Monday, October 8, 2012

Rental Unleashed in Former SRO: 280 Park Place

The post-crash days of $1.5M townhomes in Park Slope are long gone, and they're probably gone in Prospect Heights too.  Goldilocks types said 416 Park Place was too 80's, 542 Carlton Avenue was too close to the stadium, 579 Bergen Street was too dingy, 270 Sterling Place was too dark, and 419 Sterling Place was too leaky.  Now that those are gone, unless you want a tweener fixer-upper at 412 Sterling Place for $1.61M or a quick renovation by the bus stop at 678 Dean Street, there's really not that much product in Prospect Heights under $2M.

A few months before the crash in 2008, Brownstoner contemplated the listing of 280 Park Place, concluding, "We don’t think that the asking price of $2,100,000 is realistic. More like $1,900,000."  Ahhhh, but once you factor in that it's an SRO, and the economy flies off the cliff later that year, the dynamics certainly changed.  By the Fall of 2009, the Dow was still below 10,000, the house was still on the market, and the asking price had dropped to $1.495M.  It was in contract within a year after that.  When's the last time you saw a sub-$1.5M listing take a year to go in contract?  After closing last August 2011 for $1.45M, a renovation and new C of O were underway for a long time.  One of the best price per square foot comps you'll find in the area in a long time, but not without a time consuming renovation and encumbrance that needed to be lifted.

After a long renovation, this weekend we toured the open house for a 1BR + den rental above the parlor floor...

How does $2,700/month sound to you for original details, modern updates, and proximity to the park?  We know readers in quaint 1BR rentals and in smaller, modern rentals for this much in Brooklyn Heights.  One reader has a rent stabilized studio in Prospect Heights, down the hill on Vanderbilt, for half this much.  But we haven't tested the prime Prospect Heights townhome rental market recently.

Pro's:  prime location, clean renovation with original details, might be cheaper than the Park Slope premium

Con's:  it ain't that cheap, not everyone's style, you may rather stretch for a true 2BR somewhere else

Ideally:  it's encouraging to see light at the end of the tunnel for these SRO's.  Especially with a few decent ones on the market now worth considering.

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