1239 president street crown heights 102014

Here’s a diamond in the rough with lots of interesting details just south of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. We don’t think we’ve ever seen a teens exterior quite like this one with its tiles of neo-classical relief ornament and patterned brickwork at the top. Even the rear looks nice, with bay windows.

Inside, there is a coffered ceiling, some fun Arts and Crafts mantels with working gas fireplaces, an attractive entry and staircase, some neo-classical bas-relief columns and plasterwork with shells and shield motifs, original early electric light fixtures, and two original claw foot tubs.

The two-family house has one identical apartment per floor, each with two bedrooms, but they are roomier than usual and not railroads. There’s also a finished basement with laundry. The bathrooms and kitchens look like they could use a bit of updating, or rather restoration, but overall the building looks to be in good condition.

There’s an open house this Sunday, November 2, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. What do you think of it and the ask of $1,200,000?

1239 President Street [BH Tal Real Estate] GMAP

615 st johns place crown heights 102014

We’ve always wondered what would happen to the overgrown and graffiti-covered brick house at 615 St. Johns Place between Franklin and Classon in Crown Heights, and now it looks like a developer has purchased the property and plans to demolish it. Nissan Cohen of First Elite Group LLC paid $1,030,000 for the 2,620-square-foot property in August, according to public records.

Earlier this month, Cohen filed a demolition application to knock down the property’s little 990-square-foot brick structure. No new building permits have been filed yet, but we’re sure a new residential development is in the works. Zoning allows up to 5,240 square feet of residential space on the plot.

The front gate has been torn down, and for the first time, we can see inside the house, which appears to have little remaining besides a back wall and a decayed hallway with one or two rooms. The roof appears to have collapsed right inside the front door.

The house, a former Building of the Day, was built as a garage in the early 20th century and later converted to a house by adding an extension.

Building of the Day: 615 St. Johns Place [Brownstoner] GMAP

269 empire boulevard crown heights 102014

This three-bedroom townhouse for rent in Crown Heights seems like a pretty good deal to us. The broker tells us it hasn’t been recently updated but is in good condition.

All three bedrooms are the same size, according to the broker, and located on the top floor, along with one bathroom. The unfinished basement under the stoop can be used as storage.

And it’s only two blocks from the 2/5 stop at Sterling Street. The downsides are that it’s a bit narrow at 16.5 feet, and Empire Boulevard can get loud and busy with traffic. What are your thoughts on it for $2,850 a month?

269 Empire Boulevard [Corcoran] GMAP

505 st marks avenue crown heights 102014

The eight-story rental development at 505 St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights is close to topping out, with all eight floors nearly complete. The apartment building between Franklin and Classon will have 147 units, 100,000 square feet of space and 74 underground parking spots, as previously reported. Issac and Stern Architects are designing, and the developer is Yosi Cohen of Realty Within Reach, whose development up the road at 482 Franklin Avenue is just about finished. Work began at the site in April and has been moving along well ever since.

505 St. Marks Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

608 Franklin Avenue

ODA Architecture has designed a boxy, glassy building – with multi-paned windows somewhat reminiscent of an old factory building — to replace the brewery at 608 Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights.  New York YIMBY was the first to publish the rendering.

The specifics of the plans have changed slightly: The building, which will be quite large and take up much of the block between Bergen Street and Dean Street, will rise to eight stories and have a total of 130,00 square feet. There will be 120 rental units — studios, one and two bedroom units. Twenty percent of the units will be income-restricted, according to NYY. The mixed-use building will have 19,000 square feet of retail space.

The development will replace three rundown, low-rise structures on the Dean Street side of the property, not the 19th century brick brewery building on Bergen (as we’ve previously mentioned). The corner lot also has 141 feet of frontage on Franklin Avenue.

While the design reminds us of buildings in the Ladies’ Mile area in Manhattan rather than Crown Heights, it strikes us as a far cry above the majority of new construction. What do you think of it?

Revealed: ODA’s 608 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights [NYY]
Eight Story Mixed-Use Building to Replace Part of Crown Heights Brewery [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering: ODA Architecture via NY YIMBY

1037 sterling place crown heights 102014

This floor-through two-bedroom in Crown Heights offers tons of space and attractive prewar details. There are decorative mantels, built-in dressers and cabinets, pier mirrors and stained glass windows. The $2,600 rent seems a little high for a two-bedroom in this part of Crown Heights, but there’s a windowed office that could be used a third bedroom, knocking the rent down to $866 a bedroom. The apartment is a block from Brower Park and three blocks from the 3 train stop at Kingston Avenue. What do you think of it?

1037 Sterling Place, #2 [Warren Lewis Sotheby's] GMAP

chika mexicana 814 nostrand 92014

Chika Mexicana is planning to open later this month at 814 Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights. When we stopped by earlier this week, the interiors looked partially finished and a worker was painting the exterior. Located about a block from Eastern Parkway between Lincoln and St. Johns, it looks like it’s going to be pretty casual. Northern Crown Heights also has Guero’s, Chavela’s and El Barrio Burritos on Franklin Avenue. Do you think the hood needs another Mexican joint? GMAP

681 franklin avenue crown heights 92014

We’ve always wondered what would happen to the decaying, rat-infested brick low-rise at 681 Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, and recently we noticed that the interior of the three-story building had been completely demolished. The brick facade is still standing, held up by scaffolding, but workers on site told us the rest of the building would come down too. It turns out the HPD ordered an emergency demolition of the long-abandoned structure in June.

But the forgotten property will have a new beginning. A construction supervisor showed us plans for a new three-story building, which he said will most likely be rentals. New building applications have not yet been filed.

The property sold to an LLC for $1,400,000 on September 15. As to why the building was neglected for so long, public records show a vacate order in 1985 and a transfer to a Florida-based estate in 2011 (when the absentee owner died, presumably). Boxes with x’s spray painted on the building show it was unsafe to enter. GMAP

834 nostrand avenue crown heights 92014

The T-Mobile store on the southwest corner of Nostrand and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights will be demolished to make way for a seven-story apartment building, according to new building applications spotted by New York YIMBY. Developed by Helm Equities, 834 Nostrand Avenue will have 29 units, an automated parking garage with 18 spots, 5,582 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, about the same amount of community space, and a roof deck.

Shlomo Wygoda’s SWA Architects is designing the building, which will be 33,505 square feet when it’s finished. 

This busy corner on one of Crown Heights’ major thoroughfares is four blocks from 341 Eastern Parkway, which opened this summer with rents starting at $2,200. Although new, the building resembles an early 20th century commercial loft building. We hope SWA will design something equally contextual rather than the typical glass box.

Permits Filed: 834 Nostrand Avenue, on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights [NYY] GMAP

1090 greene avenue bushwick bohack house

We were relieved to see the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted yesterday to landmark 1090 Greene Avenue in Bushwick. It is one of the last well-preserved wood frame houses in the area. Preservation advocate Historic Districts Council called it “a distinctive reminder of 19th-century Bushwick.”

It is rare for the LPC to landmark wood frame houses, perhaps because they are so often altered beyond recognition. (more…)

st gregory the great crown heights 82014

The Crown Heights North 7th Annual House Tour takes place this Saturday. Highlights include the Bedford Central Church on Nostrand and an original Kinko-style home built by the Kings and Westchester Land Company. Altogether there will be eight homes, two churches and the Bergen Community Garden.

The self-guided tour starts at 10:45 am on Saturday with a continental breakfast and opening ceremony at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church (pictured), on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and St. Johns Place. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. They’re available on CHNA’s website, at Barbara’s Flowers at 1096 Bergen Street, or at Yanatiba at 714 Washington Avenue.