Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sanitation Department Is On The Job On Smith Street

Seen on Smith Street near the 2nd Place F train subway entrance.
I wonder how long these bicycle frames have been there.

Regency Service Cart Building On Carroll Street Poised For Demolition

Regency Cart building in 2013

And below in April 2014, with scaffolding
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Last week, Sterling Equities, owner of 345 Carroll Street, between Hoyt and Bond Streets, informed neighboring residents that demolition permits have been issued by the NYC Department Of Buildings for the old two-story brick building on the site to make way for a new residential development. According to a notice distributed to condo owners of an adjacent building, demolition will begin within the next two weeks and will last about four to six weeks.
That demolition may be complicated by the fact that just two days ago, the Department of Buildings issued a Stop-Work Order for "work without permits."

According to Curbed, Sterling Equities purchased the building in May 2013 for $12.5 million and is planning a new building that will house 35 condominium apartments.
In November 2013, Sterling filed a change of address for the property from 337 Carroll Street to 345 Carroll Street.

Until recently, the building housed the Regency Service Carts company.  The family-run business made  equipment for the restaurant and hotel trade.

The Long Transformation Of The Brownstone at 132 Second Place To $9,895,000 Investment Property

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Halstead Realty listing for 132 Second Place


132 Second Place in 2008
132 Second Place in 2008
Addition of the Fifth Floor in 2008
Removal of the stoop in 2011

It has been a long nine years for the brownstone at 132 Second Place.   What started in 2005 as a vertical and horizontal enlargement, quickly turned into a comedy of errors, complete with a  back wall collapse,  DOB violations for work done without proper permits,  and stop-work orders. Add to that a change in ownership and a time in limbo after the Carroll Gardens Wide Street Text Amendment and Contextual Rezoning, which all contributed to long delays.
But perhaps, all the setbacks will finally pay off for its owner.  Just recently, the brownstone been listed by Halstead Realty for $9,895,000 as an investment property.  That sicker price may be a record for Carroll Gardens.
According to the listing, 132 Second Place is:
"setting a new tone for investment properties is this fully renovated energy efficient 5-unit brownstone. The buildng has undergone a thorough and extensive high end renovation, has 5 high income producing apartments and will be delivered vacant. Building measures 25x50x14x14 on 5 floors and the lot is 100 feet. Each apartment has their own HVAC air/heating unit, hot water heater, K6 wiring, washer/dryer, high end appliances, custom finishes and much more. Includes: Garden level duplex w/Rec Room and landscaped backyard; Apartments 2-5 are 3 bedroom, 2 bath w/Terrace and 5th floor includes a private roof deck. Prime Carroll Gardens location and conveniently located to public transportation, schools, playgrounds and local neighborhood shops and restaurants. Estimated rent roll and set up available upon request."

Back in 2005, the building was sold for $1,850,000 to Mohegan Holdings, Co. LLC. In 2007, the deed to the property was transferred from the Mohegan Holding Company, LLC to a Henry Azcue for $1,825,000. Zillow indicates yet another sale for $8,500,000 in 2007.
In the recent past, the individual apartments were either listed as rentals or as condos.  However, none of the units were ever occupied, and per the Halstead listing, the building will be delivered vacant.

It is worth pointing out that 132 Second Place is right next to the elevated F train tracks.  And perhaps it is an oversight, but the Buildings Department site does not indicate that a Certificate of Occupancy exists for the building.

So what do you think? Is this more real estate folly or do you think the seller will get his price?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"World Book Night" Distribution In Carroll Park Tomorrow Eve

Friend Bruce McD on the right, picking up his twenty copies of "Tales Of The City" which he will hand out tomorrow in Carroll Park.
My friend Bruce McD. is a giver for World Book Night, an "annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person".  On Wednesday evening,  he will be distributing 20 free copies of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" in Carroll Park.  If you have never read the first installment of Maupin's delightful series set in San Fransisco, make sure to get your free copy from Bruce.

I was with him on Saturday, when he picked up the books in the Carroll Gardens Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Saturday.

The Carroll Gardens library is participating in this event as well and has twenty copies of Hoot by Carl Hiassen to give away.

Henry's Locál Café: A New Neighborhood Gem

A few weeks back, Reader Erik mentioned a new café that had just opened at 570 Henry Street to me.  Last week, I finally got a chance to check out Henry's Locál.  This small, cozy café opened its door in February, but because of its charming retro decor, one could think that it has been a fixture in the neighborhood for decades.
Henry's Locál serves coffee, tea, sandwiches and backed goods at reasonable prices.  (The cappuccino I ordered was wonderfully strong.)  The staff was very pleasant and the atmosphere warm and unhurried.  If it hasn't already become a neighborhood favorite, it will soon become so as more people in Carroll Gardens discover this little gem.
But don't take my word for it.  Check out the five star reviews on Yelp.

570 Henry Street
between Carroll Street and First Place 
Open Monday-Friday
7:30am - 7:00pm
8:30am - 8:00pm

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dead Body Found In Gowanus Canal This Afternoon

Photo of Police retrieval boat and divers going towards the scene

The body of a male was spotted in the Gowanus Canal at the Union Street Bridge this afternoon.  At around 3:20 PM this afternoon, police and firemen had responded and were closing off the bridge to both vehicles and pedestrians.
Gothamist reports that the body was of a fully clothed black male. The body has not yet been identified.

Just received photos of the scene before the police closed the bridge.  ****Please be advised that they are not for the faint of heart. You can access the photos here and here.

Picture Of The Day: Springtime On Court Street

Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) in full bloom on Court Street

NY State Senator Daniel Squadron To Host Sixth Annual Community Convention

map of the 26th NY State Senate District

NY State Senator Daniel Squadron who the 26th Senate District will be hosting his Sixth Annual  Community Convention on Sunday, April 27th.  The keynote speaker of the convention will be
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  Don't forget to RSVP if you live in the 27th District and would like to attend..
Below please find all pertaining information.

Come out and make your voice heard on all of the legislative and community priorities that shape our district and our state.
Every year, hundreds of community members attend and offer valuable input on everything from schools and parks to housing and ethics reform. The great ideas discussed in our small group sessions are critical in shaping my work at home and in Albany.

Sixth Annual 26th Senate District Community Convention
Sunday, April 27, 2014
2:00PM to 5:00PM
Seward Park Educational Campus
350 Grand Street (between Ludlow and Essex Streets)
New York, NY 10002
RSVP here, or by contacting my office at 212-298-5565 or

Pau Hana On Court Street: Yet Another New Nail Salon Opens In the Neighborhood

Though there already is a nail salon at every corner of both Court Street and Smith Street, it would seem as if this neighborhood has not reached a saturation point yet.  Just recently, Pau Hana, a mani/pedi/massage and waxing place with a Hawaiian flair just opened at 235 Court Street.
Pau Hana, a phrase which means 'time to relax and enjoy", charged $11 for a manicure and $24 for a pedicure.  They also offer "Japanese nail gel art" for $50.