2015_05_17 Pierhouse 47

You may have thought the movement to save the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade was dead, since the lawsuit over the Pierhouse development was decided in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s favor in June, but community group Save the View Now is hoping to resurrect its case. Last week the organization filed a motion to amend its complaint and renew its motion for a preliminary injunction based on what claims is newly discovered evidence that the developer, Toll Brothers and others involved in the project misrepresented the use of the controversial 30-foot bulkhead that blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City, Empire State Development Corp, Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital have always contended that the bulkhead, which exceeds the legally mandated building height of 100 feet but is not counted as part of the building, was needed to house the building’s mechanicals since, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they could no longer be located in the basement. Save the View Now says it has uncovered plans that show that the bulkhead will be used for more frivolous purposes than housing mechanicals. (more…)

city-point-6-060415

As of Monday, applications are now being taken for 200 affordable units in the first City Point tower, now under construction in Downtown Brooklyn. Brick Underground was the first to notice that the lottery had opened through NYC Housing Connect.

The least expensive units are studios for $500 a month for those earning between $18,515 and $24,200 a year. One-bedroom units range from $538 a month to $2,038 a month depending on income levels.

The most expensive units are two-bedroom units for $2,455 a month for those earning between $85,612 a year and, at the top end, $142,395 a year. City Point’s website has full list of income requirements or it can be viewed as a PDF here.

Half of the units will go to those already residing within Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, and 5 percent will be set aside for municipal employees. Another 5 percent will be set aside for mobility impaired applicants and 2 percent will be set aside for those with visual or hearing impairments.

(more…)

07/29/15 9:30am

154 Lenox Road

Most likely setting a record for the neighborhood, this detached frame house at 154 Lenox Road recently sold for $3,550,000. The sale hit public records earlier this month. The two-and-half-story house is large for Brooklyn at a hair over 3,000 square feet. And it has a garage in the back.

But we’re willing to bet it’s not the spacious wraparound front porch or whatever period details remain inside that helped this seller get such a high price. (more…)

07/28/15 11:43am

eric adams

After confronting problems with bad landlords and tenant harassment, at a pair of hearings earlier this month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, in an article in City & State, tries to take on gentrification.

For well over a decade people in Brooklyn have been complaining about it, hoping for it, praising it and condemning it — and moving in and out of Brooklyn because of it. Just about everyone has a different definition of what it is, what causes it, how it changes neighborhoods and whether it is good, bad, inevitable or some combination of all of the above.

That’s Adams above, flanked by tenant advocates, announcing the hearings last month. One more is scheduled for July 26 (you can read all about it here).

Adams singles out four issues he says amplify problems associated with gentrification:

Tenant Harassment
The first is criminal harassment of tenants in an effort to empty units so the landlord can take advantage of rising rents. After an outpouring of horror stories from tenants whose landlords had denied them heat, hot water, or sanitary living conditions at the hearings he hosted earlier in the month, Adams is referring cases to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and to the state attorney general’s office for prosecution. (more…)

up-house-072815

Some of the last buildings that the government seized from their longtime owners in order to make way for the Atlantic Yards project are likely to be demolished soon. Demolition permits were filed on Thursday for 491, 493 and 495 Dean Street. The three 19th century row houses sit close to the corner of 6th Avenue, right across from Barclays Center in Prospect Heights.

The buildings, pictured below (491 is on the left), were part of a long dispute with developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City and the then Empire State Development Corporation. Eventually, the owners and their families, some of whom had lived here for generations, were ordered by the state to vacate the properties in September of 2014 and reportedly had 90 days to do so. The sums they were offered by the state for the properties were not made public. (more…)

07/27/15 12:20pm

735 and 737 Bushwick Avennue

Tenants in two buildings on Bushwick Avenue are being evicted to make way for a renovation, according to a tipster. “Although they tried to fight it the tenants are getting evicted,” she told us. “Construction is set to start in a month.”

We checked into permits at 735 and 737 Bushwick Avenue, and sure enough, the owner is planning to add a fourth floor to each building and increase the number of units. (One will go from three to seven units, and the other from three to six.) The plans were filed this month but have not yet been approved.

This is one example of change taking place all up and down Bushwick Avenue and throughout the neighborhood. We have noted many townhouses being gut renovated, spruced up, enlarged with top-story additions, and even being demolished and replaced by larger apartment buildings over the last year or so.  (more…)

06/24/15 10:26am

1255 Decatur Street

Plans were filed last week for a five story building to rise in place of this wood frame house in Bushwick. As with many wood frame houses that are being torn down around the borough, this one at 1255 Decatur Street is small and sits on a relatively large lot.

The original house is quite small, only 25 by 32 feet and set all the way back at the end of the 100 foot long lot — an unusual configuration for Brooklyn. The new building will be much larger — 5,311 square feet. (more…)

06/23/15 3:00pm

Stoops Bed Stuy

The third annual STooPS festival brings performance and art to the streets, stoops and gardens of Bed Stuy. Homeowners around the neighborhood are collaborating with local artists, bringing mini performances to their stoops and sidewalks.

The mediums will include dance, music, theater, visual art, spoken word and film/video. Local businesses will be involved too. (more…)

06/23/15 10:00am

139 15th Street

Earlier this month a demolition application was filed for this Italianate style wood frame house in Gowanus. The building, at 139 15th Street, is small, only 20 by 30 feet on a 22 by 95 foot lot.

However, the lot has a FAR of 2.93 according to building permits. A developer can build a 6,164 square foot building on this relatively small lot.

And it seems that is exactly what is going to happen. Way back in 2011 plans were filed for an eight-unit building with five stories, if you include the penthouse. (more…)

06/22/15 3:19pm

jah_panDumbo under the arch

Enjoy free concerts every Thursday evening through October in the archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. Acts playing Live at the Archway include Nadia Ackerman and the Harold Pinter Orchestra this Thursday, June 25, and Jah Pan, pictured above, on July 9.

Other acts this month and next include an all-female worldbeat dance jam band called Paprika, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, Throw Vision and more. (more…)

06/18/15 4:30pm

Seeley Street

Brooklyn Iced Coffee Prices Now Hitting $6 [Gothamist]
First Gala in New St. Ann’s Warehouse Honors Collaborators, Raises $650K [Eagle]
The Best Trees in Bay Ridge: London Plane [Hey Ridge]
On the Passing of Christopher, the Lovely English Gardener of DeGraw Street [PMFA]
Dining With Dogs Bill Passes So You Can Eat out With Your Pet [South Slope News]
Inside Federal Bar, the Knitting Factory’s Sister Spot Opening for Dinner Friday [B+B]
The Boy Hoodlums of Hancock Street (1899) [Brownstone Detectives]

Photo by Jeff Reuben

06/18/15 3:00pm

Food Truck Rally

Some of the best food trucks from around the city will gather at Grand Army Plaza for a Food Truck Rally later this month. Some of the trucks participating include DUB Pies, Carpe Donut NYC, Toum, Kimchi Taco Truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Milk Truck, Phil’s Steaks and many more.

If you can’t make it Sunday, June 28, no need to worry. The event, with a rotating cast of trucks, continues through the fall on July 12 and 19, August 2 and 16, September 20 and October 4 and 18. (more…)