04/14/14 11:30am

Court-Street-Brooklyn-Brooklyn-Heights-Cobble-Hill-NYC_54

Store owners on Court and Smith streets in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens are banding together to create a Business Improvement District, or BID. They have also launched an online survey.

The purpose of the proposed merchants association would be to strengthen local mom and pops, who are facing escalating rents in the area due to recent lease signings from retailers such as J.Crew, Splendid and Rag & Bone, according to DNAinfo. “Merchants on Court and Smith streets are banding together to draw more business to the area so that they can afford the neighborhood’s rapidly rising rents,” said the story.

Like all BIDs, the group would take on sanitation, greening, safety and marketing to help businesses in the area thrive. They’ve also launched an online campaign to raise $10,000 for the BID.

Steering Committe members include D’Amico Coffee, Carroll Gardens Realty, Diane T., Stinky BKLYN, Viceroy Properties and Mazzone Hardware. Pictured above is a lower stretch of Court Street near the BQE.

04/10/14 4:00pm

The Municipal Art Society is hosting a walking tour of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill that will explore its history and the ethnic enclaves that settled there a hundred years ago. Local historian and genealogist Mary Ann DiNapoli will delve into the lives of various members of the Arab American community that moved to the neighborhood in the late 19th and early 20th century.

She’ll also discuss the foods and traditions that are unique to this time of year, and tour attendees will get to sample some wares from some of Atlantic’s wonderful Middle Eastern shops. The tour will take place this Saturday at 10 am. Tickets are $20, and you can purchase them through the MAS website.

Photo by Katia Kelly for Pardon Me for Asking

04/07/14 12:15pm

This two-bedroom, two-bath condo for rent at 560 State Street has lots of living space and was recently renovated. The 1,270-square-foot pad has new stainless steel appliances, two dishwashers and central air. The lofty ceilings and big windows don’t hurt either.

The building has a brick courtyard and laundry, and a different apartment here recently made the news for being Jay-Z’s former stash spot. (“Memorialized in contemporary music,” as the listing put it.)

Plus it’s only a block or two from all the subways at the Barclays Center. Luckily the windows are “noise-isolating,” according to the listing. What do you think of it for $4,100 a month?

560 State Street, #4A [Corcoran] GMAP

04/03/14 3:00pm

195A-197 Dean St. NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Double row house
Address: 195A-197 Dean Street
Cross Streets: Hoyt and Bond streets
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
Year Built: 1855
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Boerum Hill HD (1973)

The story: Between 1833 and 1834, Charles Hoyt and Russell Nevins bought up much of the land in Boerum Hill from the estate of George Martense. The Martense and Garritsen families owned the entire area what would become Boerum Hill. They were joined by marriage, and had been there since the Dutch began spreading out from Brooklyn Heights. The men began portioning off the land into lots, and the development of modern Boerum Hill began in the 1840s. Wood frame row houses went up, and were soon overtaken by handsome brick Greek Revival homes. The neighborhood was a popular home for merchants, shopkeepers, artisans and small business owners who made their livings in Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan.

The Garritsen family was still selling off parcels in 1855, but development in Boerum Hill was slow. It would get even slower when the Civil War broke out. But after the war, development in Brooklyn took off. Boerum Hill, as well as Fort Greene, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens were in the first wave of this development, as people moved ever outwards out from the Heights. The 1860s and ‘70s saw great growth in Boerum Hill, as speculative construction continued. (more…)

03/26/14 9:30am

A tipster tells us that the three-story building at 165 Smith Street, on the corner of Wyckoff, will be knocked down soon and replaced by a new building. Smith Hanten Real Estate, which has occupied the ground floor for 33 years, is moving down the road to 152 Smith Street. They posted a note about their move, and we’ve included it after the jump.

The Affronti family owns this building as well as 162 Smith Street, where they’ve run Paisanos Meat Market for over 45 years. We spoke briefly with Michael Affronti, but he didn’t want to comment on his family’s plans for the site. The property hasn’t sold recently, and no demolition permits have been filed yet. Current zoning allows for a building as large as 15,000 square feet to be constructed on the site, according to PropertySharkGMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

(more…)

03/12/14 11:30am

207-wyckoff-street-031214

Ubiquitous Brookland Capital has picked up the vacant lot at 207 Wyckoff Street, where it plans to build a three-unit, four-story apartment building, according to permits filed in November. Sounds like it has some swank potential.

In 2006, bricks from a long-neglected and vacant apartment building on the property crashed through neighboring roofs and cars, said a reader who tipped us off to the sale.

Brookland paid $1,325,000 for the lot, which is extra wide at 25 feet by 100 feet. Photos show the lot empty in 2007. The property is outside the Boerum Hill historic district.

Brookland cleared the lot, but hadn’t yet started construction when we stopped by recently. GMAP

02/28/14 10:45am

344 Atlantic Avenue, Chas Strohm, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Atlantic Avenue used to be Atlantic Street. Between the river and Flatbush Avenue, the avenue is a busy, bustling thoroughfare with snarled traffic, honking horns, and double parked vehicles that make it difficult to get around. Much of it is lined with mid to late 19th century storefront tenements, mingled with a combination of modern apartment buildings, civic buildings, former hotels and factories. When I think of the old Atlantic Street, I picture buildings like the ones in this 1922 photograph, a mixture of the old wood framed storefronts that have long lined the street, and the more modern four story storefront tenements.

This two story rambling wood framed storefront building stood on the south side of the street, between Hoyt and Smith streets. The building on the right of it still stands, which helped correctly place it in today’s world. A map of Brooklyn from 1869 is the earliest map I have access to that shows buildings on the streets, and in that map, most of Atlantic is quite built up by that point, and this building, as well as other wide storefront buildings like it, stretch along its length. I would imagine this building dates from the early 1850s, at least.

The first floor, at least when the photo was taken, is broken up into four storefronts. The upstairs apartments appear to have two entrances, one between the two storefronts on the left, and the other at the far right of the building. There were probably three or four apartments above, if it was a typical tenement. The shuttered windows are a nice touch, but the ceilings certainly look quite low up there. (more…)

02/25/14 1:30pm

Located in a prime Boerum Hill block of Greek Revival, Gothic and Italianate brownstones, 398 Pacific Street and its adjacent empty lot are being marketed as a development site. Luckily, the block is landmarked, so we imagine any development would preserve the facade of the existing building and create something harmonious next door, even if on the inside the buyer opts to turn the whole thing into one multi-unit apartment building.

The interior of 398 Pacific, an Italianate, doesn’t look all that bad in the photos, though some fresh paint wouldn’t hurt. It’s currently set up as a duplex with triple parlor and marble fireplaces, with two 2.5-bedroom floor-through apartments above.

But on to the technical details of the development potential of the site: The two lots together are 44 feet wide. The empty lot has a curb cut, and the 4,400-square-foot three-family brownstone could be enlarged to a total of 8,800 square feet, according to PropertyShark. The listing notes that an additional 1,280 square feet would potentially be allowed under R6 zoning. (We have no idea if Landmarks would approve such an enlargement, but there is a 50-foot-long backyard.)

The property will be “delivered as is,” said the listing, which didn’t specify if that also includes tenants. Do you think the asking price of $4,250,000 makes sense for a developer or an owner occupant?

398 Pacific Street [Elliman] GMAP

 

02/25/14 12:15pm

Here’s a recently renovated owner’s duplex with original details and outdoor space in Boerum Hill. Although it’s narrow at 18 feet wide, the four-bedroom, three-bath apartment looks spacious and bright.

The listing says the whole place was gut renovated three years ago, and the kitchen reno seems to have turned out well with its granite countertops and dark wood cabinets. There are pretty plaster details, exposed brick, and a wood burning fireplace with a marble mantel in the living room.

There’s a garden and deck, and the basement is available for storage. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s two blocks from the Barclays Center. What are your thoughts on it for $7,500 a month?

461 State Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP

02/19/14 9:30am

149-bergen-street-020614

It appears the townhouse at 149 Bergen — the one with the controversial backyard addition that helped introduce the term “green doughnut” — didn’t sell last year and now it’s back on the market. The price is slightly higher and the interior has been reconfigured, according to the listing.

The listing mentions the extension and now has a floor plan on which it is clearly shown. Besides doubling the space of the formerly tiny house, the remodel brought light into the first floor with a skylight over the stair, and the owner’s triplex has a double height living room.

The broker is one of the owners. The ask is $4,600,000. Think they’ll get it now? If they do, it could set a record for Boerum Hill.

Boerum Hill House With Controversial Reno Now for Sale [Brownstoner]
Photo by Corcoran

02/14/14 10:45am

Baith Israel, Boreum at state, composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

In 1855 a group of twelve Bavarian, Dutch and Portuguese Jews gathered in a Brooklyn home to found the United Brethren Society, a mutual benefit society that pooled its resources to aid its members with medical and burial expenses. A year later, that same group came together to form a congregation. These were men who had settled near Atlantic Street, in Downtown Brooklyn, and were engaged in all kinds of professions: a hatter, furrier, carpenter, attorney, tailor, barroom owner, pawn broker, a rabbi and more.

Most of them had been members of Manhattan synagogues, and still took the ferry ride across the river for Shabbat services on Friday night. Local legends say they rowed themselves across on rowboats, and founded a Brooklyn synagogue because they got tired of the trip. However dedicated that sounds, all authorities chalk that one up to urban legend, similar to walking two miles to school uphill, in snow, both ways. The ferry was right there.

They first held services at a rented space at 155 Atlantic Street, now Atlantic Avenue. Within five years, the congregation had grown to 35 families, and the decision was made to build their own house of worship. A plot on the corner of Smith Street and Boerum Place, next to a stable, was purchased for $3,000, and the cornerstone of Baith Israel was laid in January of 1862, and the synagogue was dedicated that same year, in August. It was the first Jewish synagogue to be built specifically as a synagogue in all of Long Island. Williamsburg’s Kahal Kodesh, the oldest Brooklyn congregation, did not build its own building on Keap Street until 1867. (more…)

02/10/14 2:00pm

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A new business named White Oak will replace Apartment 138 on Smith Street in Boerum Hill, the blog Pardon Me For Asking reported. Apartment 138 was a bar and restaurant serving American food. It closed in November. The nature of the new venue is unknown but likely to be a restaurant too, said PMFA. Anyone know more?

White Oak to Replace Apartment 138 on Smith Street [PMFA] GMAP
Photo by PMFA