01/28/15 10:00am

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New York YIMBY found two so-far-unpublished renderings for 247 Bedford, perhaps best known as the future home of Apple’s first Brooklyn store. The renderings shows an additional story at the north end and, notably, big square windows. The building previously had distinctive arched windows. These also appear in a previously published rendering.

It’s not clear which of the designs will actually be built — or if both sets of renderings are obsolete. BTW, Apple will occupy the southern corner of the building, closest to Metropolitan Avenue, at one time home to a bagel store. The late, lamented mom and pop shop Kings Pharmacy until recently occupied a large space on the northern end of the building.

Marin Architects is the designer. The firm has designed Duane Reade pharmacies and a Muji store, among other retail projects.

When we stopped by the construction site in late December, the unoccupied southern part of the building had been completely demolished. The part of the building that houses a Corcoran real estate office and former apartments above was still standing. A green construction fence and scaffolding covered the building.

Click through to see more renderings as well as a photo of the property we took in December.

First Look: Williamsurg Apple Store, 247 Bedford Avenue [NYY]
241 Bedford Coverage [Brownstoner]
First two renderings by Marin Architects via NYY; third rendering via The Real Deal

Update: We’re thinking the two new renderings may actually show the North 4th Street side of the building. That would explain why the smokestack is missing.

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Surprisingly, work has temporarily stopped on the southern Pierhouse condo building at 130 Furman Street. The Department of Buildings issued a partial stop work order on the construction site while the developer and the DOB investigate whether the height violates the Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District, at the request of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., New York YIMBY reported.

“Minor adjustments such as the alteration of bulkheads or parapets are among the type of alterations that may be necessary to bring the structure into full compliance,” Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer told YIMBY. “We take our responsibility to protect the Scenic View District very seriously.”

It sounds very dramatic, but even if a problem is found, any adjustments are likely to be minor, as Myer said. If anything, it will only reinforce the legality of the 30-foot addition on top of the nearby 1Hotel at 60 Furman Street, part of the same development, which has angered preservationists and spawned a new group, “Save the View Now.”

A lot of misinformation has circulated since we broke that story in September, but to summarize: The hotel at 60 Furman Street is 30 feet higher than expected, and when viewed from the south end of the Promenade, a portion above the roadbed of the bridge that was not blocked back in the days of the Cold Storage Warehouse is blocked now. So while it does violate an agreement hammered out between park officials and preservationists, it doesn’t appear to be violating any building codes or the Scenic View. (In fact, it’s not even in the Scenic View.)

Above, an old photo of the now-demolished Cold Storage Warehouse found on the website of the Bridge and Tunnel Club shows the road of the bridge visible just above the roof of the warehouse, when viewed from the southern end of the Promenade. Click through for more images.

Update: BBP contacted us this morning to clarify a few things: The Pier 1 development consists of three buildings, 60 Furman, 90 Furman, and 130 Furman — and technically, the BBP refers to the residential buildings at 90 and 130 Furman as “Pierhouse” and the hotel at 60 Furman as 1Hotel, a spokeswoman said. The first two buildings (Nos. 60 and 90) have topped out, and workers are in the middle of pouring the first floor at 130 Furman, BBP’s vice president of real estate told us. Back when the developers first applied for permits for 130 Furman, the DOB wasn’t reviewing them for compliance with the Scenic View District. The BBP requested that the DOB do so, and Tuesday, the developer submitted a post-approval amendment to show the building is in compliance and to bring it into compliance on some minor points, the BBP exec said. These include lowering a staircase bulkhead by a few inches and removing a few potentially questionable parapets.

Work Halted at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 Over Height Questions [NYY]
Pierhouse Addition Angers Preservationists [Brownstoner]
Photo above by Bridge and Tunnel Club; rendering below by Marvel Architects

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01/28/15 8:30am

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Stylish Plans for Sleepy, Industrial Red Hook [NY Times]
Recent Commercial Transactions: Fort Greene Church for Lease [NY Times]
Decades-Old Nordic Delicacies Closes in Bay Ridge [NY Daily News]
Photos: Bay Ridge Digs out From Winter Storm [Eagle]
Crown Heights’ Bergen House 50 Percent Sold [Curbed]
Pinnacle Group Picks up Five Brooklyn Buildings as Part of $31.7 Million Portfolio [TRD]
Urban American Buys Three Williamsburg Rentals for $48 Million [TRD]
Elizabeth Roberts Brings the Outdoors Into a Dilapidated Fort Greene Brownstone [Remodelista]
City Wants “Cushion Against Gentrification” in East New York Rezoning [DNA]

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The latest in the Bed-Vyne mini-empire, Bed-Vyne Cocktail, is getting ready to open at 305 Halsey Street in the old Mac’s Landing spot any day now. When we ran into one of the owners two weeks ago, he said they were planning to “soft open” at the end of the month. The official opening night is set for Sunday, February 15. (Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA.) Click through to see the announcement.

Bed-Vyne Wine and Brew Opening Craft Cocktail Bar on Halsey in Bed Stuy [Brownstoner] GMAP (more…)

01/27/15 1:30pm

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This two-family wood frame with a porch at 849 Belmont Avenue in East New York is one of the cuter houses for sale right now we haven’t already written about, and you can’t beat the price. It appears to be in move-in condition, with all new mechanicals. And even though it’s recently renovated and has new floors, it still has some nice plaster details. We like it.

As for the location, we’re not overly familiar with East New York, but we have visited Pitkin Avenue a couple of times. This is a block away, and there is an Associated grocery store close by.

What do you think of it for $369,000?

849 Belmont Avenue [Fillmore] GMAP

01/27/15 10:00am

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We are excited to bring you the first look inside the nearly completed apartments at 232 Adelphi Street in Fort Greene, the church conversion we have been following for years, where leasing launches Wednesday. We thought the 12 apartments would be condos, but it turns out they are rentals. We don’t have too many details on prices yet, but we do know they will start at $2,995 a month and go up as high as $11,500 a month.

As you can see from the photos above and below, the apartments incorporate lots of original church architecture, such as stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. Exposed brick lovers will have a field day.

“No two homes at the property are alike or similar to what else is currently on the market in Brooklyn for that matter,” said the press release. The units have open floor plans, high end appliances and finishes, and vaulted steel-beam ceilings.

All the apartments will be duplexes or triplexes, including two studios, four one-bedrooms, four two-bedrooms, and two three-bedrooms. There is also a shared garden in back, and storage in the basement.

The formerly crumbling but landmarked 1888 Gothic Revival structure was saved by the conversion. The exterior was restored with the approval of Landmarks.

Open houses are planned Saturday and Sunday. One of the units has been staged by furniture retailer Lazzoni USA. Listings for the apartments are not yet available online and will go up Wednesday. WIRE International Realty is handling leasing. Scaffolding still shrouded part of the exterior when we stopped by Sunday.

The current owner is Serabjit Singh of Beards LLC, according to public records, and the renovation was designed by RSVP Studio.

Click through to see lots more photos. What do you think of the design?

232 Adelphi Coverage [Brownstoner]
Interior photos by WIRE International Realty

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01/27/15 9:00am

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Do new, so-called “luxury” apartments seem to be getting smaller? It’s not your imagination. Land costs in Brooklyn are rising quickly, and so developers are squeezing more apartments in per building to make the profits pencil out, The New York Times reported over the weekend. (Sorry, we’re just getting to the story today.) To justify keeping the rents the same, they are adding ever-more baroque amenities.

We’ve noticed lots of high-end apartments (condos as well as rentals) that have strip kitchens in the living room, a space-saving move that seems more reminiscent of “SRO” than “luxury” to us. At the same time, the bathrooms keep getting bigger and more numerous.

Curiously, there’s a technical reason for that: The building code has changed and now requires more clearance for things like doors, resulting in larger bathrooms.

The lion’s share of new apartments in the City is going up in Brooklyn, with 6,500 new rental units and 134 buildings expected to open this year. (That’s double last year’s count of 2,981 units in 36 buildings.)

The story mentioned a few forthcoming big Brooklyn buildings: AvalonBay’s 100 Willoughby Street, City Tower at 336 Flatbush Avenue Extension (City Point Phase 2, pictured above), 247 North 7th in Williamsburg, and Madison Realty Capital’s 490 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

In addition to the now-standard amenities in new luxury buildings, such as lounges, fitness centers and even roof decks, some buildings will also feature a basketball court, a lawn, and, at  100 Willoughby Street, “a dog run with separate places for small and large dogs to play and a heated pergola for owners.”

We expect land will only continue to get more expensive.

New York’s New Rentals: Smaller Apartments, More Perks [NY Times]

01/27/15 8:30am

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New York City Is Spared the Worst Effects of Snowstorm [NY Times]
Good Night, New York: Quiet Streets After a Harried Commute [NY Times]
Workers at Park Slope Car Wash Are the 10th to Join a Union [NY Daily News]
Brooklyn Bridge Park May Change Plan to Allow Affordable Housing [WSJ]
Photos: Brooklyn Braces for Blizzard of 2015 [Eagle]
Kings Theatre Reopening Sparks Gentrification Fear [BK Daily]
A Guide to Australian Things in Brooklyn [BK Paper]
Bay-Front Mill Basin Home With Bamboo Garden Wants $8 Million [Curbed]
Inside a Rug Dealer’s Bright and Colorful Williamsburg Home [Racked]
Construction Update: Hello Sterling, 834 Sterling Place, Crown Heights [NYY]
Revealed: 324 20th Street, South Slope/Greenwood Heights [NYY]
Greenpoint Church Opens Homeless Program Despite Protests [DNA]
Farrell’s Orders Beer, Shoppers Throng Park Slope Food Co-op Ahead of Storm [DNA]
Blizzard Warning Lifted as Storm Only Drops 10 Inches of Snow on City [DNA]
Travel Ban Ends, Subways Expected to Return Later Tuesday [DNA]

01/26/15 1:30pm

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An Open House Pick in November, this attractive Park Slope brownstone at 763 Carroll Street is still on the market. Inside, scads of original details appear untouched, including what looks like wood work with the original finish, and everything looks to be in tip-top condition.

We like the 1880s fireplace, bold wood work and ironwork, and the sleek modern kitchen with door going out to a deck. There’s also a pier mirror, central air, two wet bars, original shutters, and elaborate built-ins.

Set up as an owner’s triplex over a two-bedroom garden rental, it looks slightly narrow in the floor plan, but PropertyShark has it at 20 feet wide and 4,404 square feet. It’s located close to 7th Avenue and less than two blocks from the park.

Originally asking $4,250,000, the price has dropped to $3,950,000. Is there some catch we don’t know about?

763 Carroll Street [Corcoran] GMAP

01/26/15 10:45am

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The old Weinstein hardware store, which had long dominated a prominent corner in Bed Stuy, will be torn down to make way for  – well, not a shiny new building, but a glassy and rusty one. We’re not sure what the materials shown in the construction fence rendering at 420 Tompkins Avenue will be, but it looks like concrete, steel, glass and rusty Corten steel paneling.

The overall effect is a mix of the industrial with the glitzy that would play well in Williamsburg but looks jarring in largely 19th century Bed Stuy and, not surprisingly, already has Bed Stuy residents and preservationists upset, going by the emails and Facebook posts over the past week.

The puzzling lack of retail on the ground floor is a mistake, in our opinion. (more…)

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The new housing generated by the de Blasio’s rezoning of East New York will be mostly subsidized, according to new details revealed by the administration Saturday. Other than that, the plan follows the same pattern carved out by Amanda Burden and the Bloomberg administration, as New York YIMBY pointed out: Upzone the avenues, downzone the residential side streets.

That means an upzone for Atlantic Avenue from Sheffield Avenue to Euclid Avenue, with buildings as high as 12 stories. It looks less sweeping than we were expecting, a much smaller area. Surprisingly, a wedge of Ocean Hill is also included.

The area, nestled around Atlantic between Broadway, Eastern Parkway and New York Avenue, will be upzoned and downzoned on a block-by-block basis, with affordable housing up to 12 stories going in along Broadway but downzoning planned for several blocks of low-density, 19th century houses between Herkimer and Atlantic. Interestingly, no rezoning for the manufacturing areas is planned, according to YIMBY.

Click here to see the map in more detail.

We’re wondering which particular projects and developers will benefit from the plan, but so far it looks good to us. What do you think of it?

De Blasio Administration Unveils Details of East New York Plan [NYY]