11/20/14 10:45am

Max Levy, Professor Mac Levy. Brooklyn Eagle, 1903

On New Year’s Day, 1897, Brooklyn’s premiere physical culturist, Professor Mac Levy, received a late holiday gift from the fitness gods. That evening he was at the Union League Club, on Dean and Bedford Avenues, giving the membership a lecture and demonstration of his journey from a consumptive and puny teenager to a fit and super strong modern day Hercules. Afterwards, he had planned to join friends downtown for some New Year’s Day cheer. They all met near the Elks Club on Schermerhorn Street, after which Mac Levy was headed for the trolley that would take him to his home on Union Street.

Because it was New Year’s Day, and because it was cold and miserable out, the trolley was nowhere to be found. The Professor was no longer in a good mood. He was walking up Court Street and had almost reached Union when two men stepped out from behind a building and demanded his money. It was late, and cold, and the police patrol was nowhere around, and he had been made to walk home. The old Max Levy would have handed his money over, and prayed he got home in one piece. Professor Mac Levy, the “young Hercules” whispered a prayer of thanks for this gift, and got busy. (more…)

11/20/14 10:00am


A gas station at 1508 Bushwick Avenue, shuttered and in foreclosure, is for sale. Auctions for the property were scheduled three times in 2012 but there is no record of a sale since 2007, when it traded for $1,250,000.

It sits on a major thoroughfare with heavy traffic, catty corner to the Bushwick Aberdeen L stop. On the empty lot across the street, Scarano Architects is designing a storage facility.

Metro Industrial Realty Inc. is repping the site, according to a sign on the property, but we couldn’t find a listing or price online.

The lot is 10,000 square feet with only that much buildable square feet. It is classified as a toxic site, according to PropertyShark. Zoning is C8-1 (auto-related commercial and industrial), and housing is not permitted.

11/20/14 9:30am

752 Pacific Street After

The big warehouse at 752 Pacific Street in Prospect Heights is now gone, demolished to make way for two Atlantic Yards (aka Pacific Park) buildings, according to a rep from Greenland Forest City, who sent us these photos. Demolition of the 70,000-square-foot building began two weeks ago at the large site between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues, as reported.

Two buildings are planned for the property — an affordable development at 535 Carlton Avenue and a market-rate one at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue. Click through to see what the warehouse looked like.

Greenland, Forest City Start Demo on Pacific Street [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photos by Greenland Forest City


11/20/14 9:00am


Manhattan investment firm Sugar Hill Capital agreed to buy 1 Prospect Park West, the assisted living facility in Park Slope, for $76,000,000 in January and is now suing the owner for not forcing out elderly tenants fast enough, according to The Brooklyn Paper.

The senior home is embroiled in lawsuits related to the closure and prior lawsuits alleging poor treatment and operating without a license. The owner bought the property, which sits in a prime spot in Park Slope overlooking Prospect Park, for $40,000,000 in 2006.

An attorney for the wrongful death suit concerning Slave Theater owner Judge John Phillips accused the owner of trying to keep Sugar Hill’s $7,000,000 deposit and sell to someone else. Most recently the assisted living facility has been accused of violating a court order to provide services to remaining residents.

Prospect Park Residence Selling for $76 Million [BK Paper]
1 Prospect Park West Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

11/20/14 8:30am


Flatbush Fire Kills One and Injures Over a Dozen [NY Times]
Play Dates at the Beer Garden Spread Beyond Brooklyn [NY Times]
Prospect Park Rakes in $2.4 Million in Revenue Running Ice Skating Rink [NY Daily News]
Southeast Brooklyn Residents Support Waterfront Projects [BK Daily]
At 95, the Repurposed Brooklyn Army Terminal Still Impresses [Curbed]
Ho Ho No: SantaCon Is Not Coming to Bushwick [Gothamist]
Gowanus to Lightstone: You Can’t Give Us Enough Sympathy [PMFA]
Sold out: Boaz Gilad’s Copper House in Clinton Hill [Buzz]
Market Reports Proliferate, But How Reliable Are Their Numbers? [TRD]
Permits Filed: 868 Lorimer Avenue, on McCarren Park in Greenpoint [NYY]
Forest City Re Stalled B2 Tower: “An Easy Fix” [AYR]
Nostrand Avenue Construction in Bed Stuy to Finish Next Spring, City Says [DNA]

11/19/14 4:30pm

cypress hills juni safont

Urbane Explorers: Scaling the Williamsburg Bridge in 1901 [Animal]
Musician Performs at Death By Audio With “Suck It Vice” Written on His Body [Free Williamsburg]
Straphangers Demand Better C Train Service [DNA]
City Shoots Down SantaCon’s Bid to Kick off in Bushwick Park [DNA]
It’s a Tugboat Kinda Night — This Friday [Q Parkside]
The Verrazano Is Turning 50! Here Are Three Ways to Celebrate [Bensonhurst Bean]
BP Eric Adams Will Host Thursday Night Town Hall Meeting About Crime in Ditmas Park [DPC]
Nitehawk Cinema’s Second Annual Shorts Festival Begins Tonight [Greenpointers]

Photo by Juni Safont

11/19/14 4:00pm

brooklyn heights cinema

Developers Madison Estates and JMH Development have paid $7,500,000 for the landmarked brick building at 70 Henry Street that housed Brooklyn Heights Cinema, The Daily News reported. The sale, whose date was not reported, has not hit public records.

Any plans for development would have to be approved by Landmarks, which never approved the previous owner’s plans despite several meetings. Madison wouldn’t comment on its plans, but is likely planning apartments, according to the Daily News. The story said the 1895 building was originally a butcher shop.

The theater closed in late August after more than 44 years in business, as we reported at the time. So far, owner Kenn Lowy has not been able to find a new space.

“For the money these landlords want, I’d have to run a meth lab, not a cinema,” he told the Daily News.

Brooklyn Heights Cinema Sells for $7.5 Million to Local Real Estate Developer [NYDN]
Brooklyn Heights Cinema Coverage [Brownstoner]

11/19/14 3:00pm

1451 Pacific St. Cecil Court GS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Cecil Court
Address: 1451 Pacific Street
Cross Streets: Brooklyn and Kingston avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1923-24
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Edward M. Adelsohn
Other Buildings by Architect: Wing of Brooklyn Hebrew Maternity Hospital, Bushwick, apartment buildings in Jackson Heights, Queens
Landmarked: Yes, part of Crown Heights North HD (2007)

The story: Crown Heights North is a gorgeous neighborhood. It’s filled with blocks upon blocks of elegant late 19th century row houses, as well as a fair number of free-standing and semi-detached mansions, beautiful houses of worship, and some impressive large apartment buildings. Scattered amidst all of this wonderfulness are buildings that tend to get overlooked in the mix. They include storefront mixed use buildings, a ton of eight unit flats buildings, and a fair number of small apartment buildings that bridge the gap between the flats buildings and the larger apartment houses. This is one of those. (more…)

11/19/14 2:00pm

altamira workshop

Home goods and crafts store Altamira Workshop opened last weekend at 217 6th Avenue in Park Slope. Owners Philip Sachs and Amy Fierro sell handmade items, many of them produced locally, such as ceramics, jewelry, stationery, art and home goods.

The owners have “created an in-house brand of goods that emphasize a combination of affordability and high design,” according to the shop’s press release. They’ve been teaching printmaking classes and selling their prints for years at outdoor markets like the Flea, and now they’ll offer consultations on printmaking and an onsite print shop at Altamira.

The shop’s name refers to the Cave of Altamira in Spain, which contains some of the earliest known Paleolithic cave paintings. GMAP

Photo via Altamira Workshop

11/19/14 1:30pm

210 st james place clinton hill 112014

This landmarked house at 210 St. James Place in Clinton Hill is one of the nicest and best preserved we have seen in a while. The wood work and mantels are really over the top, and look to be in top-notch condition. Architect Benjamin Wright designed it in the Romanesque Revival style for Charles Pratt’s Morris Building Company in 1890 and it belonged to Pratt Institute, according to the designation report.

Although technically a two-family according to PropertyShark, it’s set up as a one-family in the original configuration. Considering it’s narrow at 16.83 feet and has a center hall stair, we think this is the best use of the property.

It looks like just about every original detail is present, but the kitchen and baths could probably use updating (or restoration). There is a butler’s pantry, a second staircase leading to it, and the original passthrough with the marble sinks between the bedrooms. There are also eight working fireplaces with original mantels and gas light fixtures that look as if they could plausibly be original to the house.

The original bathroom in the extension on the third floor could be restored with a claw foot tub — as opposed to just the shower it has now — and plumbing from the passthroughs could easily be extended to turn the storage room in the center of the top floor into a second full bathroom. (There is also a shower in a pantry on the first floor, as well as a toilet off the mudroom.) You can check out a photo of the bathroom on BK to the Fullest, which wrote about the house before it was listed. The roof, hot water heater and heating system (forced air, gas) are new, according to the post.

An open house is set for Sunday from 2 to 3:30 pm. Considering the abundance of details but also that it may need some work (about $200,000, we’d estimate), what do you think of the ask of $2,600,000?

210 St. James Place [MNS] GMAP

11/19/14 12:58pm

917 president street park slope 112014

This parlor-level floor-through apartment at 917 President Street in Park Slope just hit the market with a price tag of $1,495,000. That’s a princely sum for a single floor but the apartment is in a primo location and benefits greatly from a generous rear addition that accommodates a kitchen, a bathroom and an extra bedroom. The place is in beautiful shape and comes with lots of architectural detail.

917 President Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP