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Workers were digging the foundation at 1320-1328 Fulton Street, the big affordable development near Applebee’s in Bed Stuy, when we passed by recently. As Curbed reported in August, the building will have 57 units and 10 stories.

The architect is Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and the developer is Fulton Street South Redevelopment Company, which owns the Section 8 building next door at 1330 Fulton Street. Click through for lots more photos of the construction site and to see the rendering on the construction fence. GMAP (more…)

11/19/14 9:30am

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We were dismayed to see yet another Victorian metal turret in a non-landmarked area being inappropriately altered. This one is on a quite prominent corner building at 1474 Bushwick Avenue between the Jackie Robinson and Cooper Avenue. We have passed by this building many times and it always appeared to be in good condition.

When we strolled by last week, the bright blue painted metal covering on the turret was being dismantled as part of a bigger renovation that is adding a story. A manager on site told us they really wanted to save the turret but “it was in pieces.” The turret will be covered in a brick veneer to match the rest of the alteration.

The three story building only has three units now. When the alteration is finished, the building will have four stories and eight units , according to an Alt-1 permit.

The building changed hands for $799,000 in 2013. HPD says it has five “class A” units, not three. For the last 20 years, it was owned by the Episcopal church and has a certificate of occupancy for 10 Franciscan friars of the Society of St. Francis in the Episcopalian church.

Click through to see a drawing of the altered building and a photo of the building taken in 2012.

Photo below by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark
(more…)

11/19/14 9:00am

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Landmarks praised BKSK Architects for its “contextual” design for a mixed-use building to replace a gas station at 112 Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill, but asked the architects to scale down the windows, particularly on the side of the building on Henry Street, and reduce the bulkhead on the roof. Only one attendee at the meeting Tuesday spoke in favor of the building as it was, and the Cobble Heights Association and others spoke against it, New York YIMBY and The Brooklyn Eagle reported.

The building’s “large, industrial-looking windows…might be more appropriate in Red Hook,” said Barbara Zay of the Historic Districts Council, according to YIMBY. Click through to YIMBY to see the full presentation.

As you may recall, Community Board 6 rejected the proposal last month.

Apartment Design for Atlantic Avenue Gas Station Site Needs a Tuneup, Landmarks Decides [Eagle]
Landmarks Commission Not Ready to Approve New Building at 112 Atlantic Avenue [NYY]
112 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by BKSK Architects via NYY

11/19/14 8:30am

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Forest City Ratner Buys out Partner in Brooklyn Residential Tower [NY Times]
Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal Wants SantaCon to Stay out of Bushwick [NY Daily News]
Brooklyn Pols Push Albany for Stronger Rent Laws [NY Daily News]
Illegal Home Conversions Have Dyker, Ridge Schools Bursting at Seams [BK Daily]
Permits Filed: 424 Oceanview Avenue in Brighton Beach [NYY]
The Whiskey Wars That Left Brooklyn in Ruins [Smithsonian]
Bed Stuy, Crown Heights Businesses to Become Safe Havens in Neighborhood Safety Initiative [DNA]

11/18/14 2:00pm

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Nunu Chocolates Cafe & Tap Room opened last week at 179 5th Avenue in Park Slope. The menu includes house made baked goods such as brioche and cookies, small plates such as cheese and charcuterie, the full line of chocolates, Blue Bottle Coffee, 10 craft beers on tap, wine, shandies, frozen hot chocolates, egg creams and frozen lemonade.

There will also be chocolate pairings with beer and wine flights, and customers can observe as chocolates are hand dipped. There is a backyard and free wi-fi.

A former Brooklyn Flea vendor, Nunu Chocolates started in 2007 and has a store in Boerum Hill. The cafe has extensive hours: from 7 am to midnight on weekdays, opening at 9 am on weekends, and closing at 10 pm on Sunday nights. Anyone checked it out yet? GMAP

Photo by Nunu Chocolates

11/18/14 1:30pm

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We featured this Neo-Grec brownstone at 192 Park Place as an Open House Pick last week, but we think it merits a closer look. The owner, an LLC, picked it up last year for $630,000. It’s got everything, including new inlaid floors, vintage light fixtures, restored mahogany woodwork and plaster moldings, three mantels (including one wood burning fireplace), all new mechanicals, zoned central AC, radiant floor heat in the bathrooms, a security system, a new facade and a new roof.

Set up as a triplex over a garden rental, it’s one of the better flips we’ve seen. Still, we would have handled a few things differently: The kitchen and back wall configuration is awkward and the floors look too modern, for example.

Did anyone see it in person? What do you think of it and the ask of $3,475,000?

192 Park Place [Corcoran] GMAP

11/18/14 11:30am

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Mayor de Blasio yesterday announced $76,800,000 in new funding for development at the Navy Yard, particularly for Building 77, numerous outlets reported. The program expands one started by the Bloomberg administration.

That brings city spending to modernize Building 77 to a total of $140,000,000. The former ammunition depot, pictured above, is the largest building at the complex with 17 stories and 960,000 square feet. Its revamp will bring 3,000 jobs to the area, the administration estimates.

The now-empty Building 77 will be ready in 2016, according to The Brooklyn Eagle. Some tenants have already been lined up, including motorcycle maker FXE Industries and Shiel Medical Laboratories. Brooklyn Grange may build a green roof for it.

Mayor Announces Major Brooklyn Navy Yard Expansion [Eagle]
Building 77 Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Janet Upadhye for DNAinfo

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Forest City Ratner and Skanska are discussing a buyout deal and have already set a price, although other terms are still under negotiation, according to a letter Skanska sent to the judge overseeing the former partners’ lawsuits over the stalled modular B2 tower. In fact, a closing date was set for Monday, Atlantic Yards Report reported. There has been no announcement from either party, so perhaps the closing has not yet taken place.

Forest City would buy out Skanska, freeing up Forest City to restart construction on the stalled tower. A buyout deal could include compensation for cost overruns the two have been fighting about in court and put the lawsuits to rest.

Forest City Seems Ready to Buy out Skanska’s Interest in Closed Modular Factory; Deal Could Close Tomorrow [AYR]
Skanska Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Field Condition

Update: We have just received a statement from Skanska. It says: “Today FCRC Modular LLC and Skanska Modular LLC announced that FCRC Modular LLC will purchase the ownership interest of Skanska Modular LLC in their jointly owned modular factory business in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, FC+Skanska Modular LLC, for an undisclosed amount. The agreement, achieved through mediation with Roger J. Peters, Esq., marks the end of the companies’ partnership at the modular factory and makes FCRC Modular the sole owner and manager of the modular business. Litigation between the companies over the B2 Project will continue and is not impacted by this agreement.”

11/18/14 8:30am

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Video: French Tourist Arrested for Climbing Fence at Brooklyn Bridge [NY Times]
Monday’s Heavy Rain Causes Flooding at Lightstone Site on Bond Street in Gowanus [PFMA]
A Carroll Gardens Row House Reinvented [Lonny]
Permits Filed: 198 19th Street in Greenwood Heights [NYY]
Permits Filed: Issac & Stern-Designed 157 Tompkins Avenue in Bed Stuy [NYY]
Scenes from a Flea [CasaCARA]
New York City Rent Regulation Laws Will Sunset June 15 [City & State]
A Look at Buyer-to-Be of “Kings and Queens” Portfolio [TRD]
Developer in Contract to Buy Urban American’s Brooklyn-Heavy Portfolio for $236 Million [TRD]
Dozens of Complaints Logged Against Clinton Hill Yeshiva for Illegal Construction [DNA]
Locals Support “Natural Playground” for District 34 Participatory Budgeting [DNA]
500 Affordable Apartments Under Way at Kings County Hospital Complex [DNA]
Affordable Apartments Among New Residential Buildings Coming to Bed Stuy [DNA]
Pratt Post Office Shutters Without Nearby Replacement, Locals Say [DNA]

11/17/14 2:00pm

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The Plex started leasing apartments last year, and now retail space in the building is available. Or maybe we should say retail space is still available. When we passed by a few weeks ago we saw “for rent” signs on the ground floor of the building at 958 Nostrand Avenue.

There are a lot of really big spaces here with big windows and lots of frontage on the avenue. Turns out the spaces were up for lease over a year ago, according to a commenter on Brooklynian, who spotted the listing at Massey Knakal. Now Heller has the listing. There are two spaces that can be subdivided, with almost 10,000 square feet on the street level between them and more in the basement.

These are the kinds of big spaces national and global retailers have a hard time finding in Brooklyn, but perhaps the location would be better suited to something smaller. Or maybe the rent is really high. Anyone know more? GMAP

11/17/14 1:30pm

411 kent avenue williamsburg 112014

This old firehouse at 411 Kent overlooking the water in south Williamsburg is being marketed as a development site. The mixed-use property sits on an approximately 23 by 102 foot lot and has 11,419 of buildable square feet, according to the listing.

Inside there doesn’t seem to be much worth preserving — it seems to have been in use as an office, wood shop, artists studio and possibly even a bar or restaurant — although the exterior is historic. Think they’ll get their ask of $6,375,000?

411 Kent Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP

11/17/14 10:45am

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Lark Cafe at 1007 Church Avenue in Caton Park is the latest to be hit in what appear to be a string of six related armed robberies targeting eateries and their customers south of Prospect Park. Thursday night, a masked gunman stole laptops from a group of writers holding a meeting at the cafe, reported The New York Times. The story said:

And now fear and concern are rippling through the normally quiet neighborhood…because the robbery at Lark was but the latest in an unusual pattern: Armed robbers in hooded sweatshirts and masks are hitting local businesses, not just for the cash in the registers but for patrons’ belongings, too — their wallets, their computers, their jewelry. Despite low robbery numbers citywide, and a drop in robberies in the [70th Precinct], the holdups — as well as a fatal home invasion on Rugby Road last month — have shaken the confidence of this community that is usually safe.

Other businesses to be hit in recent weeks include Ox Cart Tavern, Stratford Deli and Mimi’s Hummus. We’re not sure what the other two businesses are, but locals already held a meeting with local Council Member Mathieu Eugene and police from the 70th precinct even before Lark was hit, as Ditmas Park Corner reported at the time.

Meanwhile, the writers group is asking for donations on GoFundMe to replace their stolen laptops.

Business owners told the Times the robbers might be targeting gentrifiers. “Worst-case scenario,” said one, “the robberies are a pushback against the new people in the neighborhood.”

That might be, but it also could be the case that the robbers feel these sit-down eateries are easy targets. The robberies are certainly brazen. We can’t recall anything quite like this, even in the 1970s. Do you?

In Ditmas Park, Armed Robbers Prey on Businesses and Their Patrons [NY Times]
Photo by Lark Cafe