453-12th-street-2

This Park Slope one-bedroom is narrow and small, at 540 square feet. But it’s high-ceilinged and attractive and offers a lot of outdoor space. Located on the first floor at 453 12th Street, it’s renting for $2,850 a month.

It’s got a shotgun layout, living/dining room in front, bedroom in back, kitchen in the middle. The living room is a mere 8 feet wide — the bedroom opens up to a relatively spacious 10 feet.

The kitchen is quite attractive, with dark-wood cabinets, a white Caesarstone countertop and stainless steel appliances. It’s got cherry hardwood floors, as does the rest of the apartment. (more…)

257-berry-street-5

Here’s one way to think about our rental of the day, at 257 Berry Street in Williamsburg: Compared to the 30-grand-a-month Brooklyn Heights abode we highlighted yesterday, it’s relatively inexpensive.

By any objective measure, though, this is one pricey pad, at $12,000 a month.

You’d expect that kind of cash would fetch a pretty styling apartment, and in this case you wouldn’t be wrong. Built in 2006, it’s a modern five-story townhouse, loaded with oversized windows and terraces with sliding glass doors, offering as close to a treehouse feel as you’re likely to find in Williamsburg.

Or, as the listing puts it, the house offers “a unique layout with numerous indoor/outdoor moments.” (more…)

garden-60-water-1-081715

The 6,000-square-foot rooftop garden designed by James Corner Field Operations at 60 Water Street in Dumbo is complete. Brownstoner toured it when it was under construction, in April.

The landscape designer also had a hand in The High Line and is creating new gardens for the San Francisco Presidio and the Seattle Central Waterfront. (more…)

282-stuyvesant-ave-1

Our pick today is a large one-bedroom apartment on the garden floor of a Stuyvesant Heights brownstone, at 282 Stuyvesant Avenue. At $1,850 a month, it seems a decent deal in these frenzied times.

In addition to hardwood floors throughout, it’s got some nice original details, including wainscoting, moldings, pocket shutters and a mantel with a mirror in the living room. The ceiling there appears to have a popcorn texture, which is a bit of a downer.

There’s no floor plan, so it’s hard to tell exactly how it’s laid out, but there’s a large living room in the front, which has an open kitchen at the back. This being a corner building, the living room has a window on the side as well as two looking out onto Stuyvesant Avenue, which is nice for light as well as views of the world passing by — though less good for privacy and street noise. (more…)

spire-1-080615

Today’s pick is in the Spire Lofts at 167 North 6th Street in Williamsburg — which is to say it sits within the former St. Vincent De Paul Church, a 146-year-old structure that was bought in 2011 and is being converted into apartments.

Leasing started there last year, and now a wave of new units is hitting the market, listed by Carey Larsen at aptsandlofts.com. The listing linked to below is for B15, which is the cheapest of the lot at $4,350 a month. The others run as high as $8,000, with most in the $6,000s for two and three bedrooms.

For $4,350, you get 1.5 bedrooms and two bathrooms. There’s no floorplan, and the photos are representative shots of the building’s units, so it’s hard to get a handle on exactly how it’s laid out, or what constitutes the half-bedroom.

But all the places are duplexes, in a fetching industrial rustic style, with exposed brick (including in the bathroom, where it’s not often seen), wide-plank floors and a lot of reclaimed wood. (more…)

Brooklyn2

Are high levels of ownership good or bad for cities? Should the government push for more home ownership? What role do rental units play in the growth and vitality of cities?

Journalist and web developer, Ken Schwencke, who also works for The New York Times, has added to the discussion of some of those questions by creating a nation-wide interactive map that shows renters and owners across the country. To build the map, he spent some serious time with the US Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey data, zeroing in on home ownership.

The red dots on his map represent renters, the blue dots, owners. Each dot represents 25 housing units, and they are placed randomly within a census tract — an area of about four to eight blocks in Brooklyn.

Despite the frenzied housing market in Brooklyn over the last decade, the rate of home ownership has changed little. New York is a city of renters and Brooklyn is a borough of renters, as is made clear by the vast swaths of red in the map above.

According to the New York Housing and Vacancy Survey of 2014 (PDF), Brooklyn’s home ownership rate is 29 percent, higher than Manhattan and the Bronx but lower than the city average and far below the national average of 63.4 percent. City-wide, the total number of owner-occupied units is up slightly from the previous year.

Today the national home ownership rate is at its lowest point since 1967. But for cities a low home ownership rate may not be a bad thing.

Cities in general have low levels of home ownership. And some of those that have seen the most economic growth recently have very low levels of home ownership.

(more…)

225-eastern-parkway-1-073015

This is a large apartment with a fairly large price tag. Located at 255 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, in the Woodrow Wilson, it’s a classic six that measures 1,440 square feet, renting for $5,000 a month.

As you’d ask from a prewar classic six, it’s nicely laid out, with a generous living room, dining room and master bedroom. There’s quite a large foyer as well, which a resourceful tenant may find a way to utilize; at the least it makes for a stately entrance.

The kitchen is a bit narrow, but it opens up into the dining room, which helps.

There are three bedrooms, the smallest roughly 7 feet by 12 feet. There are two baths, a lot of closets, and a washer-dryer.

It’s on the top floor, which means good light, no neighbors tromping overhead, and likely some nice views of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden across the street. On the subject of light: Each bedroom has only a single window, and the one in the pictured master bedroom is modest in size. (more…)

ROTD-1

This bright and airy one-bedroom — in the Jacksonia building at 139 Jackson Street in Williamsburg — doesn’t come cheap, but it’s got a lot of functional space in it, including a large mezzanine that could easily hold another bed or would make a great home-office space.

One obvious selling point here is the double-height ceiling in the living room, with windows from top to bottom. Less splashy, but handy, is an alcove between the kitchen and the bathroom that could be another spot for an office. The bedroom is decent sized and has a large window and a ton of closet space.

The mezzanine, up a flight of stairs from the living room, measures about 250 square feet, with a wall of built-in shelves. It leads out to a private terrace from which you can see the city skyline; the building also has a common roof deck. (more…)

535-Dean-Street-1-071615

This rental unit in the Newswalk condominiums, at 535 Dean Street in Prospect Heights, is a real-deal loft. It is not “loft-like,” or an apartment with a “loft-ish feel.”

It’s a big huge open space with a soaring ceiling in a former industrial building, with an open kitchen and a bedroom that’s partitioned off, but not a fully separate room. (more…)

Common-Bed-Stuy-Crown-Heights-Brad-Hargreaves-4

Co-living is having a moment. Common, the co-living startup founded by General Assembly cofounder Brad Hargreaves announced this morning that they raised $7,350,000 in Series A funding for operating costs and business growth.

While shared living arrangements are not new, a successful business model hasn’t yet emerged. Campus, a once-burgeoning co-living company with 30 locations across the country (including one in Park Slope), announced in June that it would close its doors. “[W]e were unable to make Campus into an economically viable business,” says a statement on their website.

But Common’s model is different. The company will cleverly use investor assets — Brooklyn brownstones — through a sharing model.

(more…)

Eric-Adams-Norman-Siegel

If you’ve got a landlord from hell, you’re invited to speak out tonight and Thursday at a pair of town hall meetings held by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and veteran civil rights attorney Norman Siegel.

The goal of the “Tenant Harassment Hearings” goes beyond letting aggravated tenants vent — the idea is to identify Brooklyn’s worst landlords and spur criminal investigations and lawsuits.

“We’re not waiting for tenants to reach the end of their rope, we’re getting proactive,” said Adams in announcing the hearings last month. Adams — pictured above with Siegel (left) and tenant advocates — linked the hearings to the city’s affordable housing crunch, and noted that tenant harassment complaints in housing court have almost doubled since 2011. (more…)