Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bed-Stuy's Best Off-Market Buy: 54 Macon Street

When we first got the call last year about this huge 5-story brownstone in everyone's favorite opening corner of Bed-Stuy, we rushed right over.  54 Macon Street was pitched off-market as an SRO for $950K, full of tenants, but with a sick owner's duplex delivered vacant.  This was major.  SRO or not, it was basically grossing $90K/year as-is, AND you can cop a duplex full of details and a yard for under a million?

Even last year, that price was a steal for 4-stories, and especially for much rarer 5-stories. We submit a full-price offer that first day we saw it, but what's too good to be true, usually is.  Eventually, the owner wanted $1.5M for the place, even though it was still perceived as an SRO, the owner was staying put on their number.

That is some seriously intact plasterwork on the ceiling.

Original mantles...

Well-kept parquet for days...


Fast-forward to this year, and the market was still on a tear.  By the time other occupied SRO's were getting sight-unseen cash offers of $1.5M in the area, 54 Macon Street looked even better and actually realistic at that price.  Platinum Members were ready to hit the owner's asking price of $1.5M cash, but a deal much lower was already in the works.  Why the owner would be evasive in the face of a $1.5M cash deal and close last month for $1.16M financed is still a mystery to us.  It's not like we didn't bring a great buyer for another property of theirs closed nearby last year.  But off-market deals work in their own ways.  And this is a sign of the times for the rest of you looking out there.  When buyers with $1.5M cash are bidding full asking price for occupied SRO's in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, and not always even landing them... you know it's getting real out here.  And the buyers at $1.16M said today that selling for $1.5M wasn't even worth having a conversation about because the property is worth much more than that.  They pull off one of the niftiest deals you can still find in Bed-Stuy.  $110K over last year's original asking price, but $340K less than last year's updated asking price and this year's offer.  In the land of the $450+/sqft townhomes, the $250/squarefooter is king.

Yup, that's our Brooklyn!

Pro's:  unique 20' wide 5-story brownstone in prime Bed-Stuy with an owner's duplex full of sick original details, $1.16M purchase price with some $300K down is a song, rent roll is totally decent as SRO's go, may not be an SRO forever, this building is worth $2M+ vacant in this market

Con's:  gone already, gobbled up in the face of much higher offers, full of tenants, SRO could be a major issue, woulda/coulda/didn't, not the best block in particular

Ideally:  to the victor go the spoils on one of the hands-down best bones in Brooklyn for this price


  1. "evasive in the face of a $1.5M cash deal and close last month for $1.16M financed" Hmmmmmmm . . .

  2. I'm gonna go with:

    Matt Taiibiss
    Johnny Cash