156-Atlantic-Avenue-4-24-15

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…)

192-Clinton-Street-1-4-21-15

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…)

cobble-hill-tree-plant-sale-042015

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…)

222 clinton street cobble hill 32015

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…)

178 Court Street_01.05.2015.pdf

The new building planned for a vacant lot at 178 Court Street in Cobble Hill still hasn’t received Landmarks approval, because the commissioners sent the design back to the drawing board on Tuesday, YIMBY reported. PKSB Architects presented plans for a two-story red brick building with signboards, a painted steel cornice and a nine-foot bulkhead perched on top of the roof. It would house one or two retail tenants.

The LPC deemed it too plain and too tall, asked for “more inventive detailing,” a more established cornice and “broken down scale,” according to YIMBY. Meanwhile, the Historic Districts Council said in an email this week it supports the design but would like to see different signage:

HDC commends this design for its overall sensitivity of scale and materials. We do ask, though, that since the storefront will be considerably taller than those of its Court Street neighbors, the signage be incorporated into the glass transom, rather than on an additional sign band above.

The architects will work with the developer, Lonicera Partners, and return to the LPC next month with an updated design. What do you think of the look?

Landmarks Wants Tweaks to Proposal for New Building at 178 Court Street in Cobble Hill [NYY]
Modern Storefronts Planned for Empty Corner Lot on Court Street in Cobble Hill [Brownstoner]
Rendering by PSKB Architects via Cobble Hill Blog

90 wyckoff street cobble hill 22015

If you like modern, you might dig this streamlined one-family warehouse-to-loft conversion at 90 Wyckoff Street in Boerum Hill. The 72-foot-long open living area on the first floor gets light from a skylight in the rear extension as well as another skylight over the stairs going all the way up to the third floor, although there are no side windows.

Upstairs, the two bedroom floors have a more conventional layout; altogether there are four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and rooms for storage or an office. Oh, and there’s parking!

It’s been on the market at least since May, when it was asking $7,990,000. The price recently dropped to $7,200,000, as Curbed pointed out earlier this week. That’s nowhere near the $8,880,000 someone recently paid for Michelle Williams’ and Heath Ledger’s old pad at 126 Hoyt Street, but it’s still one of the most expensive properties in the area. What do you think it’s worth?

90 Wyckoff Street [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

142 court street cobble hill 12015

A three-story brick building at the corner of Court and Pacific Streets in Cobble Hill sold to investors for $6,250,000 two weeks ago, according to public records. Clerestory Properties and Sivan Properties bought the 4,000-square-foot building at 142 Court Street. The sale price seems high for a storefront with two apartments, especially since the property last changed hands two years ago for $1,200,000.

The 20-by-55-square foot building sits on a 100-foot-deep lot, according to PropertyShark; a certificate of occupancy from the 1970s says the property includes an adjoining garage in the rear. The FAR is nothing to get excited about, with a total of 374 buildable square feet on top of what is already there.

Retail rents have been rising rapidly in the area. Los Angeles-based tshirt and clothing chain Splendid opened in the space two years ago. Before that, the storefront housed Belanthi, an art gallery and performance space that offered music classes.

The building was recently altered inside and the exterior spruced up, but have been no new filings since that job was signed off on in January. We wonder what’s in store for the building. GMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

233 pacific street cobble hill 12015
This 3,000-square-foot condo at 233 Pacific Street strikes us as a pretty good deal in this market at the asking price of $2,995,000. The apartment is the result of combining two smaller units in the 2012 building. There’s a massive living/dining space along with four bedrooms. Not bad for $1,000 a square foot these days.

233 Pacific Street, #4FG [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

8-warren-place-122914

What would one of Brooklyn’s leading architects do with a Warren Place Mews townhouse, those iconic but small Gothic workingmen’s cottages built by Alfred Tredway White in 1879? Three stories high but narrow and only two rooms deep, the houses challenge any designer to find space for an adequate number of bathrooms without sacrificing bedrooms or parlors. We’ve also never seen one with any original finishes or even a mantel.

Everyone wants one but no one can figure out what to do with them.

Architect Elizabeth Roberts is known for her modern-meets-traditional renovations of Brooklyn brownstones. In this case, documented in a New York Times story, she restored some of the historic charm with an old-fashioned wood staircase with turned spindles and two salvage marble mantels.

She squeezed in two bedrooms and two bathrooms, although we’re not quite sure how since the article doesn’t include a floor plan.

Most remarkable — and something for other homeowners to consider — is the trick of turning a powder room, big enough for only sink and toilet, into a shower with full-room waterproofing and shower apparatus on the wall and overhead.

She also maximized storage with built-in bookcases big enough to hold the owners’ record collection and record player.

We’re guessing room for a full size bathroom on the top floor was carved out of the second bedroom and the top of the stair.

The renovation cost $550,000. Click through to the New York Times story for photos. What do you think of the design? Would you adapt any of these ideas in your own space?

Spies Like Us [NY Times]
Photo by Corcoran