69 vanderbilt avenue wallabout 122014

We’re sad to report that the city plans to demolish the crumbling mid-19th century wood frame at 69 Vanderbilt Avenue in the Wallabout Historic District. The HPD filed an emergency demolition permit last week.

A complaint from June said the house was shaking and leaning, and the DOB report said “front porch is unstable…neighboring houses may be in danger.”

Back in August after the construction fence went up we speculated the city had no plans to tear it down. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

“The New York Landmarks Conservancy has had No. 69 on its endangered list for years,” said the New York Times’ Christopher Grey in 2010. “There are only two ways it could get off the list, and right now it’s more likely to go feet first.”

Thanks to Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership for the tip and the photo.

69 Vanderbilt Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC


We were astounded to pass by and see the falling-down house at 1260 Bushwick Avenue has been fixed up. If anyone’s wandered these parts, they’ve surely noticed the row house next to an empty lot with its front facade peeling off, porch roof crumbling and, most remarkable and eye-catching of all, huge side wall sheathed in pieces of thin plywood — and some of those coming loose as well. It’s been like this at least since 2007, based on PropertyShark photos and our own visits to the area. Sometimes it looked as though people were living in it, too, although we were never sure. Or perhaps they were squatters.

There had been signs, over the months, that some kind of construction might be imminent, but we didn’t really believe it. In any case, now here it is, with a completely new stucco facade, looking as if it were never abandoned or a likely candidate for a tear-down.

After years of stagnation, there is a frenzy of construction in Bushwick. It’s impossible to walk down the street in Bushwick without seeing new buildings rising and old ones being renovated — generally by investors, not owner occupants. We’ll be showing you more projects over the next week or two.

In the meantime, click through to see more photos of 1260 Bushwick as well as other houses being spruced up — or horribly altered, depending on your point of view. The stucco-over-wood-frame treatment is very popular these days. We saw two more up the avenue. (more…)


Residents of 992 and 994 Bedford Avenue were evacuated after a garbage truck plowed into the corner deli at 994 early this morning, according to a Brownstoner reader who emailed us about the accident. The truck swerved to avoid a car that ran a red light and injured eight people, said The New York Daily News.

The residents of 992 Bedford, a three-family building, were allowed back in after the DOB checked it out, but now 994 has a full vacate order on the property, said our tipster. The latter has two units over a store.

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark


Demo has started at 111 Clarkson Avenue, the singular Victorian house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens whose style the AIA Guide once described as “berserk eclecticism.” A demo permit was issued March 14. When we stopped by Sunday, a fence had gone up, the interior had been gutted, windows had been removed, and holes chopped in the roof.

As reported, owner and developer Seth Brown from Aspen Equities plans two rental buildings of 22 and 28 units each. The interior of 111 Clarkson Avenue was lavish, as 1970s photographs by Dinanda Nooney revealed, but over the years the exterior had been altered and the house was rotting from years of exposure to the elements.

Click through to the jump for more photos.

Two Rental Buildings to Replace “Berserk Eclectic” House at 111 Clarkson [Brownstoner]  GMAP (more…)


The Landmarks Preservation Commission is fining Whole Foods a second time for failing to maintain the Coignet building at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, Brooklyn Paper reported. The $3,000 fine issued in December was dismissed because the city forgot to bring a piece of paper to court. Grocery store spokesman Michael Sinatra told the paper that restoration began Monday, as we noted. The project is supposed to wrap late this year.

City to Cite Whole Foods Second Time for “Neglecting” Old Building [Brooklyn Paper]
Coignet Building Coverage [Brownstoner]


Scaffolding has gone up on the side of the Coignet Building next to Whole Foods, above, where it appears the grocer is finally making good on its obligation to repair the landmark, Gowanus Your Face Off reported.

As we noted previously, in December a renovation permit was approved and Whole Foods was fined $3,000 by the city for failing to maintain the structure (after complaints to the DOB that construction on its new building had caused structural cracks in the facade).

The scaffolding is in the tiny alleyway between the two buildings. A construction sign at the site says the restoration will finish in “late 2014,” said GYFO.

Coignet Building Restoration Has Begun, Anticipated Completion in 2014 [GYFO]
Look Inside the Crumbling Coignet Building [Brownstoner]
City Approves Permits for Whole Foods to Restore Coignet Building [Brownstoner]
Coignet Building in Bad Shape [Brownstoner]
Photo by GYFO


It looks like the crumbling but landmarked Coignet building may finally be getting some love.

In December, the city approved new permits for Whole Foods to restore the building at 360 3rd Avenue. The permit, filed on October 11 and approved on December 3, outlines plans to “renovate building facade, repair, replacement and repointing cast stones wall, reconstruct stairs, install new windows and doors as shown on drawings.”

In early December, neighborhood residents complained to the city that construction of the new grocery store had damaged the landmark. On December 20, the Landmarks Preservation Commission fined Whole Foods $3,000 for failure to maintain the property, The Brooklyn Paper reported at the time. Although Whole Foods does not own the building, it promised to restore and stabilize the exterior in exchange for being able to build its store on the landmark property.

A year earlier, Whole Foods had said it planned to finish the building restoration before it opened its new store.

Coignet Building in Bad Shape [Brownstoner]


The former ruin and Gothic Revival beauty at 374 Pacific Street that was asking a staggering $7,900,000 is in contract. A deal was reportedly struck for less than $5,950,000, according to the blog BK to the Fullest. About a month ago, the asking price dropped to $6,950,000, said Streeteasy.

The badly deteriorated building was not even a full shell when it sold for $1,335,000 in 2010. The 26-foot-wide, 7,000-square-foot property has been extensively and lavishly rebuilt. If it closes for more than $5,000,000, it will set a record for Boerum Hill.

Have the Bears Descended on Brooklyn??: 374 Pacific Street [BK to the Fullest]
374 Pacific Street Listing [Douglas Elliman]
House of the Day: 374 Pacific Street [Brownstoner]
Makeover, $7.9M Ask for Infamous Wreck [Brownstoner]
Photo by Douglas Elliman


When we passed by the mixed-use apartment building at 302 Stuyvesant Avenue recently, we were surprised to see the metal exterior of the corner tower gone and the studs exposed. The prominent corner building has been vacant, boarded up and deteriorating for years, possibly decades.

A full vacate order was issued on the property for shaking in 2008, although PropertyShark photos from 2006 show it boarded up then. The Queen Anne Romanesque Revival style was designed and built by developer and architect Walter F. Clayton and is part of the historic district, according to the designation report, although no year is given.

In September, the building traded hands for $800,000, according to public records. A November application for an Alt-1 permit to turn six apartments into eight was disapproved last month.

Click through to the jump to see the building with its tower intact in April 2012.

Second photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark (more…)


A run-down but historic building at 71 Irving Place has been gutted and renovated and is back on the market. Last year, a section of the facade of the multifamily apartment building crumbled while it was for sale for $975,000. At the time, it was marketed as a gut renovation, not a teardown.

The new owners, Big Brooklyn Rehab Company, picked it up for $750,000 and decided to turn it into a three-family. They set up the 1870s brick building as a 2,500-square-foot owners duplex with two floor-through apartments above. Each unit has central air and three to four bedrooms. There are wide-plank oak floors, white lacquer cabinets, marble counters, vented range hoods, vented washers and dryers, and a roof deck. The ask for the whole building is $2,500,000.

What do you think of how it turned out?

71 Irving Place Listing [Corcoran]
Inside the Renovation at 71 Irving Place [Brownstoner]
Work Happening at 71 Irving After Building Collapse [Brownstoner]
A Building Collapse on Irving and Putnam [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photos by Corcoran