Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carroll Gardens Mixed-Use: 299 Smith Street

Mixed-use buildings sort of confuse us at this point. Especially in areas like BoCoCa where we've seen how small the cap rates can be on a building such as the one that houses Sweet Melissa's. Sometimes mixed-use can be a sweet spot, and sometimes it's hard for us to figure out who's after these places. Investors don't usually find the cash flow they're looking for, and homeowners don't want to deal with commercial space or live right on a bustling avenue, or get a place with no backyard access. Perhaps in the booming BoCoCa where everything half-way decent wants to be $1.75M-$2M these days, getting 2 apartments plus a store for $1.6M is attractive.

299 Smith Street is in a prime location in Carroll Gardens, near the F/G trains, Carroll Park, all kinds of amenities, and a coveted hit & miss (misses probably determined by staggering commercial rents) retail corridor. If you wish you snatched up the building at 179 Smith Street where Camp is, listed for $1.5M, that sold for $1.425M all cash - you might get another chance here. Looks like the owner's had the thing since 1979 with almost no cost basis or equity pulled out of it. The only snafu we can foresee is the suspiciously-recent Lis Pendens from 10/17/2011 for "Partition Of Property". Somebody sure had some fun with photo shop sepia effects after taking the only 2 interior shots provided:

Do not adjust your television sets. This is the real color of the pics posted to sell this thing for $1.6M. 20' x 44' on a 60' lot with some dated interior? Check the rents, get clarity on the Lis Pendens, and expect some price flexibility if the owner's reasonable. If you can even sniff this, and you have a renovation budget, you'll be kicking yourself for not picking up 489 6th Avenue in time for slightly more. 258 Dekalb Avenue at its latest price drop looks like a more compelling buy in our book.

Pro's: prime location, rental income potential, income of the building is top priority for underwriting, price flexibility

Con's: commercial loan needed, where's the upside?, maybe head over to 258 Dekalb

Ideally: perfectly poised listing. Nothing grabs us about it, but if this is the kind of thing you're looking for, this is a great look at it.

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