420 albee square downtown brooklyn

The tall tower JEMB Realty is developing at 420 Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn will be a mere 35 stories instead of 65, according to the latest permit filings, first spied by New York YIMBY. Meanwhile, we see the developer just closed on an adjacent site with a historically significant building on it and is planning a demolition.

An old three-story 19th century wood frame building at 233 Duffield Street is one of three historic stops on the Underground Railroad on the block the Landmarks Preservation Commission tried to save from demolition back in 2007, as we reported at the time. (more…)

324 clarkson aveue flatbush 32015

Developer Hudson Companies is on a tear through East Flatbush, buying up more property on a block where it’s already planning an eight-story, 170-unit apartment building. The developer, which of course is behind the 23-story tower on Flatbush Avenue a few blocks from here in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, recently picked up 318, 324, 326 and 350 Clarkson Avenue for $13,119,997, according to public records.

The new parcel is contiguous with its previous acquisition, so potentially Hudson could be planning a huge development here. (more…)


We seldom see a listing as remarkable as this one. It’s like a time machine back to the early 20th century, when this house at 457 74th Street in Bay Ridge was built.

We were planning to feature it as House of the Day, but by the time we saw the listing it was too late. Just 10 days after listing, it was already in contract, according to StreetEasy. We reached out to the agent for more info, but she declined to comment.

The photos reveal a two-family house seemingly preserved in amber, with mantels and many other quaint details. We hope whoever buys it will restore it. No doubt it needs a lot of work. The ask is (was) $898,000.

Do you think all the original details appealed to the buyers, or was it simply the relatively low asking price? (Or something else?) Anyone care to speculate on what the final sale price will be? What do you think of the house?

457 74th Street [Caldwell Banker]


For the past few years, virtually nothing asking above $10,000,000 has sold in Brooklyn, though many have tried. And now all of a sudden, a bunch are moving.

A reader writes:

I walk past 105 8th Avenue several times a week. Several weeks ago I noticed that the “for sale” sign — which had been hanging in front of the property for quite some time — was gone. But the frame that held it up was still in place. I assumed that harsh winds and Seasonal Affective Disorder might be to blame. But as I was walking by late last week I noticed a truck parked outside, and workers were removing the contents of the basement — stuff that looked like it had belonged to the school. And a few days later I noticed that the frame that used to hold the “for sale” sign was gone too. Has this property finally sold? Inquiring minds…

We checked it out, and the former school is in contract, according to the listing!

We wondered if this day would ever come. The Tracy Mansion at 105 8th Avenue has been on the market since 2012, when it was initially asking $25,000,000. It was quickly reduced to $18,000,000, and most recently was asking $13,000,000.

It’s a very grand house, but not in the best condition after being used as a school for decades. You can see extensive photos of every nook and cranny, including bathrooms, on this post about the house on Big Old Houses, one of our favorite blogs on the planet. There is potential here, but it’s going to cost a lot to completely redo, just as the Warrens did with their incredible mansion in Clinton Hill, which was also used as a school.

More confirmation the market is moving higher in prime areas of Brooklyn?

105 8th Avenue Listing [Halstead]
105 8th Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by PropertyShark

Update: The Tracy Mansion closed Monday for $9,500,000, a Halstead spokeswoman let us know. The buyer is local and is not a celebrity. From what we understand, the buyer is an owner-occupant, not a developer or investor. We have updated the headline. It’s quite a price drop from the initial ask of $25,000,000, although close to the new record for the neighborhood. It is the widest house in Park Slope, she said, but a fixer-upper. What do you make of it?


The Bed Stuy mansion at 247 Hancock Street that is asking $6,000,000 was featured on NBC’s “Open House” Sunday. If you haven’t been inside or met owner Claudia Moran yet, this is a great tour. Check it out here. You can also read all about Ms. Moran and how she found the house and restored it in the profile we wrote in July.

Photo by Halstead

322 gates avenue bed stuy 2012

A low-slung Bed Stuy warehouse with development potential at the corner of Gates and Bedford avenues just sold for $4,500,000, according to public records. The 7,500-square-foot property at 322 Gates Avenue is currently home to a wholesale beverage distributor.

Zoning would allow a developer to build up to 22,500 square feet on the site, according to PropertyShark. Overall, it seems like a good location for a residential building with ground floor retail. The buyer is an LLC that shares a Flatbush address with real estate firm S&C Realty. GMAP

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

15 prospect park west park slope 112014

It’s quite the morning for Park Slope townhouse news. Now the mansion at 17 Prospect Park West, which Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany once called home, is in contract. It was asking $14,000,000. We don’t know what it’s in contract for, of course, but if it’s more than $12,500,000, it will eclipse 70 Willow Street and set a record for all of Brooklyn. Curbed was the first to report the deal.

Is This The New Most Expensive Home in Brooklyn? [Curbed]
17 Prospect Park West [Elliman] GMAP
17 Prospect Park West Coverage [Brownstoner]

250 garfield place park slope 22015

With townhouses in “emerging” areas of Brooklyn closing for double what they were two years ago, the gap between, say, Bed Stuy or Crown Heights and Park Slope has been narrowing. We have been wondering if and when prices in Park Slope would shoot up. Well, now it looks like they will.

The Park Slope brownstone with a mostly modern renovation by CWB Architects at 250 Garfield Place, above, a House of the Day in February, is in contract after 23 days on the market. We won’t know, of course, what the final sale price is until the transaction closes and appears in public records, but usually a brief time to contract indicates a price at or above ask. If it does go for ask, $7,500,000, that would pencil out to about $1,802 per square foot, an extremely high figure for Brooklyn. (PropertyShark puts the house at 4,160 square feet.)

The pending sale is significant because, until now, most top-of-the-line row houses in Park Slope could be had between $3,500,000 and $4,500,000, a figure that has not changed much in the past five years or so. True, a handful of Park Slope houses have sold for more, but typically those fell into the “mansion” category in one way or another. And despite quite a few listings asking over $10,000,000 in the last few years, that barrier has proven a tough nut to crack for most, even for double- or triple-size properties with gardens and garages, such as 646 2nd Street, the former residence of writers Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss. (It’s still available, by the way, and asking $13,000,000.)

The house at 250 Garfield isn’t the only high-ticket Park Slope house to be snapped up this month. The house at 930 President Street, asking 5,850,000, also has a signed contract, after 47 days on the market, according to StreetEasy. However, a House of the Day twice, it was on and off the market with different agents and listings (and a slightly lower price) in 2013 and did not sell.

Curbed was the first to write about the two sales.

Do you think Park Slope prices are poised to shoot up this spring? Is $7,500,000 the new $4,500,000?

250 Garfield Place [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP
House of the Day: 250 Garfield Place [Brownstoner]


We read with great interest in the Daily News that prices are so high now in Bed Stuy, investors are fleeing the area, which means it’s going to be easier for regular people — that is, owner-occupants — to buy there. The story didn’t quote any actual investors, though, so we spoke to a few.

Their take? We are entering the next stage of gentrification and prices are still increasing. Investors are not pulling back, and properties are not sitting on the market. (One source we spoke to had just sold one $2,100,000 property a few weeks ago and has a closing date for another $1,850,000 property next week. A commercial broker was prepping for a Bed Stuy closing later this morning.) But buyers are getting smarter, said one.

Here are a few representative quotes:

“The real story is that owners/brokers are pricing things 30 to 40 percent higher year over year so they aren’t selling! But anything that’s about 10 to 15 percent higher then 12 months ago sells like fire. Prices are still up 20 percent year over year on any asset type!”

“There are bidding wars on every house! Investors didn’t pull back! It’s the opposite! End users became savvy and are bidding on houses that are in the need of work!

“Bed Stuy has a bigger pool of buyers for all asset classes than ever before.”

And here is what Alan Dixon, head of one of the biggest Bed Stuy investors, had to say. (Dixon is Managing Director and CEO of Dixon Advisory USA. Part of a publicly traded Australian company, Dixon buys, renovates, and holds to lease out, not flip.) (more…)


We were amazed to see the spiffy new look at 156 Broadway when we happened by recently during a snowstorm. Brookland Capital has been remaking the dilapidated 19th century building, at one point a cabinet factory, for about two years.

The first three units, out of a total of eight, went on the market in late December. Then three more listings went up two weeks ago, and now two of the units are in contract.

The units are pricey, but they look good. They are all studios, but with unusual double-height ceilings and lofted bedrooms. The four units on the second floor have two levels and the four units on the top floor have three levels.

The firm does not typically develop in Williamsburg, where prices are among the highest in the borough. Brookland Capital purchased the building in 2012 for $2,650,000. The asks for the units range in price from $750,000 to $985,000.

Curbed wrote about the building when sales launched in December. Bel Air Design Group is the architect.

Click through to see what the building looked like before. What do you think about the transformation of the exterior?

156 Broadway, #3C [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
Condo Conversion of Long-Derelict South Williamsburg Building Almost Done [Brownstoner]


1188 bedford avenue 2

The condo-fication of Bed Stuy continues with the sales launch of a five-story condo building at 1188 Bedford Avenue, on the corner of Putnam Avenue. Developed by Boaz Gilad’s Brookland Capital and designed by Suresh Manchanda, the development has 14 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Prices range from $379,000 for a 400-square-foot studio to $825,000 for an 850-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath condo. (That’s about $970/foot, for those of you keeping score at home.)

Apartments feature 10-foot ceilings, rainfall showerheads, pental quartz lattice countertops, white oak hardwood floors and washer/dryers. Some units have terraces or balconies too. Shared amenities include a roof deck and bike storage. What do you think of the look and the pricing?

Click through for more photos and floorplans.

1188 Bedford Avenue Listings [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
1188 Bedford Avenue [Official]
Three Mixed-Use Buildings Rising at Putnam and Bedford in Bed Stuy [Brownstoner]


112 gates avenue clinton hill 22015

Entourage star Adrian Grenier and his real estate broker mom recently bought a second Clinton Hill townhouse, a four-family, five-story brownstone at 112 Gates Avenue. 6sqft was the first to write about the sale, which closed for $2,085,000 in December. We couldn’t find any listings for the house, which 6sqft claims was an estate sale with lots of details, including high ceilings, ornate plaster details on the ceiling, and parquet floors.

It’s not far from the wood-frame home at 430 Grand Avenue the duo renovated with solar panels and recycled denim insulation back in 2006. Grenier also owns a townhouse in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at 239 Lincoln Road, which he purchased solo in 2010 for $899,000.

It’s unclear whether the actor or Brown Harris Stevens broker Karesse Grenier plan to live in the Gates Avenue house or use it as an investment property. Both also share an address at a rental building designed by Rosario Candela in Morningside Heights. Click through for shots of some ceiling detail at Gates Avenue.

Adrian Grenier Buys Five-Story Clinton Hill Townhouse for $2.1 Million [6sqft]
Grenier Really Is Going Green [Brownstoner]
Photos via CityRealty via 6sqft