Saturday, August 13, 2011

A 4-Family on the Other End of Fort Greene: 213 Ashland Place

After taking a look at a 4-Family yesterday thrown out on the market for barely a week for a quick sale, in the heart of the border between Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, today we take a look at a 4-Family on the other end of Fort Greene. 213 Ashland Place is a 19' x 40' brick building on a tiny little street between Fort Greene Park (or the hospital, rather) and BAM. With an asking price of $1.55M and nothing more than a grainy picture of the exterior provided in the listing...

...we're wondering what's really being offered here. We covered the drawbacks of this block before when we took a look at 233 Ashland Place. That listing was out for $1.25M off-and-on for over a year. That listing had good pictures of the interior, a breakdown of the layout of the apartments, and even a potential loan scenario called-out. That listing only recently went into contract on 6/14/11, according to Streeteasy. If a 20' 4-Family with lots of clarity on what was being offered took a year to fetch $1.25M, who's going to jump at a mere flip-phone picture of a building a few doors down for $1.55M?

And that's before we've even revisited the drawbacks of the block. We love Fort Greene, but this particular block doesn't have a very residential feel. It starts to become downtown Brooklyn over here, and not in a good way. Busy traffic, noisy bus routes, parking garages, and a large high-rise across the street all kill the character of what people usually pay for on residential blocks. Add that to the fact that the G train is the closest train, and any real amenities are frustratingly just out of reach, and you start to see why 233 Ashland took so long to move at what - to the naked eye - looked like one of the best prices for a 4-Family in entire neighborhood.

The only thing we're imagining could salvage 213 Ashland at this price is if it had some absurdly nice interior, which doesn't seem too likely since they've barely even managed to show us the exterior. And a sparkling interior wasn't even enough to save 54 St. Felix around the corner for $1.45M. Looks like somebody's just listing a price that's a wish & a prayer - and the agent's not even helping them justify that price. The catalyst for this listing is probably the Lis Pendens from 2007 and 2008 on the $900K+ in equity taken out in 2005. That's fair, but not showing the buyer anything worth buying, that isn't.

Pro's: 4-Family status, decent curb appeal, technically Fort Greene, technically close to downtown and Fort Greene Park

Con's: quirky location, block loses neighborhood feel, listing gives no sense of interior condition or layout, no sense of rent roll, not much value baked in

Ideally: worth looking into, but probably not worth this price

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