Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Colossal Crown Heights Piece: 1329 Pacific Street

This summer, Platinum Members had the early lead on this huge 20' x 90' limestone in Crown Heights at 1329 Pacific Street.  We were psyched to see such a blank canvas in such a choice location.  Especially with sales & rental comps like 1377 Pacific and 1379 Pacific Street just one block away.  Sure, this limestone monster at 1329 is an SRO and basically a total gut, but none of that would be a deal breaker for the right price.  We'd heard they wanted $1.5M, had turned down $1.1M, and we figured $200/sqft would do the trick.  Many developers passed on it or low-balled it, but some locals came with some pretty compelling offers that we think this owner is crazy not to take.

What does the owner want?  Well, it's not too hard to do the math.  He bought it in 2006 for $850K, then he pulls out $550K this summer.  Smells like $1.4M to us.  Which you could almost make a case for, if a performing asset on the same street didn't just list for less than that.  Why buy an SRO shell that you'll need to wait months just for the privilege of putting another $750K+ into just to get it off the ground, when you could buy something already grossing today what this could only hope to gross by next year?  The owner who foolishly let his Certificate of Non-Harassment expire on this place last year is asleep at the wheel again.  Now they're pulling a 308 Clermont and going M.I.A. on the highest & best offers out there instead of knowing a good thing when they've got it.

Interior pics?  Not really necessary when the inside is more "crack den" than anything else.  Besides a few salvageable original built-in cabinets and floors, the best thing it's got going for it is size and windows.  With a little T-cut on the unattached side, you get a ton of windows on 3 sides...

As for the layout?  Well, we had some pretty sweet layouts and plans done for Platinum Members only (for now) by a local architect, but it's not hard to picture fitting lots of bedrooms on this 90' floorplate.  Perhaps Young Jeezy said it best when he bragged, "House stupid, dumb big.  My rooms got rooms."  It's a cornucopia of opportunity, if only the owner had a pulse in the past few months and a dose of realism to get a deal done.

While Platinum Members aptly teased us lastnight, "Keep pumping that Connecticut Muffin," and everyone hates on how painfully generic the place is, it's undeniably a canary in the mineshaft of gentrification on Nostrand Avenue.  To pick up a potential 8-Family just off that avenue and around the corner from the A/C trains and the LIRR is a good look for buy & hold'ers and condo converters alike.  Again, that's if the owner ever wakes up and gets real.  We're hoping this colossal piece isn't a colossal waste of time.

Pro's:  size, curb appeal, vacant, blank canvas, location poised for another leg up, windows and rooms for days

Con's:  SRO with expired C of NH, takes all-cash purchase plus another huge renovation budget, out to lunch owner whose price is too high

Ideally:  when an owner's pulled all his equity out already, doesn't appear motivated, and doesn't even have the decency to counter really compelling offers, forget him and get the superior buy right down the street.