This past year a public walk-thru of the Greenpoint Hotel, a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) at 1109 Manhattan Ave revealed mold, rats, and heat, hot water and electrical problems. The property has been purchased along with authority over ALL the tenant leases and there is talk that it may be demolished completely and transformed into a hostel. Continue reading
goodyoga owners Flannery & Ray are so zen that while you were doing your goodflow you probably didn’t notice there was an annoying landlord dispute happening at the Calyer St space. They are putting all that bad energy behind them and have moved into a brand spanking new space at 114 Greenpoint Ave and are hosting classes at The Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave) in Williamsburg! And there is talks of a sauna!!!
We chatted with Flannery about the move. Continue reading
Craft Epidemic, Hipster Vet, Levin Loves Girls, $300 Difference, 106 New Bars, Homeless Stabbing – The Hook-Up 9/16
We all know how crafty Greenpointers are, well, now we have a new 1500 square foot classroom in the Pencil Factory studios that will be teaching classes beginning in October. (BB)
What’s young, bearded and likes to ride bikes in Greenpoint? Hipsters? Try Afghan Vets. (Brokelyn)
Steve Levin won by a landslide, but he may not win the hearts of Greenpointers when it comes to bringing TV show tourists to our “calm, humble” neighborhood. (Greenpoint Gazette)
Recent reports from real estate insiders now say the difference in cost of an apartment in Greenpoint versus downtown Manhattan is only $300. (NY DailyNews)
Homeless people are stabbing each other with ice picks at Greenpoint’s least favorite place ever.
And you thought that our neighbors to the south already had enough bars, over 100 Williamsburg businesses are applying for liquor licenses this month alone. (DNA Info)
Beacon’s Closets, the infamous vintage clothing warehouse is relocating to Greenpoint at the end of this year. It is among the many recent Williamsburg businesses to be priced out and seek more affordable rents here.
“Soaring rents are forcing out another pioneering Williamsburg retailer. The latest to join the exodus is Beacon’s Closet, a consignment clothing store and long-time hipster hangout. It is decamping from its North 11th Street home of 11 years…to its new 7,500-square-foot ground floor space at 74 Guernsey St.”
Via, Brooklyn 11211, who thinks this article from Crains is a bunch of baloney, “the trophy for the Brooklyn project that has had the most transformative impact goes to the renovation of Greenpoint/Williamsburg’s McCarren Park Pool.”
Does this surprise you given the bad behavior and poop issues following the pool’s opening last year?
According to Eastern Consolidated who created the report, the “transformative impact” refers to real estate in terms of the price of land and buildings. The article stated that:
In terms of land sales, there were 14 within half a mile of McCarren Park in the last two years, with an average price $10.8 million. That compares to 10 deals within half a mile of the Barclays Center, where prices only averaged $2.6 million. The volume of multi-family properties around the park also outpaced the Barclays Center’s with about $95 million in sales in both 2011 and 2012 in the area around the park, compared to roughly $85 million near the arena in 2011 and $41 million in 2012. The average price for the former was a little over $490 a foot, compared to $400 a foot near Barclays.
Cainns goes on to report that Barclay’s outscored the pool in terms of retail development.
Brooklyn 11211 argues that “I’d bet that the prior redevelopment, not to mention the massive rezoning of the area in 2005, had a lot more to do with the price of development sites in the area than a few million gallons of water in a pool do (as fantastic as that pool might be).”
While the pool may just be that – a pool, in terms of amenities it’s much more of a value to the local community than a big rusty looking arena that draws a crowd from outside of the area. Let’s not forget the actual park, which has been renovated on the northern end and also has a great running track and work-out area. Considering the high real estate values of areas surrounding Prospect and Central Parks, it makes sense that as Greenpoint and Williamsburg continue to develop that the housing prices around McCarren Park will follow that same pattern.
Do you think the pool is a valuable asset to the North Brooklyn community?
That was the question on everyone’s mind at Wednesday night’s CB1 public hearing. In part, the public hearing was called to discuss the proposed rezoning of a block-long portion of McGuinness Boulevard from a manufacturing zone to a residential zone with a commercial overlay. This stretch of McGuinness between Calyer & Greenpoint is currently home to a gas station, several auto parts stores, Key Foods and Risqué Billiards. The owner/developer of 209-231 McGuinness– landlord to Risqué Billiards and ‘Strauss Discount Auto Parts’- thinks his site’s highest and best use is a new, 140 unit apartment building. Several members of the community certainly disagreed at the hearing. Continue reading
You know the old expression - there goes the neighborhood. Nowadays in North Brooklyn, that sentiment is in the air when new high rise condominiums go up or when the hipsters move in. Robert Anasi’s latest book, The Last Bohemia: Scenes From The Life of Williamsburg, describes a time in our neighborhood’s recent past when North Brooklyn wasn’t a destination for artisanal restaurants and a good investment for foreign millionaires, but a long and sometimes scary ride on the L train to a place filled with drugs, prostitution, affordable housing and for Anasi, freedom: “a city you didn’t have to be rich to live in.”
Robert Anasi will be giving a reading at Word (126 Franklin St) tonight Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 7pm.
You have probably seen the signs around the neighborhood calling for a General Strike today, May 1, 2012. That means, no work, no school, no housework, no banking, no shopping. I like NOT doing all of those things, but what for? And what does this mean for Greenpoint?
According to the OWS.org website: “We are striking to halt the flow of capital, reclaim a tool of resistance, and unify movements against exploitation, repression, and corruption. You should join the movement and strike because: everyone else will be doing it and it’ll be fun and empowering. But more importantly, join because you’ve experienced exploitation, repression, and corruption, and you are aware of their impact around you. Join if you are forced to work and consume; if you want to have a choice for an alternative.”
“Everyone else is doing it,” is not convincing but a disempowered sentiment certainly lingers.
Janie Grenier, a 16 year resident in Greenpoint commented, “I believe people in Greenpoint and all over the city should follow their conscience on May Day. I admire and respect anyone’s choice to make a statement against income inequality and the essential injustice of the bank bailouts in the absence of meaningful help for struggling homeowners, the unemployed and the underemployed. That said, I hope the spirit of non-violence is observed by all, protesters and police alike.”
I love perusing the amazing photos that fellow Greenpointers share on the Greenpointers Flickr pool. Recently I posted some amazing interiors from a user named Digital Front. The shots looked like old movie sets and I imagined this person to be either a film location scout or a real estate broker.
Sure enough our photographer with a keen eye and an in on old properties in the neighborhood is named Victor Wolski. He grew up on Humboldt St, studied photography in college and now is a real estate broker for Greenpoint Properties.
When asked what inspires him to record these images, Victor said: ”Besides being part of my job, I do it to preserve a piece of Greenpoint that won’t exist any more after the property is sold. Many of the apartments and houses haven’t been touched in 50, 70, or sometimes 100 years. But once the homes are renovated they will be gone forever. And as the population of Greenpoint, and the city in general, keeps exploding I fear the old historic apartments will become more and more rare, to be replaced by sleek new interiors that just don’t have that charm that existed before it. Doing the photography work myself also gives me a way to be creative in a mostly non-creative field.”
People would pay a fortune for those wallpaper patterns and go crazy over that old wood paneling. Thanks Victor, for giving us a glimpse back to a time past and keeping old Greenpoint alive through your great photography. To see more of these interesting photos visit Victor’s Flickr page.
Brooklyn Woodwind and Brass is the only shop in Brooklyn that sells and repairs jazz players’ instruments.
The owner, Eric Downs, 42, opened his niche business about a year ago. He sells saxophones, flutes, trumpets and other instruments. He said the shop has been profitable since the first 30 days of operation.
“There is no competition,” he said. Located on Bedford, the Brooklyn Woodwind and Brass serves professional musicians and all the high schools in the area.
He said he was confident about launching a startup during the economic downturn. Downs is a professional saxophone player. He said it gives him an advantage because most craftsmen who work on music instruments are not.
He saved to open his shop in Greenpoint for 10 years. The rent security deposit was $20,000. Downs said he still needs time for a payback. In terms of payroll and balance sheets, he hopes to recover his initial investments in the shop in one or two years. His business is yet in transition stage. “I am nearly at the point to start hiring people,” said Downs.
He said he was lucky to get a commercial lease in Greenpoint. In New York City, in general, there’s a fight for a good place to rent. The landlord is in the restaurant business so he didn’t consider Downs a competitor. There’s no possible way to try to open a restaurant in this area, – said Downs. “A usual lifespan of a new restaurant in New York is six to nine months,” he said, “Competition is ridiculous.”
Blue ocean strategy worked perfectly for Downs. In case you are a businessman planning to launch a start-up in Greenpoint, here’s a bunch of helpful resources.
The Greenpoint Business Alliance (GBA) is an association of merchants, businesses, property owners and community organizations of the neighborhood. Its mission is to support the economic development through collaboration of businesses within the 11222 zip code.
If you have not yet come up with your business idea, a local blog could inspire you to bring the neighborhood something everybody is longing for.
Finally, a good way to save up is to explore the waterfront area. Developments there are eligible for a 25-year tax exemption if 20% of the on-site units are provided for low-income households or 25 percent of the on-site units are provided for low and moderate households, New York City Greenpoint-Williamsburg inclusionary housing program reports.
Are you planning to launch a start-up in Greenpoint? Why do you think it’s the right or wrong time?