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Another bakery is coming to east Bed Stuy. Five-year-old Williamsburg bake shop Cupcakeland is moving and changing its name. Chez Alex is prepping to open this month at 72 Ralph Avenue near Madison, according to its Facebook page.

On the menu will be cupcakes, cookies, banana pudding and other desserts. Its former location, now closed, was 390 Metropolitan Avenue, next to Momofuku Milk Bar.

The neighborhood was formerly starved for fresh baked goods but no longer. Cupcake specialist Sweet Lee’s opened on Ralph and Macon in April. The recently reopened Manny’s sells baked goods and doughnuts made by sister businesses Choice and Dough.

A few blocks away in Stuy Heights, Saraghina opened a bakery in August selling bread, cookies, muffins and other baked goods — but not cupcakes. GMAP

Update: We hear they opened today!

12/18/14 1:30pm

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Today’s House of the Day is another circa-1900 freestanding Colonial Revival landmarked wood frame house in Ditmas Park — almost a twin to yesterday’s House of the Day. In fact, it was designed by the same architect, A. White Pierce, and built in 1906.

We’re guessing it’s in somewhat better condition than that one although still needing quite a bit of work and perhaps with not as many original details intact.

Although the crown molding is missing in some of the parlor rooms, there’s a lot of unpainted oak woodwork and a pretty, albeit altered, mantel in the hall. There’s also a very interesting high style 1950s bath reminiscent of Fornasetti with zany black and white tile and a transparent plastic or fiberglass panel with black and brown butterflies above the sink that might be worth saving in whole or in part. Another bath still has its original marble sink and a bit of a gas jet sconce still in the wall.

There’s also a detached two-car garage. What do you think of it for $2,199,000?

459 East 19th Street [Corcoran] GMAP

12/18/14 9:30am

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Three huge lots equal in size to almost an entire block have been leveled to make way for a huge public housing project in Ocean Hill. (You can see the future plans for the site here and here.) The property was formerly the Prospect Plaza housing project, home to 1,200 people, which NYCHA emptied out in 2000, promising to rebuild. When we visited a year earlier, the empty, boarded-up apartment houses were still standing.

At 1776 Prospect Place, pictured above and after the jump, the demo work started in May and was signed off on in October. An application for a new six-story building with 101 apartments was disapproved this month. The building that previously stood there was 15 stories.

The area immediately around the public housing sites consists of empty lots or empty apartment buildings, adding up to about eight desolate lots on two and a half blocks between Saratoga and Howard avenues and Prospect and Sterling places, close to Eastern Parkway in Ocean Hill.

Click through to see more photos of the site and a rendering of one of the planned buildings.

City Finally Moves to Redevelop Vacant Housing Project in Ocean Hill [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering by Dattner Architects via NYY
(more…)

12/18/14 9:00am

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The long-stalled high rise development at 420-444 Kent Avenue on the waterfront in south Williamsburg is finally seeing some action. ODA Architects filed permits for 18- and 22-story towers there yesterday, following Spitzer Enterprises’s purchase of the property over the summer, New York YIMBY reported.

We expect the new design will be a great improvement over the last one, although no new renderings have been released. As for the specifics of the plan, they are similar although one tower will be shorter by two stories. The two buildings will have 449 units. If the old waiver still applies, 20 percent of the units will be affordable.

ODA is known for its low-rise buildings that resemble boxes in unusual configurations; its towers are similar but sleeker.

The site was formerly home to the Kedem Winery. The sale has not yet hit public records. Click through for a look at an old rendering from the previous owners.

Permits Filed: ODA Designing 18 and 22-Story Towers at 420 Kent Avenue [NYY] GMAP
What Could Sprout at Stalled Kedem Winery Site in South Williamsburg [Brownstoner]
1970s tax photo from PropertyShark; Rendering via Vos Iz Neiaas (more…)

12/18/14 8:30am

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A New Leader for Brooklyn Children’s Museum [NY Times]
A Clothing Store in Brooklyn Reminds Men to Take Risks [NY Times]
Leak in Newly Installed Green Roof at Barclays Center Delays Game [NY Daily News]
Brooklyn Heights Construction Checklist [Eagle]
Santa, or Is That Spider-Man, Arrives Early in Brooklyn Heights [Eagle]
Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Illuminates Borough Hall [Eagle]
Revealed: 79 Clay Street in Greenpoint [NYY]
Regus Sets up Shop in Forest City Office Building in Brooklyn Heights [TRD]
European Investor Buys ODA-Designed The Bergen for $52.2 Million [NY Post]
Fulton Mall Clothes Shop Targets “Low- and Middle-Income” Shoppers [DNA]
500 New Trees to Be Planted in Greenpoint With Grant Money From Oil Spill [DNA]
Japanese Group Purchases Red Hook Warehouse for $5 Million [DNA]

12/17/14 1:30pm

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This freestanding Colonial Revival wood frame with a porch in Ditmas Park could not be more attractive, but it’s going to need a lot of work. We suspect leaks and mold may be an issue, going by the photos in the listing, and it will probably need all the other usual upgrades as well.

The front of the house, located at 476 East 18th Street, was used as a doctor’s office, but the partitions and extra bathroom in the hall look easy to remove.

Even so, the house appears remarkably intact, with all its moldings, doors, staircase, and stained glass. It’s landmarked and has been in the same family for decades, according to public records. It was designed by architect A. White Pierce in 1901 for Charles Cooper, a mechanic, according to the designation report.

The listing says the house needs TLC and is being sold as is. What do you think of it and the ask of $1,550,000?

476 East 18th Street [Corcoran] GMAP

12/17/14 1:00pm

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This two-bedroom, one-bath condo in a former tenement at 821 Halsey Street is nicely designed, but on the small side for a two-bedroom. (PropertyShark and the listing put the unit at 780 square feet, but we suspect that might include the stair.)

The living room is narrow at 8 feet and 10 inches but must get a lot of light from the skylight and window. The unit has a private terrace in the back and on the roof, and it faces Saratoga Square Park. An open house is scheduled for Sunday.

Back in 2009, it sold for $275,000, or $352 a square foot. Now the new ask is $549,000, which works out to about $704 a square foot, at least. Do you think that’s where condos in far east Bed Stuy are these days?

821 Halsey Street, #3B [Halstead] GMAP

12/17/14 11:30am

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The redesigned (and much improved) mixed-use building rising at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Boerum Place is now up to three stories of steel. As previously reported, the 11-story building at 60 Boerum Place will house 75 apartments on top of a three-story retail mall. Click through for another construction shot and to see a clearer shot of the previously published rendering.

Major Changes, Renderings, Walls Finally Rising at Busy Atlantic Avenue Corner [Brownstoner]  GMAP (more…)

12/17/14 9:30am

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Big news — although not unexpected — for Prospect Lefferts Gardens and preservationists: The Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday voted to designate Chester Court. The beautifully intact teens Tudor Revival cul-de-sac was first suggested for landmarking back in the 1970s as part of the original historic district in the area.

Also yesterday Landmarks approved the revised plans for the mixed-use development that will replace a gas station at 112 Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill. The redesign is similar except the windows look more like those of surrounding buildings: Tall and narrow — but still lots of them. Yay, Landmarks.

You can read more about the votes in New York YIMBY, The New York Daily News and The Brooklyn Eagle. Click through to the Eagle story to see a photo showing the 112 Atlantic Avenue redesign.

Chester Court Coverage [Brownstoner]
112 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]

12/17/14 9:00am

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AB Architekten, not Karl Fischer, will design the mixed-use luxury building that will replace Clinton Hill’s White Castle drive-in at 531 Myrtle Avenue. We received the first renderings of the planned development, above and after the jump, from TerraCRG, which is marketing the retail space.

In September a family trust sold the property to an LLC for $4,500,000, according to public records. Developer Greystone & Co. has replaced Simon Dushinsky of the Rabsky Group, according to an item published in the Myrtle Avenue Partnership’s blog last week. Construction is expected to start in January.

Although no new building applications have been filed since we last looked at the property, the plans for the building described by TerraCRG sound as if they have not changed substantially. There will be 27 luxury apartments in the building with stores below. (No word yet on whether they will be condos or rentals.) The retail space on the ground floor will measure about 6,000 square feet with 14-foot ceilings and can be divided and built to suit, said TerraCRG. It will be ready for occupancy in early 2016.

“We expect to attract banks, food and beverage, pharmacies, and other uses targeting students and young families,” a spokeswoman told us. The development is across the street from Pratt, and the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Steuben Street will be part of the forthcoming Myrtle Avenue Plaza. The listing has not yet gone up online. Click through for more renderings and floor plans of the commercial space.

What do you think of the building design?

Clinton Hill White Castle Will Become a Karl Fischer-Designed Apartment Building [Brownstoner]
Renderings by AB Architekten (more…)

12/17/14 8:30am

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Recent Commercial Transactions in Red Hook and Bed Stuy [NY Times]
Officials Announce LICH Bill to Give Community a Voice in Hospital Closures [Eagle]
RFP Issued to Help Save Red Hook From Flooding [Curbed]
Permits Filed: Passive House Project at 852 St. John’s Place, Crown Heights [NYY]
Permits Filed: Morris Adjmi-Designed Condos at 138 North 10th Street, Williamsburg [NYY]
Broker Growth in Brooklyn Outpaces That in Manhattan [TRD]
Tea Lounge Regulars in Negotiations to Reopen Beloved Park Slope Cafe [DNA]

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The long awaited and highly anticipated remake of the Casablana Cocktail Lounge at 300 Malcolm X Boulevard in Bed Stuy soft opened Friday. The official opening party is Thursday night.

Owners Charles von Herrlich and Jonn Carlson – the artist-owner of Noho’s Von bar and the artist-designer who built Bed-Vyne Brew – kept the Permastone facade but put in new doors and windows (although they’re hard to see under the security bars). Inside, there is a vintage feel and the old Casablanca Lounge sign decorates the bar. Click through for some interior pics we shot through the window this morning.

“Good drinks, tunes and peeps,” according to a neighbor who commented on Facebook.

Anyone been in yet?

Casablanca Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
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