697-703 Bushwick Ave, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Tenement buildings
Address: 697-703 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Suydam Street
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1889
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Theobald Engelhardt
Other Buildings by Architect: In Bushwick – Ulmer Office and Brewery, Arion Hall, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, Frederick Cook house, Bossert house, and many more row houses, churches, tenements, mansions, breweries, banks, hospitals, factories and warehouses in the old Eastern District and elsewhere in Brooklyn
Landmarked: No, but part of a proposed Bushwick Avenue Historic District

The story: By definition, a tenement is a building with multiple tenancy, nothing more sinister that that. In 1867, the New York State defined it as “any house, building, or portion thereof, which is rented, leased, let, or hired out to be occupied or is occupied, as the home or residence of more than three families living independently of one another and doing their own cooking upon the premises, or by more than two families upon a floor, so living and cooking and having a common right in the halls, stairways, yards, water-closets, or privies.” The term became forever attached to horrible, crowded and substandard slums populated by the poorest of the poor, giving a stigma to all multiple unit dwellings that wouldn’t disappear until the first quarter of the 20th century. (more…)

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A long-shuttered storefront at 1381-1385 Bushwick Avenue is for rent. The space is about 2,000 square feet and asking rent is $28 a square foot, according to a listing from Core Realty.

The other storefronts have signs advertising various social services of the Bushwick Development Corp., but we can’t recall any of them ever being open in the six years we’ve lived in the area. The building was at one time owned by Bushwick Development Corp. but now belongs to an LLC.

The whole property is big enough for a full-service grocery store, but there are already plenty on Broadway, and much better foot traffic there. We think it would make an ideal location for a taller building with affordable housing.

What would you like to see in this space? GMAP

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The developer who paid $2,980,000 for a Bushwick church and related properties last week plans to include affordable housing and a large amount of space for the church in the new building. A representative from Manatus Development Group told us the development will be rentals, with 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable units.

The church will get 22,000 square feet of space on the first two floors, and Manatus will pay the church’s operating expenses. The addresses are 112-116 Suydam Street, 118-120 Suydam and 605, 609 and 611 Hart Street.

Bushwick Church Sells off Its Properties for $2.98 Million [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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Gym CrossFit KingsBoro opened two locations last week in Clinton Hill and Crown Heights, as well as a spot in Bushwick in October. A reader sent in the above photo of the chain’s storefront at 920 Fulton Street in Clinton Hill, taken when it opened December 1.

The space was formerly home to restaurant Soule. The official grand opening is set for December 14, according to DNAinfo, which was the first to write about it.

In Bushwick, CrossFit opened in early October at 10 Wilson Avenue, close to Flushing, another reader told us. Meanwhile, in Crown Heights, Crow Hill CrossFit had its grand opening at 1010 Dean Street Sunday, a spokesperson said. CrossFit was founded in Santa Cruz in 2000 and there are at least six other locations in Brooklyn. GMAP

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Here’s another wood frame on an oversize lot being sold as a development site. Longtime readers may recognize the house, which has a distinctive mural on the front, as belonging to BushwickBK founder and Cafetería La Mejor co-owners Jeremy Sapienza and Luis Velazquez. The two have no plans to leave the area, Sapienza told us over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Like most Bushwick houses, it was already stripped of historic detail when Sapienza and Velazquez bought it for $570,000 in 2007, but they’ve fixed it up nicely, we think. (Incidentally, the mural is by street artist Overunder, aka Erik Burke.)

The two-story house at 104 Central Avenue is only 1,520 square feet, but a building as large as 6,075 square feet could be built on the 25 by 100 foot lot, according to PropertyShark.

The ask is $1,299,000. Do you think they will get it?

104 Central Avenue [Halstead] GMAP

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It looks like another Brooklyn church is likely to become apartments. Calvary Spanish Pentecostal Church, aka Calvary Assembly of God, has sold seven properties on Suydam and Hart Streets to an LLC with a Madison Avenue address for $2,980,000.

The lots include the church’s main building and a neighboring frame house at 112-116 Suydam Street, as well as a parking lot made of five adjacent lots at 118-120 Suydam and 605, 609 and 611 Hart Street, according to a deed filed yesterday. The church and frame house alone have a buildable square footage of 17,314 on a 75 foot by 95 foot square lot.

The whole parcel is a sizable piece of land in the middle of Bushwick, about a block from the Central Avenue M train stop. GMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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This semi-attached wood frame at 155 St. Nicholas Avenue in Bushwick has virtually no original details save the staircase and appears to have last been updated sometime in the middle of the last century. It is covered in faux paneling, linoleum, carpet and wallpaper. We estimate it will need the works.

One redeeming quality is that it has windows on three sides because the lot is 25 feet wide. It’s also in a location near the Dekalb stop and Wyckoff Hospital where demand for rentals is high.

Given the condition, though, we don’t see how the ask of $1,220,000 is justified — unless the plan is to sell to a developer.

155 St. Nicholas Avenue [Fillmore] GMAP

colony 1209 bushwick 062014 bushwick daily

Spruce Capital Partners wants to flip the recently opened Colony 1209 in Bushwick, asking $81,500,000 for the five-story luxury rental building at 1209 Dekalb Avenue, according to The New York Observer. Spruce bought the 127-unit development in April from developer Read Property Group for $58,000,000. Rents are high for Bushwick, ranging from $1,775 for a studio to $2,975 for a two-bedroom at Colony, where amenities include a “speakeasy,” a gym, screening room, common roof terrace and a shared backyard.

The building’s marketing team has caught some flak for the name of the building and its marketing copy, which bills the development as “homesteading, Bushwick-style” and a place where one can find “like-minded settlers.” The building is located in an area of Bushwick that has been densely residential for more than 100 years, and is lined with 19th century row houses and mansions, not a “vibrant industrial setting,” as the copy claims. Massey Knakal is marketing the 120,000-square-foot building, which has 41 parking spaces and 12 years left on a 421-a tax abatement.

Controversial Bushwick Rental Building Hits the Market for $81.5 Million [NYO] GMAP
1209 Dekalb Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Image via Bushwick Daily

1290 decatur street bed stuy 112014

Lately we’ve been noticing a lot of new development in the far reaches of Bushwick near the cemeteries, and the latest is four new apartment buildings slated for 1290-1300 Decatur Street, between Wilson and Knickerbocker Avenues. Each building will have four stories and eight units spread across 5,451 square feet of residential space, according to new building applications filed today. There will also be a penthouse with two private terraces and a public roof terrace in all four buildings.

Permits show that the development will have a main address of 1290 Decatur Street and individual building addresses at 1290, 1292, 1294 and 1300 Decatur. S3 Architecture is designing the project, and the owner is Rimon Gabbay, according to permits.

A two-story brick apartment building and a one-story garage currently occupy the two properties at 1290 and 1300 Decatur, which changed hands last year for $495,000, according to public records. Demolition applications haven’t been filed for the two buildings yet. GMAP

Photo by Google Maps

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A gas station at 1508 Bushwick Avenue, shuttered and in foreclosure, is for sale. Auctions for the property were scheduled three times in 2012 but there is no record of a sale since 2007, when it traded for $1,250,000.

It sits on a major thoroughfare with heavy traffic, catty corner to the Bushwick Aberdeen L stop. On the empty lot across the street, Scarano Architects is designing a storage facility.

Metro Industrial Realty Inc. is repping the site, according to a sign on the property, but we couldn’t find a listing or price online.

The lot is 10,000 square feet with only that much buildable square feet. It is classified as a toxic site, according to PropertyShark. Zoning is C8-1 (auto-related commercial and industrial), and housing is not permitted.

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We were dismayed to see yet another Victorian metal turret in a non-landmarked area being inappropriately altered. This one is on a quite prominent corner building at 1474 Bushwick Avenue between the Jackie Robinson and Cooper Avenue. We have passed by this building many times and it always appeared to be in good condition.

When we strolled by last week, the bright blue painted metal covering on the turret was being dismantled as part of a bigger renovation that is adding a story. A manager on site told us they really wanted to save the turret but “it was in pieces.” The turret will be covered in a brick veneer to match the rest of the alteration.

The three story building only has three units now. When the alteration is finished, the building will have four stories and eight units , according to an Alt-1 permit.

The building changed hands for $799,000 in 2013. HPD says it has five “class A” units, not three. For the last 20 years, it was owned by the Episcopal church and has a certificate of occupancy for 10 Franciscan friars of the Society of St. Francis in the Episcopalian church.

Click through to see a drawing of the altered building and a photo of the building taken in 2012.

Photo below by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark
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When we passed by 1012-1018 Decatur Street in Bushwick yesterday, workers appeared to be finishing the inside walls on the ground floor. The building recently topped out, and the interior walls looked done on the upper floors. It’s hard to believe now this corner used to be a tire repair shop for so many years. Even though the building has window AC units, we think the quality looks good for a private development in this area. Click through to see more. 

Five-Story Apartment Building Rising Quickly on Decatur Street in Bushwick [Brownstoner]
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