer has any interest in public schools. They are likely spending less on a house here, than in a more desirable neighborhood, and thus able to improve their quality of life by affording a private school, nanny, what have you. This happens in great school districts in the city as well as Long Island.

      I grew up here, and as my parents situation improved my younger sister went to a private school. Again, nothing new or unique here.

  • Given that everyone is so well informed on this blog, wondering if you could help me out.
    I see that 60 Hancock Street and 161 Hancock Street were sold in the past 6 months but there are simply no listings for either. Does anyone know what the story is with these two homes and how come they traded ownership at reasonable prices without being listed?
    Thank you

  • I have been in the neighborhood for a few years now and have kids. I plan on sending them to the public school I am zoned into.

  • Just a couple of comments based on the comments made so far.
    I don’t totally disagree with you MM…You makes some very good points and I am a big fan of yours here on the blog and have been for a long time. A big thanks for all of the time you put into things!
    It is alarming how quickly the prices have jumped. However, another comment I am in complete agreement with from another poster……it is a brownstone and it is Brooklyn and it winds up coming down to supply and demand. Yes, there is a big economic gap in bed stuy —-folks paying over 1M for a house and others who make below the average —however I find that throughout NYC…In fact look at Chelsea -and even Boereum Hill also has housing projects surrounding their million dollar townhouses – again with the vast gap in income.
    As a Bed Stuy resident and someone who has a family I was in fact getting concerned with the fact that people are buying and not necessarily interested in the community…..I wont lie…I have seen one or two people act that way. However, walking in Stuyvesant heights everyday you will notice that this in fact is NOT the case. Most are is looking for that neighborhood feel and takes pride in that. You will even notice that some of the block associations have even been stronger than ever!
    I have come from a very modest household growing up here in NYC and worked my tail off to purchase my brownstone and I am happy I was able to do so….I understand the want to have things affordable…I rented in ft. greene way before it started to change and I watched myself get priced out – however it gave me the goal and I worked to achieve it. So my point being —its the way of the world…..supply / demand will determine the prices and just like so many other nyc neighborhoods keeping things affordable for everyone is not very realistic.