How adorable is this Prospect Lefferts Gardens brownstone? We are swooning for the simple transitional Victorian-meets-Craftsman details, especially the dining room with its built-ins, panelling, and coffered ceiling. But the original front doors, simple parlor, parquet floors and green tile mantel are great too. What’s more, it’s “only” $1,050,000, which to our jaded ears is beginning to sound like a bargain.
However, it is only a one-family and “needs some TLC,” according to the listing. No bathrooms are shown, which is not a good sign, but we think the kitchen would do just fine with a new counter and some paint. What do you think they will get for it?
Three houses at 50-54 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens are being demolished right now to make way for an eight-story residential development. The plan exam application for the new building was first reported by BuzzBuzz Home. Nataliya Donskoy will be the architect on this project, which will have 48 units and 24,600 square feet. The 85-foot building will have parking for 24 bikes, a laundry room, two recreation rooms and an elevator.
Public records show an LLC bought 50 Clarkson Avenue for $760,000 in December 2012, and building permits reveal that the developer is Joseph Hoffman of Bushburg Properties. The other two houses were also purchased the same month, for $445,000 and $545,000. Donskoy, who previously worked for disgraced architect Robert Scarano, designed the unusual looking building at 146 South 4th Street in Williamsburg, which recently started leasing.
This new building happens to be just down the street from 111 Clarkson, where developer Seth Brown is planning two seven-story buildings with 50 units. At a meeting Wednesday about plans for 111 Clarkson, neighbors were complaining that the three buildings above had been left half demolished. The demo was stopped after the DOB issued a violation last November, and workers told us this morning that demolition resumed yesterday.
Last night, developer Seth Brown from Aspen Equities presented his plans for 111 Clarkson Avenue to neighbors at a meeting in a house on the block. He plans to demolish the crumbling “beserk-eclectic” Victorian house there and build two seven-story rental buildings in its place. He said that he would have loved to save the house, but it had become too decrepit and structurally unsound. “It has essentially been wet for 30 years,” Brown said. However, the details, like the windows and staircase, have been removed by an architectural salvage company.
Brown didn’t show any pictures, but described his plans: The 70-foot buildings will have 22 and 28 units each, and there will be a parking lot with 25 spaces between the two buildings. Both buildings will extend to the property line on either side of the 50 by 242 foot lot, with a driveway on each side of the lot, allowing for parking lot access from Clarkson and Parkside Avenues. Architect Joseph Spector will design the rentals, which will be mostly one- and one-plus bedrooms with a few two- and three-bedroom apartments mixed in. Most units will have balconies, and there will be a washer/dryer in each apartment. Both buildings will have an elevator and roof terrace.
Aspen Equities filed an application for a demo permit in December. A crew should begin taking down the 116-year-old house within the next month, as soon as the DOB issues a permit. Construction should begin by the summer and finish in a year, Brown said.
Australian investment firm Dixon Advisory set a record Monday with its purchase of a single family brownstone at 36 Rutland Road for $1,850,000, Fillmore broker Louis Belisario told us. He and Fillmore broker Howard Witz handled the sale.
As BK to the Fullest, which was the first to write about the sale, pointed out, 111 Clarkson Avenue sold for more — $2,800,000 — but it was sold as a development site. Pushing up the price of 36 Rutland Road is the fact that it includes an extra side lot and a garage. In July, a more recently updated house at 55 Rutland but without the extra property closed for $1,825,000.
The previous record was held by a limestone at 52 Midwood, which sold for $1,665,000 in 2007.
We noticed that Planet Fitness has started renovations in its future location on Flatbush near Empire Boulevard in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. PFit has erected a sign on top of the Phat Albert building at 495 Flatbush Avenue, and we can see the fitness chain’s tell-tale purple walls through windows on the second floor. The gym will take up half the building’s second floor and a small portion of the first floor, roughly 2,000 square feet, according to DNAinfo.
It looks like Planet Fitness will open before the Crunch gym planned for 842 Lefferts Avenue in Crown Heights, which was hit by stop-work orders because it lacked the appropriate permits. And the PLG branch of Planet Fitness isn’t too far from its Flatbush location at Flatbush and Church avenues. Hat tip to this helpful Forum poster.
This little frame house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens will come down soon to make way for a five-story residential building at 149 Clarkson Avenue, according to a new building application filed today. The five-story, 10-unit building will have 10,508 square feet of residential space.
We’re a little late to this news, but the two ice rinks at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park opened to the public on Friday. The 32,000-square-foot skating facility includes an open ice rink and a covered one, which will be used as a roller rink during the spring and summer, and a cafe and event space.
The LeFrank-funded rink replaces the 50-year-old Wollman Rink, which closed in 2010. As we have reported, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects designed the $74,000,000 Lakeside complex and helped restore the waterfront to its original Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux design.
The new rinks are near the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to the park. Holiday hours are available on the Lakeside website, and admission is $6 on weekdays and $8 on holidays and weekends. Skate rental is $5.
A group of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens residents gathered yesterday at Chester Court to explain their lawsuit against a developer who wants to construct a 23-story luxury and affordable development on the lot next door. The neighborhood activists and their lawyers are requesting a court order to require the state housing agency to conduct a more thorough environmental impact study for 626 Flatbush Avenue, because developer Hudson Companies is receiving $72 million in public funds for the project. They’re also requesting an injunction to prevent the developer from demolishing the two-story commercial building on the property or moving forward with construction.
The 80/20 development is an as-of-right project that doesn’t require a variance for the height. However, community members insist that the building will fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood, which is mostly low-rise four- and six-story buildings. The basis of their challenge is that the property is right next to two nationally recognized historic landmarks, Prospect Park and Lefferts Manor, and the state Housing Financing Agency didn’t take that into consideration in their environmental review.
Prospect Park East Network hopes they can negotiate the tower’s height down to nine stories, distributing the same units over a wider footprint, according to a petition on its website.
“Our clients are concerned that this tower will lead to tenant displacement, as landlords see new opportunities in a high rent market,” said Rachel Hannaford, senior staff attorney at Legal Services NYC. “In recent years, developments like this one have changed the character of Brooklyn neighborhoods and forced the most vulnerable out of their homes and communities.”
Those who live on Chester Court are concerned that the building will not only cast a shadow over their little block but ultimately force them to move.
“When we look at a studio apartment building in this building, it’s $1,900 or $2,000 a month,” said 2 Chester Court resident Derek Edwards. “We’re solidly in the middle class — my wife works as a nurse in a hospital. And we just couldn’t afford it.”
“We are disappointed that opponents of development in the neighborhood have resorted to a lawsuit against an as-of-right project that will bring over 50 affordable units to the neighborhood, as well as new retail and community facility space,” said Hudson Companies principal David Kramer. He also told Crain’s, “Nothing says happy holidays and welcome to the neighborhood like a NIMBY lawsuit in the guise of an environmental challenge.”
A group of residents and community groups said yesterday they intend to sue to stop development of a planned 23-story luxury tower at 626 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The suit against New York State Housing Finance Agency and developer Hudson Companies Inc. contends that more than $72 million in public funds were approved for the development without a “proper environmental impact study as required by state law,” according to a press release sent out by the group.
“The building in Prospect Lefferts Gardens would be in the midst of a neighborhood that is otherwise largely comprised of six-story or smaller buildings, and would present serious economic and environmental issues for the historic neighborhood,” the release continued.
The group includes the Prospect Park East Network, Flatbush Development Corporation, Flatbush Tenant Coalition and Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association, among others. The group plans to hold a press conference to announce its lawsuit Thursday at 11 am in Chester Court.
The development by Hudson Companies is as-of-right, which means it complies with all existing zoning regulations and does not need any special permits or variances.
Name: Row houses Address: 87-93 Rutland Road Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues Neighborhood: Prospect Lefferts Gardens Year Built: 1925 Architectural Style: Neo-Georgian Architect: Slee & Bryson Other works by architect: Many other row and freestanding houses in PLG, as well as in Crown Heights North and South, Victorian Flatbush and Park Slope. Also Albemarle and Kensington Terraces in Flatbush Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Lefferts Gardens HD (1979)
The story: These are among the last houses designed by Slee & Bryson in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and some of the most interesting. The year was 1925, and the firm had been quite busy in PLG, designing all kinds of modern brick housing for the Norris Building Company, one of the major developers of Lefferts Manor, and the general Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. Slee & Bryson’s forte was brick houses, and they designed them in all kinds of different variations, in many of Brooklyn’s growing early 20th century neighborhoods.
John Bay Slee and Robert Bryson had met in the offices of John J. Petit, the chief architect of Dean Alvord’s Prospect Park South development in Flatbush. Both were about 25 and worked for Petit for a couple of years before going out on their own as Slee & Bryson in 1905. They continued to work in PPS, designing Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival style houses there, and elsewhere in what we now call Victorian Flatbush.
The Colonial Revival style was the most popular architectural style in the United States for almost fifty years, from just before the turn of the 20th century, until World War II. It drew from the Georgian and Federal Styles of Colonial America, along with even earlier Dutch antecedents, and represented a comfortable and very “American” form of architecture that resonated with the public. In Slee & Bryson’s capable hands, that translated into several different forms of brick housing; urban row houses and free-standing suburban style homes. (more…)
The Prospect Park Alliance and residents of Prospect Lefferts Gardens are calling for a zoning change that would put a stop to high-rise developments on the edge of the park, NY1 reported. A group called Prospect Park East Network has formed to fight Hudson Companies’ planned 23-story high rise in the area, above, and is circulating a petition and a rendering to illustrate the impact on the park.
The area is the only one ringing the park that permits buildings of such height, according to Prospect Park East Network. The development at 626 Flatbush Avenue “will tower over Prospect Park, violating the unspoiled natural views which are a public amenity,” said their petition. The group also contends the development will increase rents in the area.
“We haven’t asked for any special variances, so what we’re doing is as-of-right zoning,” the story quoted Hudson Companies Vice President Alison Novak as saying. “And I think that when City Planning put together the zoning code, they were very careful about light and air and shadows. So I don’t think that that will be actually a major issue.”
Hudson is moving ahead with demolition on the site this year, and the city says it’s looking into the rezoning requests, said NY1.
The layout of this house is unusual and attractive, we think, for a row house. We’re guessing this was originally a three-family with three identical apartments. It’s quite spacious with four rooms deep on each floor, including an extension with a fireplace. The fireplace tile is pretty, and there are some interesting built-ins in the dining rooms. The bottom two floors make up an owner’s duplex, with lots of bedrooms and office space. We’re not quite so enamored of the top floor, which has been chopped into two units. Do you think it’s well priced at $1,395,000?