Thursday, June 7, 2012

Projects: 397 1st Street

If Curbed and Brownstoner can get into the act, we figured why not get a peak at the condo conversion at 397 1st Street ourselves?  If you want PS 321, it doesn't get more point-blank range than this bow-front 8-Family on the same block between 6th & 7th Avenue as everyone's favorite Park Slope school.  Picked up last April, the condos in this building should be finished this month and coming to market soon.

Originals like stained-glass windows and mantles were retained where appropriate...

But this gut-renovation was extensive in its upgrades.  Besides some of the standard basics like reconfigured floorplans, modern kitchens with Caesarstone & stainless appliances, and washer/dryers in each unit, the developers took input from families in the community and made a few nifty touches of their own.  Basement storage for each unit, common space for bikes & strollers, as well as a kid-friendly bathtub in the 2nd bathrooms are some of the family-centric details.  From the high ceilings to the sound-proofing foam under the solid oak floors, you've got some solid condos that make the most of an otherwise-narrow floorplate.  What might be a small 2nd bedroom to some makes a good kid's room for young couples.  Individually-controlled heat and air conditioning in every room?  Check!

Other nifty touches include the finished basement & landscaped backyard for the duplex apartment, plus separate roof access & roof space for the top apartments.  Manhattan views, anyone?

You can literally watch your kids play basketball in the courtyard of PS 321 while you sit on your roof reading BK to the Fullest on your iPad.  Even the bulkhead on top will have a slanted skylight, in addition to the side exposures on the top floor apartments.

As comments on Curbed pointed out, the bathrooms aren't quite everyone's taste, but we respect game.  What this project lacks in some respects, it more than makes up for in others.  While some drink Hater-ade in the Comments section on Brownstoner in blind angst against developers, presuming that "there had to be at least a few RS tenants left in this building," the building in fact was a 6.6% cap with 6 of 8 units free market and/or vacant.  It's actually a bold move by developers Jody Kriss and Joe Cohen of East River Partners to take a great buy & hold investment and make it a full-on gut project.  Bold, and smart.  All & all, not a bad way to bring some nice product to a market hungry for affordable condos with sensible upgrades that aren't in glass-box buildings.

Pro's:  location, curb appeal, modern upgrades, neat touches, working fireplaces in some units, family-friendly approach, variety of spaces, a chance to own in PS 321 in a bite more people can chew than $2M+ fixer-uppers

Con's:  narrow, not everyone's taste, no secret bargain to be had here with Corcoran on the case

Ideally:  a nifty project for sure that's bound to make for happy buyers and sellers


  1. I'm here from a popular real estate forum, wanting to know more about the scumbag Jody Kriss from the New York Post article: Thanks.

    1. Even more so, I'm interested to know more information about his bad business practices. He and his company seem to be snatching things up left and right.

    2. I know this is an old blog post, but I'm looking to get some serious information. I will post whatever the forum comes up with as well for the public to see.

  2. There is also this Reuters article I found: