555 eastern parkway crown heights

A long-vacant prewar apartment building at 555 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights has been renovated and is now leasing apartments starting at $2,500, as Brooklynian was the first to note. Known as “The Francis,” the four-story building has been empty since at least 2010, when Nostrand Park blog asked “Where did all the people go?”

The 10-unit limestone has three listings up so far: two one-bedrooms asking $2,500 and $2,650, and a two-bedroom asking $2,700. The listings don’t have photos, but apartments have Cambria quartz countertops, central A/C, solid oak floors and stainless steel appliances. The rents are pricey for this part of Crown Heights, but we’re sure they’ll rent for close to asking if the renovations are nice.

555 Eastern Parkway Listings [StreetEasy]
Photo by Google Maps

189 kingston avenue crown heights 112014

Anyone searching for original detail in Crown Heights will appreciate this 2.5-bedroom on Kingston Avenue, which features original moldings, pocket doors, inlaid floors and mirrored wooden mantels. The kitchen and bathroom aren’t anything to write home about, but there is a washer/dryer in the kitchen. The small bedroom over the entry could be used as a baby room, office or storage. The 3 train is about four and a half blocks away and the A/C is seven and a half blocks. Do you think it’ll fly for $2,100 a month?

189 Kingston Avenue [Fillmore] GMAP

1451 Pacific St. Cecil Court GS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Cecil Court
Address: 1451 Pacific Street
Cross Streets: Brooklyn and Kingston avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1923-24
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Edward M. Adelsohn
Other Buildings by Architect: Wing of Brooklyn Hebrew Maternity Hospital, Bushwick, apartment buildings in Jackson Heights, Queens
Landmarked: Yes, part of Crown Heights North HD (2007)

The story: Crown Heights North is a gorgeous neighborhood. It’s filled with blocks upon blocks of elegant late 19th century row houses, as well as a fair number of free-standing and semi-detached mansions, beautiful houses of worship, and some impressive large apartment buildings. Scattered amidst all of this wonderfulness are buildings that tend to get overlooked in the mix. They include storefront mixed use buildings, a ton of eight unit flats buildings, and a fair number of small apartment buildings that bridge the gap between the flats buildings and the larger apartment houses. This is one of those. (more…)

951 pacific street crown heights 112014

Passive house condos are all the rage in Brooklyn these days, and last week, we got to tour what is apparently the borough’s first net zero passive house development under construction at 951 Pacific Street in Crown Heights. If a building is rated net zero, that means it is able to produce as much energy as it consumes. Designed by architect Paul Castrucci, the three condos hit the market last month.

The 5,600-square-foot building has triple-glazed Shuco windows, four inches of insulation and is wrapped in an air-sealed, breathable membrane. As is typical in passive houses, each apartment has its own “energy recovery ventilation” system that dehumidifies and pre-cools outside air during the summer and mixes outgoing hot air with outside cool air in the winter, which helps reduce energy costs. A solar array on the roof provides 4 kilowatts of electricity for each unit, and there’s a solar-powered backup outlet in case the electricity goes out. The garden has a 1,200-gallon rainwater harvest system, and the kitchen features an Energy Star Electrolux fridge, induction range and granite countertops.

The three duplexes all have outdoor space. Unit No. 1 is a one-bedroom, 1.5-bath with 1,517 square feet of space and a private garden asking $1,400,000, and Unit No. 2 — the model unit we toured — is a 1,492-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath with two balconies asking $1,490,000. Unit No. 3 is priced at $1,567,000 and features three bedrooms and two baths spread across 1,567 square feet, along with two private roof terraces. It already has an accepted offer, according to the broker.

Construction is expected to finish by the end of the year. Click through for more interior photos and description.

951 Pacific Street [Official]



The Plex started leasing apartments last year, and now retail space in the building is available. Or maybe we should say retail space is still available. When we passed by a few weeks ago we saw “for rent” signs on the ground floor of the building at 958 Nostrand Avenue.

There are a lot of really big spaces here with big windows and lots of frontage on the avenue. Turns out the spaces were up for lease over a year ago, according to a commenter on Brooklynian, who spotted the listing at Massey Knakal. Now Heller has the listing. There are two spaces that can be subdivided, with almost 10,000 square feet on the street level between them and more in the basement.

These are the kinds of big spaces national and global retailers have a hard time finding in Brooklyn, but perhaps the location would be better suited to something smaller. Or maybe the rent is really high. Anyone know more? GMAP

184 new york avenue crown heights 112014

We’re drooling over the beautiful wood details in this three-bedroom, two-bath duplex in Crown Heights, but we think the price is a stretch. The 1,900-square-foot pad has a recently renovated kitchen and bathrooms, a formal dining room, washer/dryer, its own internal staircase, and a deck off the kitchen that leads to a private backyard.

The apartment occupies the parlor and third floor of a grand 1898 Renaissance Revival limestone, and there are units above and below this one. Do you think the owners will get their asking rent of $4,500 a month?

184 New York Avenue, #2 [Elliman] GMAP

1025 pacific street rendering crown heights 112014

We caught this rendering on the fence at 1025 Pacific Street in Crown Heights, where plans call for a two-story brick building with a banquet hall and community space. The 5,347-square-foot building will have 3,200 square feet of commercial space and 2,147 square feet for a community facility, according to new building permits issued in September.

The text on the awning in the rendering appears to say “Pacific Townhouse,” which makes us wonder if this will be community space for a nearby nonprofit development. Plans for the site were first filed way back in 2005. The property has been a vacant lot for decades and last changed hands for $240,000 in 2004. 

The owner is an LLC, although listed as the owner on DOB filings is the name Jarican Realty Inc., which appears to be a small real estate firm in Bed Stuy. Back in the 1970s, the property was owned by Housing and Urban Development of Washington, D.C.

In any case, we think the building design looks great. GMAP

1095 bergen street crown heights 112014

Workers are transforming a decrepit 870-square-foot garage at 1095 Bergen Street in Crown Heights into a neighborhood watering hole. From what we could see, the building appears to have been completely renovated, except for the cornice and the roof, and a new glass storefront has been installed.

While the bar doesn’t have a name yet, the owners are tentatively calling it “Bar Bertrand,” a combination of the street names Bergen and Nostrand, the closet cross street, DNAinfo reported back in May. The space will have 44 seats and a view of the Walt Shemal Community Garden next door on Dean Street. Owners Palmer Thompson-Moss and Dane Risch told the publication they want the bar to feel “casual, but elegant.”

Thompson-Moss is an architect who rebuilt a brownstone in the neighborhood, and Risch is a longtime bartender and manager who’s worked at Bubby’s in Tribeca and Botanica on East Houston, DNA said. The pair bought the building for $349,000 last year, according to public records.

Community Board 8 approved their liquor license in May, but the application is still pending with the state. Click through to see a closer photo. GMAP


1102 atlantic avenue solar panels crown heights 112014

The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center is transforming a former auto parts warehouse at 1102 Atlantic Avenue in Crown Heights into space for light manufacturing. Yesterday, we spotted workers installing solar panels on the roof of the two-story brick industrial building between Franklin and Classon Avenues.

The renovation will cost an estimated $14,500,000 and provide space for 14 small and mid-size manufacturing businesses, according to GMDC. When work finishes, the building will have a new elevator, new windows, repointed brick, upgraded electrical, gas and plumbing, and a new roof with a 50-kilowatt solar array.

The organization bought the warehouse two years ago for $4,000,000, as we reported at the time. The nonprofit developer is leasing space in the building and expects tenants to start moving in around January or February, according to a spokesperson.

GMDC Buys Crown Heights Warehouse for Expansion [Brownstoner] GMAP

utica place crown heights 112014

A new affordable housing development, Utica Place, officially opened its doors yesterday at 1339 Lincoln Place in Crown Heights, bringing 87 units of affordable housing and a youth center for a neighborhood church to the corner of Utica Avenue, according to a press release we received. The 12-story rental building offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms for low-income New Yorkers, with rents ranging from $494 for a studio to $1,175 for a three-bedroom.

The city received 38,000 applications during the building’s lottery, and only families who made between $18,618 and $50,340 could become tenants. Eighteen units are set aside for veterans who make less than $23,520 per year, and eight additional apartments have been reserved for homeless veterans. Local nonprofit Jericho Project, which works to combat homelessness, will offer supportive services, including counseling and career services, to vets who live in the complex.

St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church also has 7,000 square feet of space in the development, in exchange for allowing the HPD and developers to demolish three of its aging buildings that sat where Utica Place has risen. The development also includes a four-story commercial building next door, where Blink Fitness, Deals and daycare Brooklyn Kid’s Academy occupy 38,000 square feet of space.

Residents have begun moving in over the last few weeks, and St. Matthews is already setting up its youth center. L+M Development developed the project, which cost roughly $26,500,000, and MHG Architects designed it.

DNAinfo was the first to write about the opening. Click through to see what the interiors and roof deck look like.

Windows Going in at Affordable Housing on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights [Brownstoner]
Photos by Jason Carter Rinaldi for Utica Place


747 crown street crown heights 112014

This Crown Heights teens three-bedroom has a lot of living space for $2,500 a month. The 1,500-square-foot pad has a formal dining room, large living room, a dining alcove, and a sun room that could be used as an office, in addition to three regular size bedrooms, according to the listing. Renters can also use the house’s shared front patio. (The listing doesn’t mention back yard space.)

There are French doors and parquet floors, though the renovated kitchen and bathroom are nothing to write home about. It’s about four and a half blocks from the 3, 4 and 5 trains at Utica Avenue. Do you think the price is right for the eastern edge of Crown Heights?

747 Crown Street, #1 [Ideal Properties] GMAP

1375 dean street crown heights 112014

Crown Heights’ oldest home, a mid-19th century wood frame at 1375 Dean Street known as the Susan B. Elkins House, has a new owner, who plans to fix it up and convert it to condos. Community Board 8′s Land Use Committee last night approved Amber Mazor of Perfect Renovation‘s plan to build five two- and three-bedroom condo units inside the house. He plans to fully restore the exterior of the landmarked building to its 1939 tax photo condition, including the balcony, windows and doors, and replace much of the crumbling wood structure with non-combustible material.

The project’s architect, Richard Goodstein of Crown Heights-based NC2 Architecture, explained that the house will get a three-story addition on the back that isn’t visible from the street. The addition will have a glass rear wall and a stucco finish on the sides that matches the existing walls and masonry. Each unit will have a large terrace in the back and open plan kitchen, living and dining rooms. A rear quadrant of the roof will also be removed for a roof terrace.

The home, which is almost a cube, has a hidden half story and a pyramid-shaped roof that is not visible from the street. (The house measures 40 feet wide by 35 feet deep by 33 feet high, according to public records.) “We wanted to design the extension to be purely geometric but in deference to the original building,” said Goodstein. “Undoubtedly, it’s a departure in style. But as architects and designers, we felt that this was more correct.”

The LPC will consider the proposal in a month or two.

Mazor also owns 1372 Dean across the street, which he’s converting to four condos. Work will begin soon on the project, which recently got its alteration permits and received Landmarks’ stamp of approval earlier this year. Mazor bought the property for $1,320,000 in 2013. 

A contract (not a deed) for the sale of the Elkins house to Mazor for was recorded in April. No price is recorded.

The Elkins house has been deteriorating since the early 1980s, and it has been vandalized. The previous owner, Real Properties, paid $194,000 for it in 2011 and promised to restore the exterior and convert it to apartments. That never happened. Instead, the firm gutted what was left of the interior and was sanctioned by Community Board 8 for “demo by neglect” when gaping holes appeared in the roof. Then the firm put it on the market for $1,100,000.

It’s “essentially a ruin right now,” said Goodstein.

Oldest House in Crown Heights North Now More Ruined and Expensive Than Ever [Brownstoner]
1375 Dean Street Coverage [Brownstoner]