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Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue



A Solar Cluster Grows in Brooklyn

Written by Bill Morris on September 30, 2016


Here’s the story of how one couple joined the coming solar revolution.

Borough will soon bypass Chicago to become third largest city in the nation.

A Brooklyn condo board learns the importance of hiring the right manager.

Apartment prices in outer boroughs also hitting new highs.

Hint: It’s not New York. Not even close.


It doesn’t take an Einstein (or even a Donald Trump) to point out that Brooklyn is hot. With never-ending reports on the newest residential towers filling the real estate pages, property values are continuing their meteoric rise.


That trend has been further confirmed by recent filings at the Department of Buildings. This past October, most of the “Build We Must” crowd focused their activity on smallish projects outside of Manhattan. In Brooklyn, of course.


And yet, there is an inevitable cooling trend even in the hottest of hot spots. According to The Real Deal, “Far fewer high-rise plans have been submitted this year [for Brooklyn] compared to the same period last year. Residential project plans including at least 200 units are also down citywide.” Better figure out the next "up and coming" nabe before the hipsters do!

The Long Road to Recovery for a Brooklyn Co-op

Written by Tom Soter on October 07, 2015



You name it, the 191-unit co-op at 2650 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn had to do it: replace individual electrical meters; repair the boiler; install a new walkway leading to the building; replace all the glass in the front of the lobby and in the main and two-side entrance lobby doors; replace flooring and walls; and redo the sheetrock.

Although it was just about three years ago, this co-op — like many others — is still licking its wounds following the October 2012 arrival of Hurricane Sandy in New York. The building stands about a mile and a half from the ocean, but the property still wound up with close to seven feet of water in its lobby.


Ah, Brooklyn. Every quarter, it seems to get more prohibitively expensive. Remember the first quarter results? To refresh your memory, Brooklyn was still not as expensive as Manhattan, but the price difference between the two was starting to shrink. Now, according to Douglas Elliman's third-quarter report, it looks like Brooklyn is narrowing the gap even more. Jonathan Miller, the author of the report, confirmed to Brickunderground that "he doesn't expect Brooklyn sales prices to surpass Manhattan anytime soon, but the gap is, indeed, getting smaller. The difference between median Manhattan and Brooklyn prices during the third quarter of 2008 was $418,000; now it's $321,000." Inventory has declined by 13.6 percent — couple weak inventory with strong sales and you have a recipe that results in rising prices, explains Miller. It's no wonder Brooklyn is still breaking records. So what does it all mean? Well, if you're in the market for a co-op or condo in Brooklyn — and you can afford it — now's the time to move, because prices are only going to continue to climb.

Photo credit: Postdlf for English language Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


How times change. It was just August last year that Atlantic Yards was renamed Pacific Park as part of a rebranding effort. Now, a little more than a year later, the first penthouse — one of three condo apartments on the 17th floor of 550 Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights — is hitting the market at $6.8 million. What do you get? How does 2,859 square feet with a wraparound terrace sound? The luxury building is “now under construction at the corner of Dean Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, [and is] one of four towers currently being built at the 22-acre complex by Greenland Forest City Partners,” according to DNAinfo. No wonder so many folks are getting priced out of Brooklyn.

Rendering of penthouse at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue by Cookfox


It was more than two months ago that a judge ruled in favor of the remaining seniors left at the Prospect Park Residence retirement facility. Known as one of Park Slope's worst landlords, Haysha Deitsch has successfully forced out 130 residents so he can build an 11-story luxury condo building in its place. Apparently, Deitsch is still at war with the remaining residents. According to Curbed, "a previous deal to sell the building for $76.5 million fell through when the tenants would not leave. He's previously been charged with refusing to turn on the building's air-conditioning, raising the rents, and handing residents eviction notices when they refused to pay increased rents." Regardless of the continued hostilities at 1 Prospect Park West, it looks like Deitsch has plans to build more luxury condos over on Fourth Avenue. He filed building permits at 243 Fourth Avenue last Wednesday, reports Curbed, which indicate an 118-foot-tall, 11-story residential development with 35,500 square feet. There will be 16 apartments total averaging about 2,000 square feet per unit. Citing YIMBY, Curbed adds that the building amenities will include "a pet spa, bike storage, a children's play room in the cellar, and a recreation space on the third floor. There will also be 3,171 square feet of commercial space and a 271-square-foot community facility on the ground floor." 

Photo via Google Street View 

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