Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Million Dollar Brownstone? Try Million Dollar Floor-Thru Apartments: 777 Carroll Street

We've told you before that the million dollar brownstone in Brooklyn isn't dead, it's just getting harder & harder to find and moving ever east (and north, and south, and to Sunset Park!).  But in the tippy-top neighborhoods of Brooklyn, like a stunning brownstone block in Park Slope, you don't find brownstones for a million anymore, you find ~850 square foot 2 bedroom apartments on just one floor of those brownstones selling for a million or more.  Take 777 Carroll Street, #2 in contract with an asking price of $999K (or over $1,100/sqft) after barely a month on the market.  While they won't tell us if the contract price is above or below asking price, we're willing to bet it's higher, and certainly isn't significantly below.

If every floor is worth a million, isn't this $4M+ they're sitting on?  Sure seems like it to us, which may be news to all the folks who didn't believe us 2 years ago when we were convinced it was undermarketed & worth over $2.5M.  The entire building closed for $2.764M last year, and it didn't take much to get it ready to be worth $1M+ for each floor.  The apartments have killer original details and modern kitchens & baths, even if it's a little generic and has the 7'-wide, one-window "2nd bedroom":

 We've put slicker kitchens than this in $1,600/month rentals, but that ain't in Park Slope either.  Or maybe you'd prefer the floor-thru with the open kitchen, the roof access, and the extra half-bath (but still the fakey 2nd bedroom) in contract with a list price of $1.2M:

This isn't the first time we've seen a brownstone that was 80% of the way there trade in the $2M's and sell out for $1M per floor or more.  338 Clinton Avenue is Clinton Hill's answer to 777 Carroll Street.  No wonder proper 2BR's under $950K like 560 State Street, #7D are attractive to buyers facing sub-1,000/sqft floor-thrus for more.  Flipping the garden & parlor duplex at 777 Carroll Street, #1, however, for $2.65M (almost as much as they paid for the entire building less than a year ago), is proving to be a little tougher than the million dollar floor-thru's.

Besides whatever the duplex ends up fetching, what does all this activity teach us?  When the fixer-uppers in a neighborhood are worth over $2.5M cash, dozens of other people will step up for a smaller, more affordable slice of that same block - even if it comes at a premium.  We're sure to see it again on nice brownstones trading off-market nearby.  And brace yourself for what this implies about the condo market in Bed-Stuy with fixer-uppers like 196 Hancock Street going for over $2M.  The price per square foot on the stylish condo at 76 Macdonough Street alone is a harbinger of things to come, and has implications for all kinds of properties in the area.

Pro's:  top-notch Park Slope block, original details in great shape and modern upgrades, affordable pricepoints for the neighb' even if there's a steep premium, low maintenance

Con's:  kinda generic, "2nd bedroom" is ~7' wide, the cheapest two are in contract already, the most expensive one wants what the whole building sold for last year

Ideally:  some folks call it speculation to chop up these condos, some folks say there's not enough profit it in, and other folks are actually doing.  It takes all kinds.

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