We’ve been noticing sleek black signs advertising Town Residential rentals all over Bed Stuy and a few in other neighborhoods in Brooklyn. When we saw one on 605 Decatur Street, above, a wreck and former House of the Day that is notable for breaking a price barrier when it sold for $678,000 in May, we realized they are Dixon properties. (Town is the exclusive broker for Dixon.)
We were eager to see how Dixon had transformed 605 Decatur, and so quickly. But it’s not actually for rent yet, Dixon told us. “Actually we are being a little cheeky,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Dixon Advisory USA Alan Dixon said. “We have Town signs on all the properties we own, including the ones we are waiting for Landmarks and/or DOB approval to get started on construction. So if you see the sign, we own it, but it may not necessarily be ready to rent for quite some time.”
That said, Dixon has just finished renovating several Brooklyn properties and put up the listings last night. We went to see two of them in person, as well as another that started leasing in December.
We were impressed. The three properties, all in Bushwick, represent a range in quality, but even the most inexpensively renovated unit is still leagues better than the average newly renovated rental or flip in Brooklyn. In fact, we’re sorry Dixon isn’t in the flipping business, because we think these are exactly the kind of renovations Brooklyn buyers want but can’t find.
If there was an original detail, they left it. They upgraded mechanicals, kitchens, and baths, reinforced staircases, and put in central air and full size washers and vented gas dryers. All the lighting is industrial vintage in style, and Dixon also planted beautiful no-maintenance backyards.
Dixon converted two of the properties to one-families and made the third, too large to be a one-family, into a two-unit building. They are also converting other properties in Bed Stuy and elsewhere to one-families. “We are happy to go against the crowd,” said Dixon. Short term, it’s easier to deal with one group of tenants than two, he said. “Long term, we believe so strongly in Brooklyn that we believe that ultimately it will be the one families that trade at significant premiums to two- to four-families as is the case in the old established neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side.”
As one would expect, the asking monthly rents are at the high end of the market, particularly considering all three properties are not in the hottest areas of Bushwick, but we predict they will get them, or close. All the apartments are no fee (Dixon pays Town), and Dixon also pays an unheard-of 12 percent commission to any renter’s broker.
So far, Dixon has rented 24 properties in Brooklyn, said Town agent Josh Carney.
Interior shots and garden at 1226 Putnam by Dixon.
Above, the exterior of 1226 Putnam Street, a tiny Gothic-Italianate with an extension that Dixon converted back into a one-family.
The upstairs front bedroom.
The rear upstairs bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom.
The entrance hall with its new chandelier. Dixon leveled and replaced the floors throughout the house with wide-plank oak.
The backyard won’t require weeding or watering; the grass is actually artificial turf. The wood fencing is new.
The kitchen has gray subway tile with gray grout, vintage style pulls, plenty of storage space and white quartz counters.
The front parlor was converted into a third bedroom.
Above, the kitchen and common space in the ground floor unit at 113 Schaefer Street.
The kitchen in the upstairs unit at 113 Schaefer Street features cupboards wrapped with an inexpensive but stylish faux-grain surface.
The house at 1333 Decatur Street, above, has the most elaborate original detail and the highest-end renovation. It can sleep at least five people and has marble-tile baths, LG appliances, pier mirrors, and built-ins. It was originally built as a two-family with two floor-through apartments, but Dixon converted it to a one-family and turned the upstairs kitchen into a bathroom with a tiled wet area that contains both a standalone tub and a shower. There is also a finished basement with a separate entrance that could be useful as a workshop or rehearsal space.
The backyard at 1333 Decatur Street is automatically watered with an irrigation system. The wood fence is new.