701 caton ave school kensington 72014

The city is building a large K through 8 elementary and middle school on a former vacant lot at 713 Caton Avenue in Kensington, where we found these renderings on the fence. The New York City School Construction Authority is developing the five-story building, which will be 87,629 square feet, according to new building permits.

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We’re seeing a lot of sweet one-family homes in the Windsor Terrace and Kensington area for just under a million, and this is one of them. It looks to be circa-1900, so the living, dining and kitchen are all on one level with the bedrooms above.

The listing and photos show what appears to be a renovated house with lots of original details, including a mantel, original floors, decorative wall molding, and the passthrough and built-ins upstairs. However, the listing says nothing about mechanicals and there are no photos of kitchens and baths, so we’re not sure. The ask is $950,000. What do you make of it?

280 East 9th Street [Corcoran] GMAP

This renovated studio for rent in a Kensington co-op is bright white, new looking and relatively spacious. The L-shaped apartment has a bunch of white built-in wall units that offer tons of storage but give the space a somewhat clinical (or very modern) look. Those little built-in tables in the living area could function as desks or shelves, and there’s a walk-in closet.

The pad also has refinished parquet flooring and a newly renovated marble bathroom, as well as central heat and A/C. The downside is that it’s a one-year sublet that requires the hassle of co-op board approval. What’s your opinion of it for $1,650 a month?

135 Ocean Parkway [Stribling] GMAP

We already featured this as an Open House Pick, but it’s worth a closer look. The listing says bring your contractor/architect but we’re not sure that will be necessary. The photos reveal the house is in nearly totally original (and apparently very good) condition — including parquet and inlaid floors, French doors, Art Deco baths, original kitchen cupboards, and black iron windows.

We think we even spy original celluloid handles on the cabinets in one kitchen. We don’t know why you’d want to change a thing, looks-wise, beyond freshening up the floors and painting.

The two-family is 26 feet wide, and there’s a garage under the house. The ask is $979,000. Has anyone seen it in person?

8 Micieli Place [Brooklyn Properties] GMAP

Here’s a big two-bedroom co-op at the Park Towers in Kensington for $449,000. In addition to plenty of space (31-foot-long living room!), this place has an eat-in kitchen and a private terrace with amazing views south and west; all that’s missing is a second bathroom. And while the kitchen isn’t going to show up in a design magazine anytime soon, the apartment has been renovated recently and looks to be in good shape.

370 Ocean Parkway, #9C [Halstead] GMAP

A friend who lives in Kensington sent us these photos last night and told us that around 10 pm, she got home and found her water contaminated with gasoline. A fireman she spoke to said that someone may have dumped it into the sewers. Firetrucks came to her block as well (see a photo after the jump), near Dahill Road and Clara Street. Is anyone else who lives in Kensington having this problem?

UPDATE: A spokesman from NYC Department of Environmental Protection tells us that it’s not possible for anything in the sewers to end up in the drinking water, because the water supply is a closed, pressurized system that carries clean drinking water from the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers. He added that the fastest way to get rid of any discolored water is to run your taps. The water may be discolored because of a change in the flow, or because firefighters were running a firehose. The DEP plans to send someone to the area to investigate the water. Our tipster who lives on the block said the water smelled like gasoline, as did the block.

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In one of its “Living in” columns, The New York Times took a look at Kensington, a slice of a neighborhood sitting between Green-Wood Cemetery and a corner of Prospect Park, with Windsor Terrace to the north and Ditmas Park to the south.

“Kensington is the last affordable neighborhood before you get to Windsor Terrace and Park Slope if you’re trying to move closer to the city,” the story quoted a broker, Liam McCarthy, who founded the agency JMKBK, as saying.

The “historically working class area” has a large number of immigrants from more than 15 countries, including Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, Haiti and Poland, said the Times. It is also attracting “increasing number[s] of young professionals, many of them unable to afford Brooklyn neighborhoods closer to Manhattan, like Park Slope and Windsor Terrace,” said the Times.

Prices range from $750,000 to $1,200,000 for a townhouse, according to the story. A two- or three-bedroom co-op or condo will set you back $400,000 to $650,000. There are also plenty of rentals, with two-bedroom apartments going for about $2,000 a month, said the Times.

Would anyone familiar with the area care to chime in? What do you think of Kensington?

Living in: Affordability in Kensington [NY Times]
Photo by Google Maps

The DOT started construction last week on a pedestrian island and other safety improvements at the intersection of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, Kensington BK reported. The DOT has promised to repair damaged sidewalks and crosswalks and to install high-visiblity crosswalk markings, speed limit signs on Ocean Parkway and “Traffic Signal Ahead” signs along Prospect Expressway.

After the DOT conducted a study of the most accident-prone parts of Ocean Parkway, several other dangerous intersections along the six-lane road were selected for safety upgrades, including Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue and 18th Avenue, according to Streetsblog. The work on Ocean Parkway should wrap in the spring, and the other improvements will start in 2015.

State DOT Approves Safety Measures at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nora for KensingtonBK

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A group of 18 properties in Ditmas Park Kensington called the Coney Island Portfolio is for sale for $40,000,000. The lots are located on one block between Coney Island Avenue, Cortelyou Road, East 9th Street and Ditmas Avenue, with most of the lots fronting Coney Island Avenue.

Just six blocks away from the Q train and close to a commercial strip on Cortelyou, “this portfolio presents significant development potential,” said Massey Knakal, which is marketing the parcel.

The properties include mixed-use buildings, multi-family walkups, garages, warehouses, empty lots and parking lots. The size of all the lots put together equals about 78,011 square feet. (The ask is about $513 per square foot.) There are 135,000 buildable square feet for commercial purposes, plus 298,000 buildable square feet for community facilities. The Real Deal was the first to report the offering.

Coney Island Portfolio Listing [Massey Knakal]
Image via Massey Knakal

This cozy three-bedroom apartment in Kensington seems like a pretty good value. It’s on the first floor of a three-story house divided up into three floorthrough units. The master bedroom is large, with room for a king size bed, a couple dressers and a closet. The other two bedrooms are smaller, with room for twin or full beds, and one of them has a closet, according to the broker. The kitchen and bathroom are unfortunately not pictured, but the broker tells us the kitchen has a dishwasher and plenty of storage. What do you think of it for $1,600?

300 East 5th Street, #3 [Corcoran] GMAP