Brooklyn Heights

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As reported in the print edition of this week’s Brooklyn Heights Courier, two buildings and one empty lot on a landmarked portion of Pineapple Street were recently sold for $7.4 million in an all-cash transaction. The two buildings at 71 and 75 Pineapple, which contain 23 vacant apartments and 13 occupied rent stabilized apartments, sold for $5,746,250 ($322 per square foot); the lot sold for $1,653,750 ($250 per square foot). Seems pretty reasonable to us for the location. GMAP P*Shark

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Buried near the bottom of last week’s encyclopedic article the the New York Sun about Brooklyn development was this morsel: The Franklin Trust Building at 166 Montague Street is being converted from office space to residential condominiums. As The Real Deal reported first in its February issue, the 10-story, 50,000-square-foot building will get one more story added; the $10 million conversion will include a rooftop terrace, a sky-lit health club and new balconies. Not sure how new balconies would make it past LPC though…Regardless, this has the potential to be one of the premier buildings in the borough if it’s done right.
New Residential Developments [The Real Deal]
Downtown Brooklyn Is Booming [NY Sun] GMAP P*Shark

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If you’re looking to drop half a mil a year on rent, have we got the place for you! Okay, actually, Sotheby’s has the place for you, but whatever. The historic and storied house (Truman Capote once hung his scarf in the ground-floor apartment) at 70 Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights is now on the market as a rental for $40,000 a month. The 1939 Greek Revival home is on an extra-wide lot and boasts a prize-winning garden. (We published photos of its window boxes back in June of 2005.) We were particularly jazzed by the back porch. Imagine the lazy summer afternoons out there. Can anyone think of a more expensive residential rental to have come on the market in recent memory?
70 Willow Street [Sotheby’s International] GMAP
Flower Box Award for a Double-Wide [Brownstoner]

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According to appraisal firm HMS Associates, the average sales price of single- and multi-homes in Brooklyn rose 8 percent in 2006, despite a drop in the number of transactions. “The Brooklyn residential market was very strong in 2006,” says HMS Associates founder Sam Heskel. “We expect 2007 will be another good year, but home prices will come back down to earth somewhat, with transactions up moderately.” In Brownstone Brooklyn, the biggest price increase came in Brooklyn Heights, where prices jumped 16.6 percent, from $1,831,857 to $2,136,891. The study also cites big rises in Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Greenpoint, and Crown Heights.
Brooklyn Home Prices Rose Nearly 8% in 2006 [Market Wire]
Photo by Adam Brock

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BOERUM Hill $699,000
53 Boerum Place
Two-bedroom, two-bath condo, 860 square feet, with kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, chrome bath, central AC and western exposure; building features 24-hour doorman, parking, gym, laundry, courtyard and live-in super. Asking price $699,000, on market 2 1/2 months. Broker: Rodolfo Lucchese, The Corcoran Group.
Just Sold! [NY Post]
Boerum Place 2 Bedroom [Corcoran]

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This photo from the turn of the century shows a much different promenade in Brooklyn Heights. Until they were demolished in 1946 to make way for the expressway, this arched viaduct, greenhouse and buttressed wall were accessible by the stone stairways that led down from the mansions above to the ferry landing below. The grand double-brownstone at right was designed by Richard Upjohn and completed in 1857 for the merchants A. A. Low (as in Low Library at Columbia) and A. M. White. To the left (at center in the photo) is the Henry Pierrepont mansion.
Photo from Old Brooklyn In Early Photographs by William Lee Younger.

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Believe it or not, today’s House of the Day was built in 1999. Located on the same block as the soon-to-be-condo’d Love Lane garage, the building succeeds on the exterior as a credible carriage house recreation (though a straight roofline might have worked a little better). The interior — all 1,300 2,400 square feet of it — is much less successful. For this location and this price we’d expect a hell of a lot more than recessed lighting and cheesy marble floors. If you’ve got money to burn and care more about having jacuzzi than nice moldings, this could be the place for you. Or, if you want to spend half as much for twice the space, you could always check this place out.
43 Love Lane [Douglas Elliman] GMAP P*Shark
Photo by Scott Bintner for Property Shark

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WINDSOR TERRACE $999,000
17 Howard Place
Prewar attached 4-bedroom brick house; music room, parquet floors, stained-g;ass windows, pocket doors, English basement, rear garden, 17-by-90-foot lot; taxes $2,605; listed at $1,025,000. Time on market: 3 weeks. Broker: Warren Lewis.

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $458,000
195 Adams Street
835-square-foot 2-bedroom, 1-bath co-op in a postwar building; 24-hour doormen, windowed kitchen, hardwood floors, Statue of Liberty view, common roof deck; maintenance $972, 50% tax deductible; listed at $469,000. Time on market: 12 weeks. Broker: Brooklyn Heights Real Estate.
Residential Sales [NY Times]

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Brooklyn Heights remains the blue chip neighborhood in Brooklyn without a doubt, but as other neighborhoods improve their housing stock and services how much of a relative premium should The Heights command? That eternal question popped into our mind as we were looking at today’s Co-op of the Day at 119 Henry Street. There’s no question that it’s a lovely apartment — only whether it’s worth $1,099,000 when that same amount buys you two floors of a brownstone one subway stop away and a beautiful house five stops away. But, as we’ve discussed before, that’s not really the right way to look at it. Most people aren’t deciding between a two bedroom in Brooklyn Heights or a house in Windsor Terrace. More likely, they’re deciding between this place on Henry Street and another two bedroom in the neighborhood like this one on Hicks Street for $925,000. Which do you think looks like a better deal?
119 Henry Street [Douglas Elliman] GMAP P*Shark