Fort Greene

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You’d think that after a year and a half of no takers the owners of this corner property in the 1990’s Ratner townhouse development along Fulton Avenue in Fort Greene would wake up and smell the coffee. Yes, it has parking and, yes, it has a large (albeit very un-private yard), but people looking to spend $1.5 million for a house don’t want a low-ceilinged, charmless place like this. Sorry. The market has clearly spoken on this one. Guess the owner doesn’t really care about selling.
730 Fulton Street [Craigslist] GMAP
Another Follow-Up on 730 Fulton Street [Brownstoner]
Fulton Newbie Asking Too Much [Brownstoner]
Open House Picks: Pressure Drop [Brownstoner]
Decent Townhouse Reproductions? [Brownstoner]

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South Portland Avenue, frequently cited as being the quintessential brownstone block in the city, is getting some new condos. The building at the Dekalb end of the block, closest to Fort Greene Park, has been converted into five floor-through residences. Christmas Realty has three of the listings up. It looks like the parlor floor is the most expensive at $950,000, followed by the top floor (which comes with exclusive roofdeck) at $900,000. Frustratingly, there are no interior pics yet, though the verbiage cites marble fireplaces and crown moldings. It will be interesting to see if the developer was able to walk that fine line between updating with the modern appliances and fixtures most buyers want while maintaining the historic charm this block is known for. Anyone seen ’em yet?
Listings [Christmas Realty] GMAP

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A stone’s throw from the Forte Condos on the western edge of Fort Greene, a six-story former piano factory at 96 Rockwell Place is being reincarnated as a luxury residential condominium. In addition to the ground floor retail and five floors of converted space, there will be a new six-story addition designed by Tribeca-based Franke, Gottsegen, and Cox. According to Property Shark, the original structure is about 21,500 square feet and there’s another 14,500 square feet of air rights. Not surprisingly, it appears that the developer is choosing to target the young singles market: All 37 apartments will be either studios or one bedrooms; the smallest units, at 729 square feet, will start at $495,000. Halstead’s got the exclusive. The rendering, at left, is the view of the Flatbush side of the building; the photo, at right, is the view from Rockwell Place. While this block feels a little desolate right now (compounded by all the street work going on), we think it could have quite a nice Tribeca-ish vibe once there are people living there. One question mark for the future is what BAM plans to do with the parking lot across Rockwell Place: If a big building were to go up there it could hurt light and views. Other than that, though, this looks very promising to us. Update: We just heard from the developers that, contrary to the original press release, there are six two-bedroom units planned for the building. We’ve also got a interior rendering for ya on the jump now.
Sign Up [Rockwell Place] GMAP P*Shark DOB

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City Planning chief Amanda Burden (right) showed up at Polytechnic University last Wednesday night introduce some long-awaited details about the re-zoning of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. Similar in concept to what happened in Park Slope, the plan is to down-zone the interior blocks while allowing developers to build bigger buildings on the three most commercial avenues in the area — Myrtle, Fulton and the northern side of Atlantic. The upshot: Developers who own property in the down-zoned areas have until sometime near the end of this year (depending on the speed of the approval process) to get their plans approved and foundations in the ground. In the meantime, prices should be rising for prime locations on the aforementioned avenues. The new R7/R7A zoning there will let developers build a 3.45 FAR as of right and up to 4.5 FAR by using inclusionary zoning. (All this means is that to get the bonus FAR, the developer must build affordable housing somewhere in CB2, not in the development itself.) One developer we talked to was a little disappointed in the 3.45 number, saying that he had expected it to be closer to 4; nonetheless, he said, it should still be a good shot of adrenaline for building on the avenues.

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Guess it’s not all champagne and bidding wars in Brownstone Brooklyn these days. After about five weeks on the market at $1,895,000, the bricktownhouse at 371 Carlton Avenue has received more than a 10 percent price cut to $1,690,000. Before everyone leaps into hysterics and declares the sky is falling, however, it’s important to note that this is not your standard Fort Greene brownstone. It lacks the grandeur that full stoop brings (though, to a family with small children, this could be seen as a big bonus) and it’s only three real floors of living space; it’s also a three-family, so it doesn’t fit the profile of the most common house hunter. While the interior has lost some of its moldings, the fireplaces and woodwork is intact and the house appears to be in very good overall condition. This big cut should stir up interest, we’d think.

In related news, did anyone else notice that 387 Hancock (discussed here) is back in contract?
371 Carlton Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
371 Carlton Avenue Reduction [natefind]

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FORT GREENE $1,457,000
331 Adelphi Street
165-year-old, six-bedroom detached Greek Revival 2-family; duplex: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, rear garden; other unit: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, deck; 25-by-75-foot lot; taxes $4,025; listed at $1,495,000; 6 weeks on market. Broker: Aguayo & Huebener. Photo by Sarah Westcott for Property Shark. ARCHIVE!

PROSPECT CROWN HEIGHTS $265,000
1520 Bedford Avenue
640-sq.-ft. condo in a new building; high ceilings, hardwood floors, 2 exposures, roof deck and laundry room in building; common charge $222; 100% tax abatement; listed at $265,000. One week on market. Broker: Developer’s Group.
Residential Sales [NY Times]

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University Towers is a three-building, 549-unit cooperative housing complex on the Fort Greene-Downtown Brooklyn border. Built as rental housing in the late ’50s for Long Island University faculty and staff, the group of buildings was converted to a moderate-income cooperative in 1989. At the time, prices ranged from $41,000 to $46,000 for studios; $67,000 to $92,000 for one-bedrooms; $94,000 to $125,000 for two-bedrooms and $127,000 to $141,000 for three-bedrooms. Now there’s a, 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom for sale for $530,000. The apartment has been recently renovated, with a surprisingly decent job done on the kitchen and bathroom. As for comps, there were two apartments of undetermined size that sold in the high $500’s at the end of last year. What do people think of UT as a place to live in general, especially now that several luxury condos are springing up in the immediate vicinity?
University Towers 2 Bedroom [Craigslist] GMAP P*Shark
PERSPECTIVES: Downtown Brooklyn [NY Times]
Homepage [University Towers]

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After dragging its feet for two years, the Empire State Development Corporation signalled yesterday that it would finally release documents containing financial information about the Atlantic Yards project. After the ESDC fought a freedom of information reques last year, Assemblyman James Brennan teamed up with state Senator Velmanette Montgomery on Monday to file a lawsuit against the ESDC for improperly withholding the financial documents. One reason opponents of the project are so curious to see the documents is to get a better view into how profitable the project is expected to be for Bruce Ratner, hoping that big numbers would undermine his argument for needing to make the site so dense. The craving for transparency is due in part to the fact that the project gets to by-pass the city’s land-review process because so much of the land is state-owned.
Lawmakers Push for the Release of AY Financial Documents [NY Sun]
Photo by nautical2k

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Not sure how we missed this one, but according to this month’s Fort Greene Association newsletter, the Carlton Mews project, which includes a row of new townhouses on Carlton and the conversion of two existing church buildings on Adelphi, received Landmarks approval back on January 19th. The FGA, in addition to TIsh James and the Carlton-Willoughby Block Association, all spoke at the hearings in favor of the development, citing its respect for the scale and architecture of the historic neighborhood. The architect of the project is Ken Levenson, though there’s no mention of Carlton Mews on his website.
February 2007 Newsletter [Fort Greene Association] GMAP
A Look Inside the Carlton Mews Church [Brownstoner]
LPC Sends Carlton Mews Back to Drawing Board [Brownstoner]

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We’ve gotten a number of inquiries in recent weeks about the big project at the corner of Myrtle and Clermont in Fort Greene. We posted photos of the lot back in November and a debate ensued about the degree of Fedders-ness of the design. Turns out it’s going to be a 6-story, 93,000-square-foot residential building, about 7,000 square feet of which will be office and retail space; in addition, there will be nine underground parking spots. The project is being done by the same group, BRP Development, that converted the Graham Home for Old Ladies in Clinton Hill. The building, which will consist entirely of two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, is designed by Danois Architects (which, before it does anything else, better redesign its website!) While the rendering isn’t anything to get excited about, the developers get big points for being concerned about contextual design: “The design continues the street wall of Myrtle Avenue at a scale that is consistent with buildings found along the avenue,” reads the website. “In an attempt to delicately intertwine the residential fabric of the neighborhood with the commercial strip, the wall of Myrtle Avenue conspicuously wraps around the corner, locating the residential and the office entrances along Clermont Avenue.”
375 Myrtle Avenue [BRP Development] GMAP P*Shark DOB
Development Watch: 150 Clermont [Brownstoner]