18 dikeman street red hook 92014

This new-construction condo looks a little McMansion-y, but it comes with the Red Hook discount. The three-bedroom, two-bath condo clocks in at 1,296 square feet and also has a reasonable amount of outdoor space, including a narrow side garden and a front patio. The living, dining and kitchen are one big space, but it doesn’t look crowded. Since this is Red Hook, it’s a mile from the closest subway stop at Smith and 9th streets. Asking price is $849,000, or $655 a square foot, along with $288 in monthly maintenance.

18-22 Dikeman Street, #1C [Corcoran] GMAP

104 king street red hook 82014

The house of the day is actually two houses on an unusual L-shaped lot in Red Hook. From the photos the houses look like they are in need of significant repair. There are some details: moldings, staircases, original wide plank floors, tin ceilings and a built in cabinet or two. There is no floor plan and the listing is vague, so it’s unclear how large either of the buildings is or how many bedrooms they have (Property Shark lists one 25 foot by 35 foot building).

The broker refers to the second building as a boarding house and in one of the pictures it appears that it has several boarded up windows. From the map on PropertyShark, it looks like the two houses are built one behind the other close to King street. The lot goes back towards Pioneer Street and then turns towards Richards Street, making a large L shape running across the back yards of the adjacent homes in the center of the block. What do you think of it for $1,495,000?

104 King Street [Elliman] GMAP

160-van-brunt-street-080114

An old ship-engine repair building in Red Hook will be renovated and turned into store and office space for “creative office and retail tenants,” The New York Observer reported. LIVWRK, the real estate investment and development firm that is also a partner with Kushner Companies and RFR Realty in transforming the Watchtower printing plant buildings into office space for creative and tech companies in Dumbo, bought the building Tuesday for $21,500,000. (more…)

110 Wolcott Street, Christ Church Chapel, KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Christ Church Chapel, now Red Hook Pentecostal Holiness Church
Address: 110 Wolcott Street
Cross Streets: Van Brunt and Conover Streets
Neighborhood: Red Hook
Year Built: 1899
Architectural Style: Romanesque/Gothic Revival
Architect: W. & G. Audsley
Other Buildings by Architect: Prince’s Road Synagogue, Liverpool, England. Also Bowling Green Offices, Manhattan, (NYC Landmark) and the Church of Edward the Confessor in Philadelphia.
Landmarked: No, but should be.

The story: Few cities in the world are as blessed with as much great natural harbor space as New York City. When the Red Hook coastline of Brooklyn became one of the busiest ports in the metropolitan area, blocks of houses and tenements were built to house all of the people who made their living from the docks or the many factories and warehouses spreading out and away from the shore. Most of the inhabitants were the working poor, struggling to survive on the low wages and long hours required to keep their jobs. They certainly did not have the resources or time to build fine institutions for worship or education.

The churches in the more established areas of Brooklyn, in nearby Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, saw Red Hook as a field full of souls ready for harvest. There were both spiritual and physical needs to be met there, so many of Brooklyn’s churches established mission churches in Red Hook. One of them was established by Christ Church, the venerable Episcopalian Church on the corner of Clinton and Harrison Streets in Cobble Hill. (more…)

62-64 ferris street red hook 62014

A huge commercial property near the Red Hook waterfront is in contract after asking $22,000,000, according to an agent close to the deal. The 100,000-square-foot site at 62-64 Ferris Street (pictured) is currently being used as a parking lot and is zoned for manufacturing. A building as large as 200,000 square feet could be constructed on the site. The property last sold in 2004 for $2,550,000, according to public records.

About a block away is another large Red Hook development site for sale. The property at 145-165 Wolcott Street is an 80,000-square-foot former bus depot asking $24,000,000. A potential developer could build up to 135,000 square feet there, according to PropertyShark. Realty Collective is the listing agent for both sites.

Update: Italian developer Est4te Four is the buyer of 62 Ferris Street, along with neighboring 219 Sullivan Street, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

new york water taxi

Getting to Red Hook this summer will be a little easier with the relaunch of the water taxi, which will make its first trip tomorrow between the Financial District and Van Brunt Street. The free ferry runs from Pier 11, which is at Gouverneur Lane and South Street, to the Fairway Market Ferry Dock at 480 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook. The first ferry leaves tomorrow at 9:30 am from Pier 11. It will run in a continuous loop every weekend through Labor Day.

Photo by Jason Kuffer

160-imlay-lr-060514

A full site is up and construction has started on the condo conversion of 160 Imlay in Red Hook. The broker has also changed, from Town to Douglas Elliman. Sales, which were originally planned to start in January, are set to launch in July, agent Patty Larocco of Douglas Elliman told us.

The new website has new and more finely detailed renderings. In fact, they are so detailed we can make out a Louis Poulsen Artichoke light, Norman Cherner chairs and paintings by Jean Michel Basquiat and Donald Baechler in the living room.

There is also tons of descriptive detail about the design, which is by Aldo Andreoli of AA Studio. Some of the details include exposed cast-in-place concrete that was part of the original building and ceiling heights of 12 to 16 feet. Floors are wide plank European white oak. The white matte lacquer kitchens were designed by Aldo Andreoli and Italian manufacturer Dada Molteni. All appliances are by Miele. The windows are triple paned and designed to maximize the views, which look extraordinary.

Pricing is not yet available. Construction is supposed to wrap in 2016. Click through to the jump for more interior renderings. What do you think of it?

160 Imlay website [160 Imlay]
Renderings and Teaser Site out for Red Hook Warehouse Conversion [Brownstoner]

(more…)

Red Hook Festival enters its 21st year this weekend and brings dance performers, interesting musical acts, and barbecue to the waterfront. The party kicks off tonight from 6 to 8 pm with a free BBQ and dance party at the P.S. 15 playground, located at 71 Sullivan Street. On Friday night, Jalopy Theater will host an evening of youth performances, including Dance Theatre Etcetera’s In Transition Hip Hop Theatre Company, from 5:30 to 7 pm. Finally, Saturday’s main event will feature free kayak rides in New York Harbor, face painting, a Red Hook trivia contest, and performances from the Dance Cartel, Dende and the Band, Godsell Dance Collective and Underground System. All the fun will happen at the Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier, on the corner of Coffey and Ferris Streets. Check out the festival website for all the details.

Sing Sing, wikipediaOn May 23rd, 1889, the trial of the Electric Sugar Refinery miscreants began in a Manhattan courtroom. All of the defendants were there; Olive E. Friend, Rev. William Howard and his wife Emily, as well as two brothers, George and Orrin Halstead, who were arrested in Michigan. Assistant District Attorney Davis had them all gathered, but this was the trial of William Howard only. He was seen as the head conspirator, after the now deceased Professor Friend, Olive’s husband.

They were on trial for a massive operation of fraud, larceny and deception all originating from the acceptance of investment money for an enterprise called the Electric Sugar Refining Company. The New York and London stock markets had been abuzz for over a year over Professor Friend’s claim of inventing a new process of converting raw sugar into refined sugar through the use of his secret formula involving the use of electricity.

Had it worked, the process would have cut the time consuming and difficult process of refining sugar down to hours from days, saving refiners a boatload of money in processing and worker’s costs. Had it worked, it would have made its inventor and his board of directors filthy rich. The company would have also made the initial investors and stockholders quite wealthy too. But then the Professor died in 1888, and the whole thing fell apart, and was exposed as a massive fraud and a swindle that would make any grifter proud. For more details on the whole story, please read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

All of the defendants sat in the courtroom that day. Olive Friend, the wife of the deceased Professor, was much younger than her husband had been, and was a plump woman who said she suffered from heart palpitations. She sat in the courtroom in black silk widow’s weeds with diamond earrings glittering from her ears. Also at the table, the defendant William Howard, Olive’s step-father, sat with his arm propped up on the table, his hand cupped around his ear so he could catch every word of testimony. Still dressed in his clerical collar and suit, he looked like a fierce Calvinist elder, despite his years, still ready to go forth in the ultimate battle for his freedom. (more…)

Tombs I prison, NYC, nyc-architecture.com 1The dawn of 1889 began with a small financial panic as hundreds; perhaps thousands of investors, both in New York and in England began to realize that they had been taken for fools. Whether through basic greed, misinformation or just blind faith, they had invested their money in a company that was a complete scam. The Electric Sugar Refinery Company, through its owners and managers, boasted that it could take raw sugar and turn it into pure refined sugar, bypassing all of the time consuming and expensive methods used at that time by every sugar refiner in the world.

Through the use of a super-secret electric method of refining sugar, invented by an eccentric inventor named Professor Friend, the company told its investors that they would make themselves and everyone connected with them very rich. In truth, they had only made the owners of the company rich – namely the inventor, his wife, her step-father and his wife. When the death of the Professor meant they couldn’t sustain the con game anymore, the remaining people took the money and headed for parts unknown, leaving behind an empty factory and emptier wallets.

Parts One and Part Two our story give more details of Professor Friend, his wife Olive, and her step-father and mother, the Reverend William Howard and his wife, Emily. We also learn about the president of the Electric Sugar Refining Company; an Englishman named Cotterill, and the Secretary/Treasurer, another Englishman named Robertson. They were responsible for getting the ESRC in the British press, and gathering hundreds of people in England to invest, both rich and poor.

We also learned about the machine whose use prompted so many to open their wallets and donate, as if they had seen a miracle in the making. Perhaps that was the worst of it. Many of the investors, especially in England, were pious religious people who had followed men of faith, and been duped. In New York, it wasn’t so much God that moved investors, it was money. Faith and money, a dangerous combination sometimes, and in this case a faith shattered when the inventor of the machine, Professor Friend, suddenly died, in 1888. His passing shattered the carefully crafted operation, and exposed the empty core within. (more…)