A reader sent us the photo above with the headline “are they back?” last night. As you may recall, some of the vintage streetcars were carted off in February.
Coincidentally or not, their collector, Bob Diamond, a historic railways buff, has just finished a new report about setting up a streetcar system that would run from Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn and re-opening the unused 169-year-old subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue that has been closed since 2010, DNAinfo reported. He has also set up a Kickstarter fund to ask for $5,000 to print up copies of the study to send to elected officials.
Do you think a streetcar from Red Hook to downtown sounds like a good plan?
The listing copy is selling this new-construction three-bedroom, two-bath duplex in Red Hook as a summer party pad. “You could throw the best parties of the season here” reads the copy, with 1,350 square feet of space, a roof terrace and a parking spot in the cement-covered front yard.
It’s only a couple blocks from the water, two parks and Ikea. But like most Red Hook rentals, the price seems high for the location, which is a mile from the nearest subway stop. Then again, it’s cheaper than the Hamptons. What’s your opinion of it for $4,000 a month?
The aging trolley cars parked behind Fairway on Van Brunt Street that were once part of a plan to revive trolley car service in Brooklyn starting with Red Hook were dragged away by a developer last night, according to Gothamist. Bob Diamond, who collected the trolleys and parked them in Red Hook (he also famously discovered the Atlantic Avenue tunnel), sent photos to Gothamist and said that neighborhood developer Greg O’Connell arranged to have them removed.
Gothamist reports conflicting rumors about whether the cars are destined for a scrap yard upstate or the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston.
In the early ’80s, Diamond formed the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association and acquired a fleet of 16 early 20th-century trolleys, hoping to revive trolley service between downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook. Although the DOT pulled support for Diamond’s project in 2003, local groups have endorsed the plan in the last year, and he is hopeful that de Blasio will be more open than Bloomberg to the streetcar service.
Update: The O’Connell Organization donated three cars on its property to the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, Conn., according to a press release we received via email tonight.
This three-bedroom, two-bath duplex in Red Hook is beautifully renovated and has tons of lovely features, from exposed beams to built-in bookshelves. We love the lofty 10-foot ceilings and the wooden double doors in the living room, as well as the impressive amount of living and dining space on both floors. The bright blue bathroom with the tin ceiling is pretty sweet too. Meanwhile, the kitchen looks renovated without being too modern for the industrial loft space. It even has a roof deck. But the price seems unusually high at $5,950 a month, especially since it’s over a mile from the F train. What do you think?
A group of artists living in a converted industrial warehouse in Red Hook, above, are suing the landlord to make the building rent stabilized retroactively, The Wall Street Journal reported. At the same time, Brooklyn Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna has been speaking out about the importance of maintaining Brooklyn’s industrial spaces for manufacturing use to keep jobs in the area, while Borough President Eric Adams is saying his No. 1 priority is encouraging the growth of more below-market rate housing, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
Reyna is pushing to have the Pfizer building complex on the Williamsburg Bed Stuy border designated part of an Industrial Business Zone that cannot be converted to residential and with incentives for manufacturing. Though as we noted last week, manufacturing tenants are moving out of industrial buildings in the IBZ in North Williamsburg as they are turned into more lucrative hotels and stores.
“We’ve got to keep Brooklyn affordable, that’s the No. 1 thing,” the Brooklyn Paper quoted Adams as saying.
If you’ve dreamed of owning a storefront on Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, this listing might be of interest. The three-story mixed-use building has a 1,000-square-foot store on the ground floor and two renovated apartments above. Each apartment has two bedrooms, Caesarstone counters and stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, and tiled baths with claw-foot tubs. The corner building also comes with a garage and will be delivered vacant. What do you think of it for $1,995,000?
Developer Est4te Four has revealed some new renderings for their warehouse conversion at 160 Imlay Street in Red Hook with a new teaser site, which was first spotted by BuzzBuzz Home. Sales for the 70-unit mixed-use building will begin January 1, according to the building site.
Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months, as we’ve previously reported. The former New York Dock building, whose makeover is being designed by Adjmi and Andreoli, will have art studios and units starting at $500,000. The developers plan to market their “affordable” apartments to artists and other creative type. It will also have parking, storage, a gym and commercial space on the ground floor. The same developer is planning another warehouse conversion nearby at 202 Coffey Street, which will have artists studios and gallery space.
What do you think of the adaptation? More renderings after the jump!
An old factory at 80 Richards Street in Red Hook will soon become an office building with possible commercial space, according to brokers marketing the property. The massive six-story building has 50,000 square feet on the ground floor and 20,000 on each of the upper floors, and a rooftop that could become a cafe. An outfit called HH Equities bought the 134,000-square-foot factory in 2003 for $9,000,000, according to PropertyShark. The owners are offering a variety of concessions to attract potential tenants, including one year free rent, building the space to suit, etc. Commercial Acquisitions Realty, which is marketing the building for lease, tells us the owners hope to host “business corporations, young entrepreneurs, artists and fashion and media companies.” Construction is expected to begin in the next month.
Alexandros Washburn, the head urban designer for the New York City Department of City Planning, renovated his Red Hook row house with some innovations other city dwellers could make use of, including anti-flood devices. He kept the original staircase, but added an open, overhead flight of stairs to the top story that serves as a design element and lets in light from the roof, The New York Times reported in a profile of the house and its owners. The thick kitchen counters are made from joists salvaged during the renovation. Exposed brick and persian carpets, from his mother, who grew up in Istanbul, are strong design elements throughout the house.
“Mr. Washburn bought the three-story house in 2007, for $800,000, and spent another $500,000 renovating it,” said the Times. “Six years later, he is nearly finished, except for the ground floor, which was three feet deep in water during the hurricane.”
Right now, he and his family live on the upper floors, in case of flooding, but he would like to rent out the ground-level retail space. Toward that end, he is working on a system to keep water out of his house and his neighbor’s house during the next flood. If it works, hopes to get the DOB to approve it. (more…)
A 4,740-square-foot property with a two-story garage and a vacant lot in Red Hook is slated to become a live/work space, according to Realty Collective, which handled its recent sale. The buyers, New York magazine and Vanity Fair writer Vanessa Grigoriadis and designer and builder Craig Maldonado, paid $1,215,000, $85,000 less than the original ask of $1,300,000. The deal closed October 7 and has not yet hit public records.
Finally, some movement at the long-rumored conversion of an empty warehouse on Imlay Street in Red Hook — and it’s going to be condos after all, aimed at artists. Developer Est4te Four plans to break ground next month on a condo conversion at the former New York Dock building at 160 Imlay Street, according to DNAinfo. The luxury developer plans to market their “affordable” apartments to artists, models and other creative types — possibly as soon as next month. An anonymous source told DNAinfo last year that units will start around $500,000. The Los Angeles-based firm bought the century-old Imlay Street building for $25,000,000 and a red-brick warehouse nearby at 202 Coffey Street for $11,800,000 in 2012. Construction is expected to last between 18 and 24 months at Imlay Street and about a year at Coffey Street, where construction is scheduled to start by the end of the year.
Architecture firm Adjmi and Andreoli is overseeing both projects. At Imlay Street, they filed a disapproved plan application in May for 69 residential units, a rooftop pool and an enclosed parking lot with 44 spaces, totaling 37,942 square feet of residential space. Although the developer had previously said the Imlay Street building would have commercial space on the first two floors and a restaurant and grocery store on the ground level, the current plans don’t show any commercial space. Meanwhile, the Coffey Street development will hold five studios and exhibition spaces and one or two open air courtyards, DNAinfo reported.
Superstorm Sandy hasn’t dampened gentrification in Red Hook a bit, according to a story in the New York Post. It cites several properties on the market asking between $1,995,000 and $2,495,000 as proof — though they haven’t sold yet. As for closed sales, a couple recently transplanted from Soho paid $1,300,000 for a three-story house remodeled by Red Hook-based architect Thomas Warnke. The big mixed-use condo project at 160 Imlay Street, designed by Brooklyn architects Adjmi & Andreoli, will break ground in the next two months.
The Post attributed the appeal of the area to its “small town” feel, “cute boutiques” and places to eat that rival Manhattan’s. OTOH, “unlike Manhattan, it sorely lacks public transportation and can feel desolate in the winter. But a bike path that will stretch from Greenpoint to Fairway promises to help.” So does placing heating mechanicals on upper floors, as do households mentioned in the story. “Red Hook, with its factories and low density, feels like what SoHo used to be,” said newcomer Brent Richardson.