10/20/14 8:30am


Protesters Link a Queens Project to Crown Heights Rents [NY Times]
Williamsburg’s 538 Union Avenue Gets Teaser Site with New Details [Curbed]
Inside George & Jack’s, a Mellow New Bar in the Old Brooklyn Ale House Space [Gothamist]
Photo: Movie Night on the G Train [Gothamist]
Brooklyn: The Billion-Dollar Brand [CNBC]
Williamsburg and Greenpointers Cashing in on Airbnb to the Tune of $39 Million [FW]
Review of Dumbo’s 60 Water Street: Slab and Drab [TRD]
Brooklyn’s New Development Sales Plunge in Q3 [TRD]
Dozens of Brooklyn Churches Looking to Sell Their Land [DNA]

10/17/14 3:00pm


You can’t celebrate Brooklyn or 10 years of Brownstoner without the Williamsburgh Bank building, one of Brooklyn’s greatest structures.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building
Address: 1 Hanson Place, corner of Ashland Place
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: 1927-29
Architectural Style: Art Deco, with Byzantine and Romanesque influences
Architect: Halsey, McCormack & Helmer
Other buildings by architects: Central Methodist Church, next door, redo of Former Dime SB at Fulton Mall, Former Kings County SB at Nostrand and Eastern Parkway, former Brevoort SB on Fulton Street, Bed Stuy.
Landmarked: Yes. Brooklyn Academy of Music HD,1977. Bank interior, lobby, landmarked in 1996.

The story: Like thousands of Brooklynites who worked or walked in the area, I used this building hundreds of times to check the time. My mother’s dentist was in this building. For many people, this building IS Brooklyn, almost as much as the Brooklyn Bridge is. For many years, Brooklyn’s tallest building, (second now, thanks to the Brooklyner) the Williamsburgh Bank Building is an icon of our borough, as well as one of New York City’s most beautiful skyscrapers.

The firm of Halsey, McCormack and Helmer produced some great bank buildings, not only in Brooklyn, but also the Dollar Savings Bank in the Bronx, and the Greenwich Savings Bank on 57th Street in Manhattan. The firm organized in 1920, with Hayward Halsey, a developer, former banker George H. McCormack, and architect Robert Helmer, who took charge of the design office, and is responsible for actually designing all of their buildings. If you think about it, this partnership was perfect. Banker McCormick was well-connected to the industry, and could get their foot in the door. He also knew intimately what was needed in the design of a proper bank. Helmer designed, and Halsey got it built.

102 Gates AveClinton Hill
102 Gates Avenue
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $3,350,000
Sunday 12:00 – 2:00

396 Vanderbilt Ave

Fort Greene
396 Vanderbilt Avenue
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $2,300,000
Sunday 1:30 – 3:00

470 MacDonoughBed Stuy
470 MacDonough Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,425,000
Sunday 2:00 – 3:30

67 East 2nd StWindsor Terrace
67 East 2nd Street
Broker: Town Residential
Price: $989,000
Saturday 1:00 – 2:30

10/17/14 11:00am


Remember the Carroll Gardens Atrocity? Here’s our first post on the subject, titled “CG Atrocity: There Goes the Neighborhood,” in April 2006. Back then we didn’t mince words:

Carroll Gardens better get off its ass and create some historic districts pronto. Here’s the poster child for the cause: The addition to this house at 3rd Place and Clinton Street, made all the worse by its corner location, has to be one of the greatest bastardizations of a beautiful old brownstone we’ve ever seen. May their condos languish on the market indefinitely. Do you think it would be possible to organize a buying strike against this place? Picket the open houses?

The actual addition turned out to be even worse than the rendering. Here’s what eventually happened to it, from our final post, in October 2012: (more…)

10/17/14 10:00am


Work is progressing slowly at 472 Marcus Garvey near Fulton in Bed Stuy, where a four-story mixed-use building has been in the works since 2011. The building will have 10 apartments and one store, according to a new building permit. The site has received a number of stop work orders over the years, mostly for construction impact on neighboring properties. Click through to see a rendering of the finished design. (more…)

10/17/14 9:00am


A new small building at 51 Troutman Street in Bushwick officially launched leasing yesterday, starting at $2,076 for a 526-square-foot one bedroom, rental agent Modern Spaces announced. There are eight units in the four story building, which is located near Silent Barn and the Myrtle Broadway JMZ stop. The most expensive unit in the building is a three-bedroom duplex, renting for $3,323 a month. One month of rent is free.

Finishes include hardwood floors, oversize windows, and Ceasarstone counters. There are hookups for washers and dryers but no actual appliances. BuzzBuzzHome was the first to spot the listings.

Two years ago the site was an empty lot. The property changed hands for $450,000 in 2013, and the owner uses a mail drop on Lee Avenue in South Williamsburg.

Click through for more photos. What do you think of the design, location and pricing?

51 Troutman Listings [Modern Spaces] GMAP

10/17/14 8:30am


Lovely Greenpoint Park Will Also Be Storm Barrier [NY Daily News]
Brownsville Pop-up Market Takes Over Vacant Lot [NY Daily News]
De Blasio’s Park Slope Home Rented out to First People Who Saw the Property [WSJ]
State May Have to Step in to Stop Home Conversions in Bay Ridge [Eagle]
Empty Lots in East New York to Become Arts, Business Incubators [Eagle]
Bushwick Residents Rally Against Gentrification [BK Paper]
Huxley Building Action in Greenpoint [Curbed]
Brookland Capital Files Permits for Two Crown Heights Projects [NYY]
100-Year-Old Math Teacher Still Going Strong at Brooklyn Elementary School [DNA]
Homeless Encampment Threatening Dog Owners in Fort Greene Park, Locals Say [DNA]
Most Brooklyn Rentals on Airbnb Are in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, AG Says [DNA]
Wilson L Stop Repairs to Only Make Manhattan-Bound Platform ADA Accessible [DNA]


A new wine shop, Vin de Table, is setting up shop in Bed Stuy at 354 Throop Avenue. The “soft” opening is today, but the store plans to officially open for business next week, according to its Facebook page. The store is located in a new building at the corner of Dekalb.

Vin de Table will carry a mix of international and local wines, with an emphasis on quality wines for $10 and less a bottle. “Our mission to find great affordable wines,” according to its website.

Thanks to a tipster for the photo and intel. Do you think a wine store will be an asset in this location? GMAP

10/16/14 1:30pm

733 Greene Combo

Here’s an interesting new-construction townhouse at 733 Greene Avenue in Bed Stuy. Check out the patchwork wallpaper in the living room and the jagged-edge (ombre or fade effect?) lawn in the back yard. The front facade isn’t perfect, but we like the mix of materials.

Coincidentally, the developer is the same as the one in our 11:30 am post today about 797-799 Herkimer Street, Nir Sapir of Bed Stuy’s East Coast Real Estate Development Group LLC. The applicant of record for both is an engineer, not an architect, so perhaps the developer does his own design.

It’s set up as an owner’s duplex over a garden rental. It’s a bit of a hike to the trains and the shops in Stuy Heights, so we think if they dropped a few numbers off the ask it’d be a pretty sweet deal. What do you think of it for $1,549,000?

733 Greene Avenue [Elliman] GMAP

10/16/14 10:00am

Hey, look, here on October 25, 2004, we predicted the coming crash! OK, well, the post, titled “It’s All About the Interest Rates, Stupid,” was actually a reblog of a New York Times story that predicted the coming crash. Still.

The real problem lurking below the surface of the real estate market, according to The New York Times, is the large number of the adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and interest-only loans that people have taken over the past couple of years to enable them to afford the monthly payments on the increasingly expensive homes they are buying. If rates do rise a few percentage points over the next couple of years, a lot of these folks could find themselves unable to make their payments. But The Donald isn’t too worried: “I just don’t think that the politicians can allow the rates to go up because then the economy beyond real estate will tank.”

It’s All About the Interest Rates, Stupid [Brownstoner]

10/16/14 9:00am


The two Carlton Mews projects in Fort Greene that have been under construction for years are wrapping up and looking spectacular, in our opinion. Isn’t it wonderful what landmarking can do?

In September we brought you a sneak peak of both projects. Now a reader sends in more photos.

At 225-233 Carlton Avenue, we have five brand new townhouses, all built in a 19th century traditional style in keeping with others in the area. They are looking very credible, as far as we’re concerned. The contractor used a mix of original and new bluestone to create the bluestone sidewalk in front of them. Each will feature a triplex above a garden floor rental, according to our tipster.

These are scheduled to wrap in December, according to the construction sign.

Meanwhile, the conversion of the church at 232 Adelphi Street is also nearing the finish line. Both projects, which have different owners, will be on the market in a few months, our tipster said. The church will have 12 apartments, ranging from studios to a three-bedroom duplex. In the clock tower is a kitchen with a 25-foot ceiling!

Click through to see a few more photos. What do you think of the developments?

Carlton Mews Church Restoration Revealed! [Brownstoner]  GMAP
Carlton Mews Townhouses Near the Finish Line [Brownstoner]
Carlton Mews Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)