crown heights autumn 112014

We’re happy to report that Historic Districts Council has chosen Crown Heights as one of the six neighborhoods where it will focus its preservation efforts in 2015. As part of its Six to Celebrate program, the Historic Districts Council will help the Crown Heights North Association revive its preservation campaign. Although Crown Heights has two historic districts, some of the neighborhood’s historic buildings are still at risk for development and demolition. Landmarks calendared Crown Heights North Phase III three years ago, but never voted on the expansion.

Another important — and ambitious — Six to Celebrate project is “Landmarks Under Consideration, Citywide.” These are 150 proposed landmarks that are unprotected, 96 of which Landmarks said it would “decalendar” before backing off the plan last year. The Council plans to “document, publicize and conduct community outreach” for all 150 sites to gather support for designation and to help LPC with its backlog. In Brooklyn, the list includes Green-Wood Cemetery, the Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House, and the Forman Building at 183 Broadway.

The Council offers help with research, landmarking, publicity and zoning to community groups in Six to Celebrate, and it hosts walking tours to raise awareness about a chosen neighborhood’s history and architecture.

818 franklin avenue butter and scotch crown heights 12015

A dessert-and-cocktails spot is coming to Crown Heights, although Butter & Scotch will serve savory snacks too when it opens Saturday at 818 Franklin Avenue. Co-owners (and former Smorgasburg vendors) Allison Kave of First Prize Pies and Keavy Blueher of Kumquat Cupcakery have assembled a menu with cakes, pies, housemade sodas, and other dishes, including caramel corn in “cocktail” flavors and pie shakes. The duo will open their doors from 5 pm to midnight this Saturday and Sunday, with more extended hours coming next week, according to their website. DNAinfo wrote about the new venture in March. GMAP

1324 bergen street crown heights 12015

The insides of this house look pretty dire, with crumbling walls and ceilings, wires hanging down, and the kind of rigid linoleum tile flooring that sometimes turns out to contain asbestos. And that couldn’t be mold spotting the ceiling in one of the photos, right?

Still, though, despite appearances, it’s probably no more work than the average Brooklyn townhouse in need of everything — unless, of course, “everything” also includes severe water damage, new windows, a new cornice, new roof and repointing the brick exterior. In any event, all we know is the listing says “this property needs a complete gut renovation.”

There are a few nice old details left, including window and door surrounds, shutters, crown molding, and a marble fireplace. But at the current ask of $995,000, we’re not sure there’s enough of a discount to make this an attractive proposition. Or are we behind the times?

1324 Bergen Street [Corcoran] GMAP

elsies donuts 1031 bergen street 12015

Elsie’s Doughnut Shop has unfolded its awning and begun serving coffee and doughnuts at 1031 Bergen Street. They held a friends and family event on Saturday, and they opened to the public on Monday.

Current flavors include glazed with lemon zest and honey, frutti di bosco (“fruit of the forest”) topped with blackberries and candied orange rind, butterscotch with salted peanuts, caramello e cocco featuring caramel and toasted coconut, confettura di fichi with fig jam, mascarpone and toasted almonds, and cioccolato e amarene with dark chocolate and amarena cherries. There are also apple cider doughnuts, with and without gluten.

A single doughnut is $2.50, a half dozen is $12, and a dozen $22. The owner tells us the full menu will launch Sunday and include scones, more flavors of gluten-free doughnuts, cold brew and juice. 

Crosby Coffee Owner to Open a Doughnut Shop in Crown Heights in January [Brownstoner] GMAP

1193 bergen street crown heights 12015

This lavish Renaissance Revival limestone appears to be in move-in condition, going by the photos, with an updated kitchen and baths as well as plenty of original details. Those include an elaborate built-in in the rear parlor, a pier mirror, a wood burning fireplace and five mantels. There is also an outdoor fireplace in the garden.

It’s currently set up as a one-family, although it’s a three, according to the listing, and the floor plan seems intact. It is slightly narrow at about 17 feet 3 inches. Built in 1894 as one of seven in a row, it was designed by architect Albert E. White, according to a Building of the Day post (White also designed 1234 Dean Street).

Do you like it? And with the neighborhood record having recently leapt from $2,108,902 to $2,900,000 for a 27-foot-wide mansion in need of work, do you think the ask of $2,300,000 is reasonable?

1193 Bergen Street [Corcoran] GMAP

995 washington avenue crown heights 12015

We like the looks of the outside of this new-construction townhouse. The inside isn’t as interesting, at least as rendered, and the windows appear much smaller. The five-story mixed-use brick building on a triangular lot will consist of two duplexes over a ground-floor store space. Construction is set to wrap in April. What do you think of it and the asking price of $3,200,000?

995 Washington Avenue [AptsandLofts] GMAP

225 eastern parkway crown heights 12015

This prewar condo at 225 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights just hit the market with an asking price of $1,100,000. The two-bedroom pad could really accommodate a third bedroom, given the full-sized dining room. The 35-foot-long foyer also adds a nice sense of scale to the place. Gut-renovated in 2005, the 1,440-square-foot apartment is in good shape (though we don’t love the design choices in the kitchen).

225 Eastern Parkway, #6J [Corcoran] GMAP

affordable housing meeting flyer

If you missed the fall sessions on applying for new affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn, a group of community organizations are hosting another forum next month, where they’ll explain how to navigate the housing department’s lottery process for affordable apartments. Staff from the Mutual Housing Association of New York will offer advice on filling out applications on NYC Housing Connect. They’ll walk through the income requirements for each new development, as well as the documents applicants need to give to the city’s Housing and Preservation Department (HPD). The seminar will take place on February 5 at 6:30 pm in Bethany United Methodist Church, located at 1208 St. Johns Place between Albany and Troy avenues in Crown Heights.

501 montgomery street crown heights 12015

Crown Heights
501 Montgomery Street
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $1,999,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:30

859 east 17th street midwood 12015

859 East 17th Street
Broker: Charles Rutenberg
Price: $1,400,000
Sunday 3:00 – 5:00

163 lewis avenue bed stuy 12015Bedford Stuyvesant
163 Lewis Avenue
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,250,000
Sunday 1:30 – 2:30

525 hancock street bed stuy 12015Bedford Stuyvesant
525 Hancock Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,199,000
Sunday 2:30 – 4:00

chika mexicana 814 nostrand avenue crown heights 122014

Crown Heights has no shortage of Mexican restaurants, and a new one, Chika Mexicana, opened last week between Lincoln and St. Johns Places on Nostrand Avenue. The little storefront at 814 Nostrand is just big enough for a row of bar seating next to the window, and we’ve noticed a steady stream of customers filing in ever since it opened.

The menu offers tacos from $2.50, quesadillas from $4, and burritos and burrito bowls from $5.50. Sides include chile corn soup, spiced black beans and red rice with cilantro. Has anyone been yet? GMAP

1009 bergen street crown heights 122014

We’re drooling over this beautiful — and beautifully renovated — semi-detached Victorian row house for rent in Crown Heights. It has four bedrooms, 3.5 baths and plenty of original detail. There’s wainscoting, detailed woodwork, moldings, wood shutters, built-in bookcases and French doors.

The kitchen has a modern renovation with white cabinets, blue backsplash and stainless steel appliances. Sliding glass doors at the back of the kitchen lead to a little backyard with a deck. Plus it’s close to all the shops, restaurants and trains on Franklin Avenue.

Of course, all this doesn’t come cheap. What do you think of it for $6,500 a month?

1009 Bergen Street [Garfield Realty] GMAP

672 st marks avenue crown heights 122014

An unnamed private investor has snapped up a 27-foot-wide mansion at 672 St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights for $2,900,000, beating the neighborhood record by nearly $800,000. The sale closed Tuesday, Corcoran agent Chris Cavorti confirmed. The original asking price was $2,999,000.

The Renaissance Revival limestone was built in 1895 and designed by architect Peter J. Lauritzen. It is divided into five units and needs work. As far as we know, the previous record holder was 760 Eastern Parkway, a two-family home on a 40-foot-wide lot that sold last month for $2,108,902.

BK to the Fullest was the first to write about the sale.

Crown Heights Losing Its Mind: 672 St. Marks Avenue [BK to the Fullest]
House of the Day: 672 St. Marks Avenue [Brownstoner]
Building of the Day: 670-672 St Marks Avenue [Brownstoner]
Photo by Corcoran

Update: The story has been updated. Dixon is NOT the buyer of the mansion, Cavorti just let us know. He misheard us when we asked him twice if Dixon was the buyer, he said. An unnamed private investor bought the property.