Monday, October 19, 2015

Park Slope Shell Game: 373 Bergen Street

There were doubts, but the $2M shell game is alive & well in Park Slope.  Even on the gnarliest of little houses.  373 Bergen Street came out for $1.75M and lasted 2 days on StreetEasy before the response was so tremendous the listing wasn't necessary anymore.  Off-market finders shopped it to us when the high offer had already bubbled up to $2M, which didn't seem too far-fetched for Platinum Members to still take a peek.  And there wasn't much to see...

Basically the remnants of a shoddy reno that stalled-out midstream.  So it was no wonder the Elliman listing didn't even both with interior photos.  First popped on our radar back in 2012 when they caught a stop work order and Dixon was curious about it.  This summer's asking price is a healthy boost from the $655K the deed traded at this February, but those trades are rarely as simple as they appear.  Stumpy and only 32' deep, it seemed like the worst of breed at the time in 2012, but with the way prices have been recently and so little else left to choose from, this suddenly becomes a prime shell in the Park Slope shell game for the right developer - even at the $2M.

Or at least one of the only things left at this kind of entry point.  Earlier this year a similarly uninspiring house across the street with the Fred Flinstone front (which ain't hard to change) came out at 382 Bergen Street...

Without much inside to get too excited about either...

It lasted a month on the market with a local broker asking $2.65M before going in contract in July.

And even the SRO shells of yesteryear command $2M these days, like 268 Dean Street which closed in June for $1.95M.

And Platinum Members were happy to pick up another one of these around the corner on Bergen for $2M cash and are already anticipating a sell-out over $5M.  If these gains are realized, it makes the $2M shell make sense, as astonishing as this is, even for frame buildings architects dubbed "better as a tear-down," and still reiterated interest at the $1.7M-$1.8M levels.

This week we'll take a look at another Platinum pick-up from last year at $1.85M that's got interest in closer to $3M with barely any renovation.  Now we're eyeing some of our favorite next-best shells and better-than-shells - on and off market - in Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, and Prospect Heights asking $1.75M-$2.75M.

Pro's:  north Slope location, vacant and ready for a project, pimped out condo or 1-2 Family potential, in line with shell pricing these days, a hunk if built to full

Con's:  small frame house, needs a total gut, gone already above asking price, took cash purchase and lots of renovation budget, not the best block although well-situated, dubbed a tear-down by architects

Ideally:  a lot for a shell, but a sky's-the-limit location for high-end sell-outs.  Shows where that spec market is at.

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