Flatbush

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Fading Ad Blog has been chronicling the construction of Brooklyn’s newest Target at Flatbush Junction (the intersection of Nostrand, Flatbush and Avenue H). The store is scheduled to open within the next month or so. Here’s what the blog has to say about changes to the area:

When Canal Jeans came to Flatbush, I was astounded. They were pioneers way before the first Flatbush Starbucks replaced the only decent diner on Hillel Place. Then the banks came. We already had banks, and fast food chains, and now places to buy cell phones. To replace the municipal lot where commuters would park to take the train into the city to work is a Target Superstore. Now with the Congestion Pricing plans underway, where are commuters going to park? In my driveway.

Any readers foresee going to the new store?
What Difference Will Targé Make? [Fading Ad Blog] GMAP

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Here’s a clip put together by the Municipal Art Society about a workshop the organization conducted last month along with the Flatbush Development Corporation. The workshop was one of a series called Imagine Flatbush 2030 that “is piloting the idea that full implementation of the Mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 will depend on engaging neighborhoods more fully in the dialogue about sustainability in planning and development,” according to the MAS. The most recent Imagine Flatbush meeting was held last night—did any readers attend?
Building a Consensus for Growth in Flatbush [Brownstoner]
Imagine Flatbush 2030 [Vimeo]

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There’s potentially exciting news brewing about the Loew’s Kings theater in Flatbush. An unspecified major theater operator is considering answering the EDC’s longstanding call to redevelop the property, according to Brooklyn Junction. A city official told the blog that the company is holding focus groups to try to determine what sort of programming would work at the theater, which would probably cost between $20 and $40 million to renovate. The EDC issued an RFP for the former wonder theater in September ’06. Any guesses about who the operator is or what its plans may include?
Theater Operator Expresses Interest in Loew’s Kings Theater [Brooklyn Junction]
Real Estate Round-Up [Brooklyn Eagle] GMAP
Wondering About the Loew’s Wonder Theater [Brownstoner]
A Chance to Bring Back an Old Brooklyn Gem [Brownstoner]

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Frightened, perhaps, by the top-down-dictatorship approach of Atlantic Yards or the too-little-too-late reaction of Carroll Gardens residents to encroaching development, stakeholders in Flatbush are trying to make a preemptive strike at defining what their neighborhood should look like in the coming decades. As detailed on yesterday’s Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, the Flatbush Development Corporation (which has been around for 30 years) has teamed up the the Municipal Art Society to form a grassroots campaign (dubbed “community visioning”) that aims to get input from members of one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city. The population’s growing at 8% a year and, despite last Sunday’s New York Times article, real estate prices have been steadily increasing. (A guest on the show told of how her mother purchased her co-op in 1989 for $40,000 and could sell it now for over $300,000.) The development corporation has already been lobbying City Planning to consider a rezoning that would help maintain the residential feel of the neighborhood while promoting the creation of more affordable housing. Two ideas, borrowed from recent rezonings of other neighborhoods in the borough, include (1) downzoning the R6 areas to prevent the destruction of Victorian homes to make way for six-story atrocities and (2) creating inclusionary zoning around commercial stretches to foster affordable housing. The next community meeting on the initiative is to be held at 6:30 p.m. on December 12 at the Brooklyn College Student Center, 6th Floor, at East 27th Street and Campus Road.
Brian Lehrer Show 12/4/07 [WNYC]
Imagine Your Neighborhood 2030 [MAS]

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This weekend’s profile of Flatbush in the Times (which defines the area’s ambiguous boundaries as Ocean Avenue, New York Avenue, Parkside Avenue and Avenue H) characterizes it as a place that’s becoming more attractive to buyers priced out of Manhattan and other parts of Brooklyn. According to a Century 21 broker, prices are hovering around $120,000 for one-bedrooms, $170,000 to $190,000 for two-bedrooms, $450,000 for one-family houses and $600,000 for two-family houses. Some recent transplants say they’ve also been won over by Flatbush’s diversity and retail offerings (which will soon include a new Target). The area’s primary lure, though, is its affordability. As one investor says, Where else do you find a one-bedroom in the mid-$100s, or if you’re a couple with a couple of kids, a two-bedroom for $200,000? Have any readers snagged a deal they’d care to brag about? What are the nicest old co-op buildings in the area?
Note to City Dwellers: Steals Available Here [NY Times]
Photo by Rob Hoey.