In Crown Heights, we have a rarity: an HDFC prewar co-op that allows subletting. This first-floor apartment at 1055 Bergen Street, located just outside the Crown Heights North Historic District, is only $325,000, but the buyer’s income can’t exceed the cap — $110,220 for a single, $126,060 for a family of two and $141,735 for a family of three. In addition, the buyer would need the cash on hand to purchase the apartment outright and then make the necessary renovations.
HDFC is the common shorthand for Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives, shareholder-owned affordable homes created by New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development agency. These properties enjoy reduced real estate taxes but must adhere to certain selling and renting standards — namely the income restrictions. Since only a handful of Brooklyn co-op buildings allow subletting (a decision that is up to a co-op’s board) it is especially strange that this unit, an income-restricted co-op, should allow it.
Speaking of renovations: The apartment definitely needs a new kitchen, painting and floor refinishing. A new bathroom and new electric are probably needed as well. That said, there are high ceilings, picture-frame railings and even some door and window casings, though they seem to have changed.
The unit, while technically a two-bedroom, is quite small, and there’s only one closet in the entire apartment. The larger bedroom was likely intended to do double duty as a living room, freeing up the current living room to serve as a dining room. The extra-wide frame for French doors between the two rooms is still there, although filled in; a buyer could restore them.
The building boasts original ornamental plaster details and mosaic tile in its entry, although the former has been slathered over in blue and white paint.
A quick look at HPD reveals hundreds of violations, including 27 so far this year for issues with heat and hot water. This could indicate the building has financial and management problems.
It’s close to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, popular food hall Berg’n and the Long Island Railroad. The nearest subway, the Nostrand Avenue A and C, is five and a half blocks away.
Listed by Douglas Elliman’s Nikki Sun, it’s asking $325,000. Maintenance is $540 a month. Would you buy this unicorn unit?
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