Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vanderbilt at Washington Prices: 597 Vanderbilt Avenue

We don't often focus on the mixed-use market, but with price points going berzerk in residential, and so much happening on these commercial avenues in Prospect Heights, it's worth taking a look at what's going on. Now we've covered a few mixed use spaces in this area and this exact price range before, like 188 Underhill and 692 Washington. Those needed updating, but perhaps not as extensive as 597 Vanderbilt needs. The listing tells us, "The building is in need of major repairs." And while there are no pictures of the interior, the listing details that "staircases, windows, beams, roof, floors, and plumbing are in place." Which is a nice start. We're at least not down to the joists here.

However, one of the most encouraging points on the listing is the claim that, "There are attractive purchase and renovation loans available for owner occupants and business occupants. There are construction loans for investors as well." Financing is usually the rub with these buildings, since 30% down or more is needed whenever there's a commercial space (or more than 4 units) and to have that kind of cash AND a renovation budget is tough. Being able to finance even modest construction costs makes a mixed-use building a much more viable option. The agent on 188 Underhill mentioned FHA loans for mixed-use properties and we requested a follow-up and never got it. Maybe this agent can fill us in a bit. We'll take a look at other mixed-use plays on these blocks in the coming days.

597 Vanderbilt came on the scene just back in January 2011 for $1.199M. The price came down another $100K in a month, and gradually settled at $999K where it went into contract in late March. Much like yesterday's pick, rapid price drops are a sure-fire indicator of willingness to sell. The Lis Pendens on this property from 2010 sure doesn't hurt motivation either. We imagine someone got themselves a nice deal over here, especially compared to some of the prices we'll take a look at soon...

Pro's: newly bustling block with rental income potential, price point, delivered vacant, attractive loan options?, across from Atlantic Yards project makes for a nice long-term play, just down the hill from Prospect Park

Con's: renovation needed, lots of Atlantic Yards construction nearby for some time to come, noisy avenue, sort of isolated from the trains, 30% down or more makes it prohibitive to us

Ideally: with the right loan, this could be an incredible buy


  1. Complete Renovation is 90% complete. A new restaurant, Inaka Asian Cuisine, just opened on the ground floor. Come and enjoy. The food is great.

    Amoia Cody Architects