167 rogers avenue manhattanville coffee crown heights 12015

Just as Crown Heights dug itself out of the snowstorm, an outpost of the Harlem-based Manhattanville Coffee opened its doors Wednesday at 167 Rogers Avenue, on the corner of St. Johns Place. It is serving sandwiches, pastries and parfaits, in addition to coffee and tea. In the next few weeks, salads and soups will be added to the menu. The hours are 6:30 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 8 pm during the week. Click through to see the interior. GMAP


1239 president street crown heights 12015

This teens two-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights has a nice layout and plenty of attractive original details. The two-family house at 1239 President Street was a HOTD in October, and sold for $999,000 last month (the ask was $1,200,000).

We spot coffered ceilings, an original mantel, wainscoting, hardwood floors and a claw foot tub. The kitchen is a little dated, but it’s got everything you’ll need. There’s a pretty large shared backyard too. But the rent seems high unless you plan to use the front living room as a third bedroom. What do you think of it for $2,950 a month?

1239 President Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP


We’re amazed to read that a Manhattan buyer has purchased a new-construction townhouse at 832 Dean Street in Crown Heights for $3,450,000, setting a new record for the price of a townhouse sale in the neighborhood. The sale closed recently, according to the New York Post, but has yet to hit public records.

Built in 2013, the house has three units and three stories, for a total of 3,960 square feet, according to PropertyShark. So that works out to $871 per square foot — reasonable compared to the square foot cost of condos in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, which are now over $1,000, but pricey for a Crown Heights townhouse, even a top-of-the-line one. The house is close to Washington Avenue and the Prospect Heights border, where real estate is more expensive.

The buyer sold a townhouse in Chelsea, according to the Post.

Renderings on the Douglas Elliman listing show a typical new-construction interior, similar to a Williamsburg luxury condo, but with fairly high-level finishes and somewhat traditional styling, including floors that look old and have borders. Each unit is a two-bedroom, two-bath floor-through, except the top apartment, which is a duplex with an additional bedroom and bath in a hidden setback with a roof deck.


1525 bedford avenue crown heights 122014

A Crown Heights gas station and car wash at Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway has just sold for the jaw-dropping price of $32,500,000, and is already being dismantled to make way for an eight-story apartment building. Developer Adam America was the buyer of the 24,000-square-foot property at 1525 Bedford Avenue, as The Real Deal was the first to report. The new development will have 133 units spread across 91,337 square feet of residential space, and 20 percent of the apartments will be affordable, according to new building applications filed yesterday. Issac and Stern are the architects of record.

There will also be 14,669 square feet of commercial space, 42 underground parking spots, a gym, roof deck and basketball court, according to broker TerraCRG. The gas station closed last month, and a construction fence went up around the site a few weeks ago. The photo above shows workers taking down the BP sign in December. 

Adam America’s first project in Crown Heights was a seven-story rental building at 500 Sterling Place, which began leasing last summer and sold last week for $48,000,000, according to The Real Deal.

Adam America Developing 130-Unit Crown Heights Building [TRD] GMAP

crown heights autumn 112014

We’re happy to report that Historic Districts Council has chosen Crown Heights as one of the six neighborhoods where it will focus its preservation efforts in 2015. As part of its Six to Celebrate program, the Historic Districts Council will help the Crown Heights North Association revive its preservation campaign. Although Crown Heights has two historic districts, some of the neighborhood’s historic buildings are still at risk for development and demolition. Landmarks calendared Crown Heights North Phase III three years ago, but never voted on the expansion.

Another important — and ambitious — Six to Celebrate project is “Landmarks Under Consideration, Citywide.” These are 150 proposed landmarks that are unprotected, 96 of which Landmarks said it would “decalendar” before backing off the plan last year. The Council plans to “document, publicize and conduct community outreach” for all 150 sites to gather support for designation and to help LPC with its backlog. In Brooklyn, the list includes Green-Wood Cemetery, the Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House, and the Forman Building at 183 Broadway.

The Council offers help with research, landmarking, publicity and zoning to community groups in Six to Celebrate, and it hosts walking tours to raise awareness about a chosen neighborhood’s history and architecture.

818 franklin avenue butter and scotch crown heights 12015

A dessert-and-cocktails spot is coming to Crown Heights, although Butter & Scotch will serve savory snacks too when it opens Saturday at 818 Franklin Avenue. Co-owners (and former Smorgasburg vendors) Allison Kave of First Prize Pies and Keavy Blueher of Kumquat Cupcakery have assembled a menu with cakes, pies, housemade sodas, and other dishes, including caramel corn in “cocktail” flavors and pie shakes. The duo will open their doors from 5 pm to midnight this Saturday and Sunday, with more extended hours coming next week, according to their website. DNAinfo wrote about the new venture in March. GMAP

1324 bergen street crown heights 12015

The insides of this house look pretty dire, with crumbling walls and ceilings, wires hanging down, and the kind of rigid linoleum tile flooring that sometimes turns out to contain asbestos. And that couldn’t be mold spotting the ceiling in one of the photos, right?

Still, though, despite appearances, it’s probably no more work than the average Brooklyn townhouse in need of everything — unless, of course, “everything” also includes severe water damage, new windows, a new cornice, new roof and repointing the brick exterior. In any event, all we know is the listing says “this property needs a complete gut renovation.”

There are a few nice old details left, including window and door surrounds, shutters, crown molding, and a marble fireplace. But at the current ask of $995,000, we’re not sure there’s enough of a discount to make this an attractive proposition. Or are we behind the times?

1324 Bergen Street [Corcoran] GMAP

elsies donuts 1031 bergen street 12015

Elsie’s Doughnut Shop has unfolded its awning and begun serving coffee and doughnuts at 1031 Bergen Street. They held a friends and family event on Saturday, and they opened to the public on Monday.

Current flavors include glazed with lemon zest and honey, frutti di bosco (“fruit of the forest”) topped with blackberries and candied orange rind, butterscotch with salted peanuts, caramello e cocco featuring caramel and toasted coconut, confettura di fichi with fig jam, mascarpone and toasted almonds, and cioccolato e amarene with dark chocolate and amarena cherries. There are also apple cider doughnuts, with and without gluten.

A single doughnut is $2.50, a half dozen is $12, and a dozen $22. The owner tells us the full menu will launch Sunday and include scones, more flavors of gluten-free doughnuts, cold brew and juice. 

Crosby Coffee Owner to Open a Doughnut Shop in Crown Heights in January [Brownstoner] GMAP


Fabian Friedland, the owner of Crow Hill Development and the Nassau Brewing Company at 945 Bergen Street in Crown Heights, just let us know the site has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and so his company will be using federal and state historic incentives to restore and adapt the historic property.

The new rendering, above, shows how it will look when it is transformed into a 50,000 square foot mixed-use complex. There will be apartments on the upper floors, retail on the ground, and he is considering a restaurant in the brewery’s historic 1860s underground lager aging vaults. Crow Hill will also restore the building’s now-missing Nassau Brewing Company signage, as you can see in the rendering. (Click through to see how the building looks today.)

“The historic nature of the old brewery buildings first attracted me to the site,” Friedland said in a prepared statement. “After a long wait, I’m truly thrilled to bring these buildings back to life. The Franklin Avenue corridor of Crown Heights is a vibrant place to be right now. And it’s exciting to have our project reinforce the existing architecture and character of the neighborhood.”

Brooklyn-based Formactiv is the architect. New York City-based Crow Hill Development specializes in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and develops property in the Northeast.

Here’s a little historic background on the brewery from Crow Hill:

The Nassau Brewing Company operated at the site from the 1860s until 1916, when it was forced out of business due to competition from larger New York breweries including Schaeffer and Rheingold. The brewery was originally known as the Bedford Brewery until 1884, when its name was changed to the Budweiser Brewing of Company of Brooklyn. In 1898, Anheuser-Busch sued the brewery for trademark infringement, forcing it to change its name to the Nassau Brewing Company, an identity the restored complex will adopt and retain. The brewery produced lager beers under the colorful names Rialto, Frankenbrau, Private Stock, and Extra Bohemian. The surviving buildings represent the most significant structures that were once part of a sprawling complex covering the entire block. Below are massive underground brick vaults originally constructed for the aging of lager beer at near freezing temperatures. The tallest portion of the building contained a gravity cooling system using natural ice harvested from the Arctic, and was topped, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, by a “small lake” of beer.

We’re excited about this project and think the rendering looks great. What do you think?

Nassau Brewery Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering via Crow Hill Development


1193 bergen street crown heights 12015

This lavish Renaissance Revival limestone appears to be in move-in condition, going by the photos, with an updated kitchen and baths as well as plenty of original details. Those include an elaborate built-in in the rear parlor, a pier mirror, a wood burning fireplace and five mantels. There is also an outdoor fireplace in the garden.

It’s currently set up as a one-family, although it’s a three, according to the listing, and the floor plan seems intact. It is slightly narrow at about 17 feet 3 inches. Built in 1894 as one of seven in a row, it was designed by architect Albert E. White, according to a Building of the Day post (White also designed 1234 Dean Street).

Do you like it? And with the neighborhood record having recently leapt from $2,108,902 to $2,900,000 for a 27-foot-wide mansion in need of work, do you think the ask of $2,300,000 is reasonable?

1193 Bergen Street [Corcoran] GMAP

995 washington avenue crown heights 12015

We like the looks of the outside of this new-construction townhouse. The inside isn’t as interesting, at least as rendered, and the windows appear much smaller. The five-story mixed-use brick building on a triangular lot will consist of two duplexes over a ground-floor store space. Construction is set to wrap in April. What do you think of it and the asking price of $3,200,000?

995 Washington Avenue [AptsandLofts] GMAP

1117 Eastern Parkway, ENYSB, MMunsey 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally East New York Savings Bank, now Popular Community Bank
Address: 1117 Eastern Parkway
Cross Streets: Corner Utica Avenue
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1928-29
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Architect: Holmes & Winslow
Other Buildings by Architect: Banks, including the Bank of Coney Island, Homestead Bank in ENY, Independence Savings Bank on Court Street, Brooklyn (Trader Joe’s). Also banks and schools in New Jersey.
Landmarked: Proposed, but not designated in 2011.

The story: Some of the best bank buildings in New York City were built in the first third of the 20th century. The “aughts” and the teens saw Beaux Arts style temples of money go up everywhere. Many of those followed the great design lead of that 19th century visionary, George Post, whose Williamsburgh Savings Bank building is still the one to beat in that category. Brooklyn has an impressive collection of Beaux Arts and Neo-Classical banks, all designed by some great architects. But I really love the ones that came next – the Art Deco banks.

The other Williamsburgh Savings Bank, at 1 Hanson Place, designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer in 1927 takes the lead, followed by their other great Brooklyn banks, including my favorite, the same team’s Kings County Savings Bank, on Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue. Those Deco banks share many common design themes, including their use of flat-planed space and angular, stylized ornament on the facades. The ornament on those buildings was sculpted by one of the great Art Deco architectural sculptors in America, Paul Chambellan. (more…)