774 Grand St1

The old one-story Liberty Department Stores building that stood at 774-776 Grand Street for decades came down this summer, and construction has started on the foundation of what could be a game-changing building for this East Williamsburg corner.

The Meshberg Group-designed building will resemble a 19th century department store, with its tiers of large windows and arched openings at the top. But in fact the eight story building will offer a mix of retail and residential, with 64 apartments.

It is likely to be one of the taller buildings around in the mostly low-rise neighborhood, where three story row houses and four and five story apartment buildings give way to one and two story industrial buildings on the other side of Bushwick Avenue. With its large, factory-style windows and brick facade, the building looks like it will fit in well with the neighborhood’s existing buildings, unlike much of the rest of the new development Williamsburg.

When completed, the 82,000 square foot building will have an 800-square-foot fitness room on the second floor and a 3,500-square-foot roof deck.

Liberty Department Stores and adjoining properties were purchased last year by Jeff Kurtz of Kamson Corp. and Dean Marchi of Grand Street Development for $14,200,000 according to the Wall Street Journal. Meshberg Group is designing the exterior and interior, although Gene Kaufman is the architect of record on building permits.

Construction will wrap in fall 2015, according to a sign at the construction site.

More photos and a rendering after the jump. What do you think of the design?

Let’s Look at the New Rendering for East Williamsburg’s 774 Grand Street [Buzz Buzz Home]
Mixed Use Development for East Williamsburg [WSJ]
Rendering by Gene Kaufman Architect GMAP

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10/17/14 9:00am

51-troutman-3-101714

A new small building at 51 Troutman Street in Bushwick officially launched leasing yesterday, starting at $2,076 for a 526-square-foot one bedroom, rental agent Modern Spaces announced. There are eight units in the four story building, which is located near Silent Barn and the Myrtle Broadway JMZ stop. The most expensive unit in the building is a three-bedroom duplex, renting for $3,323 a month. One month of rent is free.

Finishes include hardwood floors, oversize windows, and Ceasarstone counters. There are hookups for washers and dryers but no actual appliances. BuzzBuzzHome was the first to spot the listings.

Two years ago the site was an empty lot. The property changed hands for $450,000 in 2013, and the owner uses a mail drop on Lee Avenue in South Williamsburg.

Click through for more photos. What do you think of the design, location and pricing?

51 Troutman Listings [Modern Spaces] GMAP
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10/17/14 8:30am

417-halsey-street-101714

Lovely Greenpoint Park Will Also Be Storm Barrier [NY Daily News]
Brownsville Pop-up Market Takes Over Vacant Lot [NY Daily News]
De Blasio’s Park Slope Home Rented out to First People Who Saw the Property [WSJ]
State May Have to Step in to Stop Home Conversions in Bay Ridge [Eagle]
Empty Lots in East New York to Become Arts, Business Incubators [Eagle]
Bushwick Residents Rally Against Gentrification [BK Paper]
Huxley Building Action in Greenpoint [Curbed]
Brookland Capital Files Permits for Two Crown Heights Projects [NYY]
100-Year-Old Math Teacher Still Going Strong at Brooklyn Elementary School [DNA]
Homeless Encampment Threatening Dog Owners in Fort Greene Park, Locals Say [DNA]
Most Brooklyn Rentals on Airbnb Are in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, AG Says [DNA]
Wilson L Stop Repairs to Only Make Manhattan-Bound Platform ADA Accessible [DNA]

10/16/14 4:30pm

952 Putnam

Landmarks Preservation Commission Names Executive Director [Crain's]
Cheap Date: Faye Penn on Five Years of Brokelyn [DPC]
Remembering Leonard Phillips [DPC]
Open House for Lefferts Food Co-op [Q Parkside]
Prospect Heights Gets Three Passive Condos From $1.4 Million [Curbed]
Checking in on the Slow Rise of Brooklyn’s Next Tallest Tower [Curbed]
Buying in Greenpoint: What’s Available and How Much? [BU]
Brooklyn Subway Trains Actually Less Crowded Than They Appear [Gothamist]
Harvest Festival and Pie Contest at South Brooklyn Children’s Garden [PMFA]
Now Closed: 15th Street Cafe [South Slope News]

10/16/14 4:00pm

brooklyn-public-library-2

Beginning Monday, the Brooklyn Public Library debuts a series of panel discussions, oral history recording sessions, film screenings and workshops about gentrification in the borough. Brooklyn Transitions aims to start a dialogue about changes both good and bad as many once affordable neighborhoods become expensive, the resulting displacement of many longtime residents, and what people can do to remain where they live.

The first panel will look at the history of gentrification in Brooklyn. Sharon Zukin, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and City University of New York; Sulieman Osman, assistant professor of American studies at Georgetown University and author of “The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn”; and Isabel Hill, an architectural historian, urban planner and filmmaker will speak October 20 at 7 pm.

A panel on November 17 will address gentrification in Brooklyn today and one on December 15 will ponder the Brooklyn of the future.

For the Brooklyn Transitions Oral History Project, the library is looking for people to tell stories about the neighborhoods where they were born and raised and how they have changed. Recordings will be archived in the Brooklyn Collection.

Find out more on the Brooklyn Transitions website.

Photo by gigi_nyc

10/16/14 3:00pm

1940 E. 36 St. Lotthouse. Stu-Joe 1

We could do a month of important buildings in Brooklyn and not cover them all. But this one has to go on the list. We all come from somewhere, and Brooklyn began with houses like this. Our 10th anniversary tribute continues.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Hendrick I. Lott House
Address: 1940 East 36th Street
Cross Streets: Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S
Neighborhood: Marine Park
Year Built: Oldest part 1719, main house 1800
Architectural Style: Vernacular Dutch Colonial
Architect/Builder: Henrick I. Lott, building upon earlier Johannes Lott house
Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1989) and National Register of Historic Places.

The story: We don’t often stray far beyond brownstone Brooklyn and Victorian Flatbush, but it’s time some attention was paid to some of the oldest houses in the borough. There aren’t many left. The Dutch settlers who came here in the early and mid-1600s gave us the towns that would make up Kings County, and their names, many of which are quite familiar to us as street and neighborhood names. Lefferts, Remsen, Lott, Schermerhorn, Vanderbilt, Wyckoff, Van Nostrand, Suydam, Van Siclen, Schenck, Van Brunt, and many more.

Their names remain, but their homes, by and large, are long gone. We here in New York City are always growing so fast, we think nothing of plowing under the past, and replacing it as soon as possible with the new, only to see that disappear in time. This is not a 21st century conceit; it’s been going on for centuries. Consequently, most of the early homes of the 17th and 18th centuries are gone. Those precious few that remain have survived mostly because the families that built them have held on to them, literally, for centuries. The location helps, too. The further away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the better, when it comes to a house beating the odds of survival. The Lott house is one of those lucky few that is still with us. (more…)

354-throop-avenue-101614

A new wine shop, Vin de Table, is setting up shop in Bed Stuy at 354 Throop Avenue. The “soft” opening is today, but the store plans to officially open for business next week, according to its Facebook page. The store is located in a new building at the corner of Dekalb.

Vin de Table will carry a mix of international and local wines, with an emphasis on quality wines for $10 and less a bottle. “Our mission to find great affordable wines,” according to its website.

Thanks to a tipster for the photo and intel. Do you think a wine store will be an asset in this location? GMAP

10/16/14 1:30pm

733 Greene Combo

Here’s an interesting new-construction townhouse at 733 Greene Avenue in Bed Stuy. Check out the patchwork wallpaper in the living room and the jagged-edge (ombre or fade effect?) lawn in the back yard. The front facade isn’t perfect, but we like the mix of materials.

Coincidentally, the developer is the same as the one in our 11:30 am post today about 797-799 Herkimer Street, Nir Sapir of Bed Stuy’s East Coast Real Estate Development Group LLC. The applicant of record for both is an engineer, not an architect, so perhaps the developer does his own design.

It’s set up as an owner’s duplex over a garden rental. It’s a bit of a hike to the trains and the shops in Stuy Heights, so we think if they dropped a few numbers off the ask it’d be a pretty sweet deal. What do you think of it for $1,549,000?

733 Greene Avenue [Elliman] GMAP

10/16/14 12:58pm

61 Pierrepont combo

A large prewar apartment in Brooklyn Heights for not much more than $1,000 a square foot is worth a close look. This 2,840-square-foot five-bedroom pad, a result of combining two adjacent apartments, at 61 Pierrepont Street has lots of prewar charm and appears to be in good shape too.

And as a bonus, there’s a private parking spot that comes with the apartment and is included in the maintenance. The ask is $2,950,000 and the monthly maintenance is $3,536. Think this will go fast?

61 Pierrepont Street, #51/52 [Corcoran] GMAP

10/16/14 12:15pm

190 Saint Marks

This gut-renovated floor-through apartment in Prospect Heights has a lot going for it. It has two bedrooms, an open plan, a kitchen with all the bells and whistles, two full baths, and a terrace at the back of the apartment.

It’s also quite large at 1,150 square feet and has central A/C. The building is a short walk to all the restaurants, bars and coffee shops on Vanderbilt and not far from the subway lines on Flatbush.

Of course all of that does not come cheap. What do you think of it for $3,700 a month?

190 Saint Marks Avenue, #3 [Citi Habitats] GMAP

10/16/14 11:30am

797 Herkimer1

A four-story, four-family building is looking close to completion at 797-799 Herkimer Street in Bed Stuy, at least on the outside, although it’s not supposed to wrap until a year from now, according to the sign on the construction site.

Technically, it’s two buildings on two lots with, surprisingly, only two units each. Each building is 6,632 square feet, and each unit will be a duplex, according to the Schedule A. Potentially each duplex could be extremely spacious with about 3,316 square feet each. We’re guessing based on the size the developer could be planning condos.

The building is between Rochester Avenue and Suydam Place. For a block that has a mix of housing — Fedders buildings, apartment buildings with poorly maintained facades and a few nicely preserved brick row houses — this new building doesn’t seem to be such a bad addition.

The developer, Nir Sapir of Bed Stuy’s East Coast Real Estate Development Group LLC, bought the lots in August of 2013 for $350,000. Both lots had a lis pendens recently. The firm has recently developed or is developing four other projects in the immediate area.

Thanks to a reader for the photos and tip. Click through to see a schematic on the construction fence. What do you think of the development? GMAP

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321A Jefferson Ave, CB, PS

Brooklyn in 1983 was certainly not the Brooklyn of today. That’s a mixed blessing, if you ask me. My mother and I found a one family brownstone for rent in Bedford Stuyvesant through the Amsterdam News. We ran out from the Bronx to see it, and impressed the landlady and got the place. The house had only been purchased by the owner a few months before, and had belonged to the last little old white lady on the block.

We loved the house. It was a three and a half story Neo-Grec brownstone. Our house was one of a group of five smaller houses amidst larger four story buildings. The house was an old house lover’s dream come true – an untouched one family house, complete with just all of the original features. About the only thing that had been done to the house since it was built had been the installation of electricity and central heat. Even that was pretty old. Some of the wiring was still cloth covered cording, and the pan and glass fixtures from the early 20th century were all either on pull chains or operated with push button switches. There were only two outlets in each room. (more…)