Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bushwick Getting a Bump: Quincy Street Renovation

We still don't have a complete grasp of Bushwick like we do the rest of Brooklyn, but the neighborhood's potential is no surprise to us.  It's been swept up in the migration from the no-brainer Brooklyn neighborhoods to the outer limits of brownstone Brooklyn and beyond.  Once upon a time Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and Lefferts were emerging neighborhoods.  Once those markets are digested, people are hungry for what the "next" neighborhood is.  While we rarely touch it personally and have still physically never taken an J, M, or Z train ourselves, Bushwick is caught in the cross hairs of those priced out of Williamsburg & "East Williamsburg", and Bed-Stuy.  You know 'ish is real when Saturday Night Live is spoofing gentrification into your neighborhood like it was a mix between The Wire and Portlandia...

Last year it was brand new that Bushwick's quick renovated flips were achieving over $1M after spending seasons in the $800K-$900K's, much like Bed-Stuy's were a few years prior.  Now that prime Bed-Stuy's fixer-uppers are getting almost $1.7M, the next-best neighborhood is ripe for the next-best price points.  This house on Quincy on the edge of Stuy-Heights towards Bushwick now wants $1.4M.  The broker tells us it's "an exceptional 2-family, 4-story brownstone located on Quincy Street near Broadway  J  and Z subway station and plenty of shops."  The broker adds...

"This historic townhouse came on the market last summer for just under $1,000,000 but did not get any lift from irrational exuberance. Why?  The uninspired configuration blurs the vision of the most adept buyer.

Lessons learned: now the house is under significant transformation by excellent [craftsmen].

The entire top floor is the owner’s master suite with full bathroom, massive walk-in-closet, and area for reading or study. The third floor has 3 full bedrooms, full bath and large closets. Second/parlor floor has the integrated kitchen, large living and dining room and a gues[t] bathroom.

The garden floor is a one bedroom rental."

The old pictures of the place (presumably improved on since) left much to be desired...

Platinum Members almost scooped a small 2-Family further into Bushwick under $900K last month, in an area where the $700-$1,000/month bedroom rentals are alive & kicking.  As the rental prices of Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights move into Bushwick, so are the sale prices.  And our Bushwick rental expert points out that something as simple as stylish coffee shop does make a palpable difference on these blocks...

We're patiently awaiting what the renovation at Quincy looks like to justify this price bump. Luckily, we just got an off-market property in Crown Heights that wants this same price too.  For $1.4M 3-stories in Bushwick, you have to really please the end-users, since there's no meat on the bone for any investor at those levels.  Investors do eat up Bushwick though.  Today we were shopped an off-market 6-Family in Bushwick asking $1.5M.  At an appraisal for an 8-Family in Lefferts this time last year, we were told that a $1.6M valuation would easily be $2M for the same house if it were in Bushwick because of the rental income potential over there.  We're not surprised, but it is news to us to see even the most modest railroad 2BR's can command as much as $1,700/month in this off-market Bushwick building.  We don't have "irrational exhuberance" for Bushwick, but we're certainly not bearish on it either given the data.

[Editor's note - 4/8/15 - owner called and adds that they raised the roof get a legit ceiling height on the 4-story that isn't evident from the street, brand new roof, walk in closet on that floor, A/C systems for each floor, opened up the parlor, added a true powder room, redoing the facade/steps/sidewalk, saved original molding where possible, refinished 4-marble fire places, removed a staircase to make for more interior width.  Also, there's a charter school at the end of the block along with a police precinct for those with school and safety concerns.  Hoping to see more of the finished product later this month or early next...]

Pro's:  pre-market renovated 2-Family, J/Z trains around the corner, rental income potential, neighb' on the rise, supposedly much better than before, we'll give them a little love the attic-y 4-story

Con's:  huge price bump up from not long ago, 17' wide, last round of pics didn't show us much yet, wasn't the best of Bushwick under $1.2M not long ago?

Ideally:  well-renovated houses under $1.5M in Bushwick will probably have a market as long as fixer-uppers in Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg sell for more than that.  Whether or not this is one of them is TBD.

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