An explosion Saturday afternoon in Borough Park has killed one person and injured three, including one firefighter. (more…)
A look at Brooklyn, then and now.
William H. Reynolds was a developer like no other before or since. During the course of his life, he cut a swath through Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Manhattan, developing new neighborhoods right and left. He also managed to become New York State’s youngest State Senator, the mayor of Long Beach, Long Island, the owner of Dreamland Amusement Park, and a convicted felon. Not to mention his expertise in the manly art of fisticuffs and other athletic competitions.
Here in Brooklyn, by the turn of the 20th century, he was finishing up his extensive development of Prospect Heights. He had purchased a great deal of land cheap from the city; land left over when Prospect Park was laid out. He proceeded to build hundreds of handsome row houses there, and by 1895, most of them had already been sold. He needed a new project. (more…)
It’s not often we come across a listing in Borough Park, and this two-family brick row house looks like it has potential. We see plenty of original moldings and doors; get rid of those drop ceilings, tear out the wall-to-wall carpeting, put in a new kitchen, and this could be really cute. The one big drawback we see is that each unit, while large, is only a floorthrough apartment, so this is not going to suit an owner who is looking for more house. What do you think of the $775,000 ask?
A look at Brooklyn, then and now.
As Brooklyn developed as a city, in the 1800s, communities began to spread out from the ferry and the Heights in a concentric wave. Led by improved transportation facilities, the city grew, as areas once thought remote farming areas then became suburbs, then city. That was just in the old town of Brooklyn. Six towns, as we know, became the city of Brooklyn, and by the late 1800’s, there were people living just about everywhere within the borders of Kings County. Brooklyn, Bushwick and the Williamsburg areas developed first and fastest, due to location, transportation, the piers and shoreline, subsequent industries, and proximity to Manhattan,. The more remote towns, like New Utrecht, Gravesend, and Flatbush, stayed rural farmland much longer. But in the southern parts of Brooklyn, a smart man knew that change would be coming, and wealth and prosperity were tied to the land.
Stewart McDougall was one of those smart men who was there at the right time, with money in his pocket, and the ability to see what the future would hold. He had been born upstate, in Washington County, and came to Manhattan as a young man, and was a successful wholesale poultry and game merchant at the Washington Market, in Greenwich Village. In 1864, he bought his first farm in the southwestern corner of Kings County, in the town of New Utrecht. At the time, there was nothing but farmland in the area as far as the eye could see.
Over the period of the next twenty-five years, he bought more and more land around his original farmstead, eventually becoming the largest landowner of farmland and pasture in Brooklyn. There were certainly other huge landowners, the Bedford branch of the Lefferts family most immediately come to mind, but they sold most of their property back in the 1850s, as the city of Brooklyn grew. Stewart McDougall was just getting started. (more…)
BuzzBuzzHome rustled up this rendering of a large apartment building designed by architect Karl Fischer for 886 Dahill Road in Borough Park. Developer Wydra Enterprises purchased the site in 2007 for $26 million, got plans approved in 2009, but then didn’t build anything. In July, the developer put the property on the market for $33 million, but apparently there were no takers because in February, Wydra filed a new permit, which was approved a few weeks ago. The new permit, like the old one, calls for nine stories and 171 units. The most recent permit filed asks to amend that to 10 stories.
Mixed-Use Development by Karl Fischer Headed for Borough Park [BuzzBuzzHome]
Rendering via BuzzBuzzHome
A WNYC radio story about test prep in Sunset Park uncovered some interesting facts about education and demographics: Of the top 20 zip codes that send the most children to New York City’s elite public high schools, only three are low-income. All of those are in Brooklyn, and they include parts of Sunset Park, Borough Park and Dyker Heights. In Sunset Park, at least, the high acceptance rates to elite high schools can be pinned on the Chinese population there and their embrace of extracurricular test-prep programs intended specifically to ace public-school admissions tests. Testing in Chinese culture has a very long tradition, according to WNYC, going back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty. The story profiled one Sunset Park family who, incredibly, spends $5,000 a year on test prep for its three boys out of a total family yearly income of only $26,000. (The family’s housing costs are low because they own a two-family they share with relatives.) Average yearly incomes in the three zip codes range from about $35,000 to $40,000. Most of the other admissions came from middle-class or wealthy neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side. As for the mother of the family profiled in the piece, she said she hopes her boys will go to Harvard.
Around Sunset Park, Tutoring Is Key to Top High Schools [WNYC]
1. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $1,987,587.50
20 Henry Street, #6B-S GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/two bath unit last asking $1,950,000. According to Streeteasy, there are only three units left at this new condo development. Deed recorded on 2/8/2013.
3. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $1,503,918.75
20 Henry Street, #3A-S GMAP P*Shark
Quite a few units at 20 Henry Street hit public records last week. This particular unit is a 1,536-square-foot three bed/two bath. It was asking $1,475,000. Deed recorded on 2/4/2013.
1. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $2,275,788.75
360 Furman Street, #204 GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/three bath asking $2,275,000, then $2,350,000. Entered into contract on 5/15/12; closed on 6/21/12; deed recorded on 9/7/2012.
3. PARK SLOPE $1,500,000
133 Sterling Place, #4E GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/two bath asking $1,500,000. This unit also came with a parking space. Entered into contract on 6/12/12; closed on 8/20/12; deed recorded on 9/7/2012.
1. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $7,350,000
40 Willow Place GMAP P*Shark
A post on this sale ran last week. It’s a 45-foot-wide modernist design in the middle of Brooklyn Heights, what more is there to say? Oh, it’s also Brooklyn’s most valuable home. A HOTD last year. Entered into contract on 5/7/12; closed on 8/3/12; deed recorded on 8/15/2012.
4. PARK SLOPE $2,325,000
532 8th Street GMAP P*Shark
Here’s a bit about the building from the listing: “Built by the prolific developer/architect duo, Williams Reynolds and Benjamin Dreisler, this three-sided bay front limestone is in a consecutive row of 12 townhouses that are completely intact.” The home was asking $2,095,000. Entered into contract on 5/25/12; closed on 7/25/12; deed recorded on 8/14/2012.
5. COBBLE HILL $1,900,000
269 Sackett Street GMAP P*Shark
This is a four-story four-family townhouse. Asking $2,175,000. Entered into contract on 5/24/12; closed on 8/02/12; deed recorded on 8/15/2012.
1. PARK SLOPE $2,600,000
587 5th Street GMAP P*Shark
We liked this limestone home when it was HOTD back in September 2011. We said: “The parlor floor is gorgeous and the two-story extension results in a very generous layout. Only negative is the kitchen which feels a little tired. But if you can swing the $3,150,000 asking price, you can probably pony up another $100,000 to tune that up.” This house had been in the same family since the 40s! Entered into contract on 2/10/12; closed on 4/18/12; deed recorded on 5/9/2012.
2. COBBLE HILL $2,020,000
171 Warren Street GMAP P*Shark
Another HOTD pick. The house has charm, but the listing wasn’t showing many pictures. We felt it was “hard to weigh in with much confidence on the asking price of $2,500,000 but our gut’s telling us that, despite the great Cobble Hill location, the renovation price tag will be enough to make it tough sell at that number.” Guess someone fell in love with this house. Entered into contract on 2/2/12; closed on 4/26/12; deed recorded on 5/9/2012.
5. CARROLL GARDENS $1,800,000
564 Henry Street GMAP P*Shark
This home was asking a hefty $2,300,000. We noted, “If the sellers, who’ve owned the four-story house for 35 years, had just left it alone it would probably be having more luck than it is now, but let’s just say that some of the interior design decisions they made are probably working against it.” Entered into contract on 1/30/12; closed on 4/24/12; deed recorded on 5/10/2012.
1. COBBLE HILL $2,950,000
30 Strong Place GMAP P*Shark
This home was asking $2,800,000 when it was HOTD this January. At 17-feet, it’s narrow, but overall we called it “a lovely house in a great location.” Apparently a few others agreed with us! Entered into contract on 1/12/12; closed on 4/4/12; deed recorded on 4/23/2012.
2. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $2,700,000
9 College Place, #4E GMAP P*Shark
Not much info on this condo sale at the Love Lane Mews. Entered into contract on 5/3/12; closed on 3/23/12; deed recorded on 4/25/2012.
3. WILLIAMSBURG $2,025,000
135 Bedford Avenue GMAP P*Shark
This sale made big news last week, as NY1 anchorman Pat Kiernan made this Burg purchase. As a broker said: “The sale price is unprecedented in that $2,025,000 is the highest price ever paid for a single family home in Williamsburg.” Here’s a video of the home interior. Entered into contract on 12/13/12; closed on 4/9/12; deed recorded on 4/25/2012.
Honorable Mention: 221 Clinton Avenue, HOTD in August 2011, asking $2,200,000, sold for $1,870,000.