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When preservationist Joe Svehlak was growing up on 57th Street in the 1940s and ’50s, that neck of the woods was still called Bay Ridge. Much has changed since then, but his former block is still “a study in working class housing built over a century ago.”

Those homes include single-family frame houses, two-family brick houses with porches and garages, and small apartment buildings. On Sunday he’ll discuss his old block and more on a Municipal Art Society walking tour titled “I Remember New York: Sunset Park, Brooklyn, The Early Years.”

In addition to talking architecture and housing stock, Svehlak, a local preservationist and historian, will offer tales of growing up in the area. Hear about life on his old block, and the street games he and his buddies played back in the days when cars were few.  (more…)

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Time Inc. is moving to Brooklyn! Well, some of them are. And their dogs.

According to an internal memo that Keith Kelly of The New York Post got his hands on, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp plans to send the company’s technology, production and engineering (TP&E) department to spacious new offices in Industry City, the so-called “SoHo of Sunset Park.”  Also heading there will be a new “editorial innovation” team under former Entertainment Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Bean. (more…)

426 47th Steet-1-4-20-15

Just listed yesterday is this one-bedroom floor-through apartment on the parlor floor of a Sunset Park row house. It has quite a few attractive details, like original molding, an oversized mirror, built-in cabinetry, bay windows and wood floors.

The bedroom features original pocket doors with stained-glass trim that separate the space from an additional room that can be used as an office or dining room. There’s also a walk-in closet.

The rent is $1,650 a month. Do you think it’s a good deal for Sunset Park?

426 47th Street, #2 [Douglas Elliman] GMAP
Interior photos by Douglas Elliman; exterior photo by PropertyShark (more…)

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Industry City’s $1 billion plan to rezone and remake the Sunset Park waterfront area into a thriving destination for retail, Brooklyn “makers” and hotels is already encountering deep and powerful opposition. The community board, local elected officials from City Council to the U.S. House of Representatives, and community groups say they want heavy industry with its high-paying jobs, according to stories in Crain’s and The Wall Street Journal. (And just to be clear, no one is asking for housing.) Community group Uprose is planning a rally Sunday.

In Sunset Park, Doubts About Development Plan [WSJ]
Two Pols May Block $1 Billion Hipster Industrial Complex [Crain’s]
Industry City Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering from Industry City via Crain’s

614-682 44th St. SSpellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 614-682 44th Street
Cross Streets: 6th and 7th Avenues
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
Year Built: 1903
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: William Kay
Other Buildings by Architect: houses on 45th and 48th Streets, Sunset Park
Landmarked: No, but on National Register of Historic Places – Sunset Park Historic District (1988), and part of a proposed NYC landmark district

The story: For many people, Sunset Park is a large neighborhood filled with blocks of row houses that all look alike. Now it is true that the neighborhood is dominated by blocks of rowhouse streets. But as for all looking alike? Well, anyone who really thinks that just hasn’t looked closely. There is similarity, but also wonderful variety here, and that makes walking around this neighborhood such an architectural adventure.

Sunset Park was one of the last of the Brooklyn brownstone neighborhoods. Whereas many other neighborhoods had periods of great mass growth, the construction of that time was added to what was already there, resulting in many different periods of architecture. Sunset Park only has a handful of houses still standing that predate the mass development of the late 1890s and early 20th century. (more…)

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To undertake a $1,000,000,000 redevelopment that is supposed to deliver 20,000 jobs, Sunset Park waterfront industrial complex Industry City will need a rezoning to allow parking and a hotel, as well as $115,000,000 from the city to finance infrastructure improvements, execs said at a press conference Monday. Industry City also released tons of renderings of what the 32-acre area would look like after a remake, published in Crain’s. What do you think of the plan?

$1 Billion Mega-Project Will Be Major Test for de Blasio [Crain’s]
Renderings from Industry City via Crain’s

(more…)

The 19th century former police station at 4302 4th Avenue in Sunset Park has been flipped and is now on the market for $6,000,000, according to a story in DNAinfo. The crumbling Romanesque Revival style building on the corner of 43rd Street has been decaying for years, despite its landmark status, and the LPC issued a “failure to maintain the building,” otherwise known as “demo by neglect” to the longtime owner, the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association.

That group is still listed as the owner on public records, but TerraCRG, which is marketing the property, and a spokeswoman for the LPC told DNAinfo the site had recently sold.

The property is being marketed as a potential conversion to apartments. It consists of a two-story building with 5,952 square feet and a three-story building of 14,040 square feet. They require a gut renovation as well as exterior restoration, according to the story. The property also has 14,567 square feet of air rights.

We hope this is the start of better days for this corner.

Former Sunset Park NYPD Precinct House Hits Market for $6 Million [DNA]
Landmarks Moves to Save Sunset Park Ex-Police Station [Brownstoner]

chinese new year sunset park

Thursday was the Chinese Lunar New Year, and to celebrate, Chinese organizations in Sunset Park are throwing their annual parade down 8th Avenue and celebrations at community centers throughout the area. On Saturday, kids and families can check out martial arts performances, folk dancing, games and costume contests at P.S. 310 (942 62nd Street) and Sunset Park Recreation Center (42nd Street and 7th Avenue).

Then the big parade to welcome the Year of the Ram will begin Sunday at noon at 50th Street and 8th Avenue. Expect fireworks displays, line dancing, Kung Fu demonstrations, various performances and amazing costumes, starting at 10 am. 

Photo by Michael Vito

liddabit sweets factory 2

If you still haven’t made Valentine’s Day plans, you probably can’t go wrong with a tour of the Liddabit Sweets chocolate factory at Industry City in Sunset Park. The hour-long tour includes cookies and hot cocoa, a question and answer session and a goodie bag of chocolate treats. Tours will happen at noon, 1 pm and 2 pm tomorrow. Tickets are $15, and you can buy them on the chocolate maker’s website.

Image via Liddabit Sweets

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The Brooklyn Army Terminal has announced plans to renovate another building in its massive, formerly abandoned complex in Sunset Park, the Times reported. The NYC Economic Development Corporation, which runs the terminal, is going to rehabilitate 500,000 square feet on seven floors in Building A, which stretches between 58th and 63rd streets along the waterfront.

Revamping the building, which has been abandoned since the ’60s, is expected to cost $100,000,000. The EDC plans to remove asbestos and install new freight and passenger elevators, electric service, life-safety systems, plumbing, heating and windows.

The terminal is also in the middle of renovating its former administration building, a 55,000 square-foot structure located just north of Building A along 58th Street. The military officially closed the terminal in 1966, transferring 3,200 civilian and military jobs to Bayonne, N.J., according to the Times.

Next Phase of Renovation to Begin at a Vast Military Remnant in Brooklyn [NYT]
Brooklyn Army Terminal Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Lemery Nantel

650 49th street sunset park 12015

We don’t usually feature houses with no interior photos, but Sunset Park listings are rare and the broker has included a floor plan and lots of info. The bow front limestone exterior at 650 49th Street with pressed metal Renaissance Revival cornice and triangular entrance pediment is quite attractive, but inside “this is a handyman special,” according to the listing

Some original detail remains, but it sounds like a gut or partial gut will be needed. The two-family has an original entrance banister, interior window moldings and some original floors. There are also drop ceilings, wood paneling, tile and carpeting. It will need a new gas boiler, water heater, kitchens and baths. The house is also narrow at 16.67 feet.

Considering how prices have gone up in the area and the work needed, does $850,000 sound fair?

650 49th Street [Corcoran] GMAP