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Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.

Wallabout Market in 1940. Photo via the Library of Congress

This little-known historic enclave dates back to the 17th century, evidenced by the area’s pre–Civil War wood-frame row houses and not one but two historic district designations. 

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Westbrook Partners and Invesco Real Estate are among the bidders for a 550,000-square-foot warehouse at 47 Hall Street in Wallabout, The Real Deal reported. Management could be planning an overhaul of the building, which is known for its artist studios and Open Studios events.

Currently housing mainly small, commercial tenants paying comparatively affordable rates of $6 to $8 per square foot, ownership is no longer renewing leases, according to The Real Deal. At the much larger but otherwise similar Industry City, investors have been bringing in larger tenants at higher rates.

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The industrial warehouse at 29 Ryerson across from the Navy Yard in Wallabout has changed hands yet again, nearly doubling in price. Madison Realty Capital paid $45,000,000 for the storage facility, according to The Real Deal. The previous owner, 11-45 Ryerson LLC, now revealed to be headed up by real estate investor Chaim Miller, bought it in 2013 for $26,400,000.

It sounds like plans to redevelop the property into offices focused on tech tenants with retail below have not changed. “We are planning on renovating and bringing it to the level that a tech tenant would demand,” a Madison exec told The Real Deal. At one time, former owners planned to turn it into a hotel with a rooftop bar. Madison is also developing two large mixed-use apartment buildings nearby at 490 and 504 Myrtle Avenue, as the story noted.

Madison Buys Brooklyn Warehouse for $45 Million From Chaim Miller [TRD]
29 Ryerson Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

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New building applications were filed last week for five three-story townhouses on Park Avenue, next to the BQE in Wallabout. The houses at 306-314 Park Avenue will have three units each and range in size from 1,525 square feet to 1,750 square feet. It’s not the most optimal location for housing, but with three units each (and small ones at that), they’re probably intended as rental investment properties.

The applicant of record is BTE Design Services, and Moses Guttman is the developer. It looks like Guttman bought up the series of vacant properties at Park Avenue and Ryerson Street for a combined $210,000 over the last two years, according to public records. GMAP

Image via Google Maps

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former bakery, now empty?
Address: 21-27 North Oxford Street
Cross Streets: Flushing and Park Avenues
Neighborhood: Fort Greene (Wallabout)
Year Built: Early 20th century
Architectural Style: Brick 19th century style factory
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: South Oxford Street turns into North Oxford when it crosses Myrtle Avenue. Before the bakery was constructed, there were four brick houses on these lots. The map for 1886 shows them clearly, and the Brooklyn Eagle records advertisements for servants, as well as stories of the people who lived in 21, 23, 25, and 27 North Oxford Street.

21 North Oxford was home to an apparent suicide in 1895. Maurice Morson ingested arsenic and died. He apparently was a miserably angry man who fought often with his wife. The day before he killed himself, he had taken a stick to her when she tried to stop him from beating their twelve year old son. She told the coroner that the evening of his death, he had poured some coffee, and offered to share it with her. She thought that strange, since he wasn’t prone to acts of kindness or sharing.

He poured some of the coffee into the saucer, and then offered her the cup. After they finished their coffee, she said he was violently ill and threw up. But he refused to allow her to get a doctor, and a few hours later he was dead. The police found arsenic pills on his person, and the coroner found arsenic in his stomach. It was called a suicide, even though his wife admitted that she had once threatened to poison him. Hmmm.

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We could swear we’ve seen one of these renderings before, but we must be hallucinating, because a search has turned up nothing. New York YIMBY has published what appears to be the first renderings of the townhouses that are going up at 17-35 Clermont Avenue and 14-38 Vanderbilt Avenue in Wallabout. As we’ve reported before, they are part of the three-part affordable housing development Navy Green, but the 23 townhouses will be market rate.

Each three-story, single family house will have 2,295 square feet of space, according to new building permits. There will also be a 32,000 square foot common space for all the Navy Green buildings, with gardens, lawn and a children’s playground. Curtis + Ginsburg Architects and FXFowle are the designers. The developers are Dunn Development Corp., L+M Development Partners Inc., and the Pratt Area Community Council.

The schedule calls for move-ins to start in July and finish up in September 2016, but as YIMBY points out, those dates will probably move back.

What do you think of the look?

Revealed: Navy Green Townhouses in Fort Greene [NYY]
Navy Green Coverage [Brownstoner]
Renderings from Dunn Development via NYY

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The city has finished demolishing the mid-19th century wood frame at 69 Vanderbilt Avenue in the Wallabout Historic District, DNAinfo reported. A construction fence went up around the home in August, after the DOB responded to a complaint in June that the house was shaking and leaning. The HPD filed demolition permits to knock down the house in December. The house was still standing when we passed by January 4, although demo may have started earlier.

Preservationists had spent years fighting to save the house, which was built in the Greek Revival style with Italianate details. Wood turner Richard Pease built the home — as well as the much better-maintained twin house next door at 71 Vanderbilt — no later than the summer of 1850, according to the historic district’s designation report, although it could be older.

The LPC decided the building had deteriorated too much, and sued the property owner to demolish it, said DNAinfo. Once the court ruled in favor of the LPC, the city moved forward with demolition. Now the vacant lot is in the process of being sold, according to DNAinfo.

164-Year-Old Landmarked Home Reduced to Rubble in Clinton Hill [DNAinfo]
Closing Bell: City to Demolish Landmarked Greek Revival Wood Frame in Wallabout [Brownstoner]
Photo by Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC