Crown Heights

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Timberrrrr! The asking price of the house at 1265 President Street continues to drop precipitously. The four three-story brick-and-limestone house in Crown Heights started its journey back in May on Craigslist praying for a miracle at $1,450,000. We called it “a bit aggressive” at the time; a commenter more astutely referred to it as “fantasyland.” At some point this summer, Corcoran got the listing and tested the waters at $1,195,000. The result? Still no takers. So this week, in a sign of the times, the price was cut to $995,000. This’ll be very interesting to watch. In this environment, given that the interiors lack the original detail of many of the houses in the area, this is hardly a lay-up even at two-thirds of the original price. Thoughts?
1265 President Street [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
House of the Day: 1265 President Street [Brownstoner]

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Wanna live in a house designed by the same architect that designed the Museum of Natural History (or a wing of it, anyway? This spectacular 2-family brick sits on a double-wide lot at 1290 Pacific Street and is absolutely dripping in details. (In addition to the museum, the architect JC Cady also desgined the Union Methodist Church around the corner on Dean and New York Avenue.) In addition to almost 5,000 square feet of interior space, there’s also a long driveway that leads to the rear of the house. The major drawback of the house is that it is wedged between some larger apartment buildings and is a little too close to a rather noisy corner of Nostrand Avenue. Interestingly, this house was bought by a couple of British artists back in 2003 for $610,000. While renting part of the house out to some other artists, the owners renovated the house and did a lot of work on the front garden area as well. It’s tough to know what to make of the asking price of $1,450,000. On the one hand, its a one-of-a-kind house with an impeccable architectural pedigree; on the other, unfortunately many of the people who have that kind of dough to spend aren’t ready to rock Crown Heights yet, historic district or not. We hear that the owners briefly tried to go the FSBO route before handing off the Brooklyn Properties. This’ll be an interesting one to watch for sure.
1290 Pacific Street [Brooklyn Properties] GMAP P*Shark

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When we first took a look at the 5-unit condo conversion at 1296 Dean Street in Crown Heights back in January, there was a general consensus that (1) it’s a beautiful building; (2) the renovation denuded the interior of any old charm; (3) the prices (which at the time ranged from $450,000 to $550,000 for floor-throughs) were probably a little on the high side. Fast forward seven months and guess how many of the apartments have sold? Zippo. Fillmore now has the listings and cut prices so that one unit is now $425,000 and four others are $475,000. (The prices on the developer’s site have yet to be marked down.) One close watcher of the Crown Heights market told us he’s waiting until the offer hits $400,000 and then he’s pouncing.
1296 Dean Street, #4 [Fillmore] GMAP P*Shark
Condos of the Day: 1296 Dean Street [Brownstoner]

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This double-duplex house on a dead-end block of Prospect Place in Crown Heights just hit the market this weekend and won’t have its first open house until next Sunday. Unfortunately, there aren’t any interior photos up yet. (Update: Photos are up now but aren’t very conclusive.) The listing references the fact that the house (which is one of four identical ones from 1912) is on a “Model Block” from the 1960s, which, combined with the fact that it is bounded at one end by Brower Park, makes for a quiet residential vibe. Also, since this was originally designed as two separate duplexes, chances are that they work nicely as such. One potential negative: There are projects a block away. We’re unaware of any recent comps —and have no idea what the interior’s like—so your guess is as good as ours about whether the asking price of $849,000 is reasonable. Perhaps someone has been inside?
1087 Prospect Place [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark

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Henry Radusky has been doing his part to uglify Crown Heights with the recent completion of an eight-unit condo at 480 Eastern Parkway. (At least the facade lines up with its neighbor though.) Based upon a sign hanging on the building (there’s nothing posted yet on the Developers Group website), the two- and three-bedroom apartments start at $525,000. That’s about all we know. Has anyone been inside yet?
480 Eastern Parkway [Flickr] GMAP P*Shark DOB

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After a successful fast-tracking, the City Council yesterday approved the contextual rezoning of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene along with Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton (and the Bronx neighborhood of Wakefield); the council also formalized the creation of the Crown Heights North Historic District. Commenting on the rezonings, Mayor Bloomberg said,

These plans will catalyze growth on key corridors near transit hubs, fostering nearly 900 units of new housing and strengthening local retail activity. At the same time, they protect the scale and character of these lower density neighborhoods.

As we’ve discussed before, the rezoning for Clinton Hill and Fort Greene reduces the FAR of the interior residential blocks to 2.0 while boosting the FAR along the commercial stretches of Myrtle and Fulton to between 3.45 and 4.6, depending on the inclusion of affordable housing, while instituting a height cap of 80 feet. All projects that have not completed their foundations as of today fall under the new zoning restrictions.
Press Release: Council Passage of Three Rezonings [NYC.gov]
Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Rezoning Plan [City Planning]
City Council OKs Five Neighborhood Rezonings [NY Observer]
More DetaStuy Rezoning Plan [Brownstoner]
More Details Emerge on Bed Stuy Rezoning Plan [Brownstoner]

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WILLIAMSBURG $363,000
2 Roebling Street GMAP
One-bedroom, one-bath condo, 637 square feet, with dining area, washer/dryer, hardwood floors and McCarren Park views. Common charges $260, taxes $17.08. Asking price $363,000, on market one day. Broker: Scott Address, The Developers Group. Photo by Gregg Snodgrass for Property Shark.

CROWN HEIGHTS $200,000
1520 Bedford Avenue GMAP
One-bedroom, one-bath condo, 365 square feet, with renovated kitchen, marble bath, hardwood floors and two exposures; building features roof deck, laundry and storage. Common charges $126.89, no taxes (15-year tax abatement). Asking price $210,000, on market one week. Broker: Joel Kestenbaum, The Developers Group.

KENSINGTON $345,000
68 Stratford Road GMAP
Newly renovated prewar two-bedroom, two-bath co-op, 920 square feet, with exposed brick, renovated kitchen with breakfast bar, elevated dining room, hardwood floors and washer/dryer; building features garden and patio, laundry, storage, bike room and live-in super. Maintenance $818, 40 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $345,000, on market four months. Broker: Louise Spaier, Brooklyn Heights Real Estate.
Just Sold! [NY Post]

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It can be hard to spot a trend in the real estate market until after the fact, but we couldn’t help but notice when we were perusing Natefind yesterday that Corcoran had cut prices on six of its townhouse listings in Bed Stuy and Crown Heights within the past week. (The biggest cut, both in absolute and percentage terms, was at 36 Monroe Street.) Is this a coincidence, do you think, or could there have been some word from on high that drove these cuts? Taken as a whole, do the cuts signify anything about the market in those neighborhoods or is this bad news balanced out by bidding wars at places like 100 Decatur?
56 Monroe Street [Corcoran] GMAP
36 Monroe Street [Corcoran] GMAP
470 MacDonough Street [Corcoran] GMAP
1300 Carroll Street [Corcoran] GMAP
1416 Sterling Place [Corcoran] GMAP
610 Eastern Parkway [Corcoran] GMAP

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There are not a lot of new developments going up in Crown Heights North these days mostly, we assume, because, unlike in neighboring Bed Stuy, there are not a lot of vacant lots in the area. One of the few good-sized projects in the area is at 1378-1386 Bedford Avenue between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue. The paper trail on this one’s a little confusing. It look like the developer bought part or all of the property for $1,000,000 back in December 2005; the DOB filings show approval to construct a five-story, ten-unit building of just under 10,000 square feet. Problem is, this looks bigger to us than 10,000 square feet. We’re thinking that this may actually be two identical buildings of 10,000 square feet each. Anyway, it’s too early to tell much about the aesthetics of the building. Good-sized windows at least. Anyone know anything about this project? Update: Thanks to a helpful comment from a reader, we were able to grab the rendering above from the site of Durak Design; the project description also reveals that this is a 40-unit, 39,000-square-foot project. Looks pretty darn upscale for that stretch of Bedford. More power to ’em. GMAP P*Shark DOB

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About 100 people or so joined in on the walking tour of Crown Heights North on Sunday, starting off at St. Gregory’s Church and ending at the corner of Bedford and Dean. In between, tour guides from the Crown Heights North Association provided tour-goers with architectural and social history about the neighborhood. The afternoon ended with a tea at the Bergen Street Community Garden. Did any readers attend? What was the most interesting thing you learned on the tour?
Photos courtesy of The Crownheightser