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We ran over for a quick peek yesterday evening at the construction site of the latest Atlantic Yards tower to break ground, at 38 6th Avenue next to Barclays Center in Prospect Heights. This week, Greenland Forest City Partners started construction on the 100 percent affordable housing tower, Forest City announced yesterday.

Peering through a hole in the green construction fence, we could see a little big of digging for the foundation had started on the cleared site. That little bit of digging is important, because without it, Forest City would have had to pay the City a fine of as much as $5,000,000. (more…)

550 Vanderbilt1

Listings for eight apartments at 550 Vanderbilt, the first condo building in the large and controversial Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards complex, have gone up online. The 17-story, 278-unit market-rate building is under construction on the corner of Vanderbilt and Dean Street.

The listings show the first interior renderings we have seen for the apartments. Prices range from $565,000 for a studio to $2,890,000 for a three-bedroom, 3.5 bath apartment. We expect more listings will go up over the next few days. (more…)

615 Dean Street

Greenland Forest City Partners Monday filed for a permit to build a 26-story condominium tower at 615 Dean Street in Prospect Heights, part of the massive Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project. This is the fifth building in the 15-unit complex.

The condo building will have 312,746 square feet of residential space and 244 units of housing, according to the permits.

The building will be 278 feet high, and have 4,435 square feet of retail. The condos, which will be market rate, according to the Atlantic Yards Report, are likely to be quite large: an average of 1,282 square feet per unit. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is the applicant of record. (more…)

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The two landmarked and formerly crumbling twin houses at 578 and 580 Carlton Avenue in Prospect Heights have come a long way since we last checked in February. The house on the left, No. 580, now has a fully rebuilt cornice. Meanwhile, No. 578, on the right, is being wrapped in insulation prior to getting a new facade. (more…)

126 Saint Marks Avenue1

This brownstone at 126 St. Marks Avenue is 19 feet wide but still plenty big because it’s four stories with an extension. It has plenty of original moldings, mantels, a pier mirror and other period details as well as updated kitchens and baths.

It’s set up as a four-family, but has a few extras. The third floor unit has three bedrooms on the third floor and the fourth floor apartment has a deck in the back.

The mechanicals, roof, windows and facade have all been updated, according to the listing. It last sold in for $1,900,000 in 2011, when it made our Last Week’s Biggest Sales list. It was a House of the Day in 2006.

With an ask of $3,495,000, do you think it’s appealing as an investment property or to live in?

126 Saint Marks Avenue [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP
Photos by Brown Harris Stevens
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This new-to-the-market Prospect Heights condop borders Park Slope and has an irregular, triangular floor plan that creates interesting, angular living spaces. There is a wood-burning fireplace in the living room, an open plan kitchen, and three bedrooms.

The master bedroom is large (16 by 17.2 feet) and includes an en suite bath and double closets. Another has its own twin sink bathroom. The third is smaller and could be turned into a nursery.

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We’re not always big fans of renovations that merge the old and the new, but here we think the architect hit one out of the ballpark. This Romanesque Revival brownstone at 300 Prospect Place retains quite a few original details, including elaborate wood mantels and moldings, among carefully inserted modern features.

The overall vibe is rustic industrial. Perhaps the most unusual feature is the staircase, which has moved to the rear and bypasses the garden-floor rental completely. (more…)

Ward Bakery, Wardbakingcompany.com 1

The Ward Bakery Company was founded in 1849, in a small bakery on Broome Street, in Manhattan. Eighty years later, the company was the largest commercial bakery in America, serving most of the Eastern Seaboard and the Midwest.

The company boasted in all of their advertising that no human hand ever touched their signature Tip Top bread as it made its way from bags of ingredients down to the finished wrapped and sealed product. It was all automated, even in 1911, when their Bronx and Brooklyn factories opened for business.

The details of the Ward family and their baking history can be found in Part One and Part Two. Robert and George Ward, the grandsons of the company founder had taken the company well beyond James Ward’s wildest dreams. (more…)

645 Carlton Ave, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Flats building
Address: 645 Carlton Avenue
Cross Streets: Prospect and Park Places
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
Year Built: 1894
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Delany & Collins
Other Buildings by Architect: 245-249 Prospect Place, 255-265 Prospect Place, all Prospect Heights
Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Heights Historic District (2009)

The story: Prospect Heights as a neighborhood really developed twice. The Dutch and other settlers to the area found the land to be rocky and ill-suited for most farming, so there wasn’t much going on here until the mid-19th century.

In 1834, Brooklyn incorporated as a city, and divided itself into 9 wards. This was the 9th, and the least populated ward in the new city. At that time, the Old Flatbush toll road cut through the neighborhood, running a bit east of where modern Flatbush Avenue runs today.

The first houses in the neighborhood were small, wood-framed homes and businesses located close to Flatbush. A few of those buildings still stand, on Pacific and Carlton Streets.

But for most people, this neighborhood was like a fly-over state. Flatbush Avenue was well traveled and had good public transportation. People and goods were traveling to the harbor from agrarian Flatbush, but no one stopped to live here. (more…)

Ward Bakery, Ad for opening, BE, 1911. 2

Many fortunes have been made by providing the public with the basic products of life. One doesn’t always need to reinvent the wheel. Take bread, for instance. For centuries, people have made their own bread. But for almost as long, there have been bakers who would do it for them. No one ever turned away a good baker.

For the busy urban household, bread making was time consuming, even for servants. If you’ve ever made bread, you know you have to set the yeast, mix the ingredients, let the bread rise several times, beat it and knead it to create gluten, and then let it rise again before actually baking. Or you could go to the baker and buy it.

The baker would also be able to make different kinds of bread, perhaps rolls, too, and even pastries. A baker and his bakery was an important part of the community. Interestingly, for centuries in Europe and America, the baker has generally been a man.

In 1849, a baker named James Ward and his son Hugh opened a one-oven bakery on Broome Street in Manhattan. A few years later, in 1852, Hugh and his wife Eliza welcomed young Robert into the world. (more…)

660 dean street 1

This two-bedroom, two-bath condo for rent in Prospect Heights is modern, spacious and close to Barclays Center. There’s a wine cooler, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer and a balcony off one of the bedrooms.

The unit is pretty large at 1,081 square feet, according to the listing. Do you think the rent of $4,500 a month is reasonable for the location?

660 Dean Street, #4 [Elliman] GMAP

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london plane lisa mcnett brooklyn

The first day of spring is almost here, and next weekend, tree expert Lisa Nett will teach two classes at the Brooklyn Brainery on identifying London Planes and the science behind maple syrup. The London Plane class will explore why the trees shed their bark and include a brief outdoor walk through Prospect Heights at the end.

Anyone who attends the maple syrup class will get to taste some syrup and learn about the “science and seasonality” behind it. The tree class will happen Sunday, March 28 from 10:30 am to noon, and the syrup one will take place Sunday, March 29 from 10 to 11:30 am. Registration is $8 and $10 respectively, and you can sign up at Brooklyn Brainery.

Photo by Lisa Nett for Brooklyn Brainery