The New York Hotel Trades Council and the Hotel Association of New York City have bought a parking lot in the BAM Cultural District and plan to build a health center for their hotel workers on it, the New York Observer said. The paper speculated that the group may intend to sell its existing facility at 68-80 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn to be developed as apartments. In any case, they paid $19 million for the parking lot at 620 Fulton Street, which PropertyShark lists as 253 Ashland Place, and they plan to spend about $90 million constructing the new building. Income from retailers on the first floor will go into the employee benefits funds.
$90M Hotel Worker Health Center Coming to Downtown Brooklyn [NY Observer]
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark GMAP
This Park Slope brownstone is lavish and large, with three floor-through apartments over a 2,700-square-foot owner’s duplex. The triple parlors have 12 foot ceilings, 10-foot-tall fireplace mantles, and a second staircase going down to the garden floor, plus oodles of Victorian detail such as a built-in china cabinet, inlaid and parquet floors and elaborate wood work, including oak panelling and a screen. The house is close to the park too. How do you like it and the ask of $5,800,000?
930 President Street [Betancourt] GMAP P*Shark
A lot of great new buildings have gone up in Brooklyn recently and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has noticed. It plans to award the Barclays Center the prize for economic development in its Building Brooklyn awards today, according to The New York Daily News. Other winners include the Wythe Hotel for Adaptive Reuse, City Point for Retail, the Botanic Garden visitors center for Energy Efficiency, BAM Fisher for Arts and Culture, Pier 5 for Landscape and Open Space, a Toll Brothers development at 205 Water Street, pictured above, for Residential Multi-Family, the Pitkin Theater for Historic Preservation and Community Development, and Park Slope brownstone The Subtractive House for Single Family Residential. The panel of judges included architects, city planners, real estate executives, a representative from the borough president’s office, and the Daily News reporter who wrote the story. The awards ceremony will take place in July.
Barclays Among Architectural Standouts Honored by Chamber of Commerce [NY Daily News]
Photo by robfaulkner.com via NY Daily News
In the latest ‘Burg shocker, DNAinfo found some presumed hipsters who complained “poseurs” are ruining the neighborhood. Too many people who don’t live in Williamsburg are filling up its bars and streets on the weekends, they said. In truth, this has been the case since at least 2009, but admittedly has become even more extreme in recent months. Formerly deserted stretches of Kent and Wythe are now clogged with speeding cars, pedestrians, cyclists and strollers, and last Friday night when walking around we overheard no fewer than four groups of unrelated visitors speaking Italian. (That’s odd, since usually one hears a lot of French, from people who live in Williamsburg.) A visit to Williamsburg in the old days could make one feel at the center of the hipster universe. Now one feels at the center of the universe, period. We suspect the new developments on the waterfront, the opening of the Wythe Hotel, and the relentless media coverage of Williamsburg have something to do with it.
Bridge-and-Tunnel “Poser Hipsters” Clog Williamsburg Bars, Locals Complain [DNainfo]
The City hasn’t only failed to live up to its promises for parkland, but has built less than 2 percent of the affordable housing it pledged in exchange for rezoning the North Brooklyn waterfront, DNAinfo reported. Eight years ago the City said rezoning would allow 1,345 affordable units on City-owned land in North Brooklyn; in fact, only 19 have been built. The track record is slightly better for privately owned affordable housing: Out of 2,203 promised affordable units, 788 have been built. The City says more affordable housing is in the works, including in the Domino conversion and the controversial Greenpoint Landing complex. A group of nonprofits and local pols are planning a protest Wednesday to demand the City build more affordable housing in the area, where rents have skyrocketed to Manhattan levels. The rally will take place at 6 pm Wednesday, May 22, on Kent Avenue and North 7th Street.
City Built Less Than 2 Percent of Affordable Units Promised to Williamsburg [DNAinfo]
More zoning changes are in store for flood-prone areas of the City such as Red Hook and Dumbo. The City wants to change building rules to conform to the latest federal standards for flood resistant construction, and the public review process started Monday, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said. New rules would affect building heights, the location of mechanicals and off-street parking, the placement of stairs and ramps, activities on ground level, and the quality of the streetscape. But raising the ground floor above the flood line can make for some really ugly buildings, so the rules would allow gradual grading, stair turns, porches and plantings to “prevent unnecessarily stark landscapes with blank walls, and promote ‘eyes on the street’ to foster street-level vitality,” as a City press release put it. Burden, a Bloomberg appointee, has already rezoned a staggering 36 percent of the City, including “transforming the Brooklyn waterfront from its industrial past to its green park and glass tower present,” according to Crain’s. To comment on this story, head over to Brownstoner Queens.
Twitter photo via Weather.com
A farm stand-cafe of sorts called Bread Love has opened in the yard of 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, complete with picnic tables under a magnolia tree. They have farm-fresh eggs, milk, pastries and sandwiches. “Staff was super friendly,” said a tipster who checked it out. “I had a delicious ginger scone. If they can expand just a bit to include things like fresh flowers and bread, I think it’ll be a homerun.” This is the same space that was home to a Christmas tree stand a few years ago. The hours are 7:30 am to 9 pm seven days a week. GMAP
Of this Park Slope brownstone’s many stunning features, the best might just be the garage with parking for four cars. It also has an owner’s duplex with a nicely redone kitchen, a pretty bay window on the side, and a deck. Above are three floor-through apartments with three bedrooms each. The back wall of the building, the boiler, and the roof are new. It will be delivered vacant, according to the listing. How do you like the house and the ask of $3,300,000?
98 6th Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
Construction on Phase 2 of City Point is under way. The developers have made an ongoing commitment to contracting and construction employment that reflects the diversity of the surrounding community. In Phase 1 of the project, over 50 percent of contract dollars went to local, minority-owned and women-owned firms, and over 80 percent of construction workers were members of minority groups.
A tipster sent in these photos of an unusual proposal for a backyard pool in Brooklyn Heights. The description said, “105 Willow Street-Brooklyn Heights Historic District. An Eclectic-Diverse style rowhouse built between 1861-1879. Application is to excavate the rear yard.” More specifically, the homeowner proposed excavating the yard 25 feet down, putting in a pool and whirlpool underground with a barrel vault ceiling and a skylight, and an infinity reflecting pool on the top. The underground pool would not, of course, be visible from the outside, but apparently the LPC didn’t like something about the proposal because it was not approved. Our tipster speculated they didn’t like the sound of excavating “the whole backyard.” Potentially, the homeowner could modify the plans and try again.
This afternoon at MetroTech Plaza, faculty, students, and firms from NYU-Poly and its business incubators will demonstrate their research in 40 interactive, family-friendly exhibits. Visitors can check out various kinds of robots, apps, fiber-optic sensors, energy-harvesting building materials, wireless monitors for epileptic seizures, what’s in the Gowanus Canal and augmented reality. The engineering school is based at MetroTech, and its first annual Research Expo is free and will be open from 1 to 5 pm today.
Photo via NYU Poly
Barclays has its own “signature scent,” DNAinfo reported, and it’s not popcorn. An unnamed source said “it’s the work of ScentAir, a company that manufactures custom fragrances pumped into the air at theme parks, stores and hotels around the world. The odors function like mood music for your nose. They’re meant to enhance the consumer experience and build brand identities.” Barclays visitors variously described the scent as “weird, musky, cologne-y,” ”clean-smelling,” and with “citrus notes.” One said he “assumed the scent was Jay-Z’s Rocawear cologne.” Another tweeted the “whole place smells like a Calvin Klein store.” Seems like a strange choice of scent for such a rugged, industrial-style building, said another. Have you noticed anything funny in the air?
Barclays Center’s “Signature Scent” Tickles Noses, Curiosity [DNAinfo]
A story in the Times today has some data to back up what we’ve been seeing and experiencing anecdotally. As rents and home prices rise in Brooklyn, the well-to-do are moving into the city and the poor are fleeing to the suburbs, reversing a trend that has held since the mid-20th century. The number of poor people declined by 11 percent in Brooklyn and 10 percent in Manhattan, and increased 14 percent in the suburbs, or 100,000, from 2000 through 2010. “Poor” is defined as a family of four making less than $23,350 a year. The analysis is from the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. The first ten years of the 21st century were the tipping point, according to the study. The reasons? Higher housing costs, which “pushed poorer people out of Manhattan and Brooklyn, in particular,” said the story. Also, immigrants are now settling in the suburbs, where costs are lower and jobs pay less. Meanwhile, the number of poor households in Staten Island rose 18 percent.
Suburbs’ Share of Poor Has Grown Since 2000 [NY Times]
Now here is a curious sight: The owner of this building at 843-845 Dekalb is converting it from a four-family with two commercial units to a 10-family, adding two stories, and changing the position of all the windows on the front. Once the original facade is covered over with stucco, as per the permits, all trace of the old windows will be gone. GMAP
Landlords in Coney Island, Red Hook and Dumbo are helping out their Sandy-ravaged commercial tenants with rent and other aid, DNAinfo reported. Thor Equities has lowered rents by as much as 40 percent on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, benefitting Brooklyn Rock and Wampum, among others. Red Hook landlord Gregory O’Connell, whose own business moved back into its Red Hook HQ only last week, has offered low-interest loans and rent abatements to tenants. Two Trees Management in Dumbo has also been letting tenants pay rent later and talking to insurance companies on their behalf, as well as helping out with property repairs.
Brooklyn Waterfront’s Landlords Forgo Rent to Keep Sandy-Ravaged Tenants [TRD]
Photo by Lock
The brick rowhouse at 44 Monroe Street that was asking $1,650,000 — and whose interior was made over by its architect owner with an urban rustic vibe – has entered contract, as a commenter in the Forum pointed out yesterday. You can still see the photos on Streeteasy. When it was a House of the Day back in July, we said, ”Overall, looks like a nice effort. The bigger question in our minds is whether a three-story house (and one with relatively modest proportions, at that) in this location can command a price of $1,650,000 but we’ve learned our lesson about betting against the Minsk!” Did they get their ask? Well, it’s not so simple. We don’t know because, strangely, the sale has not yet hit public records, although the contract was signed in January, according to Streeteasy. Ominously, right about the same time, a lis pendens was filed against the property by the mortgage holder, although the amount is not listed in PropertyShark. (The mortgage was only $150,000.) Could title problems be holding up a sale? In the meantime, prices have really taken off in this corner of Bed Stuy. What do you think the property is worth now?
DNAinfo has a few more details on the story we broke yesterday about the huge development slated for the corner of 4th Avenue and 11th Street. Unsurprisingly, it will be a residential high rise, according to one of the homeowners whose house is one of five, above, slated to be demolished to make way for the build. But JBS Project Management, which is managing the project, had no comment. Interestingly, it seems the developer picked up the large corner lot first, then approached each homeowner to sell. DNAinfo profiles one holdout, 90-year-old Lillian Striano, who initially didn’t want to leave her home of 43 years, until her son convinced her she wouldn’t want to live next door to all the construction noise and dirt. As we reported yesterday, most of the homeowners got just under a million for each of their properties, except for 239 11th Street, which cost the developers $2,500,000. Striano, whose sale has not yet hit public records, said she can’t afford to buy another property in the area and is moving to Staten Island.
90-Year-Old Widow Last to Move out at 4th Avenue Development Site [DNAinfo]