835 Myrtle Ave, Cascade, 2

It looks like the old Cascade Linen factory at 835 Myrtle Avenue near Marcy, which is not landmarked, may soon be torn down to make way for apartments.

A partnership of developers from the Satmar community of south Williamsburg are in talks to buy the building for $60,000,000, according to Crain’s. Shockingly, that number is more than double what the current owner paid for the property last year ($27,000,000). (more…)


A dramatic surge in sale prices and rents is causing change and displacement at a head-spinning pace in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to a story in Bloomberg. Buyers with more than a million to spend are choosing to buy whole houses in Crown Heights and similar neighborhoods rather than cramped apartments elsewhere. The story said:

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

We were particularly struck by this stark — and potentially depressing, depending on your situation — description of the wealth now required to buy in much of Brooklyn:

Families with children are increasingly choosing to stay in New York City and if they don’t have millions to spend, their options are limited, said Kathleen Perkins, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who helped the Katzes find their Crown Heights townhouse. “My cheapest house for sale in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill is $2,500,000,” Perkins said. “If you have $1,500,000 and you’re my client, I’m driving you to Bed Stuy or Crown Heights.”

The story is pitch-perfect, in our opinion, in its overview of what is happening here and why, even though none of it will be news to regular readers of Brownstoner. Does it ring true to you?

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights [Bloomberg]

330 throop avenue bed stuy 82014

We’re sad to report that the prominent and quite old wood frame at the corner of Throop and Pulaski in Bed Stuy is now nothing but a bunch of debris. The mansard-roofed house at 330 Throop Avenue stood three stories tall and was built sometime before 1873. It was configured as a three-family and sat on a double lot that measures 45 by 85 feet. It was also a Building of the Day a year ago. (more…)

794 quincy street bed stuy 82014

Well, that was fast. This Bed Stuy two-family started showings only yesterday and already has an accepted offer, according to the listing. That detail seems to have been added to the listing in the last 24 hours, if not this morning. In any case, we didn’t see it when we picked the listing as an HOTD earlier today.

We were going to write that finally here is a house in need of renovation that is priced like it. Although it doesn’t seem to have ever been a really fancy house, there’s a lot to work with, including original moldings and mantels. The kitchens, baths and backyard could probably use an upgrade in the looks department.

The house is located in eastern Bed Stuy and last traded for $345,000 in 2007. Now the ask is $675,000. What would you pay for it?

794 Quincy Street [Warren Lewis Sotheby's] GMAP

408 nostrand avenue bed stuy 82014

A tipster sent along this photo of a vacant lot at Nostrand Avenue and Monroe Street in Bed Stuy, where construction walls have just gone up for a planned three-story, two-family development. The building at 408 Nostrand Avenue will have 1,359 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and our tipster says the liquor store across the street will move into it. (Schedule A filings also show the liquor store on the ground floor.) Architect Gerald Caliendo filed plans in January, but the DOB didn’t approve new building permits until last month. The property last changed hands for $200,000 in November 2012. GMAP

280 macon street bed stuy 82014

We’re digging the renovation on this top-floor studio in Bed Stuy, which has an industrial loft vibe with its wood beams and exposed brick. There’s a nice, long living area with a “bedroom nook,” a skylight, and a decorative fireplace. There are no pictures of the bathroom or kitchen. It’s also only four blocks from the C train at Kingston-Throop. Asking price: $1,950 a month. What do you think of the look and rent?

280 Macon Street [Corcoran] GMAP

Fulton theater site, composite


A Look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Although Brooklyn had a thriving theater district downtown, many neighborhoods also had fine theaters in their own areas, with entertainment venues on main streets near public transportation. Bedford was a large neighborhood blessed with several major thoroughfares running through it – plenty of opportunities for clubs, theaters and entertainment halls. The economic center of Bedford was around the intersection of Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue, so it’s not surprising that there were quite a few theaters in that area. In theater’s heyday, the early 20th century, one of the finest establishments was the Fulton Theater.

The theater stood at 1283 Fulton Street, near the corner of Nostrand Avenue. It was designed by one of New York City’s finest theater architects, John B. McElfatrick. He was responsible for some of the city’s best theater buildings, including today’s BAM Harvey Theater and Manhattan’s New Victory Theater on 42nd Street. Many are now gone, but he designed well over a hundred theaters, plus other buildings, all across the country. (more…)

495-513 Classon Avenue, CB, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Church of the Nativity of Our Blessed Lord, now Elim Gospel Tabernacle
Address: 495-513 Classon Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Madison Street and Putnam Avenue
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1915
Architectural Style: Romanesque
Architect: Raymond Almirall
Other Buildings by Architect: St. Michael’s Church, Sunset Park, Pacific St. Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, Public Bath #7 (Lyceum), Chapel at Calvary Cemetery, Queens, Emigrant Savings Bank Building, Lower Manhattan, hospitals, churches, in NYC.
Landmarked: No

The story: Raymond Almirall was a fine architect and a good son of Brooklyn. Over the course of his career, he designed many churches, hospitals, libraries and buildings for the Catholic Church and for the city he loved. Although most people may not know his name, his buildings are well known by Brooklynites, as they are a prominent part of our city landscape.

Almirall graduated from Brooklyn’s Polytechnic Institute, and then went on to get a degree in architecture from Cornell University. From there, he went on to study at the prestigious L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. When he came back from Europe, he went to work with architect John V. Ingle, and Almirall’s first professional project was the City Hall for Binghamton, NY. After that project, he put out his shingle and began designing on his own. (more…)

Tag fire, Brooklyn Eagle, 1916The day after the tragic fire at the Tag house, an advertisement in the Brooklyn Standard Union announced, “Six Women Die in Brooklyn Blaze: It Could Be Your Home Tomorrow!” This half page ad was for the Pyrene Company, which manufactured fire extinguishers. The ad went on to say, “In Casimir Tag’s Brooklyn home this morning, six women were burned to death…Six out of ten fires are in homes. And yet the home, the place which guards our most precious possessions, is least protected from fire. Every home should have something to put out fires from the start…Until the Pyrene Fire Extinguisher was invented a couple of years ago, there was never any practical fire protection for the home…The holocaust in the Tag household may be re-enacted tomorrow in your home. This is a time for action. Put a Pyrene in your home today.” Talk about exploiting a tragedy for financial gain.

Part One of our story tells the tale of banker Casimir Tag and his family. He was one of Brooklyn’s wealthiest bankers in the early 20th century, a man who worked hard and became the president of not one, but two Manhattan banks. He and his wife Hannah raised a large family of six children. His death in 1913 left Hannah the wealthiest widow in Brooklyn, and head of the family home, a large five story brownstone at 243 Hancock Street, on the most impressive block in the upscale neighborhood of Bedford. (more…)

1024 gates ave

The 1906 Beaux-Arts bank building on Gates Avenue near Broadway on the Bed-Stuy, Bushwick border will soon be converted to apartments. As first reported by Curbed, a developer has received the go ahead to begin work on the Roosevelt Savings Bank building at 1024 Gates Avenue.

The plan calls for adding four stories inside the existing 50 foot tall building which originally contained a single open space with a rotunda. The owner, Aron Kapelyus of Kai Construction, also plans to add 20 feet to the top of the building making it 70 feet high and six stories tall. When completed the building will have 50 apartments and 25 parking spaces. Kapelyus, under the name 1024 Gates LLC, bought the property for $1.9 million in May of 2012–about the price of two brownstones in the neighborhood these days. (more…)

726 monroe1

A Stop Work Order has been issued at this Bed-Stuy construction site at 726 Monroe Street on Friday because neighbors complained that an excavator had smashed into their building. One neighbor told NY1, “the lady told me that the whole wall shook. She came downstairs and said the building is smashed. So I went upstairs, the whole wall is smashed in. It took the whole sheet rock and pushed it all in.” According to NY1, when authorities arrived the excavator was leaning against the building. (more…)