Prospect Heights

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Topic: Prospect Heights

Flooring February 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Prospect Heights

After renting in Park Slope for years, we’re looking to buy a 2-BR but PS is out of our budget. Prospect Heights seems like a natural move for us, but I’m stuck on a few things at the moment. Where is “prime” Prospect Heights?  I imagine that the blocks between Flatbush and Vanderbilt have the closest proximity to transit, Park Slope and Prospect Park.  They also seem like the nicest blocks visually, but there isn’t much inventory in that part of the area. Most of the new development in PH seems to be focused on the north ends of Washington and Vanderbilt, and that’s where the “trendy” food and dining is as well.  What about the SE end of Prosepect Heights near the Museum?  We’ve seen listings near Lincoln and Washington, and love the proximity to the Museum, the Botanic Gardens, GAP isn’t too far, but Park Slope is a lot further than the area closer to Flatbush.  This end of the neighborhood also seems like it “stuck” in transitional gentrification. Not much progress, nor many new signs of life.  Any thoughts or impressions on the area, either generaly or based on specific experiences.  We’d be looking to spend around 550 in that area. 

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I’ve lived between flatbush and vanderbilt and now live closer to Washington. I can’t say I like one more than the other, but I can say both are great. The area you’re describing is fairly small anyway. Living near flatbush is great for transportation but traffic spillover onto the side streets and noise have started to become an issue. Not awful but a nuisance some of the time. There is definitely still a slight discount on real estate near washington. To say that there isn’t activity isn’t accurate though. The Al Di La folks have opened up 2 places and the Milk Bar folks another. There are also established businesses that have anchored the neighborhood well (The Islands, Toms, the hardware store). It is quieter on the side streets closer to between vanderbilt and washington. If you need the Q or B it is a bit further but completely manageable. I don’t really find a need to be in Park Slope too often but if I do go it never feels far. Cut through GAP and you are on Union Street. It has become a much more pleasant experience since they completed all of the recent work.

Thanks, Mousta!  Our target area is closer to Flatbush because I’d prefer the B/Q for work (the walk to 7th and Flatbush is a bit too long from the south end of Washintgon by the Museum/The Islands. From a pricing standpoint though, I think we’ll wind up closer to the The Islands.  That’s the part of the area I’m not too familiar with.  Our biggest issue right now is that inventory is so low that there isn’t much to look at!

I hate to say this but $550k isn’t much of a budget for Prospect Heights. Maybe OK for a coop but not really do-able for a condo. Not trying to be obnoxious. I live and own in the neighborhood and had been hoping to buy an investment property here, so I’m limited to condos. Have seen nothing in this price range in the last 8 months. One approach is to my a handful of buildings you like and follow them for vacancies. Plaza St East has some good buildings, also Park Pl btw Flatbush and Carlton and Sterling Pl btw same. All prime locations.

I agree with Mousta’s observations on the whole. The eastern side of the nabe is developing fast, lots of great restaurants and bars on Washington Ave opening. But like I said those new condos are pricey and I’ve been underwhelmed by the construction standards. So, the western parts of the nabe may be considered more prime, but there’s nowhere in the area offering bargains. Even the NE areas near Atlantic Ave and the M1 light industrial area are expensive! Sorry I can’t be more optimistic. OTOH, the neighborhood has arrived so values will only increase, assuming everything else is equal.

Have you checked out this place? Neighbors in my building just put it on the market last week. Sterling near Butler…easy walk to the 2/3 or B/Q.  Asking $585k, but maint. is relatively low ($647).

Thanks, Grandarmyred.  New construction isn’t really our thing – we looked at some of the projects in area (buldings on St. Marks, Hello Living, etc.) and while the neighborhood has definitely “arrived,” the PPSF on some of the new builds doesn’t leave enough room for a decent return over 10 years vs. the potential an outdated pre-ward condo (rare) or co-op in the area might have.  We’d like to buy something a bit dated and put a fair amount of sweat equity into modernizing it.  There are only so many lots to build on, and eventually older buildings will be in high demand as well.  We’ve seen listings below our budget that would work — you can at least get a large 1BR for that, if not a 1BR + den (likely posted as a 2br).  We just need a place for the kid until we cash out + upgrade.

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