The popularity of shared office space is on the rise, thanks in part to the latest round of layoffs: more folks need a spot to work, or maybe look for work, now that they don’t have offices. Enter Brooklyn Creative League, a “workspace and a community of simpatico colleagues for freelancers, independent workers, and small-shop companies.” The space, still being rehabbed (as evidenced by the photo), is at 540 President, between 3rd and 4th Avenues, and the theme is green: low-VOC paint, FSC-certified molding, reclaimed church pews for seating, local vendors, etc. Sounds like a good place to work, no? Estimated opening date: February 15th or so. GMAP
A tipster sent in this review of the construction at 113 Prospect Place: “The owners of a horribly neglected corner building, instead of pointing the very worn facade, are covering it with STYROFOAM…prelude to ALUMINUM SIDING?????!!!! Shoddy scaffolding…no permits….piles of garbage…truly shocking!!!” That’s a lot of exclamation points for one building, but he’s not the only one with his knickers in a knot over the building. In November, the Brooklynian boards were hopping with complaints about the project, claiming bits of debris were falling and no permits were posted on the site. There’s only one recent permit on file with the DOB, to install a sidewalk shed for “remedial repairs.” Maybe those remedial repairs include the falling debris? GMAP
The folks at this 9th Street brownstone in Park Slope aren’t letting the recession, or the sudden cultural distaste for gilt and glamour, get in the way of their renovation. They’re restoring their bracketed cornice to all its gold leafed glory. Such attention to detail!
Looks like the firm responsible for the stalled project at 357 15th Street in the South Slope has also been hard at work on some big ole buildings on Bedford Avenue, in the northern hemisphere of Bed-Stuy. Sandor Weiss has also designed this six-story, 12-unit building (there are two matching buildings next door, to the north). The big news about the building, in a heavily Jewish area, is that a swastika was spray painted on it in September. GMAP
Though it looked pretty boarded up when we swung by, it seems a business called Washington Tavern is opening up at 434 Park Place, between Underhill and Washington. They applied for a liquor license on December 10th. According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the application is still pending. Anybody got more news? GMAP
This apartment building, at 340 14th Street, is entirely vacant except for the apartment on the first floor, left. (The building to the left is also entirely vacant). Perhaps the sign in the window gives a clue to why this one unit was salvaged; apparently the tenant’s soul was salvaged as well. Per Property Shark, the owner is contractor Henry Azcue, also responsible for the work that finally started on 132 2nd Place. Guess that means it’s due for a fixin… eventually. GMAP
We’ve gotten used to drug stores selling just about everything, from tissues to milk to photo developing (remember that?). Well, now Neergard, rumored to be the oldest business in Park Slope, has expanded into the toy biz. Their second floor is now fully stuffed with all things kiddie, just in time for holiday spending. GMAP
683 Fourth Avenue was originally to be a 10-unit, 10-story tower, per the permit filed in 2006. The architect? Mr. Scarano. We found this rendering on the Cardinale Web site, claiming a 20,000 square foot project consisting of “12 units and stories of residential condominium space with units available in 2009.” The date seems unlikely. There’s a stop work order on the property, for one thing. Also, wasn’t that Scarano fella being sued? GMAP DOB
IMBY, a blog chronicling development in the South Slope, has this report on a new Karl Fischer building at 1638 8th Avenue: “Yes, Prospect Terrace is actively breaking ground. Yes, assorted foundation work is still in progress. Someday, it will look just like this…” From the two-year-old photos on the site, looks like many delays have held the project back. Seems pretty humble at three stories compared to some other South Slope offerings. GMAP
There’s a bit of a building boom on 21st Street, with a mixed bag of new construction. On the brighter side, the once Brooklyn-based firm Coggan + Crawford (they’ve since moved to Starkville, Mississippi) is already responsible for a green condo building next door, at 270 21st Street, which won an award from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce last year, and now they’re making progress on 272, a four-story, four-unit condo in the making. Front and back renderings to the right. The developers are Chris Giancola and Lawrence Vento, also responsible for 270. Nice that they’re trying a very different look. GMAP
Quality of life may be on the downturn here, but not length of it. “Life expectancy has risen by a year and three months since 2001, giving New Yorkers a life-expectancy of 79 years old,” reports AMNY. “And last year, the death toll citywide dropped to a record-low of 6.5 deaths per 1,000 people; the number of overall deaths, meanwhile, have dropped from 60,218 in 2001 to 54,073 in 2007.”
1230-sf, 3-bed, 3-bath
Original listing: $900,000, 5/2/07
Price as of 12/12/08: $779,000
Listed by Aguayo & Huebener 440 Kent Avenue #PH2A/2B
3,540-sf 5-bed, 4.2-bath
Original listing: $5.2 million, 10/17/08
Price as of 12/12/08: $4.7 million
Listed by Sotheby’s 12205 Flatlands Avenue
650-sf 1-bed, 1-bath
Original listing: $149,000, 11/12/08
Price as of 12/10/08: $139,000
Listed by Maxima
Tax Break May Have Helped Cause Housing Bubble [NY Times]
Photo by Paul Graham Raven.
The author of yesterday’s article in the NY Times about Madoff’s impact on the NYC real estate market made a guest appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show to flush out the article. Bottom line: Madoff scandal=big problem for development. One issue: a bunch of developers and real estate folks suddenly have a whole lot less cash. Another: ain’t gonna be so easy to get cash. “Many of the developers…have lines of credit with commercial banks, and these lines of credit are secured by their personal net worth,” said Michael Stoller, who joined the discussion. “Now their financial statement is inaccurate.” Another: glut of office space, since many businesses lost their shirts in the last few days. And another: stalled or abandoned projects, oy vey. One developer apparently not affected by the Ponzi scheme is Bruce Ratner; not sure if you guys will think that’s good news or bad.
Reality Check [WNYC]
Photo by broken aperture.
This is one spot where the financial meltdown isn’t getting in the way of progress. This five-story, 25-unit building has come a long way since we checked in on it in September. The shoring, underpinning and foundation are long finished, and they’re climbing above two stories now. GMAP DOB
Development Watch: 585 6th Avenue [Brownstoner]
The 7th Avenue outpost of Kensington-based Thai Tony’s has bid adieu. The space, at 447 7th Avenue, is already painted over, but this blog reports that they’re just undergoing renovation and will re-open later this month. The folks at the Kensington outlet say it’s gone for good. Update 12/19: A new post on Brooklynian says that the new spot will be another Thai take-out restaurant called Fueng Far. GMAP
In October, fourteen new businesses decided to call Dumbo home, even as office vacancies were growing in Manhattan. Well, the trend continues. Six companies just leased space from Two Trees’ buildings 55 Washington Street, 20 Jay Street and 45 Main Street, totalling 9,761-square-feet. A couple of music and talent agencies have followed their movie star and rock star clients to the borough, including G4 Enterprises, The Rebel Group and Jon Rubenstein. Meanwhile, broker Chris Havens nabbed a tenant for 31 Washington (pictured above), leasing 5,150 square feet to Michael McDonald’s Mick Artist Management for 10 years. They rep musicians John Mayer and Natalie Merchant among others. Happy celebrity sighting in Dumbo.
In the New York metro area, there are already 32 commercial properties in distress. Those buildings, valued at $3.4 billion, belong to owners who have either gone bankrupt, defaulted on their mortgages or put their property in foreclosure. Another 236 properties, valued at $8.6 billion, are potentially troubled, according to the study [by Real Capital Analytics]. – Crain’s NY