856 washington avenue prospect heights

Developer Slate Property Group has snapped up the former Greenpoint Savings Bank (and more recently, Capital One branch) at 856 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights for $6,500,000, according to public records. The elaborate early 20th century neo-Classical bank building is just under 6,000 square feet, but zoning allows a developer to build up to 40,000 square feet on the site.

If the building is going to be converted to apartments, we wonder if Slate will add extra stories to the top. The firm has residential projects all over Brooklyn, including three large apartment buildings under construction along 4th Avenue in Park Slope

The Capital One branch closed last fall, as a new one opened at the corner of Franklin and Eastern Parkway. 

Closing Bell: Trader Joe’s Rumored to Be Opening in Prospect Heights [Brownstoner] GMAP
Image via Google Maps


As we’re sure you are all aware, there was a horrible fire at 265 Flatbush Avenue Wednesday morning. One man died, and at least eight were injured. The fire appears to have reduced the building to a shell.

Flatbush Hardware, on the ground floor, and the grocery store next door are both closed, according to reports in DNAinfo, The New York Times, and elsewhere. The fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the hardware store’s neon sign, they said.

A reader sent in this photo and said “Heartbroken about this. The building housed one of our last mom and pop hardware stores, Jamaican owned. I hope everyone got out safely.”

1 grand army plaza prospect heights 12015

Paging all Richard Meier fans! This two-bedroom condo at 1 Grand Army Plaza just became available. The fourth-floor unit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open living/dining area in addition to the modern all-white finishes you would expect. Asking price for the 1,263-square-foot apartment is $1,395,000 and the monthly common charge is $1,465.

1 Grand Army Plaza, #4M [Halstead] GMAP

417 prospect place mexican prospect heights 12015

A restaurant called Marga Mex is replacing The Spot at 417 Prospect Place in Prospect Heights, according to this sign we spotted on the storefront. The American restaurant at Prospect and Grand Avenue had been a neighborhood mainstay since it opened in 2008. Does anyone know when it closed, or have any more info about the Mexican restaurant? GMAP

498 bergen street prospect heights 12015

This three-bedroom, two-bath carriage house for rent near the Prospect Heights/Park Slope border seems like a sweet pad for a family. The 1,300-square-foot home has a fireplace and French doors that lead to the garden. There’s a dishwasher and washer/dryer too. It’s also only steps from the Bergen Street 2/3 stop and five blocks from Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center. Does $4,200 a month seem like a pretty good deal for a whole house?

498 Bergen Street [Halstead] GMAP


Forest City has resumed work on the stalled B2 tower at Pacific Park (née Atlantic Yards), according to The New York Daily News. The article, however, was thin on specifics of exactly what work has been resumed. As far as we can deduce, it means the employees who have been hired — or rehired — so far are now reporting for work every day.

Forest City has, presumably, had plenty of time during this pause to fine-tune any issues with the way the modules fit together – although they always said the design is not the issue — so perhaps they’ll soon start churning them out and stacking them high. We’re watching with interest.

Forest City Ratner’s Modular Brooklyn Tower Is Back on Track [NY Daily News]
Photo by Field Condition

984 Atlantic Ave, SSpellen 1

There are hundreds of interesting buildings in Brooklyn for which little information is available, so I’ve held off writing about them. This year, I’m going to feature some of those structures, and tell you what I can – because they too, are worthy of being a BOTD. Any information on them from you is always welcome.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Parking garage/factory, originally an automobile showroom and service center.
Address: 984 Atlantic Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Grand Avenue
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
Year Built: 1920s
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Atlantic Avenue has been home to automobiles and automotive industries since the arrival of the automobile itself. Up until the early 20th century, the Long Island Rail Road used to run on the surface of the avenue, from Flatbush all the way out to Jamaica, Queens. Consequently, the road has always been mostly industrial or service oriented. A busy roadway and automobile businesses – a perfect match.

This is a great Art Deco building. Given the history of the neighborhood, I’d venture a guess that it was built as a showroom/service center for one of the big auto companies. Unfortunately, I found no ads, no press, and no mention of any company or building use in any of the local papers. So it’s going to remain a mystery, at least the answers are found off-line at the Historical Society or library. (more…)

280 st marks avenue prospect heights

This sizable garage at 280 St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights will meet the wrecking ball to make way for a five-story, 32-unit apartment building. Designed by DXA Studio, the 50,000-square-foot development will have 64 underground parking spots, a gym and 54 bike storage spaces, per new building applications filed last week.

Demolition applications were filed to knock down the garage in early December. The single-story building dates back to the ’20s and measures roughly 20,000 square feet. The developers are Wildedge Group and Fifth Square Partners, who closed on the property for an undisclosed amount in November, according to Wildedge’s website. GMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

Update: The developer, Wildedge, tells us this building will be condos.

350-360 Prospect Pl. SSpellen 2

There are hundreds of interesting buildings in Brooklyn for which little information is available, so I’ve held off writing about them. This year, I’m going to feature some of those structures, and tell you what I can – because they too, are worthy of being a BOTD. Any information on them from you is always welcome.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 350-360 Prospect Place
Cross Streets: Underhill and Washington Avenues
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
Year Built: between 1886-1894
Architectural Style: Arts & Crafts
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: I might not have noticed this group of six houses, except for the brightly painted cornices. I took these photographs in 2010. I was always curious about their history, but information was scarce. According to the maps, there was no development on this block in 1886. There was only one property on the entire square block, a masonry building on the corner of Underhill, at that time. So these houses were built sometime between 1886, and when the first mention of any of the group occurs in 1894. (more…)

winter berries dave allen brooklyn botanic garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting a bunch of events this Sunday designed to get you moving and exploring some natural beauty, including a winter bird walk, a hot cocoa and chocolate tasting and a “chase away the winter blues” plant tour. Visitors can sample JoMart Chocolates from 11 am to 2 pm, and check out a pop-up shop by Swedish clothing and home goods brand Gudrun Sjödén between 10 am and 4:30 pm.

Besides the walking tours, there will be children’s dance classes, a Victorian toy parlor, and a “nestfest” where families can search for nests or build their own. The hour-long bird stroll begins at 10 am, and the winter plant walk, which is led by a licensed psychotherapist and BBG guide, starts at 1 pm. All the events are free with admission to the garden. Take a look at the full schedule of First Sunday activities over on the BBG website.

Photo by Dave Allen via BBG

make music new york art

The winter edition of citywide music festival Make Music New York is bringing participatory performances to Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, Cadman Plaza, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and McCarren Park this Sunday. Appalachian fiddlers and dancers will lead a parade from Grand Army Plaza to the Shake Shack on Flatbush Avenue, and in Williamsburg, a parade of kalimba (thumb piano) players will wend its way from Cooper Park to McCarren Park.

And singers and instrumentalists of all levels can meet in Cadman Plaza to play in a “slow-motion” performance of the prelude to Bach’s G-Major Cello Suite No. 1. Down on Williamsburg’s Southside, community groups El Puente and Bombayo are hosting an Afro-Caribbean dance and performance experience at El Puente’s headquarters on South 4th Street. Check out the full schedule over at Make Music New York.

Image via Make Music New York

268 prospect place prospect heights 2 122014

This Romanesque Revival house at 268 Prospect Place was an Open House Pick last week, but too good to pass up. It has most of its original details and is just a very pretty house. In the same family for 44 years, it seems to be in very good shape although we expect the kitchens and baths could use refreshing or restoration.

The main rooms appear unaltered, including the dining room with wainscotting and big front bedroom. We like the mantels with their various colored tiles, the elaborate plaster details on the ceilings, the stained glass and the floors. There is also early electric lighting.

Designed by William L. Beers, the 1889 house is in the Prospect Heights Historic District. The ask is $2,499,000. Did anyone see it in person this weekend?

268 Prospect Place [Stribling] GMAP