09/17/14 10:45am

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The developer of the Ace Hotel at 61 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn is requesting a variance from the city to build it. There will be a public hearing tonight at a meeting of Community Board 2′s Land Use Committee to consider the request. This will be the only opportunity the public will have to comment on the matter, according to a letter that went out to neighbors earlier this month (click through to see the letter).

Confusingly, the letter did not state what exactly the developer is seeking the variance for. The rumor is the developer wants to build higher than current zoning permits, and put a bar and pool on the roof, according to a tipster who sent us the letter. The neighbors are worried, our tipster said, adding, “I was excited by Ace developing the site (vs. the typical schlock hotels that tend to get developed in Downtown Brooklyn) and remain hopeful it will be a positive.”

If you want to speak at the meeting, you must call the community board district office at 718-596-5410. The meeting will take place at 6 pm tonight in Room LC400 at the Dibner Building at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering at 5 MetroTech Center.

The hotel will replace a parking lot, above. An application for a new building permit was disapproved in August.

Permits Filed for Brooklyn’s Ace Hotel [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY

Update: The developer would like to add density (more square feet), not height. Anyone who wishes to testify tonight can do so by signing in before the hearing, CB2 District Manager Robert Perris let us know in a comment below.

(more…)

09/17/14 9:00am

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Yesterday evening the board of the Brooklyn Public Library voted to go ahead with its plan to sell the Cadman Plaza branch to raise $40,000,000 for upkeep of other branches. Hudson Companies Inc. has been chosen as the developer of the new mixed-use building at 280 Cadman Plaza West. There will be space for a 21,000-square-foot library at its base and 132 market rate units, the library announced last night. Hudson will pay $52,000,000 to buy the site and construct 114 affordable units offsite, which will open at the same time as the building (about 2019 or 2020).

Marvel Architects will design the building. You can read more about it on the library’s website. (more…)

09/17/14 8:30am

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Snowboarder Shaun White Shops for Furs in Williamsburg [Post]
Brooklyn Friends School Starts Renovations for MetroTech Center Campus [Daily News]
Opposing Reports on Cost of Brooklyn Bridge Park [WSJ]
Brooklyn Allocated Millions in Funding for Arts, Education [Eagle]
Coalition Urging MTA to Restore Express F Train Service [Eagle]
BJ’s Opens in Bensonhurst [Eagle]
Canarsie Garden Store Hosts Grape-Stomping Contest [Eagle]
Bay Ridge Church Reborn [Eagle]
Gowanus Residents: Ex-Prisoners Not Welcome Here [BK Paper]
89 Hicks 75 Percent Leased; 250N10 Hits 95 Percent Leased [Curbed]
City Mulls Ways to Spur Brooklyn Office Development [Crain's]
Extell to Develop Last Phase City Point [NYO]
Waterbridge in $100 Million-Plus Contract on North 3rd Street, Including Radegast [TRD]

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We’re in the thick of the prime fall real estate selling season, so today we’ve got another spectacular beauty, 61 Midwood Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. This late Victorian has an unusual (and very attractive) facade whose geometry seems to anticipate Edwardian styles to come.

Inside is a classic Midwood Street interior with tons of unpainted wood work, leaded glass, wood fireplaces, the original passthrough sinks, original paneling and built-ins in the dining room, two butler’s pantries (with a working dumbwaiter), the original ice box, and a nearly original floor plan. The kitchen has been very nicely updated, with a commercial style stove inside the gray brick fireplace.

What do you think of it and the asking price of $2,195,000?

61 Midwood Street [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

09/16/14 10:00am

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Nine-year residents of Cobble Hill and ex-Housewives of New York stars Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen are selling their townhouse at 56 Butler Street and moving to Australia “to be with family,” a spokeswoman for Stribling & Associates, which is handling the sale, told us.

Longtime readers will remember Simon, a Brownstoner commenter, and Alex from Brownstoner parties and this story about their renovation. The three-family, six bedroom house is asking $2,695,000. (If you are curious, they paid $1,275,000 in 2005.) The living room is still painted its controversial shade of red!

56 Butler Street Listing [Stribling]
Photo by Stribling

09/16/14 9:30am

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We debated whether to ignore or call out The Post’s story on crime in Bed Stuy and Bushwick, which reads like something written by an Internet troll circa 2008. It even has the requisite gentrifier who says “More people like me are moving in and changing the neighborhood. So that’s comforting.” Newsflash: Violent crime is less than half what it was in the early ’90s, thanks to the efforts of people who have been living here all along, including community boards and Neighborhood Watch groups.

Bed Stuy does have a problem with young black men shooting each other, and it’s horrifying and needs to stop — as people in the community recognize all too well. That’s entirely different from saying white gentrifiers will be preyed on by black bogeymen, which is the implication of the story — but not supported by facts.

“There has also been an uptick in burglaries and muggings targeting the gentrifiers who move in,” said the story, but it did not give any evidence to support that. Crime is down across the board. In the 81st Precinct, for example, which covers part of Bed Stuy, violent crime to date this year is down in every category, including burglary and felonious assault, except rape.

We hope violent crime will continue to decrease, including rape, for the sake of everyone who lives here, not just the newcomers.

09/16/14 8:30am

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A Mellower Beastie Boy, in Brooklyn, Adds Home Building to the Mix [NY Times]
Opinion: Distorted Media Coverage Marred West Indian Day Parade [NY Daily News]
Newly Proposed Sky Gondola Would Cut Brooklyn Commute to Manhattan [NY Daily News]
R Train Service Returns to the Montague Tube [Eagle]
Neighborhood Targeted by Mayor Braces for a Fight [Crain's]
L+M Signs “What Not to Wear” Star to Williamsburg Retail Lease [TRD]
Clinton Hill Building Value Jumps $1 Million Per Month [TRD]

09/15/14 1:30pm

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All this house needs is some fresh decor and it will be a stunner. The house seems to have everything, including the original passthroughs and a wood burning stove in the kitchen, not to mention the original butler’s pantry and elaborate late-Victorian wood moldings.

The six original mantels include a wooden one with Minton-style Shakespearean themed tile in the parlor and a faux painted slate one in one of the top floor bedrooms. The house appears to be in move-in condition, with updated bathrooms and kitchen.

It’s set up as a one-family, and is zoned for P.S. 321, according to the listing. Do you think they will get their ask of $3,710,000?

828 Union Street [Elliman] GMAP

09/15/14 11:30am

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The glitzy (but short) three-story mini-mall destined to replace the St. Vincent’s parking lot on a busy corner of Atlantic Avenue is no more. Walls are finally rising, and permits were approved last month for an 11-story mixed retail and residential development. Click through to the jump to see renderings sent in by a commenter. Also, the address has changed and will now be 60, not 66, Boerum Place.

The first three levels will be retail, with a total of 46,428 square feet of commercial space. Floors 4 through 11 will house 75 apartments, according to the Schedule A filing.

The developer is Alex Adjmi of A&H Acquisitions. As far as we can tell from public records, the property is still owned and leased by the Catholic church.

We have to say, at this location, a taller building makes more sense and the new design is a big improvement over the old one. What do you think? GMAP (more…)