Dixon is finishing up construction and started leasing another group of properties in Brooklyn, most of them in Bed Stuy and Bushwick. We toured three of them, all in Bed Stuy, and found Dixon is getting faster and better at renovation.
Most of the renovations will be completed in less than a year. Some of the properties had severe water damage, requiring extensive work ranging from gut renovation to replacing some or all structural components such as joists and beams. Dixon is using contractors with experience restoring townhouses in Brooklyn and Harlem, such as All Renovation. Dixon managers oversee each site. An in-house designer creates a unique plan for every house and specs and sources all components, finishes and appliances before construction starts, which speeds things along.
We were impressed with the creative and appropriate use of finishes in each townhouse. In a narrow Romanesque Revival townhouse at 513 MacDonough (pictured after the jump) that had been covered with faux panelling and laminate flooring over the years — all of that was ripped out — an oak plank veneer (a new product engineered to withstand moisture) was used to impressive effect on a kitchen island and on a wall in a bathroom.
The quality of the bathrooms, kitchens, closets and other features was already high, but now is even better in the properties we saw. Dixon townhouses now typically have en-suite bathrooms for every bedroom and extensive closet and pantry systems with built-in shelves. One house even had two laundry rooms. They all have landscaped yards and often decks with huge, custom made floor to ceiling windows that open like doors. Two of the houses we saw this time had Aga Legacy stoves, which retail for around $6,000. An extremely luxurious all-marble bathroom at 14 Monroe spanned the width of the house in front and had both a clawfoot tub and shower.
Dixon has also done work to preserve the historic exteriors of the houses, such as redoing the limestone and brownstone facades and ironwork. At 14 Monroe, pictured below, the original 19th century ironwork was missing, and Dixon reproduced it using a mold from a neighbor, who had already restored his own. (more…)