Brooklyn Heights

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Although a pretty darn similar rendering leaked out last February, we were surprised to see this before-and-after view lying around the Landmarks Preservation Commission offices when we were there for the Domino vote yesterday. Of course, we shouldn’t have been: After all, the developers presented the plan to LPC last week and got the thumbs-up from Tierney & Co. The conversion, which includes 38 condos and two townhouses at last count, looks pretty respectful to us. Nothing’s listed in the property’s DOB file but you can bet it won’t be long.
“Contextual” Condo Design for Love Lane [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark
The Latest on the Love Lane Garage? [Brownstoner]

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They’re cutting prices over at 24 Monroe Place like it’s some new sub-standard Fedders box in less tony nabe! First there was the four-bedroom that was cut early last week from $2,400,000 to $1,950,000. Then later in the week, the price on this two-bedroom was trimmed from $1,195,000 to $1,125,000. Like the four-bedroom, this one’s also a classic in great shape; like the four-bedroom, it’s weakness is probably the size of its kitchen. Overall, though, this is a great layout. This price can’t be off by much, can it?
24 Monroe Place [Corcoran] GMAP

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In addition to voting on the designation of the Domino Sugar refinery building at its weekly public hearing tomorrow, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will be considering three applications in Brooklyn. At 314 Hicks Street (top) in Brooklyn Heights, the owner is looking to erect a new four-story building and get permission for a curb cut. At 264 Vanderbilt Avenue (bottom), there’s an application to paint a mural on the wall outside of Tillie’s. And at 191 Washington Park, the owner’s looking to alter the rear of the facade. If anyone gets a peek at the plans for 314 Hicks Street, we’d be interested in hearing about it.
September 25 Meeting Agenda [LPC]
314 Hicks Street: GMAP
264 Vanderbilt Avenue: GMAP

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It seems like only two weeks ago that we were discussing the $2.4 million price tag on the four-bedroom pre-war co-op at 24 Monroe Place. Ohyeah, it was. In a sign that Brooklyn Heights is not impervious to the effects of a declining real estate market, the asking price has just been reduced almost 20 percent to $1,950,000. As we look at the floorplan, it occurs to us that buyers in this price range are probably aren’t too psyched about having a galley kitchen. The other negative: The fourth bedroom is a small “maid’s room” at the rear of the apartment, hardly a great spot to stash the newborn. Still, gorgeous apartment, blue-chip building, great location. We shall see.
24 Monroe Place [Douglas Elliman] GMAP
Co-ops of the Day: Side-by-Side in The Heights [Brownstoner]

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Seems Brooklyn Heights wasn’t picture perfect enough for the Coen Brothers. The duo is shooting “Burn After Reading” on State Street between Clinton and Court over the next few weeks, and a production crew has painted the facades of a couple buildings red, blue and yellow, and is adding ornamental details to a couple others. A worker said the buildings are being transformed in order to approximate the look of a Georgetown street for the flick, which stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and John Malkovich. The worker also told us the buildings are going to be washed off after filming wraps since “this is a historic district and all.”
“Burn After Reading” [IMDB] GMAP

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Other than a few spots on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights ain’t exactly overflowing with enticing al fresco dining options. A relatively recent newcomer to the northern stretch of Henry Street is looking to get in on the sidewalk action though: Uncommon Grounds, which closed in August for renovations (including the addition of a full kitchen), is looking to add seven small outdoor tables along Cranberry Street, and will be pitching the idea in a public hearing before Community Board 2 tonight. In general, we’re big fans of sidewalk seating and can’t see any reason why permission wouldn’t be granted. Can you? GMAP

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The house at 135 Joralemon has been of great interest to Brooklyn Heights residents since it was ravaged by a fire on the eve of 2005. After sitting untouched for more than a year and a half, the house was finally purchased in September 2006 for $2,400,000. The buyer must have been a professional flipper because the house was reno’d and on the market by early this past summer (after being featured on the Brooklyn Heights House and Garden Tour in May). After more than three months of no takers, the price was cut last week from $5,950,000 to $5,750,000. It’s all still pie in the sky for most of the buyer universe; we suspect that it’s not a big enough reduction to make potential buyers sit up and take notice. What do you think this place is worth?
135 Joralemon Street [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP P*Shark
Recovery Underway for Joralemon Burn Victim [Brownstoner]
Ode to 135 Joraleman [Brownstoner]

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A few new stores could go a long way to boosting Montague Street’s cool factor, according to an article in the Real Deal. Brokers and neighborhood boosters say the shops—which include beauty supply/sex toy emporium Ricky’s, a Housing Works branch, and Greek makeup brand Korres’ soon-to-open storefront—are welcome additions to Montague’s retail scene. They argue that the Heights’ main shopping drag needs to get hip in light of stepped-up competition from Smith and Court streets. Despite the new leases, thousands of square feet of retail space remain vacant on Montague, which has the highest rents in Downtown Brooklyn after the Fulton Street Mall. When we think cool, Montague Street doesn’t exactly spring to mind, and it’s difficult to see how the addition of a few new chain stores is going to change that. Anyone feel differently?
Brooklyn Heights Retail Gets a Twist [The Real Deal]

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Cambodian Cuisine: Should’ve Stayed in Brooklyn
In March 2005, Jerry Ley, owner of the Fort Greene restaurant Cambodian Cuisine, signed a lease for a bigger space on 93rd Street in Manhattan. Many fans of the 520-square-foot neighborhood hang-out were sad to see it go, and now it’s looking like Mr. Ley wishes he stuck around. The NY Times reports:

“Mr. Ley, 54, admittedly is a broken man. He is heavy-hearted as he ticks off his debts in a defeated voice. He owes $866,000 to various banks, $144,000 to a friend and co-worker who took out a second mortgage on her home, and more than $200,000 to friends and relatives who contributed smaller sums at zero interest. ‘My heart is broken and I’m so frustrated,’ he said. ‘Every corner I move into is a disaster. I’m nearly bankrupt. I do not know who to trust.'”

Something New on Montague

“Vegetarian/vegan friendly eatery The Greens is closed… The phone message promises that ‘Island Grill’ a restaurant specializing in ‘Singapore cuisine’ will be opening soon at the 128 Montague Street location.” [Brooklyn Heights Blog]

Boycotting Beer Nuts in Boerum Hill
One Eater reader is pissed off about the changes the new owners have made to Boerum Hill’s Brooklyn Inn: “Firstly, beer nuts now appear throughout the bar giving it a frat-boy alehouse vibe. Nobody, afaik, wants them there. Secondly, a broken or removed stained glass panel at the end of the bar has been replaced by a white board. Thirdly and most damningly, they’ve installed a huge A/C vent on the inside wall the full length of the front room. Its ugly and completely not in keeping with the room.”

After the jump: The best mac ‘n’ cheese in Brooklyn and bitchin’ bahn mi in Boerum Hill…

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If you had $2.4 million to drop on an apartment in Brooklyn Heights, 24 Monroe Place and 62 Joralemon Street would be a couple of your options. The former is a traditional four-bedroom place in a 53-unit white-shoe prewar building; the latter also has four bedrooms but is in a four-unit building and has a more modern aesthetic and duplex formation. Personally, we’d opt for the Monroe Place listing over the Joralemon option. How ’bout you?

24 Monroe Place [Douglas Elliman] GMAP
62 Joralemon Street [Corcoran] GMAP