01/29/15 4:30pm

brooklyn bridge park sledders dumbo 12015

Renewed Push for Unsafe Buildings Bill to Discourage Landlord Sabotage [Capital NY]
A Visit to Bushwick’s Cemetery of the Evergreens [Newtown Pentacle]
Former Paul Robeson Theatre Space for Lease in Fort Greene [DNA]
Williamsburg’s 340 Wythe Avenue Sells for $7.5 Million [NYO]
Pricey Condos Replace 150-Year-Old Carroll Gardens House That Crumbled [Curbed]
Crown Heights’ Youth Farm Accepting Applications [Edible BK]
Inside the Cheese Caves Beneath the Streets of Crown Heights [Edible BK]
Trying the New Cocktails and Seafood at the Church Café Wine Bar [Kensington BK]
Massive L Train Shutdown Between Manhattan and Brooklyn Coming in Spring [Brokelyn]
We Knew It! Bushwick IS the Center of the World (Actually of NYC) [Bushwick Daily]
Coney Island 2015: Subway Cafe, Sushi Lounge, IHOP, Checkers, Johnny Rockets [ATZ]

01/29/15 4:00pm

third street development site next to gowanus batcave 52014

Arts Gowanus has issued an open call for artists to create public art on either side of the Carroll Street Bridge, in front of Whole Foods, and other public sites around the neighborhood, as Brokelyn was the first to note. Projects should highlight “the history, the Canal, the culture of creativity and the diversity of the community,” according to the organization.

A panel made up of reps from the Parks Department, Department of Transportation and local arts nonprofits will select three to five works to display throughout Gowanus. Projects can be in any medium and must follow the Parks Department guidelines for public art. A $35,000 grant connected to Brad Lander’s “Bridging Gowanus” program will fund the installations.

The deadline for proposals is March 2, 2015, and all artwork must be ready for installation by June 30, 2015. Work will be on display outdoors for up to 11 months. Anyone who’d like to participate is encouraged to attend a community meeting on Monday, February 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Old Stone House, located at 336 3rd Street. At the meeting, local leaders and community members will discuss what makes Gowanus unique and what they’re looking for from artists. 

01/29/15 3:00pm

144 Covert St. CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former convent, now part of Pilgrim Baptist Church complex
Address: 144 Covert Street
Cross Streets: Evergreen and Central Avenues
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: probably 1890s, early 20th century
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival with Arts and Crafts details
Architect: probably Schickel & Ditmars
Other Buildings by Architect: German Catholic churches, convents and schools throughout Brooklyn and NYC. Also much of Lenox Hill Hospital’s original buildings.
Landmarked: No

The story: Germans began immigrating to the United States after 1848, when civil war among the German city-states caused thousands to flee their homeland. They settled in many different parts of the United States, and a great many came to Manhattan and to Brooklyn. A very large and increasingly successful community settled in the Eastern District, which included Bushwick, parts of Williamsburg and eastern Bedford.

Many of the new Brooklynites were Lutheran, and established many Lutheran churches, but equally large amounts were Catholic. They petitioned the Irish Catholic Church hierarchy to establish parishes in their communities, and the first Bishop of Brooklyn, John McLaughlin, was more than happy to do so. With large Irish, German and Polish communities springing up in Brooklyn in the mid-19th century and later, Catholics were the fastest growing denomination in the city. (more…)

01/29/15 2:00pm

167 rogers avenue manhattanville coffee crown heights 12015

Just as Crown Heights dug itself out of the snowstorm, an outpost of the Harlem-based Manhattanville Coffee opened its doors Wednesday at 167 Rogers Avenue, on the corner of St. Johns Place. It is serving sandwiches, pastries and parfaits, in addition to coffee and tea. In the next few weeks, salads and soups will be added to the menu. The hours are 6:30 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 8 pm during the week. Click through to see the interior. GMAP


01/29/15 1:30pm

490 macdonough street bed stuy 12015

The two-family brownstone at 490 MacDonough Street is one of the nicest homes we’ve seen for sale east of Malcolm X in a while. Located on a fine-looking block between Malcolm X and Patchen, close to Stuy Heights shops and restaurants, this house has all the 1890s goodies: stained glass windows, elaborate parquet floors, mantels, a fanciful screen in the entry, an attractive passthrough with three-part mirror, shutters, and elaborate foliate details on the facade. (Click through to the listing site for all the photos.)

There are no pictures of the kitchens and baths, though the listing says the latter have been updated. A few quibbles: Some of the flooring on the garden floor is new, the original front door has been replaced, and most or all of the wood work has been painted, as has the facade. But it’s all there, and we’re sure it will be beautiful when restored.

The house last sold for $380,000 in 2011. Do you think they’ll get their new ask of $1,495,000?

490 MacDonough Street [Corley Realty Group] GMAP

01/29/15 1:00pm


Sponsored By Brooklyn Bridge Realty.

We have been serving this historic community for almost 30 years. We are your neighborhood resource... for everything!

Created By BlankSlate

A spacious condo in the heart of brownstone Brooklyn, Unit #3C at 52 Dean Street offers two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, two outdoor spaces, and 1,300 square feet. There’s a lovely open kitchen and living room with high ceilings and wood floors throughout. The open layout allows enough space for a dining room set, children’s play area, or office.

Large glass doors in the living room lead to a private terrace. The kitchen includes an island with a breakfast bar, granite countertops, and oak cabinetry. The master bedroom is fully outfitted with a private balcony and en-suite bathroom with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. The condo comes with a washer/dryer unit, as well as individual storage in the basement.

The asking price of $1,545,000 accounts for the condo’s location. Straddling the border of Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, the building is situated a block away from the restaurants, bars, and shopping of Court and Smith streets and a few blocks away from Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn… Close to all yet tucked away on a quieter side street — making it both an attractive and convenient location to live.

52 Dean Street, #3C [Brooklyn Bridge Realty] GMAP

01/29/15 12:15pm

1239 president street crown heights 12015

This teens two-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights has a nice layout and plenty of attractive original details. The two-family house at 1239 President Street was a HOTD in October, and sold for $999,000 last month (the ask was $1,200,000).

We spot coffered ceilings, an original mantel, wainscoting, hardwood floors and a claw foot tub. The kitchen is a little dated, but it’s got everything you’ll need. There’s a pretty large shared backyard too. But the rent seems high unless you plan to use the front living room as a third bedroom. What do you think of it for $2,950 a month?

1239 President Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP

01/29/15 11:30am

145 west street demo greenpoint 12015

Demolition had just started at the former Huxley Envelope Factory when we checked in a few weeks ago, but now the big one-story building at 145-155 West Street in Greenpoint is completely gone. Last summer, Mack Real Estate and Palin Enterprises resurrected long-stalled plans to build a 39-story tower on the site next to the India Street Pier. Ismael Levya will design the 800,000-square-foot high-rise, which will include more than 600 apartments and 23,000 square feet of retail, as previously reported. Twenty percent of the apartments, or roughly 120 units, will be affordable. The developers have also promised to build a 22,000-square-foot waterfront park and playground between India and Huron Streets.

Demolition Begins Next to India Street Pier [Brownstoner]

01/29/15 10:45am

Bootlegger, bmshistory8.wikispaces.com 1In 1920, a man named F. Donald Costa and his partner Joseph Brandino established a pharmaceutical company called the Adelphi Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company. Their main product was a miraculous solution called “Dandrafuge,” which could stop dandruff in its tracks and grow hair on a rock. The company also made other tonics and cosmetic products.

Costa and Brandino were establishing their company at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, that mythical time of ragtime, flappers and Prohibition. After January 1, 1920, thanks to the 18th Amendment, all forms of alcohol were now illegal. Because many tonics and medicines required some form of alcohol in their recipes or production, manufacturers had to obtain a permit from the government that allowed them to legally purchase alcohol. Adelphi had a permit that allowed them to buy 5,000 gallons of alcohol a month. They bought and used every drop.

Bottles of Dandrafuge were rolling off the assembly lines, and were selling like hotcakes, but not to those with follicle issues. Dandrafuge was incredibly popular to bootleggers. They bought up entire shipments, distilled the alcohol out of it, and made bootleg liquor and beer. This was not an unexpected by product of manufacturing, Costa and Brandino knew exactly what they were doing. (more…)


The mixed-use building at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension has topped out, reaching its full height of 12 stories, although we don’t see the bulkhead for the mechanicals on the roof (depicted in the rendering) yet. Exterior cladding and windows have gone up in places, and the side that faces Tillary, above, is looking quite finished. The inside space, on the bottom floor at least, is still totally raw, though.

When we stopped by last weekend, workers were busy with a crane at the back of the building, on Duffield Street, presumably at work on the facade. The rendering posted on the construction fence said the project was supposed to wrap winter 2014.

Although plans have been in the works for the site since 2005, construction only started in 2013, following a change of owner and architect. It seems the architect has changed yet again, in fact: Permits show that Daniel Berstein of Kutnicki Berstein Architects is currently the architect of record, replacing Gene Kaufman, who replaced Ismael Leyva. Read Property Group is the developer, as previously reported.

When it’s done, the building will house 69 apartments, 171 hotel rooms, and ground-floor retail.

Click through to see a (previously published) rendering and lots more construction-site photos.

85 Flatbush Avenue Extension Coverage [Brownstoner]  GMAP


217 livingston street aka 11 hoyt street rendering

Macy’s has been working on a plan to redevelop its Downtown Brooklyn properties since last summer, and YIMBY has unearthed renderings for one proposal. Apparently Brookfield is one of the contenders, and the developer brought on architects Beyer Blinder Belle to design its plans for a parking garage at 11 Hoyt Street and a big Art Deco building at 450-458 Fulton Street (not the flagship Macy’s, which is at 422 Fulton).

Macy’s wants any developer to build a new 300,000-square-foot store or rehabilitate the old flagship at 422 Fulton plus create a small Bloomingdale’s Outlet on Fulton. Under Brookfield’s plan, the garage would become a huge, glassy structure with a Macy’s on the ground floor, a tower of apartments above, and an address at 217 Livingston Street. However, a local family who ran the Young World retail stores still owns part of the Hoyt Street garage, complicating plans for sale or development.

Meanwhile, the landmarked A.I. Namm & Son Department Store would get a facelift, and Macy’s would expand into its base at 450-458 Fulton Street. As far as we know, the building was not mentioned in the original RFP, but it is attached to the 11 Hoyt Street garage. The ground floor is currently a Modell’s.

Presumably, all this moving around would pave the way to sell or redevelop the Macy’s flagship at 422 Fulton into a mixed-use building. (That one is not landmarked, by the way.)

Click through to see the rendering for the old A.I. Namm store building. What do you think of the designs?

First Look: Potential Macy’s Redevelopment at 450-458 Fulton Street, in Downtown Brooklyn [NYY]
Macy’s Shopping Around Brooklyn Properties, Requests Proposals [Brownstoner]
Renderings by Beyer Blinder Belle