A symbol of a changing Bushwick is now changing a bit itself.
A sponsor behind one of the few condo developments in Bushwick, 358 Grove Street, is selling its unsold stakes, likely in the hopes of cashing in on increased real estate values in Bushwick. The building was once seen as a symbol of gentrification in the neighborhood, but struggled to sell units during the financial crisis.
The 13-story, 59-unit building was completed and went condo in 2007. Only 22 of the 59 units were originally sold, according to property records. The rest were retained by a sponsor and rented out.
Now 65 percent of the building — a block of 35 sponsor units, two commercial units, 40 parking spaces and eight rooftop cabanas — is for sale, according to a recent listing from Cushman Wakefield. No asking price is specified, and the brokers did not return requests for comment.
Originally developed by a partnership between Alexander Tukmanian and Boris Motovich, the building was one of a small number of condos created in Bushwick just before the economic downturn of 2008, such as a 29-unit loft conversion at 101 Wyckoff Avenue.
Motovich owns Midwood Lumber and Millwood, and Tukmanian is president of IBK Construction Group. IBK has developed Brooklyn buildings like 313 Gold Street.
The designer was prolific Brooklyn architect Gene Kaufman. His other new developments in Bushwick include a six-story commercial building at 100 Bogart Street in the loft area with co-working, artist studios and retail, which replaced a warehouse and opens this month.
The Grove Street development was perceived by some as a symbol of gentrification when it debuted.
Protests greeted the building’s arrival in the neighborhood. In 2007, locals marched to protest the building’s construction, City Limits reported at the time, claiming it would push up rents and locals out. Across the street, a neighbor in one of the tenements set up a years-long protest with signs decrying the development and loud music playing at all hours, two former of residents of the area told Brownstoner.
But right about the time of the building’s launch in mid-2007, the real estate market was already softening. Units were not exactly flying off the shelves, as we noted at the time.
The financial crisis hit in full force a month later when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. For at least a year, the real estate market was all but paralyzed.
In 2009, the vast majority of properties for sale in Bushwick (mostly row houses, not condos) were short sales and foreclosures. Eventually, the developers of 358 Grove Street gave up on selling the remaining units and instead rented them out.
The market came back in 2012, and rents and sales have since reached new highs. In recent years, Bushwick has become a hotbed of renovation and new construction, with new developments appearing on almost every block. The massive and controversial Rheingold Brewery redevelopment is one of the most prominent.
The vast majority are rentals, however. Condos are still rare in Bushwick, an area, like most of Brooklyn, where development lenders tend to prefer rentals. The Knick at 320 Knickerbocker Avenue is a recent example of a new condo development in Bushwick.
Nonetheless, prices of Bushwick condos, like housing prices and rents, have risen in recent years since 358 Grove Street debuted a decade ago — and 358 Grove Street is no exception to this trend. Around the time of the building’s opening in 2007, a two-bedroom in the A line on a high floor sold for $522 to $583 a square foot.
In 2014, a two-bedroom in the A line on the 6th floor sold for $616 a square foot. In February of this year, a one-bedroom on the 4th floor in the E line sold for $896 a square foot.
As long-time residents are forced out by rising rents, a sale of the remaining units at 358 Grove as a block could eventually bring more scarce condo units to market and the building to 100 percent sold more than a decade after its debut.
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