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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Scarano Architect is designing a two- or three-story storage facility on a desolate stretch of Bushwick Avenue near the last L train stop in the neighborhood. The lot at 1517 Bushwick Avenue has been empty for decades and covers the entire block from Furman to Aberdeen Street except where the back of the block turns into a hill that belongs to the adjacent graveyard.

Some stores would bring more life to the avenue, but it seems like an appropriate use for what is in practice a stretch of busy highway. There are houses off the avenue and foot traffic from the Bushwick Aberdeen stop, but otherwise only a few auto repair shops and a shuttered gas station.

The plot has not recently changed hands. Plans were filed in 2010 but approved only this month, according to permits. NY YIMBY was the first to note the plans.

396 cornelia sk

The WyckoffHeights.org blog spotted an alarming development in the southeast corner of Bushwick, a mostly Caribbean enclave of perfectly intact circa-1900 bow-fronted two-family buildings. After falling into foreclosure, a house at 396 Cornelia Street, between Wyckoff and Irving, changed hands in June for $450,000 and then again in September for $725,000.

The new owner, an LLC, has filed an application with the building department to add two floors and a mezzanine, double the square footage, and turn the two-family into a six-family building.

We never thought this area would need landmarking, but this looks to us like the start of a trend that could destroy the historic streetscape and transform the neighborhood from affordable owner occupant owned housing for families to investor owned buildings with sky high rents for young 20 somethings priced out of the trendy part of Bushwick far, far away in the northern reaches of the neighborhood.

The mostly gray and yellow brick and stone buildings cluster around Irving Square park, south of Myrtle Avenue and north of the graveyards, and west of the huge Superfund site just over the Queens border in Ridgewood. Inside the circa-1900 and teens buildings are flats with modest floor plans and the usual period decoration, such as double parlors with pier mirrors. Similar homes can be found in east Crown Heights, Ridgewood and Sunset Park. In fact, whole streets of houses like these are landmarked in Ridgewood, and similar patterns of development are altering them in Sunset Park.

Still, for an area to be landmarked, the homeowners in the area have to push for it. We don’t think that’s likely here.

Many of the owners in the area are nearing retirement age. We hope they will at least get a decent price if and when they sell.

Vertical Enlargement for 396 Cornelia [WyckoffHeights.org]
Image by WyckoffHeights.org

Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams wants to revive the affordable housing development on a 30-acre piece of land known as the Broadway Triangle. Sandwiched between Bed Stuy, Williamsburg and Bushwick along Broadway near Flushing, the controversial development was halted by a judge’s injunction following a lawsuit by community groups arguing the plans and a rezoning of the area favored Hasidic families and discriminated against blacks and Latinos. In a written review of an unrelated project at 695 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Adams called on the de Blasio administration to resolve the legal dispute so housing can be built, Crain’s reported.

He also called on HPD to get on with the redevelopment of the Greenpoint Hospital site at 300 Skillman Avenue in East Williamsburg, which stalled in 2012 after the developer dropped out. The city planned to create about 250 affordable apartments at the site, which has been shuttered since 1982. The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition told Crain’s it has recently been talking with the city about the rezoning. The Triangle project could add another 600 affordable units, according to Crain’s.

One thing that has changed: Former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the king of affordable housing in the area, was heavily involved in the Triangle project, but is no longer in office. The nonprofit group he created to deliver services to constituents, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen’s Council, which still exists and continues to be a big landlord and developer in Latino-heavy Bushwick, was one of two developers in the Triangle project, along with nonprofit partner United Jewish Organizations.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that Adams is calling for development of Broadway Triangle now that Lopez is out of the picture?

Brooklyn BP Acts to Restart Two Rez Projects [Crain's]
Broadway Triangle Coverage [Brownstoner]
Image via Urban Omnibus

meryl meisler bushwick burning

The Brooklyn Historical Society is hosting a panel on Bushwick’s 1970s arson wave, when the FDNY battled 100 fires a month, moderated by Jonathan Mahler, a New York Times reporter and author of “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning.” The panel, called “Brooklyn’s on Fire: Bushwick Is Burning,” will feature photographer Meryl Meisler, a tenant lawyer, an FDNY fire marshal, a community board manager and a displaced resident, who will recount their memories of a neighborhood scarred by fire, bankruptcy and urban neglect.

Meisler, who taught in Bushwick during the ’80s, recently published a book with photos of the ‘hood from the late ’70s and early ’80s. The panel will take place at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Monday, November 17 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 or free for members.

Meisler will also discuss her book, “A Tale of Two Cities, Disco Era Bushwick,” at the Brooklyn Central Library on Grand Army Plaza from 7 to 8 pm this Wednesday, October 29.

Photo by Meryl Meisler

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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…)

1182 Putnam Combo

This recently renovated two-bedroom in Bushwick would work well as a share. The bedrooms are at opposite ends of the apartment, and the living room is a decent size. There’s an updated kitchen, hardwood floors and a dishwasher.

It’s about equidistant from the Halsey and Gates J/M/Z stops. At $1,850 a month, it’s less than a thousand dollars a room. Good deal?

1182 Putnam Avenue [Fillmore] GMAP