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


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…)

10/16/14 10:00am

Hey, look, here on October 25, 2004, we predicted the coming crash! OK, well, the post, titled “It’s All About the Interest Rates, Stupid,” was actually a reblog of a New York Times story that predicted the coming crash. Still.

The real problem lurking below the surface of the real estate market, according to The New York Times, is the large number of the adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and interest-only loans that people have taken over the past couple of years to enable them to afford the monthly payments on the increasingly expensive homes they are buying. If rates do rise a few percentage points over the next couple of years, a lot of these folks could find themselves unable to make their payments. But The Donald isn’t too worried: “I just don’t think that the politicians can allow the rates to go up because then the economy beyond real estate will tank.”

It’s All About the Interest Rates, Stupid [Brownstoner]

8 Vanderbilt

Construction is moving along in the next phase of the massive Navy Green mixed income housing development. It looks like five or six stories out of 12 have gone up so far at this condo building at 8 Vanderbilt Avenue at the corner of Flushing Avenue. It will have 98 income-restricted and market rate condominium units available. The bulk of the units, 74 of them, will be sold at prices affordable to moderate and middle income households. The rest, 24, will be sold at market rates. It will also have 1,600 square feet of retail space facing Flushing Avenue. Next to the building on Vanderbilt, 23 market rate townhouses are planned as well.

The Navy Green development is a block-sized mixed income residential (both rental and condo) and retail complex that has been in the works for over a decade and has cost over $85,200,000 in city and state funds. The first tenants moved into their income-restricted rental units at 45 Clermont Avenue in December of 2012. The project takes up the entire block between Park Avenue and Flushing Avenue Clermont Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue. When it’s complete, Navy Green will have 400,000 square feet of residential space.

Navy Green Developers File Permits for Townhouses Near Navy Yard [Brownstoner]
City, Developers Cut Ribbon at Navy Green Development in Ft. Greene
Developers Receive an Award for Navy Green Project [Brownstoner] GMAP

10/16/14 9:00am


The two Carlton Mews projects in Fort Greene that have been under construction for years are wrapping up and looking spectacular, in our opinion. Isn’t it wonderful what landmarking can do?

In September we brought you a sneak peak of both projects. Now a reader sends in more photos.

At 225-233 Carlton Avenue, we have five brand new townhouses, all built in a 19th century traditional style in keeping with others in the area. They are looking very credible, as far as we’re concerned. The contractor used a mix of original and new bluestone to create the bluestone sidewalk in front of them. Each will feature a triplex above a garden floor rental, according to our tipster.

These are scheduled to wrap in December, according to the construction sign.

Meanwhile, the conversion of the church at 232 Adelphi Street is also nearing the finish line. Both projects, which have different owners, will be on the market in a few months, our tipster said. The church will have 12 apartments, ranging from studios to a three-bedroom duplex. In the clock tower is a kitchen with a 25-foot ceiling!

Click through to see a few more photos. What do you think of the developments?

Carlton Mews Church Restoration Revealed! [Brownstoner]  GMAP
Carlton Mews Townhouses Near the Finish Line [Brownstoner]
Carlton Mews Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)

10/16/14 8:30am


Along the D Line, Brooklyn Train Stations Are Platforms for Art [NY Times]
Ditmas Park Man, 69, Killed in Home Invasion, Police Say [NY Times]
Brooklyn Bridge, Ornamented With Locks, Becomes a Gallery of Commitment [NY Times]
Inside Brooklyn Height’s Emergency Housing Prototype [Curbed]
Revealed: Passive House at 210 Pacific Street, Boerum Hill [NYY]
Sneak Peek at Crown Heights Passive House Renovation Rentals: 583 Lincoln Place [BK Fullest]
Neighborhood Legend, Lefferts Manor House Tour Organizer Carole Schaffer Passes [Q at Parkside]
Pacific Street to Be Restored to Two-Way Traffic, Sidewalk Bridge Coming on Atlantic [AYR]
Map: Nearly 600 Apartments Coming to South Williamsburg Next Year [DNA]
Gowanus Parole Center Will Cut Crime, Boost Local Business, Officials Say [DNA]
City Yet to Schedule Opening Date for Bush Terminal Piers Park [DNA]

10/15/14 4:30pm

Putnam Ave

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s One John Street Reveals Fancy Penthouses [Curbed]
$2.8 Million Carriage House With Ugly Facade Hides Lovely Interiors [Curbed]
Breaking: Crane Hits Subway Overpass at Avenue U, Forcing Street Closure [Sheepshead Bites]
Homeless Shelter Moves Into Alleged Hot Sheet Hotel [Sheepshead Bites]
Popular Park Slope Gay Bar to Reopen Down the Street [South Slope News]
New Curb Cuts Coming to Local Sidewalks [South Slope News]
Former Nino’s Pizzeria on Henry Street to Become Carroll Gardens Gourmet Deli [PMFA]
Roberta’s Takeaway Spot Now Offers Bagels, Pastrami Sandwiches, Garlic Knots [Eater]
Two Boots Announces Its Arrival in the Old Terroir Park Slope Space [Eater]

10/15/14 4:00pm


This weekend is the 18th annual Gowanus Open Studios, when neighborhood artists open their doors to allow the public to visit their studios, learn about their art and the creative process and to buy artworks. This year 315 artists and arts organizations are participating, including a huge range of types of artists: painters, sculptors, performers, printmakers, photographers, installation artists and many more.

Those planning to attend can check out a list of participating artists here and can find a map of studio locations here. In addition to visiting studios, those attending can sign up for curated tours which will take place on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. There will also be a panel discussion on how to build an art collection on Saturday and a walking tour of murals on both days. For more information about the event, visit the Arts Gowanus Open Studio page.

Photo by Arts Gowanus

10/15/14 3:00pm

121 NY Ave, NYMethChurch, SSPellen 4

Here is the second in my celebration of important Brooklyn buildings covered over the years in Brownstoner. Happy 10th anniversary.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally New York Avenue Methodist Church, now Union United Methodist
Address: 121 New York Avenue
Cross Streets: Dean and Bergen Streets
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1891
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Josiah Cleveland Cady
Other Buildings by Architect: Manhattan: Old Metropolitan Opera House (demolished) 77th St. southern wing of the Museum of Natural History. In Brooklyn – 1290 Pacific Street in Crown Heights North, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Williamsburg.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Phase I of Crown Heights North HD (2007)

The story: This church is the embodiment of the hymn “A mighty fortress is our God.” It’s a massive brick masterpiece of seven connected masses stretching the entire block, consisting of the entrance porch, vestibule, auditorium, tower, Sunday school, parlor and rectory. Depending on which way you approach the building, it’s a visual treat, and a marvel of design, materials and construction. (more…)


We are delighted to report that after a hiatus of almost two years, Manny’s reopened Monday at 212 Patchen Avenue with a full working kitchen and greatly expanded menu.

On the menu are four kinds of burgers and a variety of paninis, wraps, sandwiches, salads and soup. There are also prepared foods at the counter, including hanger steaks, salmon, rotisserie chicken, and beef empanadas. Also at the counter are Dough donuts and Choice pastries and cookies. There will also be daily specials, a worker told us. They are serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will be open until 9 pm.

Manny’s opened as a cafe in 2012 serving items from Choice and Dough, but always intended to open as a restaurant. It shut a few months later, and has been greatly missed by neighbors. Click through to see the menu and lots more photos.

Manny’s Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

Update: Manny’s will close at 5 pm tonight and tomorrow, then be open from 7 am to 9 pm starting Friday. Also, a reader stopped by for lunch today and said it was packed!


10/15/14 1:30pm

336 Hancock Combo

If you’re in the market for tons of Victorian detail but can’t splash out $2,000,000 or more, this two-family at 336 Hancock Street might fit the bill. It has an elaborate entrance hall, entry mirror and coat hooks, two fretwork screens, stained glass, and other original finishes.

Set up as a rental unit over an owner’s duplex, the house is 18.75 feet wide and three stories. The bedrooms are on the parlor floor, which also has a full bathroom, and laundry is in the basement. The owner’s kitchen is large and luxurious, and the house appears to be in move-in condition.

Do you think the ask of $1,500,000 sounds right for the location and style of house?

336 Hancock Street [Halstead] GMAP