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A reader wrote in with this picture to tell us that the DOT opened Van Brunt and Degraw Streets to two-way traffic in the Columbia Street waterfront neighborhood yesterday after nearly a decade of “temporary” one-way street changes. Our tipster, a longtime neighborhood resident, said the project began about 10 years ago when the city started upgrading all the utilities and roads in the Columbia Street waterfront area.

Around that time, the DOT made several blocks in the hood one-way: Degraw between Van Brunt and Columbia and Van Brunt from Degraw to Hamilton. They also changed the direction of traffic on Summit Street between Hamilton and Columbia. But as of yesterday, the preconstruction traffic patterns have been restored. And recently, the city started building the greenway along Columbia Street, which is nearly finished.

“They even installed permanent traffic lights just last year at that intersection on Columbia, only to take them down a couple of days ago and replace them with a four-way stop,” said our tipster. “This affected truck traffic too, since all trucks must go on Van Brunt.”

The notice also indicates the B61 will return to its normal route, and there will be no more parking along that section of Van Brunt and on the northern side of Degraw.

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Sales and marketing have started up for 255 Columbia, a Passive House boutique condo building that is going up on Columbia Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront area. Move-in is expected in winter of 2014, according to developer HPI Development LLC. The 13-unit building was designed by Loadingdock5, which specializes in Passive House design. The super-insulated building with triple-paned windows and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery will be energy efficient and also quiet. There will be a “steady stream of fresh filtered air,” according to the building’s website.

The building comes with some other pretty high end features too, including 4-inch-wide American walnut flooring, Bosch washer/dryers, and white Carrera honed marble mosaic floors and Calacatta marble counters in the master baths. The kitchens will have white lacquer and walnut cabinetry and Corian counters. While the building is located on a stretch of Columbia Street that does not directly overlook the East River, some of the higher units will have views of Manhattan and the water. Units will range in price from about $900,000 to $2,000,000. The four units now on the market start at $1,095,000 for a two-bedroom and go up to $1,250,000 for a three-bedroom. Click through to the jump to see renderings of the building exterior and a bathroom.

255 Columbia [Building Site]
Passively Designed 255 Columbia Launches Sales From $900K [Curbed]
Sokol Brothers Building on Columbia Street Leveled [Brownstoner] GMAP

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At the beginning of this month the restaurant Cesar’s Garden opened at 192 Columbia Street, off Degraw Street on the Columbia Street Waterfront. Cesar’s Garden is open everyday from 8 am to 10 pm and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a diner-style menu with lots of salad, sandwich, pasta, hamburger, and egg options. Check it out here. Have any readers tried it out yet? GMAP

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This new listing at Columbia Commons in the Columbia Waterfront District is a combination of two units that were purchased from the developer in 2011 for a combined $800,000. The resulting floor plan works very well, which is not always the case with these combos, and the 1,293-square-foot apartment is styled to sell. So unless interest rates continue their climb we won’t be surprised if this place fetches within spitting distance of its asking price of $1,295,000, ground-floor location be damned. $1,000 a foot is the new $700 a foot!

110 Warren Street, #B103/B104 [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark

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This month the Department of Buildings issued new building permits for a six-unit, three-story building right off the Columbia Street Waterfront at 111-113 Kane Street. The lot is 4,046 square feet with a total of 8,092 buildable square feet. This Massey Knackal listing says that it’s “prime for condominium development.” The lot was asking $1,450,000 and it sold in August for $1,625,000. Above, the current state of construction. GMAP

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This FSBO that just hit the market at 29 Tiffany Place in the Columbia Street Waterfront District has a lot going for it. The two exposures, high ceilings and great views are all well and good, but it’s the original wood-beamed ceiling that is the real show stopper! Very nice. While just 1,100 square feet, the condo unit is well laid out, accommodating three decent-sized bedrooms in addition to a generous living and dining area. Asking price is $945,000.
29 Tiffany Place #4J [FSBO] GMAP P*Shark

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Later this month Community Board Six will hold a public hearing about two new townhouses planned for 96-98 Degraw Street between Columbia and Van Brunt Streets in the Columbia Street Waterfront District. The developers, who are listed under “The Green Witch Project LLC” and “The Other Half LLC” (anybody have any clue what that could stand for?), are seeking a variance for the build. The plan is for two, three-story, approximately 3,100-square-foot single-family homes. If you’d like to attend the public hearing, the meeting is scheduled for February 28th; the location is to be determined.
Photo via Google Maps

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We think this is an attractive building — but it’s located close to the shore in Red Hook and the approach to the Battery Tunnel. The building has five units and “is in great condition,” according to the listing, which appears to have been updated overnight. “Showings will begin in the late fall,” it says. Maybe they are doing some cleanup? What do you think of the building and its asking price of $2,195,000? Do you think recent events will have any bearing on its salability?
29 Woodhull Street [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark

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A tipster sent along this photo of work starting up at 111-113 Kane Street, an empty lot between Hicks and Columbia streets near the Columbia Street Waterfront. According to an old Massey Knakal press release, the lot (with 8,100 buildable square feet) sold for $1,625,000 this summer. The DOB issued a new building permit for seven stories and 14 units, but we found another building application for this site approving six stories and 12 units. So what’s it gonna be? Regardless of how many stories, this area isn’t landmarked so the facade will be a toss up.

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Just Another Brooklyn Blog profiled the revamped Lilla Cafe, on Union Street off the Columbia Street Waterfront. Recently the restaurant renovated the space and focused the new menu on southern fare. They also lowered the prices to compete with nearby Calexico. As JABB says, “An order of very tasty hush puppies is $5.50, crispy mac and cheese croquetes are $6, and a generous basket of fried chicken and fries is just $11. There is also an assortment of well-priced po’ boy sandwiches.” He gave the restaurant two thumbs up. Have any other readers checked out the new and improved spot?
Brooklyn Southern Has Soft Opening [Just Another Brooklyn Blog]
Photo via Just Another Brooklyn Blog