142 A Hull StreetCombo

This little two-family at 142 A Hull Street has been unfortunately over-renovated to our way of thinking, but even so it appears to be in move-in condition with a relatively low price tag for Brooklyn these days.

It’s set up as a top-floor rental over a three-bedroom duplex. The facade is mostly intact and we like the quirky offset window and the Neo-Grec detail.

The house is located in Ocean Hill close to the Broadway Junction subway station. The ask is $719,000. Do you think it might make a good investment property?

142 A Hull Street [Halstead] GMAP

1332 herkimer street ocean hill 102014

Here’s a renovated 1.5-bedroom apartment in Ocean Hill. The kitchen is large enough for a dining table with four chairs, and the bathroom has a window. We’re guessing this is on the top floor of the 19th century brick building.

It’s two blocks from the C train at Rockaway Avenue and five blocks to the A, C, J, Z and L at Broadway Junction. It wasn’t long ago that you could find apartments in this price range in Bed Stuy. Do you think $1,400 a month is a good deal for this location?

1332 Herkimer Street [Charles Rutenberg] GMAP


During the winter, when we can’t open the windows, we work on “clean” projects, such as sewing new curtains. We save up messy and toxic tasks such as plastering and stripping for spring and summer. We’ve accomplished quite a bit this year, although not as much as we hoped. Our agenda was to finish all the woodwork and the plastering. What we actually accomplished was rehabilitating the built-ins on the garden floor. (more…)

331 saratoga avenue ocean hill rendering 82014

We found this rendering for a five-story affordable housing development on the fence at 331 Saratoga Avenue between Bergen and Dean Streets in Ocean Hill. SLCE is designing the building, which will have 80 units, 40 bike storage spots and 15 off-street parking spaces, as previously reported.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has owned the lot for 40 years, but Dunn Development is the developer. Half the units will be reserved for families living below the poverty line, and the complex will be called Bergen Saratoga Apartments. Construction signage predicts it will be finished in October 2015.

When we looked behind the fence, we saw excavation and foundation work under way. Click through to see the progress. What do you think of the design?

SLCE to Design Five Stories of Affordable Housing on Vacant Lot in Ocean Hill [Brownstoner] GMAP



We found renderings for the two big affordable housing developments coming to the corner of Broadway and Decatur in Ocean Hill. Construction will wrap in fall 2015, with retail coming later that year, according to signs on the fence. We’re also pleased to report that Henry Hardware will be one of the stores. (The owner of one of the properties, Stanley Henry, has run Henry Distributors, a building supply company, here since 1970.) (more…)

36 thomas s boyland street bed stuy 72014

As rents in Bed Stuy skyrocket, it’s easy to forget you can still find deals like this three-bedroom, particularly in eastern Bed Stuy and Ocean Hill. The living room seems nicely sized, and the kitchen and bathroom are both recently updated.

There are two large bedrooms and one smaller one, according to the listing. You could also use it as a two-bedroom and keep the third one as an office or nursery. The location is close to the Bushwick border and two or three blocks from the J at Halsey or the J/Z at Chauncey. Do you think it’s reasonable at $1,800 a month?

36 Thomas S. Boyland Street [Halstead] GMAP


It seems the Ocean Hill development on the corner of Broadway and Decatur we wrote about Monday is actually part of a much bigger project taking place along Broadway on both sides of Decatur. Two six-story buildings will contain 134 units of supportive and low-income housing as well as retail space. The building at 1696-1712 Broadway will go into a city-owned site that has been an empty lot for decades, pictured above. The one at 1674-1684 Broadway, as previously reported, will go up where Henry Distributors has been selling hardware and building materials since 1970.

As it turns out, owner Stan Henry is actually a partner in the development, along with Alembic Community Development. Among other things, he will help out the project with his extensive local contacts in the building trades. We hope that’s good news for his many long-time employees who live in the area. Perhaps Henry Distributors plans to resume operations in the building’s retail space after construction has finished.

The project will cost $53,000,000 and the architect is Peter Woll. The development will be called The Henry Apartments, presumably after Stan Henry.

The office of the Brooklyn Borough President held a public hearing on the project on April 8. An email to the office was not returned, so we don’t know the outcome. On Tuesday, a subcommittee of the City Council voted to approve it. A construction permit has already been filed for the building at 1674-1684 Broadway.

You can read all about the details of the plan here. Thanks to a Brownstoner commenter for alerting us to the notice.

After years of virtually no private development in this area, now almost every vacant lot in the vicinity has a building going up on it. We live on this block and are pleased with the plans since it will help residents — and the building design is likely to be better than a market rate condo development. We just hope they make an effort to soundproof the building, since it will be right up against the very loud elevated train tracks.

What do you think of it?

Six-Story Mixed-Use Building in the Works at Broadway and Decatur in Ocean Hill [Brownstoner]


As the city considers upzoning Broadway in Bushwick, Bed Stuy and East New York, some developers are taking the plunge and building beneath the J,M,Z elevated tracks despite height restrictions. Affordable housing developer Alembic Community Development is planning a six-story, mixed-use project at 1676 Broadway in Ocean Hill/Bed Stuy, according to a new building application.

That address is new. In 2012, a very large property on the corner consisting of multiple parcels, which has housed wholesale and retail building supply company Henry Distributors at 1674 Broadway for decades, changed hands for $1,030,254. It is now owned by an entity called Broadway Decatur Housing Development Fund Corp., according to ACRIS.

As far as we can figure out, it looks like the new building is going to go up where Henry Distributors is currently located. The 55-unit building will have 35,300 square feet of residential space and 2,692 square feet of commercial. While the building permits say nothing about affordability, it’s very likely going to be some form of low-income housing. Alembic builds low-income and supportive housing like the D’Addario Residence in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which opened last year with 46 units for low-income and formerly homeless people.

In 1908, this building was a theater called the People’s Pleasure Palace, according to Cinema TreasuresGMAP


A drawing has gone up on the construction fence at 880-882 Macon Street between Broadway and Saratoga in the Ocean Hill area of Bed Stuy, where the owners tore down a small, decrepit 19th century brick house next to an empty lot to build a four-story, eight-unit apartment house.

Large, double-glazed windows will alternate with sheet metal and an insulated finish that looks like stucco. When we peeked through the construction fence, it appeared workers were busy preparing for the cement to be poured for the foundation. What do you think of the design?

Development to Boom in Ocean Hill? [Brownstoner]


Brookland Capital snapped up an empty lot at 729 Decatur Street in Bed Stuy/Ocean Hill last month. The sale price was $361,250. The company plans to build condos there, according to a neighbor, but no permits have been filed yet.

The seller, Thomas Mulzac, seems to have just about cornered the market on empty lots in this area about 15 years ago. One of his properties is a very prime four-lot parcel at 762-768 Macon at the corner of Howard, on a prominent corner across from Saratoga Park. Not long ago, he owned the other two empty lots down the block across from Bed Stuy Fish Fry and the park at 838-840 Halsey, where another developer is putting up a new building, as previously reported.

Our neighbors speculated it won’t be long before the 700 block of Decatur sees some big developments. Men were recently seen measuring the huge eight-lot parcel on Broadway at Decatur, which is owned by HPD. Decades ago there was a large mixed-use building there.

“There hasn’t been any development here since the blackout,” said one long-time resident. “In 10 years, this will all look completely different.”

Brookland Capital’s Boaz Gilad would probably agree. “We are very bullish on East Bed Stuy, Ocean Hill, and Bushwick,” he told us.

new building application was filed last week for a five-story building at 331 Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Hill. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is listed as the owner on the permit. The vacant lot has been city-owned since the late ’70s, according to public records.

The SLCE-designed development between Dean and Bergen streets will include 80 apartments spread across 61,080 square feet. It will also have storage for 40 bicycles, 15 underground parking spaces, recreation and community space, laundry and a computer room.

Half of the units will be for families earning below the poverty line, according to a 2013 Crain’s article. The complex will be called Bergen Saratoga Apartments and the developer is Dunn Development, it said.

The design could be interesting. SLCE is also the architect of 388 Bridge Street, Brooklyn’s tallest building, and Williamsburg’s 250 North 10th Street. GMAP

Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

1609-1627 St. Marks Ave, VernonCherry NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1609-1627 St. Marks Avenue
Cross Streets: Thomas S. Boyland Street and Rockaway Avenue
Neighborhood: Ocean Hill
Year Built: 2003-2005
Architectural Style: Modern row house
Architect: Magnusson Architects and Planning (MAP)
Other buildings by architect: Similar houses on Boyland Street and Bergen Street. Also Rheingold Gardens in Bushwick, Atlantic Terrace in Fort Greene, and many other projects in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island
Landmarked: No

The story: Affordable housing is a mantra in this city, as the sales and rental prices of houses and apartments continue to rise, and people try to figure out how they can afford to stay here. Meanwhile, as the prices and demand for houses in some neighborhoods skyrocket, other lower income neighborhoods have seen entire blocks of buildings disappear into rubble and empty lots. As developers and advocates for affordable housing plan new buildings for these lots, the necessary balance between cost and aesthetics has often been backburnered or ignored. Consequently, we’ve gotten a class of buildings that are often called “Fedders houses.” These are infill houses in our neighborhoods that, to cut to the chase, have been just plain ugly. Many people say that you can’t have good design in affordable housing, it’s not a priority and it’s not cost effective. But there are too many examples that just cry “Not true.” Take this project, for example.

Today’s Buildings of the Day are a part of a development in Ocean Hill called the Vernon Cherry Homes. They are named in honor of Vernon Cherry, a Brooklyn firefighter who died at the Trade Center on 9-11. The houses were developed by Loewen Development, for a joint partnership between the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Partnership. The architects on the project were Magnusson Architects and Planning. Magnus Magnusson, the head of the company, was the chief architect. The Vernon Cherry Houses are scattered in a five block radius around Bergen and Thomas Boyland Streets, Eastern Parkway, St. Marks and Saratoga Avenues. (more…)