04/15/14 11:30am


Interior demolition has started at 144 Willow Street, a landmarked building in Brooklyn Heights that Jared Kushner purchased from Brooklyn Law School in February as part of a bigger $36,500,000 deal.

A crew of at least eight started work late last week, a tipster told us. He didn’t see any certificate of no exterior effect, required by Landmarks, he said, except on former Watchtower buildings, which deeds indicate this was not.

An Alt-2 permit filed this month indicates a renovation is planned for the apartments on the basement through the fourth floors.

Kushner plans to turn three of the buildings in the recently acquired portfolio back into single-family townhouses, as we reported last week, but this one will remain apartments.

04/15/14 9:30am


Community Board 8 is holding an economic development forum to encourage business and jobs in Crown Heights and Weeksville. The forum is free and open to the public.

“The goal is to educate the community about strategies to invest and diversify investment options in CB8, look at what has been done and look ahead to what could be done,” said Atim Annette Oton, chair of board’s Economic Development Committee. “The board is looking to explore ideas to create businesses and jobs not just in retail and food but manufacturing in our M1 zone as well as attract other business types.”

There will be panels on real estate opportunities in the neighborhood, expanding the cultural assets of the area, and local businesses. Local business owners, including from Docklands and Franklin Park, and financial consultants will talk about the challenges and rewards of owning a business as well as offer advice. Representatives of Weeksville Heritage Center, Friends of Brower Park, Five Miles, Haiti Cultural Exchange, and others will talk about cultural development. There will also be speakers from the New York Business Development Corporation, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and Atlantic Avenue Industrial Center/Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. The latter’s manufacturing space at 1102 Atlantic Avenue, pictured above, is scheduled to open next year. (more…)

04/15/14 8:30am


Beyond New York, Rent Is Rising out of Reach of Middle Class [NY Times]
Brooklyn Landlords to Repay Over $1 Million in Fees [NY Times]
Battle Continues to Preserve Jackie Robinson’s Home [NY Post]
“All of Brooklyn’s a Stage,” Proclaims Borough President Eric Adams [NY Daily News]
Bushwick Occult Store Seeks Greenspace Funds [NY Daily News]
Dumbo Parks Seeking Designers for Spruce-up [Brooklyn Paper]
Atlantic Yards B2 Tower Must Speed up Construction to Meet December Deadline [Curbed]
Brooklyn Lawmakers Push to Criminalize “Rent Sabotage” [Capital NY]
FIPS Founder on Leaving Brooklyn and Selling From Afar [Brick Underground]
Fort Greene’s Most Affordable Townhouse [BK to the Fullest]
Anatomy of a Brooklyn Mega Deal [TRD]
Rental Prices at Record Highs in Brownstone Brooklyn, New Report Finds [DNAinfo]
Fourth of July Fireworks Returning to East River [DNAinfo]
Park Slope Parents Sign Vow to Be Responsible Bosses to Nannies [DNAinfo]


04/14/14 2:00pm


Menswear maker and retailer By Robert James‘s Williamsburg store has moved around the corner, from 241 Bedford Avenue to 193 Grand Street. The new store, which opened in February and had its grand opening party last month, is between Bedford and Driggs, on the same block as Bird.

The locally made wares include corduroy paisley shirts, animal print jackets and skinny ties. The company is known for its friendly attitude and frequent parties. There is also a second Brooklyn store, at 416 Atlantic Avenue, and the original store on the Lower East Side. 

By Robert James Opens in Williamsburg [Brownstoner] GMAP

04/14/14 1:30pm

This beautifully restored Windsor Terrace house is close in price to some recent Bed Stuy and Crown Heights listings that are in need of a top-to-bottom renovation.

“All plumbing, heating, electrical, insulation, and walls have been replaced within the past seven years,” says the listing, and yet it has many beautiful details, including original floors, a restored staircase, and a vintage style kitchen and baths.

The kitchen has a Monitor Top fridge, vintage Chambers stove and farmhouse sink. The bathrooms have subway tile, marble hex tile, a restored claw foot tub and a walk-in shower. What do you think of it and the ask of $1,900,000?

505 17th Street [Corcoran] GMAP

04/14/14 11:30am


Store owners on Court and Smith streets in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens are banding together to create a Business Improvement District, or BID. They have also launched an online survey.

The purpose of the proposed merchants association would be to strengthen local mom and pops, who are facing escalating rents in the area due to recent lease signings from retailers such as J.Crew, Splendid and Rag & Bone, according to DNAinfo. “Merchants on Court and Smith streets are banding together to draw more business to the area so that they can afford the neighborhood’s rapidly rising rents,” said the story.

Like all BIDs, the group would take on sanitation, greening, safety and marketing to help businesses in the area thrive. They’ve also launched an online campaign to raise $10,000 for the BID.

Steering Committe members include D’Amico Coffee, Carroll Gardens Realty, Diane T., Stinky BKLYN, Viceroy Properties and Mazzone Hardware. Pictured above is a lower stretch of Court Street near the BQE.

04/14/14 9:30am


New York Daily News has annointed Williamsburg’s Wythe Avenue the new Meatpacking District, which will probably sound like pretty old news to anyone who’s visited the area in the last few years. It’s only going to get more so, predicted the story, which ran down three of the hotel projects planned for the street, which The Real Deal also profiled last week.

The gravitational pull of Brooklyn’s new nightlife district is giving new meaning to the old term “bridge and tunnel,” according to the story.

“The whole bridge-and-tunnel terminology is becoming outdated,” said Brooklyn Bowl cofounder Charley Ryan. “There are people who live in Brooklyn and think of people in Manhattan as bridge and tunnel.” The Daily News also found a Brazilian tourist who said he spent 90 percent of his visit in Brooklyn. “Williamsburg has a better version of everything I come to New York for. Better people, better food, better clubs and better views of Manhattan,” he said.

Opening soon at the far end of Wythe is the club in Kinfolk Studios, to be called Kinfolk 94. “Made of exposed wood and shaped like a hippie eco-lodge in the Pacific Northwest, 94 is slated to become a rocking dance and performance club when it opens next month,” said the News. Its cedar geodesic dome was praised by the Times in February as an exception to the trend of monotonous architecture in Williamsburg.

“Every year this block gets more tourists,” said Kinfolk spokesman Felipe Delerme. “By 2020, it’s going to be Times Square,” he said, only partly joking.

Wythe Avenue Soars as Global Nightlife Mecca [NY Daily News]

04/14/14 9:00am


A Brooklyn Heights brownstone overlooking the Promenade is asking $16,000,000. If 192 Columbia Heights sells for ask, it will set a record, as The New York Times was the first to point out. So far the record for a townhouse in the Heights is 70 Willow Street, where Truman Capote famously rented, which sold for $12,500,000 in 2012.

This place is 25 feet wide, five stories tall and has nearly 8,000 square feet of space. It is in move-in condition.

Now that prices in “emerging” Brooklyn have about doubled in the last few years, do you think prices in prime Brooklyn will recalibrate? What do you guess it will sell for?

A Townhouse Above the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Asks $16 Million [NY Times]
192 Columbia Heights Listing [Kevin J. Carberry Real Estate/Corcoran]
Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

04/14/14 8:30am


Carol Grimaldi, Co-Founder of Lauded Brooklyn Pizzeria, Dies at 76 [NY Times]
Artist Paints Mural on Ralph’s Bodega in Fort Greene [NY Times]
New York Boomers on Hipster Turf [NY Times]
Room for Debate: The Pros and Cons of Gentrification [NY Times]
After Moving to Boerum Hill for Cheaper Rent, Brecht Forum Closes [NY Times]
Bed Stuy Synagogue Seeks $4.5 Million Fix [NY Daily News]
Explosion, Fire in Fort Greene Brownstone [NY Daily News]
Brouhaha Over the Beachfront Bathroom View [WSJ]
Here’s Graphic Proof That Brooklyn Is Now Manhattan [Curbed]
Once-Troubled Carroll Gardens Building Now Expensive Rentals [Curbed]
Permits Filed: Apartments to Replace Laundromat in Bed Stuy [YIMBY]
Google Maps: Zombie Apocalypse Is Located in Vinegar Hill [Voice]
B2 Tower Gradually Rising as Bergen Tile Comes Down [AYR]
Another Investor Makes Land Grab in Sunset Park [TRD]
Pizza Moto Delivery, Beer Hall and Ramen Burgers Coming to Dean Street [DNAinfo]
CB2 Bid to Take Over Atlantic Yards Jokingly Compared to Crimea Invasion [DNAinfo]
Grand Street to Host Easter Egg Hunt Pub Crawl Saturday [DNAinfo]
Mayfield to Expand With Mexican Restaurant, Replacing Dub-Stuy Records in Bed Stuy [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn Organization Honored for Work With Immigrant Workers [NY1]


Last week, a reader spotted an ad on Fillmore for Manny’s asking $240,000 for the business. “Fully equipped turnkey French style cafe business for sale,” said the ad. The price would include taking over the 10-year lease as well as all the interior fittings and equipment of the cafe, above, which the owners had beautifully decorated with wood panelling and a vintage mantel.

Manny’s opened at 212 Patchen Avenue in Bed Stuy in October of 2012 and closed about a year later, promising to reopen after they put in gas service. They opened as a cafe serving a variety of sandwiches and baked goods from sister businesses Choice Market and Dough but the intention was always to be a full-service restaurant.

Meanwhile, over at Choice Greene, the mini-empire’s grocery store at 214 Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill, the store is now almost empty of goods and fixtures except for one person in the back preparing bagels, another reader tells us. In February, we reported that their sign had come down and they were advertising a “close-out sale” but were not going out of business, according to one of the workers at the counter.

We reached out to the owner for comment and to see if he could share with us his plans for Choice Greene, but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, the ad for Manny’s has disappeared off the Fillmore site. We hope that means they’ve found a buyer, but in any case, we have enjoyed all their businesses (we’re eating a Dough doughnut right now) and wish them well in everything they do.

04/11/14 1:00pm

Park Slope
364 Butler Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $2,195,000
Sunday 1:30 – 2:30

Columbia Street Waterfront
109 President Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,995,000
Sunday 12:00 – 2:00

Bay Ridge
429 73rd Street
Broker: Warren Lewis Sotheby’s
Price: $1,795,000
Sunday 3:00 – 5:00

1284 Putnam Avenue
Broker: Elliman
Price: $815,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:30

04/11/14 11:00am

Townhouses in Bed Stuy east of Malcolm X are starting to see the same kind of rapid price appreciation that kicked off in the west end of the neighborhood close to Clinton Hill in the summer and fall of 2011 and then spread to Stuyvesant Heights in 2012.

A townhouse at 732 Macon Street, which was a House of the Day in March, just closed for the asking price of $1,225,000 in an all-cash deal, Halstead agent Morgan Munsey, who handled the sale, told us. It is a probable record for the area, where a few townhouse sales have recently closed for just under $1 million. The purchasers are not investors and intend to live in the house.

A four-story double duplex two-family, the house is in good condition with recently updated mechanicals and systems but also has lots of original details as well as fairly generic renovated kitchens and baths. This sale, as well as 417A Halsey, 333 MacDonough Street and others, clearly shows that townhouse buyers in the area prefer renovated houses with details and that these types of houses set price records, which are then followed by flip jobs with no interior details and, last, by fixer-uppers.

The price history of 732 Macon over the years perfectly reflects what is happening in the neighborhood. It sold for $560,000 in 2006, then was on the market again for $790,000 in 2011 but did not sell. (It was also a House of the Day in 2011.)

Built in 1891 by architects Cornell and Barnes, it’s in the proposed Stuyvesant East Historic District and close to Saratoga Park.

We also hear the house next door, at 730A Macon, is in contract for the ask, which is $1,100,000.

The overall record for a townhouse sale in all of Bed Stuy is still the Parfitt Brothers-designed Queen Anne townhouse at 254 Gates Avenue, which sold for $2,200,000 in January of 2013.