60 dean street boerum hill 12015Boerum Hill
60 Dean Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $3,999,000
Sunday 12:00 – 2:00

593 3rd street park slope 12015Park Slope
593 3rd Street
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $3,750,000
Sunday 12:30 – 2:00

277 skillman street bed stuy 12015Bed Stuy
277 Skillman Street
Broker: Urban Compass
Price: $1,325,000
Saturday 2:15 – 3:30

243 howard avenue bed stuy 12015Bed Stuy
243 Howard Avenue
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,199,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:30

490 macdonough street bed stuy 12015

The two-family brownstone at 490 MacDonough Street is one of the nicest homes we’ve seen for sale east of Malcolm X in a while. Located on a fine-looking block between Malcolm X and Patchen, close to Stuy Heights shops and restaurants, this house has all the 1890s goodies: stained glass windows, elaborate parquet floors, mantels, a fanciful screen in the entry, an attractive passthrough with three-part mirror, shutters, and elaborate foliate details on the facade. (Click through to the listing site for all the photos.)

There are no pictures of the kitchens and baths, though the listing says the latter have been updated. A few quibbles: Some of the flooring on the garden floor is new, the original front door has been replaced, and most or all of the wood work has been painted, as has the facade. But it’s all there, and we’re sure it will be beautiful when restored.

The house last sold for $380,000 in 2011. Do you think they’ll get their new ask of $1,495,000?

490 MacDonough Street [Corley Realty Group] GMAP


Proof that public opinion can influence building design? SSJ Development has hired Durukan Design to rein in the crazy space-age look of the 70-unit apartment building now rising at 785 Dekalb Avenue in Bed Stuy.

Durukan Design sent this new rendering and details to Curbed, which published them yesterday. (Click through to Curbed to see more details, including an interesting atrium.)

The new plans are nothing short of amazing, because the structure of the building, including the balconies, is already in place. The new design jettisons the gold dome and the slanted oval portholes, swaps in more sober cladding materials, and flattens what appeared in the first rendering to be an undulating facade.

That’s quite a feat, but a quick stop by the work site this morning revealed the building facade is, in fact, already flat. (Except for the rounded center, which is staying.) The balconies, however, are wedge-shaped. Perhaps they will be able to shave them down into rectangles?

Of all the many controversial new building designs planned for Bed Stuy recently, we have to admit, this was one we actually had a soft spot for because it was just so out there and wacky. But we were probably alone in that view. We find the new design much more tasteful and in keeping with the look of the neighborhood.

Click through to see the previous rendering and lots more photos. What do you think of the building’s new look?

Formerly Hideous Bed-Stuy Rental Is a Monstrosity No More [Curbed]
785 Dekalb Coverage [Brownstoner]


153 Hancock Street, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row house
Address: 155 Hancock Street
Cross Streets: Nostrand and Marcy Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1882, with alteration in 1890
Architectural Style: Neo-Grec, with Queen Anne additions
Architect: Parfitt Brothers, with alterations by Withers & Dickson
Other Buildings by Architect: Parfitts- row houses in this group, plus apartment buildings, flats, churches, freestanding mansions, commercial buildings, factories, and row houses throughout Brooklyn. Withers & Dickson- Streckler Memorial Laboratory, Roosevelt Island, Jefferson Market Courthouse (Withers) Albany Post Office and Albany Prison (Dickson)
Landmarked: No, but calendared as the Bedford Historic District.

The story: The problem with buying speculative housing, both in the past, and today, is that you often can’t get exactly what you want. The house may be otherwise great, with features you really like, but after being in it for a while, you realize that you don’t have enough bedrooms, or bathrooms, or perhaps, you really need a ballroom so you can properly entertain your guests.

In the late 19th century, 155 Hancock Street belonged to George W. and Ida F. Greene. George was the owner of G.W. Greene’s, a successful purveyor of ladies’ undergarments, ladies’ and children’s clothing. He had a fine store at 229 Fulton Street, in downtown Brooklyn, near Clark Street. They also manufactured their own goods in their Brooklyn factory. There are many advertisements in the Eagle for his store, showing that he sold all the latest fashionable unmentionables, including one item called “Her Majesty’s Corset – will never change its form.” (more…)


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…)

638 putnam avenue bed stuy 12015

This garden apartment in Bed Stuy is recently renovated but still retains some attractive details. There’s a decorative fireplace, wainscoting and moldings around the windows and doors, and the kitchen and bath look pretty new and modern. All utilities are included, and for better or for worse, it comes furnished. One caveat: it’s nine or 10 blocks in either direction to the C at Kingston-Throop, the A/C at Utica and or the J/Z at Gates Avenue. Does $1,950 a month seem reasonable?

638 Putnam Avenue [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP

184 lefferts place bed stuy 12015

The interior of 184 Lefferts Place has been totally gutted but the flip is more luxurious than most. Recently for sale for $2,325,000, if it did sell, it hasn’t hit public records yet. (The developer picked it up for $390,000 in 2013 following a lis pendens.) In any case, now the upper quadruplex is for rent.

It features a luxury kitchen in an open parlor floor with paneling and new walnut floors, what appears to be the original staircase, five bedrooms, mini-split AC, a media room with a bay window (also a bedroom), a walk-in closet, two roof decks, and a shared garden. There’s a lot of exposed brick — even under the mantels.

It’s close to Atlantic Avenue. Do you think it will fly for $6,750 a month?

184 Lefferts Place [Corcoran] GMAP


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…)

Check out this New York Times video about Bed Stuy, the first in a new monthly series, “Block by Block,” about what it’s like to live in various New York City neighborhoods. We recognize lots of friends and neighbors in the piece.

It covers a lot of ground, including Bed Stuy’s heritage, beautiful brownstones, distinguished residents such as the late Shirley Chisholm, rapidly escalating rents, crime and Bed Stuy’s family-friendly environment. We recognize Peaches, Scratchbread, Bed Stuy Fish Fry and lots of other local businesses.

Brownstoner commenter and real estate agent and preservationist Morgan Munsey, Georges-Andre Vintage Cafe owner Karine Petitnicolas (aka SuperFrench), and Eduardo Mantelli of Saraghina all have cameos — as do many others. What do you think of it?

Block by Block: Bedford Stuyvesant [NY Times]
Video by New York Times, embedded with permission


Just a quick update to let you know Mipam Thurman, Uma Thurman’s brother, did decide to join Halstead. He started in the Bed Stuy office, pictured above, in late November. (As you may recall, he decided to switch professions from digital advertising to real estate after a grueling two-and-a-half-year search for a house that started in Bed Stuy and ended in East Flatbush.)

The Bed Stuy office has been growing like crazy since it opened just over a year ago. In addition to the founding three agents — Donna Myrie, Morgan Munsey and Ban Leow — the group has added 17 more, for a total of 20 working out of 316 Stuyvesant Avenue in Stuy Heights.

446-510,445-507 Willoughby Ave, NS, PS 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 446-510, and 445-507 Willoughby Avenue
Cross Streets: Nostrand and Marcy Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: Between 1879 and 1886
Architectural Style: Neo-Grec
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No, but should be

The story: Between around 1875 and 1885, developers descended on the once quiet village of Bedford, and began a building frenzy of amazing proportions. They built thousands of speculative brownstone row houses on most of the residential blocks between Herkimer Street and Park Avenue, roughly between Bedford and Throop Avenues. Almost all of the houses they built during that ten year time period were in the many variations on the Neo-Grec style of architecture.

Of course, there were thousands of houses built before and after that, in many other different styles, but if you take a walk around Bedford, it’s easy to see how the Neo-Grec houses dominate the greater landscape. Bedford Stuyvesant has the largest collection of these Neo-Grec houses in the entire city. They were the ideal speculative house style. They could be easily adapted into the purchased lots, and made wider or narrower, taller or shorter as needed, without sacrificing the desired pleasing aesthetics of the house. (more…)