07/29/14 9:30am

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After four years of DOB actions, the illegal five-story addition perched on top of the long-stalled warehouse conversion at 53 Bridge Street in Dumbo finally appears to be coming down. When we passed by recently, the building looked three stories shorter than before.  (more…)

03/12/14 10:45am

A tipster tells us work has started up again at the long-dormant warehouse conversion at 53 Bridge Street in Dumbo. The latest alteration permits indicate the developer has scrapped residential plans.

The developer of the long-troubled project was ordered to take down an unsightly and unstable six-story addition back in 2010, designed by disgraced architect Scarano. The architect of record is now NSC Architecture. As far as we know, developer Joshua Guttman is still the owner of the warehouse, which is located at Bridge and Front streets.

A partial stop work order exists on the property.

Guttman Finally Caves on 53 Bridge Street [Brownstoner] GMAP

02/26/14 10:45am

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It looks like construction is under way at a formerly stalled site on Dean Street between Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues in Prospect Heights. We spotted some new building permits and a schematic on the fence at 751 Dean Street, where permits from last year tell the story of a four-story apartment building planned for the former vacant lot.

The building going up right now will house four apartments, one per floor, totaling 3,960 square feet. The schematic (pictured after the jump) shows two connected buildings with fiberglass and stucco facades, but no permits have been filed for the second building. DOB slapped the project with five violations in December and January, as well as a stop-work order, which explains the construction slow-down. GMAP

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12/18/13 9:30am

Could work finally be starting again at 339 Greene Avenue, the 12-story high-rise that has been under construction in Bed Stuy for more than five years? When we stopped by recently, we noticed workers on the site. And earlier this month, the DOB approved three new alteration type 2 permits. The 57-unit project has been stop and go since 2010 when it ran into some financial difficulties. Construction will hopefully wrap up under a new developer, Bonjour Capital. Bonjour acquired the development in May for $16,000,000, according to public records.

Finally, a Restart at 339 Greene Avenue! [Brownstoner] GMAP
Vultures Circling 339 Greene Avenue? [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: Windows In at 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue Revisited [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 339 Greene Avenue [Brownstoner]

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Chinese property developer Greenland Holdings Group, which is owned by the Chinese state, has agreed to buy a majority stake, or 70 percent, in the remaining as-yet-unbuilt Atlantic Yards project, owned by Forest City Ratner, The Wall Street Journal reported. The purchase would not include the first tower, known as B2, which is already going up next to the arena. How much Greenland will pay for the ownership stake was not disclosed, and the deal will not close for some time, because it needs to be reviewed by Chinese and U.S. officials.

The purchase may hasten the construction of the remaining towers, which were originally expected to be completed as early as this year, according to the Journal. (Above, the rail yard over which some of the towers will be built.) It’s unclear how much Forest City Ratner will benefit from the deal. In September, an exec with company that owns FCR said “the company wasn’t expecting to receive more than the cost of the land in any sale at Atlantic Yards,” said the Journal.

The remaining towers are residential except for one office building and retail space. Greenland is also working on some other high-profile projects, including what will likely be China’s tallest skyscraper, in Wuhan and, in Sydney, the tallest apartment building.

Chinese Developer Greenland to Take Majority Stake in Atlantic Yards Apartment Project [WSJ]

 

09/27/13 11:30am

It looks like a long-stalled residential development at 538 Washington Avenue between Atlantic and Fulton is finally putting up some steel. The architect of record is none other than villified Brooklyn architect Robert Scarano, who filed the original plans and new building permits in 2008. While the building permits don’t tell us much, we do know the building will be five stories with eight units. The DOB issued a new building permit in June, which explains why we’re seeing some progress. The most recent sale of the property was last year, when an LLC sold to another LLC, evidently developer Sam Boymelgreen, for $860,000, according to PropertyShark. GMAP

07/11/13 9:00am

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The Karl Fischer-designed building at 659 Bergen Street in Prospect Heights finally received its certificate of occupancy May 17. Some buyers have been in contract since 2010 and expected to move in long ago. Thirty-day notices were sent out June 4 telling buyers to prepare their mortgages and get ready to move. But then the next day another letter went out telling them to disregard the first one and that the owner is working to resolve some title issues, a source told us. As it turns out, a lis pendens was filed against the building in February, which means the buyers cannot close.

“They cannot close until the foreclosure is resolved,” said an attorney for one of the buyers, who requested anonymity. “Either they make a settlement with the bank to close or someone else buys the debt. It’s an objection to title.” The impact on the buyers has been “devastating,” he continued. “There’s a lot of money and emotion tied up in this.” His client could cancel the contract and get back the deposit, but doesn’t want to. So much time has elapsed that it would be impossible for buyers to find a comparable space in the same area for the same price, he said.

But the end may be in sight. “Our client believes everything will be resolved shortly,” said Jeffrey Zwick of Jeffrey Zwick & Associates, the attorney for owner Boaz Gilad. He declined to comment further.

Buyers in Limbo at Prospect Heights Building [Brownstoner]

06/04/13 9:00am

53-broadway-041913After a lull in development during the downturn, the number of apartment units under construction is back to late 2008 levels, according to a report from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at NYU. Most — three-quarters — of the units are being built in Brooklyn and Queens, not Manhattan, DNAinfo reported. They’re coming from two sources: Stalled construction sites that are now finishing up, and new projects. “Brooklyn is seeing a lot of development right now,” said Brian Meier, an agent with Douglas Elliman. “The entry points are a lot easier [for developers] to get into and there’s availability.” At the same time, some rental buildings are now converting back to condos to meet demand. One of these is a 40-unit building at 35-41 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which recently put 14 units on the market. Within one night, the apartments —  priced between $200,000 and $400,000 – all had offers at ask with backup buyers. The Meadowwood at Gateway in East New York, a huge complex with 19 buildings and 1,100 units, is also converting from rentals to condos. “There was such a gap in new development,” said Jodi Stasse, Citi Habitats managing director of new developments. ”[Now] there’s a good pipeline of much needed great inventory.” Do you think more inventory could mean less competition and lower prices?
New Construction Rises in City After a Five Year Lull [DNAinfo]

05/24/13 11:45am

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There is an end in sight for the long-stalled Bed Stuy build at 339 Greene Avenue. The building has been sold to Bonjour Capital for $16,000,000, reported The Real Deal. The firm plans to finish construction on the 57-unit, 12-story rental building. The project was delayed for years by a foreclosure and bankruptcy filing.
Bonjour Capital Takes Over Bed-Stuy Rental Building Stalled for Last Six Years [TRD]
Vultures Circling 339 Greene Avenue? [Brownstoner] GMAP

04/29/13 2:40pm

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Lo and behold, work is finally under way at the huge project at 500 Metropolitan Avenue once known as “The Gateway to Williamsburg.” It looked like they were working on the foundation when we stopped by. We found a new rendering, which looks slightly different from the one we dug up last year, but the basic idea of a large, wedge-shaped, stepped, glassy building in a very prominent location hasn’t changed. Some details have been altered: The building will be 15 stories, not 14, with 148 hotel rooms and 81 residential units. It should be done in 2015. The developer is still Chetrit Group and the architect is still Gene Kaufman. Click through to the jump for photos of the work in progress. What do you think of the new look?
Long-Stalled, Huge ‘Burg Project Showing Signs of Life [Brownstoner]

 

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12/12/12 2:40pm

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A huge lot in South Williamsburg in the heart of the Hasidic neighborhood close to the waterfront was going to be a seven-story building designed by Karl Fischer. Well, that never happened. As we reported in October, the lot at 421 Kent Avenue was sold to an unknown developer for $31,610,034.91, according to public records. Turns out the buyer is a Beijing-based firm called Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Bloomberg News reported. What’s more, the Chinese company paid $54.2 million for the site, said the Bloomberg story (public records show the buyer paid an additional $24 million in the form of transfer tax to a firm called Beta Capital LLC), and the approved plans call for 12 separate buildings, which Xinyuan plans to market as condos. The company’s chief financial officer said Xinyuan selected the site “for its attractive price, trendy location with restaurants and nightlife, its proximity to Manhattan, and its readiness for vertical construction in a relatively short period of time.” Chinese real estate investors have expanded abroad since new restrictions were imposed at home by a government hoping to avert a real estate collapse, said the story.
Beijing Builder Buys Burg Lot in First for Chinese Firm [Bloomberg News]
Forever-Stalled Burg Development Sells [Brownstoner] GMAP
Development Watch: 36-54 South 8th Street [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: Hager Wasting No Time at 421 Kent [Brownstoner]
Hager Re-Ups in Williamsburg Big-Time [Brownstoner]

11/19/12 2:40pm


Despite foreclosure proceedings in place for the huge, stalled Kensington development 23 Caton Place, there’s action here on the Department of Buildings front. Late last week the DOB issued a renewal on a new building permit. But a recent visit revealed no work starting up. Have nearby residents noticed any stirrings as of late? The auction was scheduled for Nov. 9 but public records do not yet reflect a change in ownership. The lien here was for a whopping $23,741,928.
Foreclosure for 23 Caton Place Development [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: Work Resuming at 23 Caton? [Brownstoner]
At Last, Cleaning up 23 Caton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Trying to Make Lemonade of Lemons at 23 Caton [Brownstoner]
The Decline and Fall of 23 Caton Place [Brownstoner]
Little Progress on 23 Caton Place [Brownstoner] GMAP
Bank Sues Caton Place Developer [Brownstoner] DOB
Work Stops at Caton Place Condos [Brownstoner]
At 23 Caton Place, Laborers Labor on Labor Day [Brownstoner]