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The StorageMart on Atlantic Avenue — a huge, hard-to-miss building — is closing to make way for Atlantic Yards. Management sent out a notice via email to its customers yesterday, which one of them forwarded to us. Turns out the building is one of the ones being taken over by eminent domain! The judge granted the state’s request for all seven of the remaining Atlantic Yards sites yesterday, as DNAinfo and Atlantic Yards Report were the first to note.

StorageMart isn’t happy about the seizure. “The New York State Urban Development Corporation dba Empire State Development (ESD) has been trying for years to take over our property located at 718 Atlantic Ave as part of the Atlantic Yards project. Unfortunately it finally succeeded on August 29, 2014,” the email says.

Click through to see the letter.

Photo by Greg Snodgrass for PropertyShark (more…)

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In August, the affordable housing provider (L+M Development Partners) withdrew from the Fortis deal to buy Long Island College Hospital from SUNY. Now the health care provider, NYU, is doing the same thing. The development “appears to leave the Fortis Property Group’s proposal to buy LICH in tatters,” said The Brooklyn Eagle, which reported the news.

NYU bowed out of its role to offer emergency services and ambulatory care on the valuable Cobble Hill property because of the nurses’ lawsuit over hiring, according to a statement from NYU reprinted by the Eagle. NYU had already invested substantial time and money in getting the health services up and running, including hiring 99 employees.

Ironically, when SUNY earlier rejected two higher-ranked bidders, it had said it doubted they could deliver the health care services they promised.

NYU Withdraws From LICH Deal, Throwing Sale of Hospital Into Disarray [Eagle]

77 commercial street greenpoint

The waterfront megadevelopment at 77 Commercial Street in Greenpoint is kicking into high gear this week with three new building applications for towers at 77, 85 and 87 Commercial Street. CetraRuddy Architecture filed plans for a 30-story, 224-unit building at No. 77 and a 40-story, 296-unit building at No. 87. The two high-rises will reach 306 feet and 402 feet into the air, easily dwarfing everything else near the Greenpoint waterfront.

The final building at No. 85 will be only six stories tall but hold 200 apartments spread across 230,149 square feet. It will also have 300 underground parking spots, 360 bike storage spaces, MTA offices and parking, ground-floor retail and the development’s leasing office, according to Schedule A filings. Developer Chetrit Group has promised to set aside 200 units of affordable housing and work with the city to create Box Street Park. 

Meanwhile, site work began last month at the Greenpoint Landing, which is next door on Commercial Street and will eventually include 10 towers, four acres of park land and a K through 8 school.

77 Commercial Street Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by CentraRuddy and MPFP via WSJ

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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…)

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Filmmaker and actor Brian Crano and David Craig initially planned to buy a brownstone (or an apartment in one) when they moved from L.A. to Brooklyn. But after losing out on several places, they did a complete about-face and created a unique space in a totally generic new-construction building in Vinegar Hill, The New York Times reported.

They combined two one-bedroom apartments plus common hallway space on the top floor of a “developer’s special,” as the Times put it, then embarked on a gut renovation that included a new kitchen from Henrybuilt. They spent a total of $1,228,000 buying the space (including the hallway) and another $500,000 or so on the renovation. (more…)

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The developer of the Ace Hotel at 61 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn is requesting a variance from the city to build it. There will be a public hearing tonight at a meeting of Community Board 2′s Land Use Committee to consider the request. This will be the only opportunity the public will have to comment on the matter, according to a letter that went out to neighbors earlier this month (click through to see the letter).

Confusingly, the letter did not state what exactly the developer is seeking the variance for. The rumor is the developer wants to build higher than current zoning permits, and put a bar and pool on the roof, according to a tipster who sent us the letter. The neighbors are worried, our tipster said, adding, “I was excited by Ace developing the site (vs. the typical schlock hotels that tend to get developed in Downtown Brooklyn) and remain hopeful it will be a positive.”

If you want to speak at the meeting, you must call the community board district office at 718-596-5410. The meeting will take place at 6 pm tonight in Room LC400 at the Dibner Building at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering at 5 MetroTech Center.

The hotel will replace a parking lot, above. An application for a new building permit was disapproved in August.

Permits Filed for Brooklyn’s Ace Hotel [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY

Update: The developer would like to add density (more square feet), not height. Anyone who wishes to testify tonight can do so by signing in before the hearing, CB2 District Manager Robert Perris let us know in a comment below.

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The historic Fox Savoy Theater has been reduced to rubble at Lincoln Place and Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Demolition began last winter and moved along pretty slowly, because workers took the building down by hand and salvaged pieces of its ornate facade. The 1926 Neo-Classical structure was originally built as a movie palace for mogul William Fox (of 20th Century Fox), but in recent years a church occupied the grand white terra cotta building.

Charity Baptist Church sold the Thomas Lamb-designed building at 1515 Bedford Avenue for the low seeming price of $575,000 in 2012, as we reported. A 10-story, 114-unit apartment building designed by Issac & Stern will rise in its place at 1515 Bedford Avenue. The development will have 60 subterranean parking spots, ground-floor space for a synagogue and a roof deck, as previously reported. The developer is Realty Within Reach.

Click through for a few more photos of the demolition.

1515 Bedford Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Building of the Day: 1515 Bedford Avenue [Brownstoner]

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We debated whether to ignore or call out The Post’s story on crime in Bed Stuy and Bushwick, which reads like something written by an Internet troll circa 2008. It even has the requisite gentrifier who says “More people like me are moving in and changing the neighborhood. So that’s comforting.” Newsflash: Violent crime is less than half what it was in the early ’90s, thanks to the efforts of people who have been living here all along, including community boards and Neighborhood Watch groups.

Bed Stuy does have a problem with young black men shooting each other, and it’s horrifying and needs to stop — as people in the community recognize all too well. That’s entirely different from saying white gentrifiers will be preyed on by black bogeymen, which is the implication of the story — but not supported by facts.

“There has also been an uptick in burglaries and muggings targeting the gentrifiers who move in,” said the story, but it did not give any evidence to support that. Crime is down across the board. In the 81st Precinct, for example, which covers part of Bed Stuy, violent crime to date this year is down in every category, including burglary and felonious assault, except rape.

We hope violent crime will continue to decrease, including rape, for the sake of everyone who lives here, not just the newcomers.

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The Dutch-designed, Chinese-developed Oosten condos debuted at 429 Kent Avenue in south Williamsburg this week, with one-bedrooms starting at $710,000. Halstead has 26 listings live for the block-long complex at South 8th and Kent , including four that were listed earlier this month and have already entered contract.

One-bedrooms range in price from $710,000 to $1,050,000; two-bedroom, two-bath units start at $1,185,000; and two three-bedroom, 3.5-bath duplexes are asking $2,660,000 and $2,770,000. There are also two large floor-through lofts with three bedrooms and 3.5 baths each priced at $3,470,000 and $3,620,000, and three four-bedroom, 3.5-bath townhouses priced from $3,375,000 to $3,635,000.

Designed by Piet Boon and WASA Studio, the development offers the full gamut of luxury amenities, including a children’s playroom, a rooftop reflecting pool and roof deck, swimming pool and parking. XIN Development Group, the American branch of Chinese developer Xinyuan Real Estate Company, is behind the 216-unit project.

These look miles better than the average Williamsburg development to us. What do you think of the design and pricing? More interior renderings after the jump!

The Oosten [Official] GMAP
Oosten/429 Kent Avenue Listings [Halstead]
Oosten Coverage [Brownstoner]

Images via Halstead

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The glitzy (but short) three-story mini-mall destined to replace the St. Vincent’s parking lot on a busy corner of Atlantic Avenue is no more. Walls are finally rising, and permits were approved last month for an 11-story mixed retail and residential development. Click through to the jump to see renderings sent in by a commenter. Also, the address has changed and will now be 60, not 66, Boerum Place.

The first three levels will be retail, with a total of 46,428 square feet of commercial space. Floors 4 through 11 will house 75 apartments, according to the Schedule A filing.

The developer is Alex Adjmi of A&H Acquisitions. As far as we can tell from public records, the property is still owned and leased by the Catholic church.

We have to say, at this location, a taller building makes more sense and the new design is a big improvement over the old one. What do you think? GMAP (more…)

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You couldn’t give away a new-construction condo in Bushwick in 2009, but now new ones are starting to appear – along with Miley Cyrus twerking at parties there, apparently, as a story in The New York Times makes official. Brookland Capital has just launched sales at 13 Melrose Place, which is well located on the north side of Bushwick close to Flushing.

They weren’t aiming to attract families, because all the eight units in the building there are one-bedrooms. The condos are aimed at the first time buyer and intended to equal the cost of renting, Brookland Capital’s Boaz Gilad told the Times. “If they’re renting an apartment now for, let’s say, $2,400 a month, we price our units between $2,400 to $2,700 a month for mortgage, taxes and maintenance — but now they own the unit.” Asking prices for the units range from $389,000 to $733,000 (the latter for a one-bedroom duplex with windowless storage space).

Other developments are pushing into still marginal areas by the last Bushwick stops on the J train and L train. A condo development at 1300 Decatur Street, for example, is two blocks from the cemetery and a Superfund site in Ridgewood, Queens.

Much more common are new rental developments in the area. Construction is nowhere near started on the huge Rheingold Brewery development. Above, construction is well along at the block-long development of a church and school at 616 Bushwick Avenue, a rental development not mentioned in the Times article.

The rest of the article describes well-traveled territory such as how trendy Bushwick has become, displacement and rising rents. Interestingly, a new anti-gentrification group, Northwest Bushwick Community Group, which is helping residents stay in their homes, is asking the city to start tracking displacement of residents. What do you think of that idea?

Bushwick Takes the Spotlight [NY Times]