09/02/14 9:00am

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It’s cheaper to buy than to rent in 94 of the top 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., according to a report from Zillow quoted in a story in Business Insider. Renters spend 29.5 percent of income on rent, on average, vs. only 15.3 percent of income home owners spend on mortgages. (The comparison doesn’t seem to take into consideration repairs, heat, insurance and other costs — or the homeowner’s tax deduction either.) (more…)

09/02/14 8:30am

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From J’Ouvert to the Parade [NY Times]
A Tower in Brooklyn, But Soon Just a Memory [NY Times]
Forensic Hydrology at the Gowanus Canal [NY Times]
Living in Mixed Luxury-Affordable Buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan [NY Times]
In Greenpoint, a Situation Ripe for a Doughnut War [NY Times]
G Train’s Greenpoint Tube Back in Service Tuesday [NY Daily News]
Uber vs. AllState Car Service [NY Daily News]
A Home and “Haven” in Williamsburg [WSJ]
Coignet Building’s Historic Façade Emerges During Rehab [Brooklyn Eagle]
Bohemian Face-off as Activists Crash Gowanus Art Party [Brooklyn Paper]
Ask a Native New Yorker: Should We Build Condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park? [Gothamist]
Subway Mystery: Who Turned the G Train Into the Pee Train? [Gothamist]
Photos: Revelers Party in Brooklyn at J’Ouvert Parade [Gothamist]
The Abandoned Garden of Prospect Park [WNYC]
Canarsie Tops List of Most Flooded Neighborhoods According to ClaimStat Data [I Quant NY]
West Indian Day Parade Brings Colorful Crowds to Eastern Parkway [DNAinfo]
Red Hook’s Only Thai Restaurant Opens on Van Brunt Street [DNAinfo]
Teachout Calls out Cuomo on LICH Transparency [NY1]

08/29/14 1:15pm

Seems like the summer has gone by in a flash — probably because the weather has been so cool and pleasant. In honor of Labor Day weekend, we are shutting down early today and won’t publish Monday. See you back here at the usual time Tuesday, September 2. Have a great long weekend!

835 Myrtle Ave, Cascade, 2

It looks like the old Cascade Linen factory at 835 Myrtle Avenue near Marcy, which is not landmarked, may soon be torn down to make way for apartments.

A partnership of developers from the Satmar community of south Williamsburg are in talks to buy the building for $60,000,000, according to Crain’s. Shockingly, that number is more than double what the current owner paid for the property last year ($27,000,000). (more…)

08/29/14 8:30am

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A Brooklyn Apartment Search Ends in Crown Heights [NY Times]
Many Addresses Before Making Bed Stuy Home [NY Times]
Construction Is Shut Down at Atlantic Yards Complex [NY Times]
A Park Slope Dining Institution With Roots in Both Italy and a Great Love [NY Times]
Hungry City: Moldova in Midwood [NY Times]
Brooklyn Lawmakers Want Mandatory Notice of Bedbugs From MTA [NY Daily News]
Spike Lee Honors Michael Jackson at Annual Summer Party in Bed Stuy [WSJ]
Permits Filed: Townhouses at 73-79 Bond Street in Boerum Hill [NYY]
Brace Yourselves. Greenpoint Is Getting More Towers [Greenpointers]
Unions Support De Blasio’s Affordable Housing, Will Take 40 Percent Pay Cut [City & State]
Escaped Snake Pops up in PLG Kitchen [DNAinfo]
Madewell Opens Williamsburg Location This Week [DNAinfo]

08/28/14 11:31am

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Greenpoint has a charming old-world European feel, as anyone who has visited its Polish grocery stores knows, but house prices have moved into the stratosphere in the last two years, despite new apartment developments. A look at the area in the Times real estate section yesterday started off with a slightly misleading anecdote about a couple who almost gave up but then found their dream house there – in 2011.

Prices for two and three family row houses, most clad in vinyl siding and often in need of renovation, have risen from $750,000 to $850,000 in 2012 to $1,300,000 to $2,000,000 today, according to the story. The story also described other amenities in the area, including “destination restaurants” — and the ever-popular “destination” donut maker, Peter Pan — as well parks and schools.

The coming of 5,500 new units over 22 acres at Greenpoint Landing was noted briefly in passing without additional comment. Notably, the story did not mention “Girls.”

Living in Greenpoint [NY Times]
Photo by Bridge and Tunnel Club

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A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]