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OUT OF A 1930s WAREHOUSE on a commercial block between Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, architect Ben Herzog and Brooklyn-based interior designer Kiki Dennis conjured a family home that’s both fun and functional.

The homeowners, a couple with three young kids, had lived in the 25-foot-wide, three-story building for years. However, the “functional lifestyle things were not working for them,” Dennis recalled. The answer was a total renovation. (more…)

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This Cobble Hill townhouse at 148 Baltic Street belongs to Beastie Boy Mike D, who in addition to his musical chops is known for his flair with interior decoration and wallpaper design.

There are several examples of the latter scattered about (one of which he designed), plus two notable modern kitchens with marble counters and brass shelving, as well as tons of detail original to the 1854 Italianate house.

The Italianate brick and brownstone exterior is impeccable, with floor to ceiling parlor windows. (The white moped in front adds a nice touch, but presumably is not included in the sale.) (more…)

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A glitzy 10,000-square-foot town house with parking in a former stable at 177 Pacific in Cobble Hill has set a new record for Brooklyn, closing for $15,500,000, The New York Daily News reported. That works out to about $1,550 per square foot, also very high for the area.

The property seemed an unlikely candidate to beat out the previous record holder, the landmarked Greek Revival mansion at 70 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights, where Truman Capote once lived, and which sold for $12,500,000 in 2012.

The building at 177 Pacific went on the market in October of 2013 while it was mid-construction with an ask of $16,000,000. “This property is in the final stage of a custom renovation so no photos yet,” said the listing at the time. Only three stories, it looks ordinary from the outside, although it is 27 feet wide.

Inside, the amenities seem likely to appeal to a celebrity. No information was revealed about the buyer. (more…)

WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design or renovation project, written and produced by design journalist Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday at 11.

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THE TRIBECA TRANSPLANTS who bought the wide brick row house in the heart of Cobble Hill knew from the outset there was no chance of a historical renovation. The four-story house had been broken up into three apartments and shoddily renovated in the 1970s.

“Almost nothing was original,” said Hope Dana of Platt Dana, the architecture team brought in to create a one-family dwelling and update the house from top to bottom. “There was no connection between the garden level and the parlor floor, all the brick was exposed, none of the fireplaces were working, and there was no original molding.” (The one exception was the molding around the arched entry doors at parlor level, which happily also remained.)

The parlor floor was one big room, with a tiny kitchen at the back. Yet the new homeowners “wanted to live in a traditional brownstone way,” said Dana, with two rooms on the parlor floor separated by pocket doors, and a kitchen on the garden level. (more…)

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This brick townhouse at 273 Warren Street in Cobble Hill is only 13.25 feet wide, but it’s opened up inside, and the rooms don’t look unusually narrow in the photos. It also benefits from having some nice historic details and an attractive renovation.

There’s a wood burning fireplace and built-ins, pretty patterned tile in the galley kitchen in an extension, four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It’s set up as a triplex over a garden floor rental, currently used as a playroom, according to the listing. (more…)

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At a contentious meeting of the Cobble Hill Association Monday night, LICH developer Fortis presented plans for an as-of-right 44-story tower and other high-rise apartment buildings that would tower over Cobble Hill. Much of the area is landmarked and no more than four stories high.

Fortis also presented a second plan that would have slightly lower buildings but require a special zoning variance and formal public review, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

Curiously, the $240,000,000 sale has not yet closed, although it was supposed to April 30. A Fortis spokesman said the company expects the sale to go through in the next few weeks but did not explain the delay, said Brooklyn Paper. (more…)

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Swallow Cafe will open its third outpost this week, this time in Cobble Hill, at 156 Atlantic Avenue, where the Lebanese restaurant Tripoli has been for decades. Tripoli is not closing; the two businesses will share the space, according to the signage in the window.

Swallow Cafe will serve breakfast and lunch in addition to coffee and other drinks. The cafe’s owner, Mike Saleh, anticipates opening Tuesday or Wednesday. In time, he hopes to start serving weekend brunch, he said.

Saleh was born and raised on Atlantic Avenue, and had always dreamed of operating a business near where he grew up, he told us. (more…)

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This two-bedroom, one-bath co-op occupies the entire fourth floor of a Cobble Hill brownstone and has many charming details to boot. There are parquet floors, original shutters, a wood-burning fireplace, and a dining room.

The kitchen is new and features modern, high end appliances. It is distinct from the living room but not enclosed, and is quite spacious.

One possible deal breaker: The bathroom and second bedroom can be accessed only through the master bedroom. Perhaps the latter would work best as a home office or baby room.

What do you think of the apartment and its ask of $1,250,000?

193 Clinton Street, #4 [Corcoran] GMAP
Interior photos by Corcoran; exterior photo by PropertyShark (more…)

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Gardeners take note: The Cobble Hill Tree Fund is getting ready to host its annual plant sale next month. There will be perennials and plenty of annuals for both sun and shade, as well as herbs and vegetables.

Hanging baskets will also be available (hint: Mother’s Day is the weekend after the sale). And there will be a plant identification game for kids. (more…)

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This new listing at 222 Clinton Street in Cobble Hill ain’t your typical brownstone apartment. The upper duplex sports a living room with double-height ceilings and the place has a plethora of skylights. The three-bedroom pad also sports a master suite that’s larger than what you’d typically expect. Maintenance on the 1,600-square-foot pad is just $1,065, but the asking price is a lofty $2,250,000. Thoughts?

222 Clinton Street, #4 [Corcoran] GMAP

court and smith street BID map

The plan to help mom and pop businesses and improve the retail areas along Court and Smith streets in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, and Carroll Gardens with a new Business Improvement District has not been forgotten. The organizers, a group of property owners and commercial tenants in the area, plan to host two meetings this week to update the community on their plans.

The BID will stretch from the BQE in the south to Pacific Street in the north, as the map above shows.

They’ll explain what the BID will do and answer any questions that people might have. One organizer tells us that they’re collecting signed statements of support from people who live in the area. It’s the second step in a three-phase process for setting up a BID.

They’ll also buy a drink or coffee for anyone who attends the informal public meetings, which will take place Tuesday from 11 am to 12 pm at 61 Local (61 Bergen Street) and from 5 pm to 7 pm at Angry Wade’s (222 Smith Street). You can learn more by checking out the steering committee’s website.

Court and Smith Street Biz Owners Join Together to Survive Rising Rents [Brownstoner]

187-189 Amity Street, KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 187-195 Amity Street
Cross Streets: Clinton and Court streets
Neighborhood: Cobble Hill
Year Built: 1847-1855
Architectural Style: Greek Revival (187-189), Anglo-Italianate (191-195)
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Cobble Hill Historic District (1969)

The story: Cobble Hill was originally settled by the Dutch way back in the late 1600s. It became an area renowned for its fruit trees and orchards. Skipping forward to the early 1800s, the area, now known as South Brooklyn, still had farms, especially along the areas facing the river where Henry Street is today. Several Manhattan merchants and businessmen bought the old Dutch farms with their magnificent views of the harbor.

They created their suburban retreats there, and could still commute to work via the Fulton Ferry, established in the 1820s. The South Ferry was established in 1836, an even more convenient commute. But it soon became apparent that the land was worth more as a development site, and one by one, the children of these gentlemen farmers cashed in. Streets were laid out, and houses starting going up, beginning in the 1840s. (more…)