Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't Sleep on Washington Ave: 653 Washington Avenue

Buyers are funny. They're so hesitant to go out of their location comfort zone, even when prices there have long passed them buy. Hard-core Carroll Gardeners from back in the day are sometimes too stubborn to believe that anything good happens east of Smith Street. Meanwhile, Cousin John is busy turning $1.5M shells into $3M+ masterpieces over there and one of our favorite 4-Family's fetches over $1.5M all-cash. And that's before the market turned!

Monday we covered another sign of the times that's news for folks who think they're pioneering in Clinton Hill. Some jokers even try to tell us that Prospect Heights is pioneering, yet they don't wanna spend the $2M+ it takes for most fixer-uppers in Park Slope? When the NYTimes is boosting Prospect Heights as an alternative to the Upper West Side (and friends of ours can't even snag a fixer-upper on the UWS with $3M cash!) and the Wall Street Journal is boosting Crown Heights as an alternative to Prospect Heights, the writing is on the wall. And anybody who can't read that writing simply needs to get over themselves. Heck, even our post on chasing the impossible, mythic $1.5M townhouse in Park Slope has quickly become the most popular post on the blog since we put it up. You might say they're dreamers, but they're not the only ones.

Today we bring you an 8-Family in a stretch of Brooklyn that's rapidly exploding. 653 Washington Avenue is a 25' x 60' at St. Marks Avenue lodged between new condo renovations. You get 8-units at free market rent, a gross rent roll of $164K, and some buildable square feet. All in a commercial stretch that will resemble Vanderbilt much sooner than the haters are willing to admit. Where did the impossible-to-get-a-table, beloved al di là in precious Park Slope put their newest location? Why, none other than Washington Avenue. Not to mention the Kimchi Taco Truck finally turning their storage location into their first restaurant on Washington Avenue. Some may seek to low-ball this property, but word on the street is they shot down $1.6M all-cash offers in the first week, so come correct.

When you've got the 2/3 trains (and the 4/5 at Franklin), the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanical Gardens, all kinds of amenities from Franklin Ave to Vanderbilt, up the hill from Clinton Hill and the Brooklyn Flea, a short jaunt to Park Slope, and a better school district than North Slope... what are these "pioneer" people talking about? Heck, even we slept on Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights for too long, barely going east of Classon until it was too painfully obvious to deny. In Mexico City, we recently came across a definition of "gentrification" that called it "residential elitism". Definitely makes ya think.

Pro's: location, free market units & rental income potential, air rights/buildable square feet, lots of implied upside on the rent roll

Con's: busy avenue, units sound small, 635 sqft doesn't make the best 2BR apt

Ideally: we can keep this worst-kept secret to ourselves for a few more years.

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