11/26/15 8:30am
A very colorful Prospect Park. Photo by Edrei Rodriguez

A very colorful Prospect Park. Photo by Edrei Rodriguez

In honor of the holiday, Brownstoner will be publishing special stories today and Friday.

First up is a guide to beautiful walks to take in Brooklyn to work off your Thanksgiving dinner. Later in the morning, our columnist Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris) will be taking a look at the history of Thanksgiving celebrations in Brooklyn. (more…)

11/23/15 12:31pm

Renovating An Old House

If you’ve ever renovated an old house, chances are there are some things you wish you’d done differently. Here are the top 10 things to know before you start — all from hard-won experience.

10. Do everything at once up front.
It will seem more expensive, but we promise you will save money and mental trauma in the long run. You only want to open and close the walls once. Plastering, painting and floor refinishing should all be done before you move in. (more…)

11/19/15 1:00pm

Commercial broker Chris Havens, left, interviews commercial developer Albert Laboz

Resistance to high rents in Bushwick and the dramatic impact of the end of the 421-a tax break were two hot topics industry insiders were talking about at the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable at the Brooklyn Historical Society Tuesday afternoon.

Brownstoner checked it out and mingled with developers, brokers, bankers, and architects, who gathered — as they do every quarter — to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues and hear movers and shakers talk about their projects.

Click through for Brownstoner’s favorite quotes, notable trends, and development updates. (more…)

11/16/15 9:36am


Has the New York real estate market peaked? Agents are reporting a slowdown that started at the end of the summer: Sparsely attended open houses, properties sitting on the market with no offers, price cuts.

“Prices kept climbing and climbing, and the market started not being able to handle it. Sellers weren’t listening and just went too far, and now everybody’s taking a step back,” said a manager of a Brooklyn office for a major firm who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized by his company to speak on the record.

Buyers may have reached a limit to what they are willing or able to pay. The standard approach of adding 10 percent to the last sale price is no longer flying, agents told Brownstoner. They stressed they are not seeing a dip — and certainly not a crash — but a slowing of the intense acceleration in prices that has become the norm in the Brooklyn market since 2012. (more…)

11/12/15 3:01pm


The Brooklyn economy is doing great, thanks to increasing population and jobs, according to a sweeping economic report released last week by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Brooklyn added thousands of jobs last year, an increase of 5.8 percent, and in just one or two years may have more residents than Chicago, the third-largest city in the U.S.

“We’re growing,” Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura told Brownstoner. “In a year or two, we will have more population living here than in Chicago. The trends show a good future for our population.” (more…)

11/09/15 3:00pm

Protesters fight the eviction of longtime Bed Stuy homeowner Mary Ward in 2011

Con artists hiding behind untraceable LLCs are swindling longtime homeowners in Bed Stuy, Crown Heights and elsewhere out of their homes. In some cases, fraudsters lie to get homeowners to sign over the deed. In other cases, they simply forge signatures without the homeowner knowing a deed transfer has taken place — until it’s too late. (more…)

11/04/15 8:30am

In the News
Survey: Some Affordable Housing Tenants Still Pay High Rent in Brooklyn and Beyond [NYDN]
Junior’s Fans Come in Droves With Loose Change [Eagle]
Coney, Bay Ridge Elect First Black Assemblywoman [BK Paper]
Revealed: 144 West Street, Greenpoint [NYY]
Cancel Two-Day Rave Planned at Crown Heights Armory, Locals Say [DNA]
City’s Rezoning Proposal Shot Down by Bed-Stuy Community Board [DNA]

Top Brownstoner Stories
City Confirms Sunset Park’s Sleep Inn Will Be Turned Into Homeless Shelter
Two Ways of Looking at a South Bronx Gentrification Party
City Planning Unanimously Approves Brooklyn Heights Library Sale and Tower

11/02/15 9:36am


Thanks to landmarking, a new building going up on a sliver of an empty lot between brownstones on Macon Street in Stuyvesant Heights will be a convincing replica of a 19th century Italianate brownstone. The four-story building at 361 Macon Street will have a traditional cornice, stoop, and moldings over the door and windows — the works.

Its stucco facade will be the chocolate color Edith Wharton so famously despised, and incised lines will mimic the square pieces of actual stone brownstone facades were once made of. (more…)