For Rent Signs up at Dixon Properties All Over Brooklyn

605-decatur-street-012314

We’ve been noticing sleek black signs advertising Town Residential rentals all over Bed Stuy and a few in other neighborhoods in Brooklyn. When we saw one on 605 Decatur Street, above, a wreck and former House of the Day that is notable for breaking a price barrier when it sold for $678,000 in May, we realized they are Dixon properties. (Town is the exclusive broker for Dixon.)

We were eager to see how Dixon had transformed 605 Decatur, and so quickly. But it’s not actually for rent yet, Dixon told us. “Actually we are being a little cheeky,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Dixon Advisory USA Alan Dixon said. “We have Town signs on all the properties we own, including the ones we are waiting for Landmarks and/or DOB approval to get started on construction. So if you see the sign, we own it, but it may not necessarily be ready to rent for quite some time.”

That said, Dixon has just finished renovating several Brooklyn properties and put up the listings last night. We went to see two of them in person, as well as another that started leasing in December.

We were impressed. The three properties, all in Bushwick, represent a range in quality, but even the most inexpensively renovated unit is still leagues better than the average newly renovated rental or flip in Brooklyn. In fact, we’re sorry Dixon isn’t in the flipping business, because we think these are exactly the kind of renovations Brooklyn buyers want but can’t find.

If there was an original detail, they left it. They upgraded mechanicals, kitchens, and baths, reinforced staircases, and put in central air and full size washers and vented gas dryers. All the lighting is industrial vintage in style, and Dixon also planted beautiful no-maintenance backyards.

Dixon converted two of the properties to one-families and made the third, too large to be a one-family, into a two-unit building. They are also converting other properties in Bed Stuy and elsewhere to one-families. “We are happy to go against the crowd,” said Dixon. Short term, it’s easier to deal with one group of tenants than two, he said. “Long term, we believe so strongly in Brooklyn that we believe that ultimately it will be the one families that trade at significant premiums to two- to four-families as is the case in the old established neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side.”

As one would expect, the asking monthly rents are at the high end of the market, particularly considering all three properties are not in the hottest areas of Bushwick, but we predict they will get them, or close. All the apartments are no fee (Dixon pays Town), and Dixon also pays an unheard-of 12 percent commission to any renter’s broker.

So far, Dixon has rented 24 properties in Brooklyn, said Town agent Josh Carney.

Interior shots and garden at 1226 Putnam by Dixon.

1226-putnam-exterior-012314

Above, the exterior of 1226 Putnam Street, a tiny Gothic-Italianate with an extension that Dixon converted back into a one-family.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_43_4_5

The upstairs front bedroom.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_37_8_9

The rear upstairs bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_25_6_7

The entrance hall with its new chandelier. Dixon leveled and replaced the floors throughout the house with wide-plank oak.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_13_4_5

The backyard won’t require weeding or watering; the grass is actually artificial turf. The wood fencing is new.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_07_8_9

The kitchen has gray subway tile with gray grout, vintage style pulls, plenty of storage space and white quartz counters.

1226PutnamStBrooklyn_01_2_3

The front parlor was converted into a third bedroom.

113SchaeferStBrooklyn_34_5_6

Above, the kitchen and common space in the ground floor unit at 113 Schaefer Street.

113SchaeferStBrooklyn_40_1_2

The kitchen in the upstairs unit at 113 Schaefer Street features cupboards wrapped with an inexpensive but stylish faux-grain surface.

113SchaeferStBrooklyn_43_4_5

A bathroom.

1333-decatur-1-012314

The house at 1333 Decatur Street, above, has the most elaborate original detail and the highest-end renovation. It can sleep at least five people and has marble-tile baths, LG appliances, pier mirrors, and built-ins. It was originally built as a two-family with two floor-through apartments, but Dixon converted it to a one-family and turned the upstairs kitchen into a bathroom with a tiled wet area that contains both a standalone tub and a shower. There is also a finished basement with a separate entrance that could be useful as a workshop or rehearsal space.

1333-decatur-2-012314

1333-decatur-street-3-012314

1333-decatur-street-4-012314

1333-decatur-garden-012314

The backyard at 1333 Decatur Street is automatically watered with an irrigation system. The wood fence is new.

38 Comment

  • Well, this is nice to see. Isn’t Dixon one of those investment firms that was recently accused of buying up property all over, but then not renovating or putting anything on the market? At least these are nice renos.

    • Yeah, pretty sweet – I wonder who their contractor is? Love that kitchen with the gray tile.

    • Yes, they were. I think they were causing panic with their fast buying, and renovations of course take time, especially in landmark districts. They may have also had two phases, first a period of rapid buying where they only bought properties and didn’t renovate, and now a period of renovation when they turn those properties into attractive rentals.

      They appeared in Jersey City before Brooklyn and were highly praised for their renovations there, so this is not a big surprise.

  • adam_dahill

    I think these look fantastic! They did a really nice simple renovation without getting too trendy.

    -Adam Dahill
    https://www.facebook.com/AdamDahillMortgageMaster

  • ” In fact, we’re sorry Dixon isn’t in the flipping business, because we think these are exactly the kind of renovations Brooklyn buyers want but can’t find.”
    exactly!!! these renovations are by far leagues above those you see with the exposed brick walls and tacky bathroom tiles.
    while there are a few things that i would have done differently, ie, the light fixutre over the kitchen sink is a wtf. why not a cabinet with under counter lighting??
    and one of my pet peeves (among many) is the too small medicine cabinet that’s mounted too high off the sink.

    • oops in this case, it’s not even a cabinet but a mirror. even worse. put a medicine cabinet in the bathroom so people have a place to put some toiletries in.

      • daveinbedstuy

        Yes but it’s a nice mirror and there are drawers in the vanity to keep all that stuff. My master bath had two pedestal sinks with Restoration Hardware mirrors and I had a marlbe top vamity in between them with a large drawer on top…enough room for everything, plus a cabinet below. It works with drawers. And, these mirrors look a lot better than your ordinary plaine medicine cabinets.

        • The first bathroom doesn’t have *anything*, though, no drawers below the sink and no medicine cabinet. I still fail to understand those sinks on pillars without any kind of cabinets below. Why would you waste all that space?

          • exactly!
            sinks on pillars…bahaha.
            storage in apartments is so sparse as it is, utilize every inch (cue dibs). vanities in bathrooms are a no brainer.

          • daveinbedstuy

            Because I built a huge ensuite master bath with a lot of space

          • “Because I built a huge ensuite master bath with a lot of space”
            well, la de da.
            we’re talking about the one bedroom at 113 shaefer with a dinky pedestal sink and nowhere to but ajax and tilex, not YOUR ensuite bathroom

          • daveinbedstuy

            In the photo above? How do you know that mirror isn’t part of a recessed medicine cabinet????? Most are recessed and would look just like that.

        • I meant in 113 schaefer street. The beige bathroom with the pedestal sink.
          and while i’m at it, ef pedestal sinks unless they’rr in powder rooms. Give me a vanity so i have a undersink cab to put my tilex.

  • lamb

    nicely done… the house they fixed up on bedford avenue in the northside turned out really well too. these may not be as dumb everyone thought they were when news first broke about them snapping up 1-3 family houses around the borough. this type of reno seems to reinforce the idea that these guys much more concerned with appreciation than yield. they’ll probably manage only a modest positive carry in the early years of these investments, but quality work like this sets them up for a juicy exit further down the road.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Pet peeve…..I hope the refrigerators have ice makers. They probably do not though. Easy enough to add later though

  • I’m looking at the layouts and ooooof, not good.
    113 shaefer – they put the duplex on the bottome two floors and single unit on top floor :(
    and the layouts of the apts are odd.

  • Those are nice. What is their pet policy?

  • 1226 putnam – another bad layout for a single family. why does a small 3 bed house need 3 bathrooms ANd a powder room.
    and no dining area????
    should have put bedroom in back where kithcen is and done front two rooms kitchen/dining and living.

    • Cate

      I just have to mention that if you don’t need more than two bedrooms, this house could be converted in about two seconds by removing the partition between the front and middle rooms on the ground floor. Wide doorways connect all three rooms on the ground floor, and it would be very attractive with the dining room in the middle looking out onto the garden.

      • how do you convert that 1st floor in 2 seconds if you want to remove the partition and powder room and have to file with the DOB, get someone to
        draw plans, sign and seal, get a contractor, pull a permit. and then they actually do the work, which will take a couple of weeks. The whole process will be about two months if all goes smoothly.

        • Cate

          How strange! I thought that powder room was a closet. It’s not a legal bedroom without a closet. The original doorway can be opened without affecting the bathroom (perhaps the floor plan is not to scale), though of course I agree with you you’d want to get rid of the bathroom.

          Other nice changes for an owner occupant would be moving the door to the bathroom off the middle room to the hall (it could be a pocket door) and turning the upstairs en suite bathroom into a third (small) bedroom for a baby, an office, or a closet.

          Two bathrooms are plenty for a small family, but more are nice for roommates. Good point about the permits.

  • brooklynnative78

    i am so glad the last house i bid on and won, the owner chose to sell to us over these guys despite their higher bid. was getting tired of seeing Newton Jets LLC pop up on every miss !

  • bklynist

    This makes me feel a little better. There is a house with one of these signs on Decatur St near Malcolm X and they totally gutted the place. I figured it was a typical quick flip (another house on the block, 401 Decatur, was also gutted recently — lots of marble and original wood detail ended up in a dumpster). I can’t imagine the Dixon one was totally lacking in original detail, but I guess you never know. Hopefully, they do a nice renovation and prove my initial fears wrong.

  • These guys are going to make a killing. They are working a long range plan, parking their money in places of clear and insistence growth.

  • Yeah — they put a sign up on the building next to me that they gutted last month and haven’t done anything to since. Hoping they come back and finish soon so I can take down all the plastic I put up after all the dust came billowing through my brick on Day one of their demo.

  • We only got the chance to buy the house (in Clinton Hill) we are in the process of buying because these guys pulled out of the deal (they had outbid us). The house had some complexities, as do many, we figured they just didn’t want to deal, or maybe they were just done acquiring (fairly recently). A bit curious as to why, though.