House of the Day: 245 Greene Avenue

How much for a shell with a beautiful exterior and a few bits of architectural salvage thrown in? We’re asking because we suspect that’s all that remains of this once glorious 1890s brick and brownstone building located at 245 Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill. In fact, it might not even be a full shell if the walls have to rebuilt.

The Romanesque Revival building is landmarked. In fact, the 1981 designation report mentions that it was empty and sealed up even back then. In the 1970s, it was owned by the city, and then it passed to a private owner in 1984, who sold it in April to an LLC for $950,000. Now the ask is $1,995,000. What do you think of it?

245 Greene Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP

26 Comment

  • House flipping. It’s worth the same as the private company paid for it in April.

  • A million dollars worth of stabilization? Really? Save your million and put it into a house that not so ridiculously overinflated in initial cost. Since this is landmarked, and needs to be totally rebuilt to exacting specifications, it’s going to cost a big pile of money. It would cost a big pile of money anyway. Why would anyone pay that much, unless they’ve got money to burn?


    That said, I do like the rooms themselves. The house is certainly worth rescuing, and when someone does they’ll have a gorgeous place. I hope they keep the details. But the price is absurd.

  • so how much would you need to resell this for to break even if you buy for 2 mill and totally restore? 4 million?

    that’s not a 4 million dollar block. hell, it’s not even a 2 million dollar block.

  • Yeah, the price is crazy, but that room is a work of art created by Father Time. I’d totally secure that lead paint with a clear matte poly, throw some plexi up over the lath and I’m good to go! Or am I the crazy one?

  • At $950k, the purchase price comes out to about $350/sq. foot, which is probably on the low side for a Clinton Hill fixer-upper, but this house needs everything.

    The flipper and Corcoran have priced the house at $738/sq. foot, which is just about the average price per square foot in Clinton Hill today. This house is nowhere near average, and could easily cost upwards of $600k-$800k to renovate. At best, it’s going to cost a buyer around $900-$1,000/square foot to buy this brownstone. When there are turn-key brownstones in Clinton Hill selling at roughly $500/sq. foot, this pricing seems irrational.

    • I’m with you all the way until that last sentence… was $500/sf a typo?

    • no way 600-800k to restore. I’m getting quotes as high as 750k from contractors for my livable 4 story house. This is well over 1mm to restore. Contractors are out for blood right now!

      • to renovate in that range could be doable (can mean some much cheaper options), but to restore no way… gotta figure at least $350/sf to restore this. keep in mind your house is MUCH bigger. thank god you got in when you did!

      • What is up with these contractors? $1 million to renovate? Numbers like this make no sense.
        For $1 million you could hire a team of stone masons from Italy to fly out and live in the backyard for 3 months. For $1 million you could build a 3000 sq ft house from the ground up and fill it with $20,000 marble mantles from olde good things. For $1 million you could buy a Mansion in Detroit or Troy and have it moved to an empty lot next door to this thing.
        NYC is crazy.
        Plus a 16 year old was just shot a block away from here, right in front of the police station.

        • I agree with you about contractors. Highway robbery.

          You comment about the 16 year old being shot doesn’t have any bearing. A guy was stabbed multiple times this morning in Chelsea and their housing prices are 10 times that of Clinton Hill.

          • If Ikea or Home Depot wanted to start a contracting service with fixed rates just like their dreaded kitchen cabinets, they would make a killing.
            You’re right, crime doesn’t have any bearing. It should but it doesn’t. Neither do schools, in this market.
            Oddly, fireplace mantles have bearing. That’s all anyone seems to mention on this site. “Well, it needs $1 million in renovation, but boy are those mantles something!”

      • Contractors can see a clueless homeowner from a mile away and they price accordingly.

  • I’ve always wondered what was behind that forbidding facade. The front of it as it now stands is completely blocked up on the bottom level with two bunker-style holes. It’s interesting to see what’s behind those holes! Also, there’s some digging going on in the empty lot next to it, so it looks like there might be a new building going up to the side of it.

  • Also, if it sells and someone fixes it up, maybe that will finally help the seller directly across the street from this wreck. There’s been a “for sale” sign out in front for at least a year.

  • Does the neighborhood, as it stands today, support an expenditure of upwards of $4,000,000.? If the buyer chooses to make it a labor of love with the view of living in it for a while, one assumes the neighborhood will gentrify to that extent in a few years. Or, as things are going now, a two-car garage in Bushwick may be worth $2,000,000 in a few years and this lovely fixer upper in Clinton Hill will be worth 6 or 7. I think it has potential. For someone.

  • I toured this on sunday… beyond a wreck. the facade can be returned to its former glory, and you could save a couple mantels, but not much else. this is a full gut–a very expensive one if you want to recreate the unsalvageable period details. 1.995m/2700sf = $738/sf = GTFO. you gotta bake in some margin to justify the time and headaches of reviving this and that means a MUCH lower price.

  • finally! i lived next door to this house for almost 6 years. i knew the owner a little, he lived in bed stuy but would come by every so often to ‘fix up’ the place (you could hear him hammering away at gods-knows-what in there). i knew he was holding out for a payday, i guess he got it considering the house i was in (243) sold in 2000 for $185K.

    i would love to know more about this little clutch of houses, there are 6 i think in a row, all of similar design. they’re really narrow (15ft), my place was gutted into 5 units somehow.

    • There’s a brief writeup about the row in the designation report. They say it’s circa 1894 and they know the name of the builder but not the architect. Plus there is a bit of architectural description.

  • Maybe a movie studio should buy this, leave it as is, and use it for a set every time they need something to look like 1980s NYC.

  • I would love to know more about this house, since I just found out that my Great Grandmother Adelaide Louise Gingell lived there until her death in 1904. I can only image what it must have looked like brand new, filled with all kinds of wonderful furniture and decorations. Knowing almost nothing about this side of my family, this is a gem to me. We have no pictures of anyone other than my grandmother, and I do wish that I could at least go visit this house… even in it’s condition. If anyone has any more historical information on this home, please share. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle historical archives have been tremendous in providing articles about a number of my deceased family members. I live in California, have never been to NY, but wish that some day I get to Brooklyn where this portion of my family came from. I also have found my great grandfather many times over, William S. Vaughan, who was a sailing captain of the War of 1812 Sackets Harbor. Anyway…any input? Thanks NY!