Brighton Beach hotel, composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Even though winter has not even officially begun, already we are getting nostalgic over the thought of summer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a luxurious summer resort by the sea, where you could have accommodations worthy of your pocketbook and status? There you could be waited on hand and foot, enjoy fine dining, be entertained by the biggest stars of the day, and best of all, enjoy the cool, salty breezes and one of the finest beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Would you have journey to Palm Beach or some Caribbean Island? Nope, you could take the subway. Because the beach resorts of Gravesend, Brooklyn were the place to be back in the latter quarter of the 19th century.

It all started with a man named William A. Engelman, who had made a fortune during the Civil War selling horses to the Union Army. He took some of that money and bought several hundred acres of beachfront property in Gravesend for the princely sum of $20,000. This was in 1869. He had big dreams, and he named his beachfront property Brighton Beach, after the famous resort town in England, a popular summer destination for British royalty and the aristocracy. (more…)

The antidote to sky-high electrical bills in new construction condos may be architect Robert Scarano’s green condo project at 67 Brighton 1 Lane in Brighton Beach. The building will sell energy back to the grid, and residents should have very low or no utility bills, as we wrote in November. There will also be composting toilets and a hot tub, said a story today in The New York Daily News.

In November, we wrote that marketing had started for the building, with six units priced from $295,000 for a studio to $795,000 for a two-bedroom loft with outdoor space. The New York Daily News says sales will start in April, with prices slightly higher than they were in November. Prices will start at $325,000 for a studio and go up to $850,000 for a two-bedroom with two baths. The building does not yet have its certificate of occupancy and no listings have gone up yet.

The development cost about $600 per square foot to build, or about two times the average in New York City, according to the Daily News.

Arcihitect Robert Scarano Is Back With Brighton Beach Green Building [NY Daily News]  GMAP
Scarano’s Green Condos Hit the Market [Brownstoner]
Images via Bright n’ Green and Sheepshead Bites

The environmentally friendly Bright ‘n Green condos designed by Robert Scarano in Brighton Beach hit the market last week, Sheepshead Bites reported. The 7,000-square-foot building at 67 Brighton 1st Lane has six units ranging from $295,000 for a studio to $795,000 for a two-bedroom loft with outdoor space.

The net-zero energy building will have solar panels, wind turbines and rainwater collection, and promises “urban farming” and a “migratory bird, bee and butterfly habitat,” according to its website. The apartments have “light-maximizing windows…composed of triple-glazed Krypton-filled solar thermal treated glass and installed inside double-sealed, air-tight insulated window frames,” as well as induction stoves, low-flow toilets and LED lighting.

There’s also a 1,000-square-foot commercial space on the ground floor that Scarano said he hopes to lease to a community-oriented tenant like a preschool or yoga studio, according to the press release sent out about the building. GMAP

Images via Bright n’ Green and Sheepshead Bites

1. BRIGHTON BEACH $3,500,000
125 Oceana Drive East, #PH21 GMAP P*Shark
A Condo of the Day back in 2011. Our comment: “It’s big and it’s tacky as all hell.” Back then it was asking $4,999,000 and sold that year for $1,275,000. It was relisted in 2012 for $4,499,999, then the price dropped to $3,900,000. Deed recorded on 7/8/2013.

2. PROSPECT HEIGHTS $3,100,000
105 St. Marks Avenue GMAP P*Shark
This is one of the first Prospect Heights homes to crack the $3 million ceiling. It was listed this February for $2,999,000 and the home received lots of traffic at the open houses and multiple offers above ask. Deed recorded on 7/9/2013.

3. WILLIAMSBURG $2,450,000
101 North 3rd Street, #412 GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/two bath unit at the Mill Building. It was asking $2,295,000 and spent a month on the market. Deed recorded on 7/11/2013.

4. FORT GREENE $2,437,500
129 Fort Greene Place GMAP P*Shark
A HOTD pick this March. The two family brownstone was asking $2,300,000. We said it “retains a lot of original detail, including wide plank pine floors, pocket doors, moldings and marble mantels. At 21 feet wide and 40 feet deep, it’s also a tad wider than the average row house.” Deed recorded on 7/11/2013.

5. CARROLL GARDENS $2,425,000
428A Clinton Street GMAP P*Shark
Listing pulled for this one-family home. Deed recorded on 7/11/2013.

The second phase of a rental development at 2750 East 12th Street and 1125 Banner Avenue, on the border of Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach, just launched. The new development has 45 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Monthly rents range from $1,350 to $4,200. The first phase, at 2750 East 12th Street, launched in January. Back then, the leasing agent told us that “South Brooklyn is exploding, too… We are achieving an average of over $30 per square foot.” She tells us that they have already received a bunch of offers in the first week for the second phase, at 1125 Banner Avenue. The two buildings are connected by a sun deck on the second floor. The buildings share the sun deck, a gym, parking lot and resident super.
Rentals Moving Quickly in Southern Brooklyn Too [Brownstoner] GMAP

It’s no surprise that the market is moving at lightning speed in brownstone Brooklyn. But a Corcoran broker filled us in on a new rental development on the border of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay at 2750 East 12th Street that is pulling in high numbers too. Since launching this past summer the development reached the 75 percent leased mark. Prices on the available one, two, and three bedrooms range from $1,750 to $4,250 a month. 2750 East 12th Street has 56 units over 7 stories, and it’s attached to 1125 Banner Avenue, which is a 45 unit building over 12 stories. Leasing at 1125 Banner will launch this spring. The two buildings are connected by a sun deck on the second floor — the buildings share the sundeck, a gym, parking lot and resident super. As the leasing agent says: “South Brooklyn is exploding, too… We are achieving an average of over $30 per square foot.” You can see floorplans for 2750 East 12th Street at the building website. This post has been updated to reflect that 2750 East 12th Street and 1125 Banner will launch leasing at different times. GMAP

Curbed has brought to our attention that the glamorous Brighton Beach penthouse apartment at 2805 Ocean Parkway we featured in August is still available, and the price was just reduced 35 percent, from $4,599,000 to $2,999,000. We’re a little surprised, but then we’re not all that familiar with the market in Brighton Beach. Do you think the price of slightly over $1,000 per square foot was too aggressive for the area? Post-Sandy, it seems the location near but not right on the water would be a plus.
City’s Sparkliest Penthouse Now 35 Percent Cheaper [Curbed]
Brighton Beach Deluxe [Brownstoner] GMAP
2805 Ocean Parkway listing [Douglas Elliman]
Photo by Douglas Elliman

On Sunday, power had been restored to many areas in Southern Brooklyn and national aid had arrived. (Outside Brooklyn, the Rockaways and Staten Island remain in crisis, with many without power or water.) We checked out Brighton Beach Sunday afternoon, where we found the National Guard distributing water, blankets, diapers, and baby wipes, above. Down the block, a volunteer group gave out free clothes from a truck. Power was back on in most places and delis and groceries were open for business as usual. Debris had been gathered into piles dotted about the beach, which was mostly empty of people, but otherwise it looked pretty normal. Most buildings in the central area seemed to have already completed their basement cleanups, though a few were still siphoning out water and placing wrecked furniture on the sidewalks for pickup. Tensions seemed high; a fistfight almost broke out over a fender bender, we heard a lot of people arguing, and a woman said she was going to call the police because we were taking photographs. There was, of course, no subway service to the shore areas throughout Southern Brooklyn. Buses were running about every 20 minutes, and they were packed full.


Yesterday Curbed reported that Robert Scarano’s firm is the architect of record on an eco-friendly building in Brighton Beach, but it appears the original source of the story, a post on the blog of Douglas Elliman broker William Hendrickson, has since been pulled. According to Curbed, the 15,000-square-foot building will be called Bright N’ Green. It is located at 67 Brighton 1st Lane, and will include six condos. The rendering shows wind turbines and solar panels; other green features include insulated panel walls and a grey water recycling system, according to Curbed. While we don’t know all the details, we can, in fact, confirm that Scarano is working on a green building in Brighton Beach and that he hopes to show it to the press in the fall, because he told us so.
Ultra Green Condo Building Is Coming to Brighton Beach [Curbed]
Rendering from Brooklyn Real Estate Insight via Curbed GMAP

[nggallery id=56615 template=galleryview]
Glitz, glamour and a beautiful wood sauna! Our Condo of the Day feature is on hiatus for most of August, but we couldn’t resist showing you this $4.6 million Brighton Beach crystal palace. The 4,134-square-foot penthouse apartment has views all around and a big deck. Notice all five bedrooms have their own en suite bathrooms plus there is a powder room for guests. But wait, there’s more. The common charges plus monthly taxes total only $924 a month. Whaddya think? Good deal for a property near the beach?
2805 Ocean Parkway listing [Douglas Elliman]

The Times has a story checking in on the city’s plans to replace sections of the iconic wooden Boardwalk in Coney Island and Brighton Beach: “After a yearlong fight over the city’s proposal to use concrete to replace the wooden boards along stretches of the aging, 2.7-mile Boardwalk, the city’s parks department is offering a compromise of sorts — but wood is not part of the plan. Instead, the department is promising to use a combination of concrete and a type of recycled plastic that looks like wood. They want a 12-foot concrete section for emergency vehicles, with 19-foot-wide sections of the plastic polymer on either side for pedestrians.” The city plans to first install the plastic sections on a 5-block stretch of the Boardwalk in Brighton Beach, and says that investigations into using wood as a replacement just didn’t pencil out. The plastic material is supposed to last 75 years, whereas some of the wood the city looked into using would only last around 8 years. While some preservationists are upset about the plans, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said “economic considerations outweighed the historical importance of the wood. ‘Suggesting that you can only have wooden Boardwalks because that’s what they were originally built of is like saying you should only have cobblestone streets,’ he said.”
Wood May Give Way to Plastic on Coney Island Boardwalk [NY Times]
Photo by berniepicso

This modern-day palazzo at 230 Corbin Place in Brighton Beach has been on the market on-and-off for the past year. The price has bounced around but recently settled at $2,995,000. It won’t come as much of a surprise that the aesthetics of this place don’t quite do it for us but, given that it’s a 6,434-square-foot house on less than a block from the beach and that this look tends to play well in this part of town, we’re actually surprised that it hasn’t already sold.
230 Corbin Place [Maximillion Realty] GMAP P*Shark