Saturday, September 28, 2013

Listings: Bed-Stuy Mixed-Use - 348 Marcus Garvey Blvd

New to the Listings section of the blog, it's a mixed-use building in Bed-Stuy that can be delivered vacant, asking $1.1M.  Long gone are the days (last year) when you could cop one of these on Myrtle Avenue on the northern edge of Clinton Hill around the same price.  We've heard-tell from commercial brokers in Brooklyn of Bed-Stuy mixed-use pieces commanding in the mid-5 caps these days.  This building at 348 Marcus Garvey Blvd is a solid 7.6% cap at the low-end of the projected rent roll after modest renovations.  A 20' x 50' on a 95' lot, the listing broker tells us the apartments above the commercial space are 3BR floor-thru's that will command $2,300 - $2,600/month each after renovation.  She tells us the commercial space is currently configured as a restaurant, but used a church that's expanding and relocating anyways, so will be delivered vacant.

She says the ideal tenant there is a restaurant or cafe, citing nearby players like Peaches and Saraghina (as many Bed-Stuy listings are apt to do).  Comps-wise, she points out a similar property on Putnam & Garvey that just sold for $1.2M.  With new mechanicals and a new roof, the apartments should be easy to deck out the finishes on.

With showings available on evenings during the week, it's easy to see if this is the right move for any investor/user.

Pro's:  delivered vacant, 3BR apts, blank canvass with new mechanicals, easy to show

Con's:  work to be done, might be hard to finance high LTV w/o rents in place, many are still trying to cherry-pick much further west of here

Ideally:  we see an investor adding this to their collection at a price that makes sense

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Listings: Prospect Heights Duplex Rental - 604 Bergen Street

New to the Listings section of the blog, it's a duplex rental in prime Prospect Heights.  We just toured a duplex around the corner that rented for $5,100, a few months ago we toured one on Sterling Place that got over $6,000/month, and we told you about nearby Clinton Hill's record-breaking $6,100 rental at 110 Gates Avenue.  So what's $5,500/month to a boss?  604 Bergen Street is a parlor and top floor duplex with a sliding glass door and deck out to the extra-deep backyard:

With a sleek renovated kitchen and two bathrooms done up nice, this badboy is move-in ready...

Stackable washer/dryer in the unit is a plus.  They kept an original mantle intact...

It's not the absolute best Prospect Heights block of all, but you're right off of Vanderbilt and in the heart of it all without any real Barclays interference.  People rent space this nice for almost $50/sqft in Crown Heights, let alone Prospect Heights.

Pro's:  totally turnkey duplex with extra-deep yard and nice finishes, nice location, 

Con's:  narrower than a true 20-footer, not the most amazing curb appeal, not the tree-lined block of your Prospect Heights dreams like the next 4-5 blocks up the hill

Ideally:  we don't rent for $5,000+ a month, but plenty of people sure do!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crown Heights Rentals On the Way: 500 Sterling Place

Despite pending foreclosure auction in 2011 & 2012 and tax liens this spring, construction at 500 Sterling Place is well under way.  What we're told is some 60 rental units - studios, 1BR's, and 2BR's - are going up at the rate of one story every month at this point.  Cranes bringing the steel up on the weekend and laborers banging the steel in all week.

The engineers even brought out the remote-controlled condo drone and flew it all around the site to survey the progress from all angles...

Brokers who couldn't even tell you what apartments rent for over here marveled at the sale price of the lot at nearly $150 per buildable square foot.  But we don't see how these units won't fly off the shelves as folks start to really piece together the scattered grids that make up Brooklyn.  This project on the next block rented in a flash and stays rented.  When $1,000/sqft condo sales are popping up in Fort Greene, Park Slope, and even Prospect Heights, there's pretty much nowhere to run & nowhere to hide for the uptrend in sales & rental values.  Whether you call it Prospect Heights or Crown Heights at Washington Avenue, don't take our word for it.  Let the new Walk NYC sign installed on Washington Avenue and Park Place yesterday break it all down for ya...

Fully equipped with walking times in a 5 block radius spelled out for you!

Not that the lost tourists pouring out of the Brooklyn Museum always make it that far down the hill to even see a handy sign like this, but we like what the city's up to here.  If you don't know Brooklyn by now, this certainly helps!

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Veni, Vidi, Vendidi": Jay-Z Selling His Stake in Barclays Center

He came, he saw, he sold out.  Just a year ago, Jay-Z sold out the Barclays Center 8 nights in a row in an unprecedented concert series to open the new stadium.  Now he's selling his "slightly less than" one-fifth of 1% stake in the Barclays Center to make way for his sports agency.  Apparently if you own stake in a stadium or team AND you represent athletes, it's a no-no.  Wouldn't be the first time Jay got caught up in conflicts with his Nets ownership stake.  They were fined $50,000 in 2011 for him hanging out with "amateur" Kentucky college athletes ineligible for the draft.  

The Barclays stadium reportedly cost a billion to build, and was recently appraised at $741M (and you thought YOU'RE appraisal came in low!), but the sale will still get Jay-Z a cool $1.5M.  AKA, a slow month for his ~$500M (and growing) empire

Jay-Z was also forced to sell his 1/15th of 1% stake in the Nets organization, which went for some $500K to ex-Net player Jason Kidd.  Kidd, dormant in the NBA Playoffs this spring for the Knicks, quickly became the Nets new coach, with less than encouraging headlines:

Interesting to see the man who bragged, "No, I'm not a Jonas / Brother, I'm an owner" selling his stake, presumably because he's more bullish on the sports agency game.  Already has Yankees star Robinson Cano locked up, and top NBA star Kevin Durant.

In his latest album, Jay-Z brags, "Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free / Except I made millions off it, you ****** dweeb."  Groundbreaking was just three and a half years ago...

Jay-Z's proving that these townhouse developers aren't the only ones doing quick flips in Brooklyn.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Listings: Project Manager Position Available

New to the Listings section of the blog, it's a project manager position!  With so much talk about "the job creators" these days, it's nice to have one in the building.  When we heard about the position, which sounds like a nice hybrid between design & construction administration, we knew there had to be some qualified folks out there who'd be interested to hear about it.  Alas...

Steering House Design and Development is a brooklyn based residential design, development and construction company looking to fill a Project Manager/Development Associate position immediately. 

We are a small but active Brooklyn based company looking for a well-rounded, enthusiastic, energetic, self-motivated project manager/development associate to oversee daily design, construction and development projects throughout brownstone Brooklyn. 

Responsibilities include:

Project management:
-Oversee work of in house construction staff and sub-contractors
-Manage timely construction material purchase and delivery
-Client interfacing and management

-Weekly payroll
-Daily budget management 

-Recommend and source architectural and design details (cabinetry, millwork, tile, fixtures, etc…)

-Prepare comparable sales reports
-New project/market research
-Research new development opportunities 

-Build and maintain relationships with local real estate brokers and suppliers

-Self motivated/Self-starter
-Problem solver
-Strong design interest/sensibility
-Comprehensive understanding of Brooklyn Real Estate history and current trends
-Proficiency with CAD, Sketchup or other drafting software is helpful but not required
-Word/Excel/Google Docs

-Drivers license 

-$42,000 annually (negotiable for very well qualified candidates) 

Qualified candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are We There Yet, Brooklyn?: 110 Gates Avenue, #1

Why are town homes consistently over $2M these days in "only" the 2nd or 3rd best neighborhoods in Brooklyn?  Is it because we're in the midst of a huge housing bubble, fueled by historically-low interest rates that are already climbing, spelling impending doom?  Or is it simply the economics of the day that are here to stay for a good while?  It was easy to scoff at ~$2M being an overpriced listing in Clinton Hill just last year at 110 Gates Avenue.  They dropped from $2.495M to $1.99M to finally close for $1.7M.  And now the rentals are flying off the shelves at record-breaking numbers.  Listing agent Kelsey Hall tells us they broke a record with the duplex rental in apartment 1 fetching its asking price of $6,100/month!

We were shocked a few months ago when owners in Prospect Heights told us they were after over $6,000/month for their parlor & garden duplex just off of Vanderbilt Avenue.  Then they quickly got their number.  And now that number has hit down the hill in Clinton Hill.  Ah, remember the good old days (2009-2010) when the entire brownstone's rent in these hoods could only gross just over $6,000?  Back when those homes were barely worth over a million?  Fast forward to today, if just half the house can rent for $6,000, what's the house supposed to be worth?  We're no math whizzes, but we figure that $6,000 is to $1M as $12,000 is to....???  You guessed it: $2M+.  And that's why a house around the corner at 116 St. James Place can list for $2.4M and get $2.45M in today's market.  Last time we checked, "the have's" still HAVE.

Jeez, and by the time Vogue is doing a story to proselytize those precious people on the wonders of Brooklyn, you know the fix is in!  What their photo has to do with Brooklyn we'll never know...

Suffice to say, this isn't the Brooklyn of old.  On the Prospect Heights / Crown Heights border, a new boudgie restaurant like Bar Corvo's ballin' so hard they need an armored Brinks truck to haul away the bags of cash...

It's still all relative.  There are people renting much worse spaces in this same area for the same ~$40/foot.  And unless you've got a better 2BR/2 bath duplex with 14' ceilings, a back deck & yard, a killer kitchen, washer/dryer in the unit, and steam shower in the bathroom for LESS than $6,000/month in mind... well then Brooklyn's just gonna keep on keepin' on.

Pro's:  killer duplex with all the fixin's, great block, short walk to the train

Con's:  price is high, don't expect Clinton Hill to look like Madison Avenue or anything, somewhere someone's still complaining about the C train

Ideally:  is the leap from ~$2,000/floor to ~$3,000/floor over the past 4 years in a nice area really news anymore?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Closings of Note: It's a Seller's Market, Pt. II

The $2.5M+ town home is alive & well in Park Slope.  36 Sterling Place lists for $2.6M and closes for $2.7M last month.

Park Slope's 131 Lincoln Place was even more amazing, listing for $3.45M and closing for $3.35M.

On Platinum Member radar just before it came out, Park Slope's 198 St. Johns Place closes for $2.95M.

"Way down Henry Street" in Carroll Gardens is what they said about it in 2009 when no one wanted it for $1.6M.  Nowadays it isn't nearly as hard to move a nice house like 562 Henry Street.  Listed for $3.6M at the end of last year, had a price drop after re-listing, and sold for $3.4M last month to buyers from Manhattan.

Even a stunner in Clinton Hill like 116 St. James Place lists for $2.4M and sells for $2.45M.  The neighbors are already buzzing about the number.

On Platinum Member radar when it was listed for $1.2M undermarket, and when the high offer came in, 318 Maple Street is a beauty in Lefferts Garden full of original detail that closed for $980K.  Now the $2,200/month rentals are ready to go.

Also in Lefferts, 78 Fenimore Street closes for $859K.  Buyers showed it to us afterwards and said it'll be vacant and ready to flip for ~$1.2M or higher any day now.

Yet another $1,000+/sqft condo sells in 1 Hanson Place?  Just another day in the life.  Unit 15H fetches $1.52M last month.

Not to be outdone, Newswalk chimes in with a condo for $1.65M.  535 Dean Street, #303 closed in July.

77 Warren Street across the BQE from Cobble Hill proper, didn't stop this 25' wide house from asking $2.495M and closing for $2.13M last month.

The 15' wide Boerum Hill town house at 494 State Street listed for $2.295M in great shape and closed last month for $2.185M.  Duplex rentals now up for grabs for almost $6,000/month.

255 13th Street in South Slope came out asking $2.599M with a drive-way and closed for a miraculous $2.5M last month.

797 St. Johns Place is a small Crown Heights 3-Family that couldn't get $500K in 2010, but then it hit the market twice this year for $695K and got it last month.

Even rough & ready upgrades to 830 St. Johns Place fetched them $740K last month.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Closings of Note: It's a Seller's Market, We're Just Living In It

Is it any surprise that a huge castle in Crown Heights like 1372 Dean Street sells for $20K over its asking price of $1.3M last month?  To hear the Times tell it, "As recently as December, a town house in Crown Heights selling for $1 million or more was unheard-of, according to Gregory Todd, the Corcoran Group broker for 1372 Dean Street. 'Now 11 have sold — all in the last eight months,' he said."

Gotta appreciate that nice houses still trade under $1.5M, while Park Slope routinely posts double that.  381 3rd Street closed for $2.9M last month, just under the asking price of $2.9M

Over in Fort Greene, but north of Myrtle, 137 Adelphi Street wanted almost $2M back in 2011, when that price was even more unrealistic than it still is today.  They dropped to $1.2M last year and sold for $1.1M last month.

Meanwhile a great house more in Fort Greene proper at 365 Cumberland Street goes for way over asking price of $1.25M, closing for $1.43M last month to a buyer from Manhattan.  Still one of the best buys that was left under $1.5M.  Though a far cry from what these same houses went for 2-3 years ago.

411 State Street was on & off the market for years, asking $1.75M back in the doldrums of 2009-2010.  An 8-Family on a quiet block in Boerum Hill with at least half the units free market sounds like a buy & hold dream.  Then a broker told us they'd be sellers at ~12x rent roll.  How does closing for $2.6M last month sound?

Whether you call it Bed-Stuy or Bushwick, we call 680 Monroe Street closing for $3.2M last month a 7-cap with upside.  This 20,000 sqft 24-Family averages just over $1,000/month per apartment, and is making the next-best properties in this category in Lefferts and Crown Heights look like bargains.

184 Degraw Street was like a little slice of Queens set on the BQE side of Cobble Hill.  Didn't stop 'em from listing for $2.49M and closing for $2.4M last month, with only 9 days on the market.

The $900K Bed-Stuy 3-story has officially poked east of Howard Avenue people.  675 Macdonough Street closed last month for $50K below asking price.

The $900+/sqft condo pricing continues to penetrate Prospect Heights.  660 Bergen Street #1D closes for $1.095M last month.

479 Classon Avenue on the Bed-Stuy & Clinton Hill border closes for $999K last month.  Even the acquisition prices on the fixer upper cash deals continue to go up.

347 Hoyt Street is a corner mixed-use property in Carroll Gardens that listed for $2.6M and sold for $2.3M in July.  That 4.6% cap wasn't calling everyone's name, but the upside is intact.

And so many more to cover tomorrow...