north brooklyn

Greenpoint Is Third Most Expensive Brookyln Neighborhood to Buy an Apartment

The Playground on Noble Street. Photo by Ian Hartsoe

Greenpoint is now the third most expensive Brooklyn neighborhood to purchase a home in with a median sale price of $1,225,000, up 37 percent from last year’s $890,969 median sale price, according to Property Sharks’ year-end report. The study’s ranking lists Greenpoint as the 14th most expensive neighborhood citywide.

For the study Property Shark calculated sale prices on single-family homes, condos, and co-ops from January to November 2018.


By this measure, Greenpoint is currently the third most expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn behind DUMBO (fifth most expensive in NYC) and Boerum Hill (seventh most expensive in NYC). The report explains that 14 units at 886 Lorimer St. sold for a median of $2.2 million, helping to bump Greenpoint’s average upward.

Rendering of 886 Lorimer St.

Greenpoint ranks 28th out of 50 for most transactions this year, far behind the Upper East Side, which had the largest number of deals this year with 2,150 transactions. Park Slope and Williamsburg take fourth and fifth place in the number of transactions citywide with 434 and 433 respectively.

The largest price drops this year for median sales prices in Brooklyn happened in the neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach (-24 percent) and Brooklyn Heights (-19 percent).

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Williamsburgs’ Enchanted Fillmore Place and the Author Who Immortalized the Street

 

The Henry miller House at 662 Driggs Avenue (Google Maps)

Thanks in large part to the writings of celebrated author Henry Miller and the stately Italianate houses on the street, Fillmore Place were landmarked in 2009 and will forever preserve the charm that enthralled the young Miller, who first saw it as a child in the late 1890s. The atmosphere of late 19th century Williamsburg is rtetained on the street in an area that rapidly gentrified over the past decade and lost much of its history: Fillmore Place is a gem and a throwback to an earlier era of local history. Gazing upon the austere brick facades of the old row houses on the south side of Fillmore Place, it is easy to imagine Williamsburg before the bridge and why Miller loved the neighborhood so strongly.

In the 1840s two merchant tailors could see that Williamsburg was prime real estate ripe for development. In 1846, Connecticut-born businessmen Alfred Clock and Ephraim Miller began acquiring parcels of land on the block bounded by Grand Street, Roebling Street, N. 2nd Street (renamed Metropolitan Avenue), and 5th Street ( Now Driggs Avenue). They purchased 12 lots from one owner and Clock and Miller also acquired three more lots from another landowner in 1847. Finally, they added a small strip of the David Van Cott farmstead in 1848. Now owning a contiguous parcel of developable land, Clock and Miller then hired a surveyor in 1850 to lay out a new, more regularized set of city lots on the property. The cumbersome dimensions of the block—each frontage was over 300 feet in length—also lead the pair to cut a narrow road through the middle of their development, which they named Fillmore Street (soon renamed Fillmore Place), after the president of the United States at the time Millard Fillmore.

Photo courtesy of New York City Landmarks Preservation Report.

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How You Can Learn About Homeowner’s Rights (12/10)

North Brooklyn neighborhoods have experienced redevelopment over the past decade with demolitions and new construction a common sight. Living directly next to an active construction site can also be a headache, to say the least, and when serious issues arise that may require legal action homeowners can be flummoxed when considering which steps to take.

To help educate the public, a North Brooklyn homeowners’ rights meeting is taking place on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St.) at 6 p.m., where reps from the Dept. of Buildings and the offices of Council Member Stephen Levin, State Senator Brian Kavanaugh and Assemblyman Joe Lentol will be in attendance to answer questions. Event organizer and Greenpoint resident Victoria Cambranes worked to put the meeting together over the past few months:

“The idea occurred to me back in October because I had been speaking to quite a few of my neighbors and I’ve been hearing stories for quite some time now about people experiencing cracks, and issues with foundations and getting into litigation with developers, and it seemed like people were only discussing these things once it was too late.

It also occurred to me that many of my neighbors, because they’re older, a lot of them purchased houses in Greenpoint in the 60s and 70s and they don’t really have the wherewithal to go and do their own research and educate themselves, that they were missing a lot of information that could help them prevent a lot of these issues.

I’ve been given a bit of an education just in the last couple of months with DOB procedures, and insurance policies, creating party wall agreements and essentially what your rights are as an adjacent homeowner. And this was all new to me so I’m sure it would be new to a lot more people…I also got involved with a homeowners group down in Crown Heights because I was alerted that State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright were working on legislation to help protect homeowners, so I’ve been in contact with them and hoping that they could come to educate us in North Brooklyn a little bit about what their work has been and what kind of legislation they hope to pass.”

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North Brooklyn Angels Hosted Their first Annual Thanks4Giving

Last night at Our Lady Mount Carmel (275 N 8 St.), the North Brooklyn Angels hosted their first annual Thanks4Giving holiday meal in honor of the volunteers who help prepare and serve nearly 1,000 meals per week. Their local volunteers cook the food in a commercial kitchen and deliver meals in North Brooklyn in the “angel mobile” throughout the year. Check out some of the photos from the dinner:

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City Unveils North Brooklyn Industry Plan To Grow Manufacturing Sector

North Brooklyn’s industrial business zone is undergoing a further rezoning push by Bill de Blasio’s administration just a week after the announcement of the tentative Amazon HQ2 move to Long Island City.

The North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Plan released on Monday by the City Planning Dept. is meant to foster the growth of industrial manufacturing and tech office space by offering developers tax breaks through the federal Opportunity Zone program. According to the Empire State Development website, the creation of Opportunity Zones “encourages private investment in low-income urban and rural communities.”

In 2015, de Blasio announced an industrial action plan, with the stated purpose to protect the existing 530,000 NYC manufacturing jobs and to grow the local workforce with 20,000 new manufacturing jobs.

North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone boundary. (NYCEDC)

North Brooklyn’s Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) is the city’s third largest and was one of 16 IBZs that were created in 2006 across NYC to protect the city’s manufacturing workforce. Continue reading

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L-Pocalypse Pre-Show Countdown: L to close for 15 weekends prior to “official” shutdown

How is this weekend like Christmas? No L!

In fact, the MTA announced on Saturday, The L train will not run between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 15 weekends between now and April, when the agency plans to usher in L-pocalypse.

While North Brooklyn has been aware of, and preparing for, April’s planed 15-month suspension of service through the Canarsie Tunnel with a litany of enterprising, madcap solutions, commuters were entirely unaware of the MTA’s pre-show closure countdown.

Now, purveyors of L-ternatives will have to fire up their tanks earlier than expected, because the first of the 15 weekend closures will take place this weekend (from 11:30pm Friday, August 10 – 5am Monday, August 13th). 

The other 14 weekend closures will take place throughout October, November, February, March and April.

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What’s New For Maker Park

A rendering of the tanks, transformed. Via Maker Park

Maker Park, the proposed 7-acre waterfront space once home to Astral Oil Works and now within the larger scope of Bushwick Inlet Park, has been aiming to bring art, education, community and performance to the Williamsburg waterfront by adapting industrial infrastructure since 2015. Now, the team behind the reimagined industrial-space-turned-community-hub is moving forward with a whole new vision based on open dialogue, communication and feedback from the community.

Since their December 2016 design display for Maker Park, Stacey Anderson and Karen Zabarsky, co-founders of Maker Park, and the project’s Executive and Creative directors respectively, have taken the past year to listen to the community. Each time, they heard community members call for open space, and environmental remediation of the land.

Stacey and Karen touted North Brooklyn’s “Civic Warriors,” who have worked so hard to get the city to deliver on the full 28-acres Mayor Bloomberg promised for Bushwick Inlet Park in 2005. They hope that Maker Park will be one feature of Bushwick Inlet Park, which they aim to incorporate into the community’s vision for the park space as a whole.

Given the increased density that Bloomberg’s 2005 rezoning has engendered, open space is a paramount concern on the North Brooklyn Waterfront. In order to increase green space, Maker Park will no longer advocate for repurposing the  3-story brick factory building on the site, and will instead focus on remediating the 50-foot decommissioned fuel tanks that speak to the land’s long and sometimes painful industrial history.

The Maker Park team hopes to honor the community’s complex relationship with the tanks, and the industrial history they represent, while also reinventing them in “playful and contemporary ways” that will make them available to the community as a resource for art, education and performance.

The idea has successful precedent. For example, in 2017, the Mapo Oil Depot in Seoul, South Korea was repurposed as Mapo Cultural Depot Park; the site’s oil tanks are now used as exhibition spaces and concert halls.

To make sure our own tanks here in North Brooklyn will be a safe and sustainable asset to the community, the Maker Park team is working with environmental lawyers, scientists and architects on a preliminary remediation plan, which they will make accessible to the public.

Ultimately, Stacey and Karen said, they hope Maker Park will help transform the tanks into something “beautiful and green,” which will be “literally creating new life.”

For on-going updates on all things Maker Park, you can follow the project on Instagram @makerparkBK

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Traffic Study Meeting Thursday 6/7

traffic study meeting

For two years, the NYC Department of Transportation has been studying traffic patterns and issues in North Brooklyn. Now they are ready to release their findings to the neighborhood in a meeting where they’ll talk about planned changes and improvements. The meeting is happening this Thursday June 7th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at PS 84 (250 Berry Street). See you there!

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Curb Your Enthusiasm: The DOT’s Traffic Study is Out

Study Area via The DOT

Two years ago, the NYC Department of Transportation began conducting a Traffic Study to assess street safety conditions in North Brooklyn. The study focused on issues like street design, traffic flow, public safety and environmental impact, and was funded by Councilman Stephen Levin’s office. To complete their findings,  the DOT solicited community input, and received over 400 unique comments and suggestions from North Brooklyn residents. Now, the DOT is back in our part of town with suggestions gleaned from the study. The agency presented its findings to BK Community Board 1 on April 10th.  Continue reading

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Vote For Your Favorite Participatory Budgeting Projects April 7-15th!

NYC Participatory Budgeting

The old adage tells us that “you can’t fight city hall.” Often, in New York, it can feel like it’s residents vs. the City, but sometimes, Gotham and its elected officials are on the same page. One of those times is during participatory budgeting, when “community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” It’s a rare instance when the City Council gives New Yorkers “Real Money. Real Power.” to improve their communities. So get ready to wield that power, because the next participatory budgeting vote will take place April 7th- April 15th!

There’s a million dollars on the line, and you can vote for up to 5 projects that will receive the funds. The proposed projects call for improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces subject to “discretionary funds.” All projects were suggested by community members, and the winners will be chosen by the community!

Out of 150 proposed projects, neighborhood volunteers whittled the choices down to 9 projects you can vote on, based on “equity, feasibility, cost, and need.” And it’s not to late to help out! If you’d like to volunteer as a poll worker, you can RSVP here!

Read on for your 2018 PB Projects and voting sites!  Continue reading

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