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Last week we ran a photo of a row of houses on 13th Street between 3rd and 4th avenues, and a reader who’s thinking of buying on the street got in touch about one of the properties pictured, which she referred to as the “trash house.” She said neighbors tell her garbage has been piled up outside 196 13th Street for more than 12 years, and there’s “been recent complaint activity although it’s been INCREDIBLY tough to get an answer/get any action to get the place cleaned up–apparently since the trash doesn’t go beyond his property line, it’s okay-ish?” We swung by and talked to a couple neighbors on the block who also said that the house has been this way for more than a decade, which seems to be confirmed by a DOB violation on record from 2000 about “debris piled up at front.” Anyone know if the neighbors have any recourse in a situation like this, or do they just have to deal with the unsightly—and most likely unsanitary—mess? Click through for a close-up of the garbage… GMAP

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We stumbled across an interesting tidbit of information browsing last month’s CB6 minutes: “Chairperson Kummer informed that Board that he recently met with Council Member Steven Levin…He was very pleased to hear that the Council Member was most receptive to our need to put our heads together to come up with a way to motivate property owners and developers to make their properties safe and remove blighted conditions from our community. It was reassuring to hear that their office was already in touch with the owner of 187 7th Avenue at the corner of 2nd Street, which has sadly become a poster child for exactly this type of challenging situation.” We spoke with Council Member Levin’s rep Hope Reichbach, who confirmed she’s been in touch with the property owners. Reichbach said the “owners seem open to start a conversation and move forward with the site.” Right now talks are very preliminary and no action has been taken thus far. Options with the long-blighted property include assistance for the owners to make necessary repairs or marketing it to a private buyer. These options, however, are entirely dependent on how discussions go with CB6, local politicians, the community, and the owners of 187 7th. Last month a listing popped up advertising the availability of the building’s ground-floor space.
Will Infamous Slope Ruin be Reborn? [Brownstoner]
Doings at the Dilapidated 7th Ave & 2nd St Building? [Brownstoner] GMAP

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The historic Slave Theater at Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue has been empty since 1999, when it was a Regal movie theater. It was on the market in March 2009 for $2,950,000, at which time Curbed reported the building had “received several offers north of 2 million” but the owners were holding out for someone who’d preserve it as a theater. It apparently didn’t sell because it has been re-listed by Massey Knakal Realty for the same price of $2,950,000. There is the option to buy the theater separately or with its sister theater The Slave Theater II on Nostrand. After all this wait, we hope they can find a buyer with the money and time for a careful restoration.
Listing for 1215-17 Fulton Street [Massey Knakal Realty]
Bed Stuy Theater Seeks Savior [Curbed]
Slave Theater Hits the Market [Brownstoner]
Slave Theater in Court, Preservation Effort Weak [Brownstoner] GMAP

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We noted with interest Curbed’s report that the Ridgewood Masonic Temple was for sale, so we made a point last week of driving by to check it out in person. Located at 1054 Bushwick Avenue at the corner Gates Avenue, the four-story building has already been utilized as a hipster playground, hosting gigs by the band Sleigh Bells among others recently. Now the fraternal order that owns the 18,000-square-foot building has put it on the market for $1 million, which doesn’t seem that expensive to us. Think it has condo potential? GMAP

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In an effort to do something about its $700 million debt load, St. Vincent’s Medical Center is in the process of divesting itself of some non-core properties, including the Bishop Mugavero Center for Geriatric Care at 155 Dean Street in Boerum Hill. Both The Times and NY1 make it sound like a deal is in place, but neither mentions a buyer or a price for the 135,000-square-foot building.
Mount Sinai Shows Interest in St. Vincent’s [NY Times]
St. Vincent’s To Sell Off Two Nursing Homes [NY1] GMAP
Photo from PropertyShark

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The Brooklyn Eagle notes today that the former 84th Precinct headquarters at 72 Poplar Street in Brooklyn Heights is back on the market, but we actually read the news first over on MyHomeBrooklyn last week, which caused us to go by and snap this photo last Wednesday. Given the frustrations the owners have had getting approval to build a rooftop addition since acquiring the property in 2004 for $9.6 million, it’s no surprise to learn that the owners are testing the market. And what’s the magic number? $12 million, according to The Eagle.
Former 84th Police Precinct Back on Market [Brooklyn Eagle] GMAP

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The owner of 23 South Portland Avenue must not be in a big hurry, because the three-family brownstone has sat on the market for the last three years without a price reduction. (In fact, the price is now $100,000 more than the $2,500,000 price back in 2007.) That number may not sound insane for a five-story house on the most desirable block in Fort Greene until you consider this comment from the House of the Day thread from September 2007:

This house is currently completely demolished on the inside–there are no floors or walls. It is a shell, albeit a nice one, since the facade was recently redone. A buyer would have to build this house from scratch. About the nutty price, they’re trying to sell you a shell at move-in condition prices. There are a few details remaining on the parlor floor, a pier mirror, a marble mantel, and some cracked remnants of ornamental molding.

Has anyone been inside more recently or know more about the back-story?
23 South Portland Avenue Listing [Crewstown Realty] GMAP
House of the Day: 23 South Portland Avenue [Brownstoner]

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UPDATE: THIS HOUSE IS NOT IN CONTRACT! It appears someone with ulterior motives sent in these photos. The only upside is that now a reader can buy this place and restore it to the condition it deserves to be in.
When Montrose posted 664 Jefferson Avenue as the Building of the Day on Tuesday, it was clearly because of the woodframe house’s architectural interest. Of course, the small For Sale sign in the photo led to heated discussion about what this place would sell for. The owner of the house, curious to know what Brownstoner readers thought it was worth, saw the post and sent in some photos of the interior. It actually just went into contract so it’s an academic exercise but fun nonetheless. Hopefully he’ll tell us the contract price when the widget voting has concluded. GMAP


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Just as nothing has been doing at the Whole Foods site on 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, nothing has been done to stop the landmark building on the edge of the grocer’s land from falling into even deeper ruin. As shown in the photo gallery, the property is literally falling apart and it’s also a dumping ground for all sorts of trash. On a positive note, if there’s one to be found here, at least the unintentionally (?) ironic banner that’s sometimes hoisted to the side of the building advertising demolition has been taken down for the time being. The building is not owned by Whole Foods, but the retailer entered into an agreement with its owner back in ’05 to repair the structure. The building is known as the Coignet Stone Company building and was landmarked in 2006 as a “pioneering example of concrete construction in the United States.”
Whole Foods: Not the Best of Neighbors [Brownstoner]
3rd St. Landmark Crumbling; Is Whole Foods to Blame? [Brownstoner] GMAP
Missing Details at Landmarked Third and Third Building [Brownstoner]

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce honored Mr. B, and Brownstoner.com December 15th at their 2009 WInter Gala, held at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle writes that Brownstoner.com was chosen as one of the “Champions of Local Business” by the Chamber, and awarded special proclamations from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The article then goes on to say:

Now well-known borough-wide, Brownstoner.com is a site and blog about Brooklyn real estate and renovation, and all the tangential topics that impact life inside and outside the home in Brooklyn, says the online description. Launched in October 2004 by (Jonathan) Butler, the site currently has about 150,000 unique visitors and 1.5 million pageviews per month.

Congratulations, Mr. B!

Real Estate Blog One of Honorees at Annual Chamber of Commerce Gala [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]