A New York Times “The Hunt” story trailed a couple as they looked for a house to buy in Bed Stuy. They were renting a studio in Brooklyn Heights and decided to make the jump into home ownership when their rent increased to $1,850.
Two years ago they started hunting in Bed Stuy, with a budget starting at $600,000. They saw a great place for $700,000 but passed because it was located in Crown Heights. Then the market took off.
Prices kept rising, investors were buying at high prices with all cash, a house they liked didn’t appraise — it’s a familiar story.
Eventually, they ended up buying an SRO in Crown Heights for $950,000. They closed in mid-summer. Now they are waiting for a certificate of non-harrassment and plan to move in with their new baby, who is due in January.
A recent post on the Forum asked “Is it even possible to buy a decent home in this market?” The poster is looking in far east Bed Stuy for a non-flipped house in OK condition with a budget of $800,000 and $200,000 set aside for renovations. What do you think?
We found this rendering on the fence at 1444 Bedford Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place in Crown Heights, where a four-story building is going up on a vacant lot. The apartment house will have eight units and 7,312 square feet of space, according to new building permits issued in January. The architect is Joseph Mucciolo P.C. The 2,700-square-foot lot changed hands between two LLCs last December for $1,070,000, according to PropertyShark. When we stopped by yesterday, it looked like the site was being excavated. We’ve included a picture after the jump.
The unusual design makes us think of a modern version of Queen Anne with its red and white coloring. The flat white sections remind us of 19th century metal bay windows and turrets. What do you think of the design?
This three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in northern Crown Heights is spacious but pricey for the hood. It’s the top-floor apartment in a townhouse that appears to have been completely gutted and chopped up from a two-family into four apartments. But the 1,500-square-foot pad has some nice amenities. The kitchen and bathroom are completely new, and there’s a dishwasher and central A/C. It even has a little private terrace. The bedrooms seem decently sized, and the living room looks pretty large. Do you think it will rent for $3,994 a month?
This three story brick house has some charming details, including shutters, moldings, plasterwork and staircase. Only 16 feet wide, it’s a one-family. Several different agents list the property, including Keller Williams and Elliot Nicks. Keller Williams says it “needs some TLC” and shows photos of the kitchen and a bathroom. There was a lis pendens filed against the building last year, and it most recently changed hands for $210,000 in June, according to PropertyShark. Elliott Nicks says the house is “priced to sell.” For $699,000, do you agree?
A 10-story apartment building with a 114 units, a synagogue, retail on the ground floor, and underground parking for 30 cars is going to replace the 1926 Neo-Classical Fox Savoy Theater in Crown Heights. A plan exam was filed on the 19th, said BuzzBuzzHome.
Previous owner Charity Baptist Church sold the Thomas Lamb-designed building at 1515 Bedford Avenue for only $575,000 last year, as our own Montrose Morris was the first to report. A demolition permit was issued in October.
The new building will have 90,806 square feet of space. The architect is Issac & Stern Architects, and the developer is Realty Within Reach.
Name: Former Tilden’s Service Station Address: 1030 Atlantic Avenue Cross Streets: Between Classon and Grand Avenue Neighborhood: Crown Heights North/Crow Hill Year Built: 1929 Architectural Style: Spanish Mission-inspired 20th century commercial Architect: Unknown Landmarked: No
The story: As the automobile became an important part of life for 20th century Brooklynites, all kinds of businesses were created to take care of the car. In addition to automobile dealerships, there were service stations, plain old gas stations, garages, tire and parts shops and other specialty shops dealing with the car and its upkeep. Atlantic Avenue developed as a largely commercial street with the advent of the LIRR train, which ran on the surface of the avenue from the terminal at Flatbush Avenue, out to East New York, and on to Queens. The train was not elevated or placed below ground until the early years of the 20th century.
In the late teens and 1920s, the stretch of Atlantic between Fort Greene and Utica Avenue became home to the car, with all kinds of automobile oriented businesses along its route. Most of the low-rise one and two story brick garage-type buildings that stretch along the street are from this era. Most are utilitarian structures for businesses that didn’t need to be fancy; they just needed to be functional for tire companies, mechanics and the like.
But many of the larger multi-storied structures are quite beautiful, built by companies such as Packard, Ford, Cadillac and other automobile makers to be enticing and glamorous to customers, whether as showrooms or service stations. A few smaller gas and service stations also wanted to differentiate themselves from the pack. They had architects design buildings that were memorable and interesting, and they offered services and amenities that made them stand out from all of the nearby businesses offering similar service.
Tilden’s Service Station was one of these stand-out companies. The first Tilden’s Service Station opened in Long Island City, this station was the fifth of the service stations owned by S. G. Tilden. He had other branches in Bay Ridge, and elsewhere in Brooklyn. It opened on April 12, 1929, in a two day celebration which showed off its fine new building and all of the amenities offered by the company. For these first two days, Mr. Tilden himself would present car owners who bought more than five gallons of gasoline with a gallon can of motor oil, free of charge. (more…)
This three-bedroom, two-bath apartment at the northern edge of Crown Heights is currently configured as a two-bedroom, but it has a medium-sized room off the living room that could be used as an office or a third bedroom. The living and dining space seems pretty spacious and has a large window at the front of the room. The kitchen and master bath have been recently updated, and both bedrooms look nicely sized. Not everyone will love those pink and purple bedrooms, but maybe the owner (who lives on site) will let you repaint? And small “non-aggressive” pets are allowed. What do you think of it for $2,000?
Name: Buckingham Hall Apartments Address: 769 St. Marks Avenue Cross Streets: Corner New York Avenue Neighborhood: Crown Heights North Year Built: 1923-24
Architectural Style: Tudor Revival Architect: Mengel & Larkin Other works by architect: Several other large apartment buildings in Brooklyn Landmarked: Yes, part of Crown Heights North Phase 2 HD (2011)
The story: When this complex was built, it was advertised as “Brooklyn’s largest apartment building.” The year was 1924. During this time period, Crown Heights was leaving the heady days of the St. Marks District, when it was one of Brooklyn’s most expensive and exclusive single neighborhoods, known for its mansions and fine townhouses, and was building itself into its next phase, as middle class apartment heaven. St. Marks Avenue was at the crux of this change, and Buckingham Hall was only the second building to be built on this block still filled with huge mansions on expansive grounds. This building was further evidence that change was coming, and coming fast.
The first apartment building on this block was called Albion Court. It’s directly across the street, and was built in 1921, a year after the extension of the subway lines under Eastern Parkway were completed. It was now possible for thousands of commuters to take advantage of this great commuting opportunity, and people began flocking to Prospect and Crown Heights, and to the new housing still being developed all along Eastern Parkway and its surrounding areas.
The architects of the Buckingham Hall Apartments were William J. Mengel and John R. Larkin. Their firm had an office in Downtown Brooklyn, and their specialty was large apartment buildings like this one. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about either one of them, other than that. Buckingham Hall was built as four adjoining six story buildings built in a rectangle around a large central court. It had 159 apartments, ranging in size from two rooms to seven, and covered over 40,000 square feet of living space. (more…)
It looks like the Crown Heights development boom is finally making it south of Eastern Parkway with a planned five-story residential building at 267 Rogers Avenue between Carroll and Crown streets. New building applications filed last month show a 112,256-square-foot building with 165 apartments. The architects are Think Architecture and Design PLLC.
The property is part of the St. Ignatius Catholic Church complex next to Medgar Evers High School, and demolition applications have already been filed to knock down the church’s community hall (pictured). As far as we can tell, the actual church building will remain. Public records indicate the church still owns the land, but the site may have changed hands recently since the building permits list an LLC as the owners. GMAP
Update:Curbed thinks the church next door is going to be torn down too, based on the addresses on the permits and a quick walk over to the site today. And in March, the Bishop of Brooklyn officially closed the Church of St Ignatius.
Work has started at 96 Brooklyn Avenue on the corner of Dean Street in Crown Heights, where NIA JV LLC and partner ELH Management LLC plan to turn this house into affordable housing.
A tipster sent in this photo and word that the house is being gutted. The owner has cut down an enormous amount of overgrown vegetation that was hiding the house. Our tipster said he’s seen “wheelbarrows of debris being carted out.”
ELH Management has been in the affordable housing business since 1992 and was responsible for the award-winning restoration of Montrose Morris’ Imperial Apartments on the corner of Pacific Street and Bedford Avenue. So we have no fear this place will end up gutted but then abandoned or put back on the market like the Susan B. Elkins house. (more…)
We were walking north up Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights over the weekend when we spotted signage for this bagel shop on Nostrand Avenue between Atlantic and Pacific. The Facebook page for Nostrand Avenue Bagels says they plan to open soon and will offer hand-rolled bagels made and baked in the store every day. They will also have a line of “Caribbean”-flavored bagels (tropical fruit and herb spice) and standard bagel joint fare like salads, cream cheeses, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, wraps, fresh juices and veggie sandwich options. Hopefully it will be a good place for breakfast to stop if you’re heading to the A/C trains at Fulton or to fortify for a visit to the famously difficult post office on Atlantic near Nostrand. GMAP
The oldest house in Crown Heights North, the freestanding wood frame Susan B. Elkins house at 1375 Dean Street, built in the mid-19th century when the area was still mostly open farmland, is back on the market. This time the ask is $1,100,000, and the building looks to be in worse condition than when it last changed hands in 2011 for $194,000, according to PropertyShark.
At the time, buyer Real Properties Group said it planned to restore the exterior to its 1939 tax photo condition and turn the interior into apartments. In recent months, the Crown Heights North Association reported the owner for “demo by neglect” because neighbors saw gaping holes in the roof.
Unfortunately, the building was left open and looted over the years. Now the current owner appears to have gutted what little remained of the interior. The listing says “Delivered vacant and with an interior that has been completely cleared, you can project your fantasy home and build out to suit your individual tastes and desires.”
As one might expect, there are no interior photos, but click through to the Corcoran listing see a floor plan.
“Yes, it’s finally on the market, the house that we’ve fought so long to protect,” said a member of Crown Heights North Association in an email. “Now it’s our turn to help find a buyer who will restore it to its glory.”
It’s landmarked, so presumably any exterior restoration will not be cheap, quick and dirty. Any deep pockets out there?