03/31/15 8:30am


BP Adams Looking for “10,000 Concerned Brooklynites” [Eagle]
Pregnant Cat With Bullet Wound Rescued by Brave Williamsburg Councilman [Gothamist]
Morgan Freeman Flees “Hipster Brooklyn” in New Movie [Gothamist]
Younger Star Sutton Foster Says Brooklyn’s Where the Cool Kids Hang [Gothamist]
Design Vidal’s Peter Hassler Breathes New Life Into an Historic Bed Stuy Brownstone [6sqft]
Change of Windows for Townhouses Coming to 105-127 King Street, in Red Hook [NYY]
“Safety Chic” Trunk Show in Fort Greene Features Funky Bike Helmets and Reflective Fashion [DNA]
De Blasio’s Affordable Housing Plan Comes Under Fire at Hearing [DNA]

A wood frame Italianate at 18 Harman Street in Bushwick.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

03/30/15 4:30pm

greenpoint deli franklin street 32015

Bushwick Resident Writes a Letter to Obama About Gentrification [Bushwick Daily]
Starbucks Coming to Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill [Myrtle Avenue]
“Laid Back” Farm Share Coming to Crown Heights Beer Hall This Summer [DNA]
De Blasio’s Affordable Housing Plan Comes Under Fire at Hearing [DNA]
Tonight: Greenfield, Treyger and FDNY Sponsor Fire Safety Seminar [Sheepshead Bites]
Conversions: For $8 Million, Live in Cobble Hill’s “Amity Street Horror” [Curbed]
Volunteers and Vendors Wanted for Greenwoodstock [South Slope News]
Red Hook Tenants Say Building Unsafe for Their New Kids [BK Paper]
Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” Gets Brooklyn Right and Women Wrong [BK Based]

03/30/15 4:00pm

47 mcdonald avenue brooklyn historical society

The Brooklyn Historical Society is hosting a seminar next month on how to unearth the history of any home or block in Brooklyn, using archival documents and databases. Historical Society Librarian Elizabeth Call will show house nuts how to conduct research in the organization’s library.

Attendees will pore over historic maps, archival images and ancient public records. “If These Walls Could Talk” will take place on Sunday, April 12 from 2 to 4 pm at 128 Pierrepont Street. Tickets cost $50.

The photo above shows an aging wood frame that once stood at 47 McDonald Avenue, across from Green-Wood Cemetery in Windsor Terrace. It was eventually torn down and replaced by a condo development.

Photo via Brooklyn Historical Society

03/30/15 3:00pm

499 Bedford Ave. Cross Hs, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Marvin Cross house, now apartments
Address: 499 Bedford Avenue
Cross Streets: Clymer and Taylor streets
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Year Built: 1870s, most likely
Architectural Style: Second Empire
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: The stretch of Bedford Avenue between Division Street and Flushing Avenue was Williamsburg’s best residential street, beginning at the end of the 1870s. The blocks between Division and Keap Streets were especially fine and were the Gold Coast of the neighborhood. Mansions sprang up there until the end of the 19th century, built by the neighborhood’s merchant princes.

Towards the end of the century, when the fashionable areas of town moved elsewhere, some of these large houses became clubhouses for the wealthy and politically connected men of Williamsburg and the Eastern District. Today’s house mirrored that trend, but in reverse. (more…)

03/30/15 2:00pm


Looking to make an offer. Question about oil heat

My wife and I are looking to make an offer on a two-family. The building currently uses an oil heating system. Our broker has asked the seller for records for oil purchases so we can get an idea of the cost of heating, but we haven’t been updated.

I’ve done a lot of digging around these forums, and have seen some posts with people on the high side saying their costs of oil heating was in the $1K/month range for a similar home, so it could be a significant part of the financial calculations.

The seller has asked for a best-and-final offer we are generally inclined to make one. However, the unknown of the oil heating question has us a bit concerned. Is it unreasonable for us to push harder to get this number before making an offer? Or would you guys recommend any other strategy for handling this unknown? (more…)

03/30/15 1:00pm

194 macdonough street 1

When 194 MacDonough Street was built, it was one of the fanciest row houses in Stuyvesant Heights. Now it looks like it still has most of those original details, at least on the parlor floor, but will take a lot of work to restore.

Much of the parlor floor seems to be covered in paneling, which probably means extensive plaster restoration will be needed, going by the photos. Still, the staircase, wood work, and wood mantels with Minton-style tiles are all extraordinary.

An LLC bought it for $760,000 from an estate in December. Now the new ask is $1,775,000. Think they will get it?

(By the way, the previous owner shared a name with the judge who owned the Slave Theater, but it is not the same man.)

194 MacDonough Street [Elliot Nicks] GMAP


03/30/15 12:00pm

505 throop avenue 1

If you’re on the hunt for a furnished apartment in Bed Stuy, this four-bedroom, 2.5-bath pad is newly renovated with all the bells and whistles you could want. There’s a rolling granite kitchen island, stainless steel dishwasher, wine rack and a stove with a built-in griddle.

The IKEA furniture might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but already assembled beds and desks in every room might be convenient for a group of roommates. It also has central A/C and laundry in the basement. What’s your opinion of it for $3,995 a month?

505 Throop Avenue, #1 [Citi Habitats] GMAP

03/30/15 11:00am


A highly anticipated installation at the Flatbush Trees will happen May 18 through May 22, artist Dave Eppley told Community Board 9 last week. Eppley has been working for the last six months with students at a nearby school to design flower bouquets made out of sign vinyl that will be applied to the dilapidated 1970s-era tree sculptures, located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard, right across from Prospect Park.

Apparently made of concrete and some other weather-impervious material, the tree-shaped sculptures also serve as a street signs and mark a park entrance.

A sign maker by trade as well as an installation artist, Eppley said he does not expect the decorations to last more than a few years, and that is intentional. “I hope another artist will adopt [the Trees] as their own in a year or two,” and do something else with them, he said.

03/30/15 10:00am

300 livingston street 33 bond street downtown brooklyn 32015

The block-long parking lot with shops at 300 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn has been completely demolished. As readers may recall, developer TF Cornerstone is planning a 25-story apartment building here.

Several chains in the building — including IHOP, Subway and Papa Johns — shut their doors last summer before scaffolding went up around the garage in the fall. (IHOP plans to reopen across the street at 276 Livingston.) (more…)

626 flatbush avenue rendering

The partially built 23-story tower at 626 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens has just started taking applications for affordable rentals, according to developer Hudson Companies. Rents for the 51 subsidized units start at $565 for a studio, $607 for a one-bedroom, $736 for two bedrooms and $843 for three bedrooms.

And income requirements range from $19,371 for a single person and go as high as $50,100 for a family of six. Half of the affordable apartments will be reserved for current residents of Community Board 9. (The area covers southern Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Wingate and part of North Flatbush.) (more…)

03/30/15 9:00am


The long-empty and boarded-up apartment house at 889 Bushwick Avenue — it was built in 1919 and for years has sported a spray-painted “roof off” warning to city workers – is being repaired. When we stopped by Saturday, it looked from the sidewalk as though the interior had been completely gutted.

A permit says the scope of work is “removal and replacement of damaged floor joists, roof joists, and structural stabilization.” It had 24 apartments in the past, and will have 24 apartments again when the work is done.

The owner is David Cohen of Bushwick Realty Holding, which purchased the building and its neighbor at 871 Bushwick Avenue, in April 2014 for $15,000,000. That building, formerly the Menorah Home for Aged and Infirm, is being converted to a “nonprofit/philanthropic” with “sleeping accommodations” for 113 people, according to the alteration permit.

In fact, as far as we can tell, Bushwick Realty Holding purchased the entire block. So more development could be in store for parts of it now used as parking.

The red and white brick building, vaguely neo-Classical, at 889 Bushwick Avenue was designed by architect Louis Berger & Co., according to the Bushwick Wiki. It is part of the proposed Bushwick Avenue Historic District. Click through for more photos.