A new model for financing public institutions such as libraries and schools is being tested in Brooklyn, where City officials want to sell off two public library buildings to raise money for repairs, reported The New York Times. Developers would then rebuild the branches inside high rise developments elsewhere, at no cost to the city. But as we have reported already, residents are objecting to the loss of the buildings, located in the Heights and Park Slope. Merely replacing the troubled air conditioning system in the Heights branch would cost $3 million; the City gives the entire Brooklyn library system only $15 million a year for repairs, according to the story; other funding comes from donations and other sources. The new approach fits in with current anti-tax sentiment and rising property values in brownstone Brooklyn, said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban planning at New York University. “Brooklyn is booming and the library system doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines,” he said. The Pacific Street branch, pictured above, would be relocated two blocks away into a 32-story high rise that Two Trees Management is building across from BAM. The old branch would remain open until the new library is completed, then would be torn down. One drawback of the new location is that it would require patrons from Boerum Hill and Park Slope to cross busy Flatbush Avenue. Over in Brooklyn Heights, meanwhile, the library would have to close for two or three years while a new building goes up on the same spot. Do you think this is a good way to raise money for the whole system, or do you regret the loss of these specific buildings?
Saving Schools and Libraries by Giving up the Land They Sit On [NY Times]
Library Reps Will Discuss Pacific Branch Next Week [Brownstoner]
Community Pushes to Landmark Pacific St. Library Branch [Brownstoner]
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Commercial building
Address: 52 Court Street
Cross Streets: Livingston and Joralemon Streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1852
Architectural Style: Originally Italianate
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Skyscraper District HD (2012)
The story: This is one of those Court Street buildings you walk by and never notice, unless you go to Curves, or grab a bite at the diner. Even so, you never notice the building itself. That’s because, like many small buildings in commercial districts as old as this one, buildings can be transformed so many times, they are now unrecognizable. 52 Court Street is one of the oldest remaining buildings on this block, and because it’s been around for so long – the stories the bricks in here could tell!
It was built in 1852, one of a long row of marble-fronted buildings that stretched from 46 to 64 Court Street. This row can be seen in period photographs that are usually focused on the Temple Bar Building on the next block north. Today, 52 stands alone, but believe it or not, 58-64 Court, now called 62 Court, a single, bland cement covered building with nondescript storefronts, were once four of the buildings in this group. What a downgrade. Who knew? (more…)
2. DUMBO $2,647,450
37 Bridge Street, #THA GMAP P*Shark
This is one of the new townhouses at the Kirkman Loft development. The home has three bedrooms over 2,512 square feet. There’s also an elevator in the townhouse! It was listed at the beginning of this year for $2,600,000. Deed recorded on 3/5/2013.
3. MANHATTAN BEACH $1,980,000
183 Gerard Street GMAP P*Shark
Here’s the old listing for this two-family home. The home was on the market for much of 2011 around the mid $2 million mark. Deed recorded on 3/4/2013.
5. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $1,600,625.50
20 Henry Street, #4BS GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/two bath condo unit. This one entered contract in the get-go, at it’s ask of $1,550,000. Streeteasy shows only one studio unit left at the entire 20 Henry condo development. Deed recorded on 3/8/2013.
Yowza — and we thought $3,250,000 was a lot of money for a waterfront condo! This new listing at One Brooklyn Bridge Park tops that and then some with its price tag of $5,500,000. It’s a little hard to tell how much value is packed into the three-level apartment since there are noticeably few photos for such a high-end listing, but we do know that there is 4,638 square feet of indoor space along with a private roof deck. Without a floor plan, though, it’s a little hard to evaluate. Vertical condo living often feels awkward to us. Regardless, this is bound to be pretty impressive, especially with those views!
One Brooklyn Bridge Park #1401 [MNS] GMAP P*Shark
Only one of the 38 units at the Love Lane condo conversion is left for sale. It’s a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom apartment priced at $3,795,000. (It first hit the market over the summer for $3,500,000.) When the development launched in early 2011, nothing was asking under a million bucks. But then the building saw a broker switch and price cuts in 2011. Since then, sales moved steadily, with five units left in January. And just recently, the condo building was approved for J-51 tax abatement.
Only Five Left at the Love Lane Mews Condo Building [Brownstoner]
Love Lane Mews 65 Percent Sold [Brownstoner]
Broker Switch, Price Cuts at Love Lane Mews [Brownstoner]
First Look at Love Lane Mews [Brownstoner] GMAP
Last week the Park Slope Civic Council discussed the move of the Pacific Branch Library along 4th Avenue to the new Two Trees development and the threat the move poses to the building itself. The library branch, one of the 18 Carnegie branches in the city, needs $11 million of repair, according to last week’s article in the Brooklyn Paper. The PSCC tried to get the building landmarked back in 2004 and is now trying again, under the reasoning that the building is in imminent danger of being sold and then demolished. They’ll be resubmitting a request for evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. They also plan to submit an application for inclusion of the Pacific Branch Library on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2013 list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the United States. Brooklyn Public Library official Josh Nachowitz told the Brooklyn Paper that the building is worth less than $10 million if sold. The money would go toward the interior build-out of the new branch at the Two Trees site, with leftover funds back into the Brooklyn library system. But this library sale ultimately requires the approval of city Council. That process would not begin until late this year or early the next. Meanwhile, on Friday, Brooklyn Heights group Citizens Defending Libraries protested the closure of another Brooklyn library, the Cadman Plaza branch, as the Brooklyn Heights Blog reported.
This new co-op listing at 71 Orange Street has a serious charm factor going for it –and it knows it. The prewar one-bedroom pad is asking $695,000, which has to be about $1,000 a foot based on our loose eyeballing of the floorplan. Still, the old-world vibe, 13-foot ceilings and three exposures make up for the lack of an elevator. (Plus, it’s only one flight up.) Think they’ll get their price?
71 Orange Street #21 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP P*Shark
You know spring is coming when the Brooklyn CSAs start accepting memberships. The Sweet Pea CSA, based in Brooklyn Heights, is looking for members and just opened sign-ups for the season. Members can choose from a full or half vegetable share, fruit share, egg share, flower share, meat share or cheese share. The CSA partners with Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead, N.Y., and High Point Farms in Ithaca, N.Y. More details about signing up at the Sweet Pea website.
The concept of the “horizontal townhouse,” as the developers of 30 Henry put it, is a hit. Two apartments in what may well be the Heights’ priciest new build are already in contract, Curbed reported, even though at this point the building is still under construction. The floor-through apartments are much bigger than is typical in brownstone Brooklyn, ranging in size from 2,418 to 2,861 square feet, with windows on every side, and the finishes look to be top-notch. Plus there is parking. Prices are in townhouse territory too, if not higher. The price per square foot for the units in contract works out to be $1,404 for the first-floor condo and $1,730 for the penthouse. The taxes and common charges on the penthouse add up to $4,784 a month. Whew. Sales started in mid-December and work should continue through until late summer. Right now, the floors are starting to rise, above. Click through to the jump for a few interior renderings, and to the listing to examine the floor plans. (more…)
2. COBBLE HILL $2,600,000
59 Strong Place GMAP P*Shark
Listed for $2,460,000. From the photos, it looks like a very nicely renovated one-family. It only lasted about two months on the market. Deed recorded on 2/25/2013.
5. COBBLE HILL $1,730,000
295 Warren Street GMAP P*Shark
Listed for $1,799,000, entered contract two months later. The listing says, “This three family four story brick townhouse in Prime Cobble Hill is currently configured as a four-family… The house offers large lower apartments that could easily be combined to make a duplex with access to garden. The upper two units could be combined to make a duplex with terrace.” Deed recorded on 2/28/2013.
Brooklyn Heights Blog reports that popular bar and restaurant Jack the Horse Tavern is aiming to expand into the adjoining retail space at 37A Cranberry Street. The original Brooklyn Heights spot is located right on the corner of Hicks and Cranberry streets. The new space will be used for overflow seating. The restaurant will head to Community Board Two to present its application for a beer, wine and liquor licence on Wednesday, March 6 at the Brooklyn Hospital’s first floor dining room.
Jack the Horse Tavern Looking to Open Additional Seating on Cranberry [BHB]
Photo by The Food Doc
A look at Brooklyn, then and now.
I wish this one was still with us. It’s a delightfully inventive building designed by an important and imaginative architect, and it would be fun to just be able to walk by this one, on one of Brooklyn Heights’ premiere streets. But, alas, it’s gone, leaving this photograph as the only visual evidence that on this site, at 44 Clinton Street between Pierrepont Street and Cadman Plaza West, once stood the Brooklyn College Club.
In 1919, a group of alumni from Brooklyn Preparatory School and College wanted to start an alumni club. The college was not the Brooklyn College we know today in Midwood, which wasn’t established until the 1930s, but was part of the exclusive Jesuit school in Crown Heights, whose campus buildings now makes up the core of Medgar Evers College.
After meeting in various places on campus for a few years, the club began publically looking for a new location, and bought 44 Clinton Street in 1921. They paid $40,000 for this six story building, measuring 25 by 100 feet, and began to renovate it for their use, installing bowling alleys, a restaurant, a full gymnasium and a roof garden. When they opened, they had over 600 members, as the club was open to all alumni of the prep school or college.
The architect of this neo-Tudor confection was James Sarsfield Kennedy, who went by J. Sarsfield. He was an inventive architect, a fast-moving and fast-talking diminutive man who was well on his way with a lucrative career as one of Brooklyn’s busiest and best architects of the period. He is best known for his “Gingerbread House,” the Arts and Crafts stone cottage he built in 1916 for Howard and Bessie Jones in Bay Ridge. (more…)
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Toll Brothers and Starwood developers want to design the hotel and residential building at Pier One a little differently. The New York Post reports they want to raise both buildings up at least three feet to avoid the flood damage seen in the surrounding neighborhood. That means additional steps and ramps up to the lobby, mechanical systems on the roof, and a basement used for parking. The developers are still working on the plan and it has delayed the groundbreaking, previously scheduled for this month. Of course, the Post finds a resident NIMBY who doesn’t want the development coming to Brooklyn Heights in the first place — she tells them, “the lesson of Sandy is it will happen again, and when it happens, it will be really bad for those residents who wind up buying condos there.”
Developers Want to Raise Proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park Complex [NY Post]
If you aren’t already counting down the days until summer, the news from Brooklyn Bridge Park regarding its upcoming summer concessions will get you ready. This summer, Luke’s Lobster, No. 7 Sub, Ample Hills Creamery and Fornino: The Art & Science of Pizza will open throughout the park. Luke’s Lobster and No. 7 Sub will operate in the Smokestack Building under the Brooklyn Bridge seven days a week. No. 7 Sub will serve sandwiches like Turkey Meatloaf, Zucchini Parm, and Roasted Delicata Squash, as well as juices and breakfast sandwiches. Fornino will be located at Pier Six in the space previously occupied by Bark Hot Dogs. (This isn’t the same owner as the recently shuttered Fornino in Park Slope.) They’ll sell pizza, sandwiches, frozen yogurt, snacks and beverages, as well as serve beer on the rooftop beer garden. Ample Hills Creamery will be at the new concession stand located at Pier Five. They’ll start scooping eight flavors on Memorial Day weekend. These guys will join the previous summer vendors, which include Calexico Carne Asada, Blue Marble Ice Cream, and Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar. Not to mention that Smorgasburg opens up on April 7th in the Tobacco Warehouse too.
Photo by dumbonyc
The townhouse at 152 Willow Street is not the standard single-family home you’d expect to find in Brooklyn Heights. As far as we can tell, a developer bought the 19-by-83-foot multi-family building at the corner of Pierrepont and Willow Street (with the address of 25 Pierrepont) in late 2011 for $3,550,000 and went on to subdivide and gut renovate it. This would explain the small floor plates and lack of historic details. So while the finished product is a far cry from a typical townhouse, it is a well-appointed and well-located single family house with a front yard and roof terrace. The asking price for the 2,750-square-foot pad is $3,495,000, which comes out to $1,270 a square foot. You buyin’ it?
152 Willow Street [CORE] GMAP P*Shark
1. COBBLE HILL $6,750,000
491 Henry Street GMAP P*Shark
Curbed covered this massive Cobble Hill sale over the weekend. It’s a three-story Federal Era townhouse with 50 feet of frontage; you can read about the building history and its extreme makeover at this BOTD post. It’s been on the market for three years asking $7 million and listed as a HOTD twice. Deed recorded on 2/15/2013.
2. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $5,000,000
14 College Place GMAP P*Shark
A HOTD pick this fall. It was asking $5,200,000. The former garage got an ultra-modern reno as well as a a roof terrace and elevator. It’s also 25 feet wide. Deed recorded on 2/15/2013.
4. DUMBO $4,100,000
1 Main Street, #9B GMAP P*Shark
A 2,592-square-foot, four-bedroom condo. The unit was listed this summer for $4,400,000. As a Condo of the Day, we said “this ninth-floor four-bedroom is no slouch.” This unit was also listed for a few months last year at $4,000,000 but did not sell. Deed recorded on 2/11/2013.
Someone scrawled “No More Condos” on the construction fence up at 172-174 Montague Street, but that person’s wish will not be coming true. In fact, the new owners submitted plans for a 19-story, 66-unit build to the Department of Buildings this past summer. As Brooklyn Heights Blog noted awhile ago, the DoB ultimately nixed those plans. Since then, the developers have not filed any new building applications, although it looks like the design will come from Daniel Goldner Architects. (It’s worth mentioning that this site does not fall within the Brooklyn Heights Landmark District and is not subject to the 50 foot height limit.) The DoB did issue demo permits last month and by the looks of the site, demolition will happen soon. Something big is definitely in the works here. The two-story former Hallmark store sold for the hefty sum of $12 million this past summer. GMAP
The Department of Buildings approved a building application this month for construction work at the Brooklyn Heights bank building, 177 Montague Street. The building will be converted into thirteen condo units. The plans are for an interior demolition and removal of the mechanical and plumbing systems. In December the LPC also “approved with modifications” exterior changes that include building a one-story rear addition, removing air conditioning units, cleaning the exterior, replacing the skylights, installing a canopy and adding new insulated wood windows. The condo units are going in the rear annex of the building while the front will remain a Chase Bank.
Condos Planned for Landmarked Bank Building [Brownstoner] GMAP
1. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $1,987,587.50
20 Henry Street, #6B-S GMAP P*Shark
A three bed/two bath unit last asking $1,950,000. According to Streeteasy, there are only three units left at this new condo development. Deed recorded on 2/8/2013.
3. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $1,503,918.75
20 Henry Street, #3A-S GMAP P*Shark
Quite a few units at 20 Henry Street hit public records last week. This particular unit is a 1,536-square-foot three bed/two bath. It was asking $1,475,000. Deed recorded on 2/4/2013.
This new co-op listing at the Mansion House at 145 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights should have lots of takers. The one-bedroom pad weighs in at a large 900 square feet and combines prewar charm with an updated kitchen. As a bonus, the apartment has views of the ultra-charming carriage houses of College Place. Monthly maintenance is $1,204 and the asking price is $695,000. We bet it’ll go at or close to ask. You?
145 Hicks Street, #B24 [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark