Now here is a curious sight: The owner of this building at 843-845 Dekalb is converting it from a four-family with two commercial units to a 10-family, adding two stories, and changing the position of all the windows on the front. Once the original facade is covered over with stucco, as per the permits, all trace of the old windows will be gone. GMAP
Landlords in Coney Island, Red Hook and Dumbo are helping out their Sandy-ravaged commercial tenants with rent and other aid, DNAinfo reported. Thor Equities has lowered rents by as much as 40 percent on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, benefitting Brooklyn Rock and Wampum, among others. Red Hook landlord Gregory O’Connell, whose own business moved back into its Red Hook HQ only last week, has offered low-interest loans and rent abatements to tenants. Two Trees Management in Dumbo has also been letting tenants pay rent later and talking to insurance companies on their behalf, as well as helping out with property repairs.
Brooklyn Waterfront’s Landlords Forgo Rent to Keep Sandy-Ravaged Tenants [TRD]
Photo by Lock
The brick rowhouse at 44 Monroe Street that was asking $1,650,000 — and whose interior was made over by its architect owner with an urban rustic vibe – has entered contract, as a commenter in the Forum pointed out yesterday. You can still see the photos on Streeteasy. When it was a House of the Day back in July, we said, ”Overall, looks like a nice effort. The bigger question in our minds is whether a three-story house (and one with relatively modest proportions, at that) in this location can command a price of $1,650,000 but we’ve learned our lesson about betting against the Minsk!” Did they get their ask? Well, it’s not so simple. We don’t know because, strangely, the sale has not yet hit public records, although the contract was signed in January, according to Streeteasy. Ominously, right about the same time, a lis pendens was filed against the property by the mortgage holder, although the amount is not listed in PropertyShark. (The mortgage was only $150,000.) Could title problems be holding up a sale? In the meantime, prices have really taken off in this corner of Bed Stuy. What do you think the property is worth now?
DNAinfo has a few more details on the story we broke yesterday about the huge development slated for the corner of 4th Avenue and 11th Street. Unsurprisingly, it will be a residential high rise, according to one of the homeowners whose house is one of five, above, slated to be demolished to make way for the build. But JBS Project Management, which is managing the project, had no comment. Interestingly, it seems the developer picked up the large corner lot first, then approached each homeowner to sell. DNAinfo profiles one holdout, 90-year-old Lillian Striano, who initially didn’t want to leave her home of 43 years, until her son convinced her she wouldn’t want to live next door to all the construction noise and dirt. As we reported yesterday, most of the homeowners got just under a million for each of their properties, except for 239 11th Street, which cost the developers $2,500,000. Striano, whose sale has not yet hit public records, said she can’t afford to buy another property in the area and is moving to Staten Island.
90-Year-Old Widow Last to Move out at 4th Avenue Development Site [DNAinfo]
Two Brooklyn schools are holding silent auction fundraisers this week: the Arts & Letters 2013 Speakeasy Gala and Auction, scheduled for tomorrow, and the P.S. 84 Second Annual Gala Benefit Auction, scheduled for Sunday. Arts & Letters is hosting an evening with live music and an open bar, and tons of deals on local camps, classes, meals, and backstage passes are up for bid. Bidding lasts through today at midnight. And on Sunday, the P.S. 84 PTA will host an evening with a live DJ, home-cooked food, cash bar, and a silent auction featuring local and city-wide businesses, including a night at the Wythe Hotel, dinner at Peter Luger, Yankee tickets, and a Catskills weekend getaway. Bid here!
The Landmarks Preservation Commission went through a very full agenda Tuesday, voting to calendar three historic Brooklyn sites. The first is the Henry and Susan McDonald House at 128 Clinton Avenue, in Clinton Hill (pictured left). Landmarks says that it’s an “unusually well-preserved and rare free-standing Italianate frame house with Greek Revival style elements” built in 1853-54. It was built for Henry McDonald, a prosperous baker with a business in Manhattan. The second is the Long Island Business College at 143 South 8th Street, in South Williamsburg (pictured right). It’s currently a co-op building, formerly a business college. The Romanesque Revival-style building was constructed in 1890-92 with red brick, brownstone details, and a slate roof. The third is the Peter Huberty House at 1019 Bushwick Avenue (pictured center), a Building of the Day pick. The Colonial Revival mansion was built in 1900. LPC details the facade: “The Huberty House design is cubic in form and is crowned by a hipped roof with dormers. Laid in a Flemish bond, its red brick facades are accented with glazed brick headers, gray brick corner quoins, and stone and terra-cotta window trim. Its main entrance features an impressive Federal-style curved portico with Ionic columns, arched gray brick Gibbs surround, historic double-leaf doors, and stained-glass fanlight.” You can read the full writeup of all three historic structures after the jump. And regarding the vote of a clapboard restoration at 122 Pacific Street, the LPC approved. (more…)
Our kitchen doesn’t have an island — we just use a table — but we’ve noticed a lot of attractive new designs lately. The key seems to be detailing on the outward facing part and a thick top. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy — just a few vertical battens can change the look. After the jump, some more examples. If you click on a photo, you will be directed to the source. Please tell us what kind of kitchen island you prefer (or none?) and post your own photos and inspirations below. (more…)
The conversion at 392 Dean Street that we have been following is all done, an open house was held on Mother’s Day, and photographs of the interior are now available and posted on the listing. Even though the townhouse is basically a brand-new build on an old foundation, the exterior and interior details such as the doors, moldings, windows, and salvage fireplaces are historically appropriate for this mid-19th century dwelling and its neighbors. The kitchens and baths are more modern in style and, as noted before, have book-end matched walnut and lacquer cabinets, and Carrara marble tile. Or, as developer Seth Brown put it, the unit for sale for $1,995,000 is a “mix of new and old, with a traditional parlor and working fireplace in keeping with a 150-year-old house, but with a very modern kitchen, home automation, ultra-efficient mechanicals, etc.” We think the whole thing turned out very well. What’s your opinion?
We’ve been following the Congress Street townhouse project for some time, and now Curbed brings word that sales have started! The nine townhouses at 110-126 Congress Street are on the market with a new web site and a new name, The Townhouses of Cobble Hill. Prices start at $3.65 million for a three-bedroom, five-bath home and go up to $3.875 million for a five-bedroom, five-bathroom home. (The prices are about a million higher than originally predicted.) Approved by Landmarks, they are traditional yet modern. What do you think of the design?
In Cobble Hill, Yet Another Crop of New Brooklyn Townhouses [Curbed]
110-126 Congress Street [The Townhouses of Cobble Hill] GMAP
More Details on Cobble Hill Townhouse Project [Brownstoner] (more…)
If you’ve got Brooklyn property to sell, fantastic. It’s a seller’s market. People are clamoring for Brooklyn property. Your listing may even ignite a bidding war. You will probably be sitting on a lot of cash after you sell. But then what do you do? Hopefully you’ve got plans to move to, say, Kansas, because buying another place or even finding a rental in Brooklyn is going to be very, very, very difficult, according to DNAinfo. ”Right now is a horrible time to be a buyer or a renter,” said Catherine Witherwax, director of sales for Stribling’s first Brooklyn office. ”There’s very little on the market. We’re seeing unprecedented interest in Brooklyn and people staying in Brooklyn. And we’re seeing a large international component. The borough’s popularity goes beyond New York City and the metropolitan area.” Buyers will need perfect credit and enough funds to win a bidding war with all cash. The story gives an overview of the market in four neighborhoods with tips and deets on prices in each: Crown Heights, Bushwick, Bed Stuy, Dumbo. Crown Heights, for example, “is really starting to boom” with prices for renovated homes in the $1.2 to $1.5 million range. Rents are 10 to 30 percent cheaper than in Manhattan, with studios going for $1,200 to $1,500. Depressed yet? The article has some advice: If you’re priced out, try Queens.
Rent vs. Buy: Navigating Brooklyn’s Tight Real Estate Market [DNAinfo]
It looks like they’re putting the finishing touches on this nine-unit apartment building (technically three three-families) at 817-821 Dekalb near Throop. Here’s the permit for No. 821. We’re guessing by the balconies these might be intended for Hasidic families, but who knows. GMAP
A gas station at 445 Troutman Street in Bushwick will become an eating/drinking establishment. Wyckoff Heights reports that the space, pictured above, will be transformed into a “country-style” restaurant by the new musician owners. Photo by Wyckoff Heights. A shop called BKLYN Curated is open at 88 Franklin Street in Greenpoint. Bushwick Daily checks out Falansai, a French–Vietnamese restaurant that is now open on the corner of Porter Avenue and Harrison Place.
Brooklyn Based tests grilled cheese sandwiches at Glady’s, the new grilled cheese specialty restaurant on Franklin Avenue. And a Brooklynian commenter reports that Lula Bagels is opening on the corner of Nostrand and Lincoln. Lula will serve bagels, coffee, pastries, fresh bread, and paninis starting in June.
Long-in-the-works Italian restaurant Mezini should open in Park Slope in about a week. A cafe called Tip of the Tongue is opening in Prospect Lefferts Gardens next week; it’ll serve take-out food and coffee. 773 Lounge on Coney Island Avenue in Ditmas Park is opening a kitchen next week. And Prospect Heights Patch reports that the southern restaurant Elberta’s is expanding into the space next door.
The second issue of New York Magazine’s new stand-alone home design magazine, Design Hunting, is out this week and features no fewer than six properties in Brooklyn, including restaurateur-hotelier Andrew Tarlow’s 150-year-old house in Fort Greene. (The magazine hit newsstands Monday, and will be available online in a month.) Tarlow and his wife Kate Huling were attracted to the 1863 house because it had changed very little over the years; they bought it in 2007 and then embarked on what you might call a “makeunder.” They renovated the kitchen and second-floor bathroom, cleaned up the garden and added a fireplace for cooking outdoors, and relined a chimney. Most of the furniture and appliances are second-hand, gifts, or built by Tarlow, whose paintings also line the walls (he was an artist before founding his culinary-hotel empire). The parlor ceiling is a darker color — olive green — than the walls, and the centerpiece is a flaky bit they decided to make a focal point after their first paint job started to peel. The kitchen is quasi-unfitted, with a restaurant stove for cooking; an eagle eye may perceive that the floors slope but the appliances and counters are level. There is no kitchen island, and no television. The couple’s five children “read together, play and draw.” Sounds like our kind of thing. (more…)
The Bed Stuy house with an unusual renovation and price tag to match that we featured as a House of the Day in December sold in April for $1,050,000. Thanks to BK to the Fullest for alerting us to the sale. Back when it was HOTD, we said we’d be surprised if it went for more than $850,000. (The ask was $1,150,000). How wrong we were! Also, is it just us, or does the stair and underside of the loft look kind of like the Starship Enterprise cruising through space?
Closings of Note: Short Supply in the West, Value in the East [BK to the Fullest]
House of the Day: 442 Hancock Street [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark
Have any hipsters been sighted on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville? No. But it won’t be long, according to the New York Observer. The evidence: “East Bushwick” is “again heating up,” and during the last boom, developers made it out as far as the Halsey Street L train stop. Plus, there was that DNAinfo story Friday about renters searching for more space and lower rents along the Crown Heights-Brownsville border. (That’s Pitkin Avenue above, which in the 1950s was one of Brooklyn’s biggest shopping districts, and the recently revamped Pitkin Theater, now Brownsville Ascend Charter School.) FWIW, our two cents: We live one stop away from Brownsville’s Broadway Junction, and plenty of “hipsters” or whatever you want to call them have moved here in the last year or so. So, yeah.
Closing in on Brownsville: Brooklyn Gentrification Nears the Final Frontier [Observer]
Work is moving along at the third Northside Piers building at 1 North 4th Place in Williamsburg, BuzzBuzzHome reported. The new build will rise 41 stories with 509 units, according to permits approved last week. The developer is Douglaston Development (they also did the Edge); Fxfowle Architects designed it. The building will be a rental, according to the story. Click through to the jump to see the rendering of what the finished building will look like. (more…)
A team of designers wants to create a floating pool in the East River off Dumbo right in front of the Empire Stores complex, DNAinfo reported. The pool would have its own filtration system that would make river water safe to swim in. The group needs to raise half a million dollars to create a life-size mockup of one part of the pool to test. They’ve already raised more than $40,000 on Kickstarter, partnered with an engineering firm, and have the support of various governmental agencies and waterfront groups, according to the story. The cross-shaped pool would have a sports pool, lap pool, lounge pool, and kiddie pool in each arm. If funding comes through, construction could start as soon as August 2014.
Designers Get Closer to Goal of Constructing Floating Pool in East River [DNAinfo]
Rendering via DNAinfo
What we are reading this week about decorating and renovating old houses:
We were thrilled to see The Wooden House Project start up again in March after a hiatus of about a year and a half. The blog focuses on the history and restoration of frame house facades in Brooklyn. Founder Elizabeth Finkelstein lives in South Slope, land of wood frame houses, and is a preservation consultant. Two contributors both work at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Above, two gorgeous, partially restored wood frame houses at 69 and 71 Dean Street in Boerum Hill. We guess the side of No. 69 still needs a little work. The door frames look about 1840s-ish to us. Does anyone know if the unpainted wood fronts and six-over-six windows are historically accurate? (more…)
Planned upgrades to a Gowanus Canal sewage pumping station are still on track, despite damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, The New York Times reported. Mayor Bloomberg announced changes to the project at a press conference yesterday. The pumping station redirects sewage from the Gowanus Canal into a sewage treatment center; it was out for about 33 hours after the hurricane cut power to the station, during which time about 13 million gallons of raw sewage were released into the canal. The City was already well into a three-year project to upgrade the station to decrease the amount of sewage going into the canal, partly by increasing the amount of clean water it contains, and has now amended the project to prevent the discharge of raw sewage into the canal in future storms by raising the elevation of mechanical equipment above the flood area, Bloomberg said. It is also building a wall and floodgates. While the cost of the project has increased, the whole thing is still on track to finish up this year.
Upgrades on Schedule for Gowanus Pumping Station Despite Hurricane [NY Times]