Fort Greene

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When we first discussed Das Haus, the new building at 90 Clermont Avenue, back in February, we thought the prices were a little high but that the general location, north of Myrtle in Fort Greene, held promise for young buyers. We didn’t have much to go on in terms of the interiors though. So we were pleased to find some friendly workers on site when we walked by on Tuesday and were able to take a closer look. Our verdict? The scale of the apartments is not huge but the quality of the finishes is certainly a cut above what you generally find at this price point: Nice tiling in the bathrooms, heavy doors and a Bosch dishwasher. The units haven’t been flying off the shelf, prompting a price-cut for the two largest units earlier this week: the 910-square-foot two-bedroom penthouse was reduced from $750,000 to $699,000; another two-bedroom that was $650,000 is now $599,000. None of the other four units have signed contracts yet according to the Corcoran web site but we were told that there are contracts “out” on some or all of them. We’ll see. There’s a triple-shot of open houses this weekend: Friday 6-7. Saturday 1-3, and Sunday 1-3.
90 Clermont Avenue, $699K [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
90 Clermont Avenue, $599K [Corcoran]
Das Haus in the House [Brownstoner]
Das Haus – 90 Clermont condos [Set Speed]

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It’s a rich man’s problem, but when a broker has a lot of listings, the risk is that one can make another look pretty bad by comparison. Such is the case with two townhouse listings of Elliman power broker Kathryn Lilly. She recently got the listing for a house at 211 Carlton Avenue which is a classic brownstone (except for the stoop alteration) in a good Fort Greene location. The house traded for $1,580,000 in October 2006 so the current asking price of $2,650,000 may be a bit aggressive even though it appears that the owner’s doing a pretty extensive reno. Aggressive maybe, but not completely insane, like Lilly’s other listing at 171 Greene Avenue. We’ve written several posts over the last year about the owner’s fruitless efforts to sell off this place as three condos at exorbitant prices, so when we heard that he had changed tactics and put the whole house on the market we thought that maybe he’d come to his senses. Apparently not. The asking price, at a whopping $2.5 million, is just as high as he was asking for the three units collectively. This place is overpriced by a good $1 million in our opinion. So now Lilly has the awkward problem of having two houses priced about the same, one an original brownstone a block from Fort Greene Park, the other a recently constructed house on a heavily trafficed portion of Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill. We’re not sure how she’s supposed to sell the latter with a straight face. Brokers, how do you handle a situation like this?
211 Carlton Avenue [Elliman] GMAP P*Shark
171 Greene Avenue [Elliman] GMAP P*Shark

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While the height and materials of the Greene House condos are what attracted the most grumbling when the development opened in late 2004, it struck us the other day that the way in which the base of the building fails to engage with the streetscape is arguably a greater shortcoming. Was this a result of zoning that prevented storefronts on this block or just plain-old bad design? Update: We should also mention that the streetscape on this block has greatly benefited from the garden on the corner that the Greene House Condo owners built with their own two hands. There’s a photo of it with no furniture in January in this thread and a fresh one with furniture on the jump.

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When we last checked in with the BRP Development project at the corner of Myrtle and Clermont in Fort Greene, we were working with an early rendering that didn’t give a great feel for what the end product would look like. Now that the construction is humming along and there’s a better rendering, we thought it worth a revisit. While this project may not win the Pritzker, it gets big points for be a contextual, well-balanced design of, we’re guessing, limestone and brick. The apartment windows are nicely sized, as are those on the retail level. The company’s website also points out that the streetwall lines up with the adjacent building on Myrtle. And while Myrtle Avenue has certainly made huge strides in recent years, it’s not surprising that the developers decided to emphasize the other street it sits on in naming the building The Clermont.
New Development: 375 Myrtle / 150 Clermont [Myrtle Minutes] GMAP P*Shark DOB
New Development at Myrtle and Clermont Avenues [Brownstoner]

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Today’s listing at 344 Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene is a good example of how to do a listing right: Plenty of well-photographed photos, a floorplan and a comprehensive description. Pretty simple but some brokers still are too lazy or incompetent to do it. Of course, it helps when you have a good product to pitch, which is certainly the case with this five-story, two-family brownstone at the epicenter of Fort Greene. Will it fetch the asking price of $2,500,000? Hard to say, but it’ll certainly get close to that. It’s in beautiful shape with tons of historic character with tasteful touches of modern convenience. (We like the kitchen, for example.) There’ve been no takers since it hit the market a couple of weeks ago. Have any readers checked it out?
344 Carlton Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark

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As many will recall, the Williamsburgh Bank Building spent recent decades serving as office space primarily for dentists. As part of the renovation that is converting the upper floors to residential condos, the developers of what is now called One Hanson Place set aside about 30,000 square feet of space for dental practices and are now selling the space as commercial condos. In total, there are 15 medical office suites (though they don’t have to be used for medical purposes) that have been carved out of the bottom seven floors of the building; the offices will have their own entrance on Ashland Place. The listing value of the commercial space is $17 million. Bids for the space are due to Eastern Consolidated by 3 p.m. on May 30…In other One Hanson news, The Post reported today that a deal that would have brought Borders book store to the 35,000-square-foot vaulted space on the ground floor has been killed by an untimely corporate reorganization. What would you like to see in that space?
Tallest Landmarked Office Condo in Brooklyn [Eastern Consolidated] GMAP
Commercial Condominiums Available at One Hanson [Brooklyn Eagle]
A Tweak and a Trim at One Hanson Place [Brownstoner]
One Hanson Breaks 50 Percent Barrier [Brownstoner]

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Man, it’s getting hard to keep up with all the towers that are sprouting up in Downtown Brooklyn. Yesterday, Curbed ran some renderings of Bruce Ratner’s latest project at 80 Dekalb Avenue aka 625 Fulton Street. The 36-story, Costas Kondylis-designed silver scraper will have 369 apartments spread out over 335,187 square feet. As we saw when we swung by at the end of the day, demolition of the existing three- and four-story building that runs most of the way towards Fulton from Dekalb is in full swing. Curbed reported that the property is listed as a rental on the Kondylis site, but we bet nothing’s set in stone just yet. Anyone know if this has an affordable housing component? For political reasons alone we suspect it will.
Kondylis + Ratner on DeKalb Avenue [Curbed] GMAP P*Shark DOB

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When the new four-story building at 364 Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene came on the market in early 2006, the reception on this site was generally positive. We thought the design, while not our favorite, added some excitement to one of Fort Greene’s unloved stretches. In addition to the generous proportions of the three apartments (which ranged from 1,500 and 1,700 square feet), these apartment boasted 17-foot high ceilings. And mezzanines. Which should have been the red flag to anyone who was paying attention. The initial asking prices of $877,000, $890,000 and $919,000 were too high and the listings languished until the summer when a 10-15% price cut across the board attracted interest. By Labor Day of last year, all three were in contract, with promised closing dates of early November. It wasn’t until around Christmas that buyers wre told that it could be another couple of months until closing. It seems there was some delay with the Certificate of Occupancy. In a black hole of communication, one buyer managed to get into the building when he walked by and saw some workers on site. When he got up to his apartment, he saw the appliances had been ripped out. A leak from the top floor had poured down into lower apartments and the bannisters were rusting already. His panicked call to the listing broker yielded the admission that the hold-up had to do with problems with the mezzanines and plans that had been incorrectly filed. The architect? Robert Scarano. With the expected delay now projected at one to two years, the developer let all three buyers out of their contracts. All three listings remain on the Corcoran site as of this morning.
364 Myrtle Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark DOB
Set Speed Condo Report: 364 Myrtle Avenue [Brownstoner]
What’s Up With The New Building on Myrtle? [Brownstoner]

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Despite having surpassed the 50% sales mark, they’re still fine-tuning the pricing over at One Hanson Place. Surprisingly, a 1,050-square-foot two-bedroom on the 17th floor was just trimmed from $883,858 to $864,471; less surprisingly, a 590-square-foot one-bedroom on the 19th floor received a heftier reduction from $642,147 to $598,930. (We’d think that $800 a foot for a two-bedroom would be getting the job done; we can see why a smaller apartment asking over $1,000 a foot needed a push.) We were up on those upper floors a few weeks ago and remain bullish on this building.
One Hanson, Apartment 17G [Corcoran] GMAP
One Hanson, Apartment 19E [Corcoran]
One Hanson Breaks 50 Percent Barrier [Brownstoner]

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Despite the fact that The Sanctuary development at 264 Cumberland in Fort Greene has had a Stop Work Order on it since the beginning of the year, the developers have continued to buy Google ads promoting the conversion. The conversion of the former church and adjoining townhouse looks pretty straightforward so we were curious about what the hold up could be about. Turns out it has something to do with the man who’s brought you so many other Stop Work Orders: Scarano. Given that a church does lend itself to the creation of mezzanine spaces, this isn’t really that surprising, is it? GMAP P*Shark DOB