03/26/15 9:00am


Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan won’t bring affordable units to low-income areas but it will destroy the character of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, said housing experts — including real estate execs — in a Wall Street Journal article yesterday. Here are the deets:

*In low-income areas such as East New York, no one is building market-rate housing now and no one will build market-rate housing in the future, even if the mayor succeeds with his plan to upzone the area to allow bigger and taller buildings, because the math just doesn’t pencil out.

*Meanwhile, the mayor’s plan would work beautifully in higher-income areas such as Park Slope and Williamsburg — except that Bloomberg-mandated “contextual zoning” height caps make it impossible.

Mayor de Blasio is pushing to wipe out those hard-won height caps with a “text amendment” to the building zoning code (as we mentioned in yesterday’s article about the zoning controversy in Prospect Lefferts Gardens). If he succeeds, new buildings and additions 15 to 30 percent higher than what is allowed now will quickly sprout throughout Brooklyn’s most expensive and tony areas and beyond, from Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens — anywhere land is expensive and prices and rents support luxury development. (more…)

03/26/15 8:30am


Greenpoint Is a Borough Hot Spot [NY Post]
Ideas Aired at First Brooklyn Heights Library Workshop [Eagle]
Remembering the Wild Times at Brooklyn’s DIY Venues [Slate]
Venerable PLG Neighborhood Association Picks New Local Leaders [Q Parkside]
A Round-up of Some Two Dozen Mostly Market-Rate Projects in PLG Right Now [Q Parkside]
Permits Filed: 1052 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick [NYY]
55-Unit Williamsburg Affordable Building Rents May Start at $640 a Month [DNA]
Bed Stuy Residents Catalog “Hideous” Buildings in Plea for Better Design [DNA]

A snow-covered bush in Bed Stuy.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Steve Sherman

03/25/15 4:30pm

citistorage warehouse williamsburg 32015

Bushwick Warehouse and Music Mecca Sells for $26 Million [TRD]
312 Leonard Street Gets Highest Price East of BQE [CO]
Former Starlite Lounge at Bergen and Nostrand up for Sale [BK Fullest]
Greenpoint Parking Lot for Sale as Development Site [Eagle]
Activists Plead: Don’t Turn Sunset Park Into Williamsburg [Eagle]
March Explosion: 11 New Restaurants Opened This Month in Bushwick [Bushwick Daily]
Neighbors Gather at Bar Chord to Raise Money for Equality For Flatbush [DPC]
City Appoints New General Manager for NYCHA [AP]
Share Your Thoughts on the B67 and B69 Buses [South Slope News]
Sneak Peek at Smorgasburg’s Newest Vendors, Debuting Next Week [B+B]
“Cards Against Brooklyn” Is Gonna Disrupt Your Next Radegast Hall Pregame [Gothamist]
Lessons Brooklyn Taught Me: A Transplant’s Love Letter [Brokelyn]
The Dirty, Jerky, Foul, Snail-Like “L” (1892) [Brownstone Detectives]

03/25/15 4:00pm

art along the waterfront conference

Artists, developers, gallery owners and community leaders will gather at Brooklyn Borough Hall Friday morning for a conference on creating and preserving art along the Brooklyn waterfront. The event, “Spaces and Places,” will explore the history of art in the borough. Artists and gallery owners will discuss how art has been made, shown and sold along the Brooklyn waterfront and the issues facing those who make and display art there.

Speakers include Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs; Deborah Schwartz, president of the Brooklyn Historical Society; Borough President Eric Adams; Anita Durst, artistic director of chashama; Kathleen Gilrain, executive director of Smack Mellon; Lisa Kim of Two Trees; and Greg O’Connell Jr. of the O’Connell Organization.

See the full list of speakers here. The Brooklyn Historical Society and CUNY’s Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center are organizing the free event, which you can register for through Eventbrite.

03/25/15 3:00pm

135-137 Jefferson Ave, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former garages, now church
Address: 135-137 Jefferson Avenue
Cross Streets: Bedford and Nostrand avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: Late 1890s
Architectural Style: Transitional Romanesque – Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: We build nice storage facilities for the things we treasure. From Egyptian tombs to banks, to massive storage facilities with climate control and private viewing booths, our prize possessions can be as pampered as our purses allow. Wealthy Victorians had fabulously luxurious stables built for their prize horses and carriages.

This block has always been a mixture of service and residential buildings, and took a long time to develop. Over the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, row houses replaced wood framed stables and homes. Many of them were replaced by later service buildings and tenements. Some of the land just remained empty.

The map of this block from 1880 shows no buildings on this site. Nothing was here on maps dating from 1886 or 1888, either. It wasn’t until the map of 1904 that a building was placed here, and the rest of the lots going east were filled in. (more…)

03/25/15 2:00pm


Chase is opening a branch at 276 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, we noticed when we passed by a few weeks ago. It’s the same building where the International House of Pancakes is reopening, although it’s on a different corner.

We’re not sure what the exact address will be, since Chase doesn’t list the branch yet on its map, but it sits on the corner of Fulton and Bond, right across from the now closed-for-construction City Point mall. GMAP

03/25/15 1:31pm


Sponsored By MySpaceNYC.

212 N. 4th Street is a new 25-unit luxury residence in Williamsburg. 1-, 2- and 4-bedroom apartments will be available for rental starting May 1.

Created By BlankSlate

If you’ve been following the story on Brownstoner about the industrial-style brick apartment building going up on Metropolitan in Williamsburg, you will be interested to know that it’s nearing completion. MySpace NYC, the boutique firm that has handled other area projects such as 271 Metropolitan and 227 Grand, is the exclusive listing agent.

The building is called 212 N. 4th Street, and it will have 25 apartments available for rent beginning on April 15.

Situated at Metropolitan and Roebling, 212 N. 4th Street is steps away from everything Williamsburg has to offer. Bedford Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, is a block and a half to the west. The bars, shops, and restaurants of Grand Street are two blocks south. A block and a half east on Metropolitan, the cluster of restaurants and bars includes such Billyburg favorites as Fette Sau, Spuyten Duyvil, and Momofuku Milk Bar.

New residents to the area should plan on setting aside a budget for all the eating out they’ll be doing. (more…)

03/25/15 1:30pm

1056 president street 1

Here’s an early-20th-century one-family close to the park in Crown Heights south with a lot of charming period details.

There are beams, a working fireplace with an original mantel, herringbone floors, charming moldings, a globe light on the newel post — the works. We’re guessing it will need some skim coating in a bedroom and work in the main bathroom, at least, but the bones are good.

We like the location two blocks from the park and not far from shops and restaurants on Franklin on the other side of Eastern Parkway. But just be aware, it’s next to a church and close to one of the two Crown Heights armories at 1555 Bedford Avenue.

There’s an open house this Sunday from noon to 2 pm. What do you think of the house and the ask of $1,100,000?

1056 President Street [B.H. Tal Real Estate] GMAP


03/25/15 12:15pm

416 ocean avenue 3

Here’s a spacious and affordable three-bedroom co-op for rent near the park in Flatbush. There are three nicely sized bedrooms, a large separate living room, and a windowless office off the foyer. Beamed ceilings and herringbone floors also give it a nice prewar feel. However, the co-op board does have to approve any potential renters. What are your thoughts on it for $2,600 a month?

416 Ocean Avenue, #35 [Corcoran] GMAP


03/25/15 11:30am

174 west street rendering greenpoint 32015

We caught this rendering on the fence at 170-174 West Street in Greenpoint, where a developer is building two six-story apartment buildings. No. 174 will have five apartments distributed across 8,640 square feet of residential space. Next door at 170, there will be 10 apartments on 14,130 square feet, according to permits.

Salamon Engineering is the applicant of record for both buildings, and the owner is an LLC who picked up the three vacant lots for a combined $3,700,000 in 2013, as previously reported. Behind the fence, excavation is under way, and you can see a photo after the jump.

What do you think of the design?

Two Six-Story Apartment Buildings Planned for Vacant Greenpoint Lots [Brownstoner]


03/25/15 10:45am


When we moved to eastern Bed Stuy five years ago, our block was sleepy and quiet. Most of the houses are only three stories high, and there were quite a few empty lots as well as a pretty community garden. We liked the “land that time forgot” feel, as well as the big expanses of sky.

Now, as of about a month ago, there are four active construction sites on our block. (more…)