Sunday, August 2, 2015

Time & Developers Wait for No Permit

There's a stop-work order over at little 197 12th Street.


The house sold earlier this year for $1,200,000.  No plans for construction as yet approved.

Above, the rear building gone, & signs of demolition at the house.

Below, a shot of 197 taken in March of this year.

Friday, July 31, 2015

No Medical Marijuana on Third

Yesterday South Slope News broke the rather exciting news of CB7's approval of a potential medical marijuana dispensary at 800 Third Avenue (28th Street), formerly home to batting cages.

Mindful Medical, a Colorado-based company, is planning to turn 800 3rd Avenue into one of their four allotted dispensaries if their license is approved by the State of New York. Their other planned locations are in Binghamton, Buffalo, and Yonkers, with a growing facility in Georgetown, NY.

... Mindful New York’s CEO is Mark Justh, a Park Slope resident and the former CEO of Fleisher’s Meats

Well, now it looks like there'll be no medical marijuana dispensary on Third any time soon, nor anywhere else in Brooklyn for that matter.  Today the NY Department of Health announced the names of the five organizations chosen to grow and dispense marijuana in the state, and Mindful Medical was not among them.  Those dispensaries approved to operate in the city will be in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx,

The organizations will be registered with the state, and each will be allowed to open up to four so-called dispensaries statewide. They are required to be doing business within six months, meaning medical marijuana could be on sale in New York before the end of the year. (New York Times)

Signs up at Marleey's

Signs are now up at 700A Fifth, where interior work has been going on for several months.  Back in May I was told that the food would be Jamaican/American, and yes, there will be more Caribbean food on Fifth.  The more West Indian food the better in my book, but I hope that the prices are reasonable, and that there's room for Marleey's and Roosters to co-exist happily within a couple of blocks from each other.

Price, good heart, and respect for what's already here are important.  The last thing our part of Fifth needs is a plethora of high-priced, overrated restaurants, the kind the realtors love to name-drop in their listings.  The kind you'll find to the north or east.  The "date-night" restaurants.  We're lucky to have avoided that fate thus far.  We're incredibly lucky to still have long-standing, budget-friendly places to eat around here - the places the realtors never care to mention - that offer good food at a fraction the price of an overrated & Sons Italian or a tired oyster emporium.  We can't deny change, but we can use our dollars the right way.  Support the older businesses as staples, but welcome the newer ones that do things right.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ground One?

Brooklyn: 'Like a desert with no cactus '(The Real Deal)

Developers are switching projects from rental to condos to meet the insatiable demand for premium condominiums.

...With a new generation of buyers hungry to move to (and buy in) Brooklyn, there is simply not enough supply to meet the demand. 
And while some of these new Brooklynites were renting at first, they are getting older and starting to look for premium for-sale product. 
“They expect relatively large space. They expect a lot of light. They expect floor-to-ceiling windows,” said Brooklyn-based Ideal Properties Group co-founder Aleksandra Scepanovic. “Old or existing condo and co-op stock really can’t offer it.”

And potential buyers continue to swarm the borough. “I think that we are nowhere near that saturation point,” Ideal’s Scepanovic said. “We’re at maybe not ground zero, but we’re at ground one out of at least 10 levels to come.”

The New Look at Fifth & 18th

NY YIMBY reveals more details of the Eagle Provisions redevelopment, including renderings of the Tom Winters design for the mixed-use, 28 apartment/3 retail-space buildings.

"... a small piece of the old structure will live on in a new residential development, forged by partially demolishing and expanding the the shop’s three existing tenements at 626-630 5th Avenue. (NY YIMBY)

Tom Winter Architects

"The facades of the existing 3-story brick buildings are integrated into the new design of this 6-story building. Construction is expected to commence in late 2015." (Tom Winters)

Moondog: To a Seahorse (1956)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The store space at 673 Fifth has been empty for a good while now.  The last business at this address was Sabor A Mexico.  The place is still being listed for rent by CPEX at $6,000 per month.   The building itself was sold at the end of last year, and plans have been approved for a horizontal expansion of the second and third floors.  Sharp-eyed reader Scott Steinhardt alerted me to the fact that work at the building had revealed an older sign, and sent in a couple of pics.  Here's one of them.  LIQUORS revealed.

The LIQUORS part is easy enough to make out, but the word on the left is harder to read. I went over there myself to take a look, but couldn't make it out.  I'll check back to try again.  Even though I've lived around here a while, I can't remember the sequence of businesses that have occupied this address in recent decades.  I know there was a liquor store at the corner for a long time, but can't find a reference to it online after the 30s.  Here's a '34 New Year's ad from the Brooklyn Eagle, with Lanter's at 673. There are some fine brand names featured in the ad, including a crowd of wheezing, ruddy-faced Olds:  Old Hardie, Old Mallory, Old Oscar Pepper, Old Crony, Old Dutch & Old Mr Boston.

What became of the three liquor stores featured in the ad?  Bay River is still around, one block south from its earlier address, with its name just about intact, and plans to turn it into Park Slope Wines & Liquors have been seemingly jettisoned.  Prime Time Liquors operates in place of (De Silva) South Brooklyn Liquor Company, which at some point in time hopped one store over to 427.   Lanter's, and any successors, disappeared completely.  I wonder what's coming in at 673 next.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fourth at 11th Getting the Finger?

DNAinfo reports that plans have been filed for a ten-storey building at 488 Fourth Avenue, between 11th & 12th Streets, two doors down from Danny's Rim & Tires. This would replace a three-storey walk-up.  The building was last sold in 2007 to Righteous of Park Slope LLC for $2,400,000.  Not righteous enough, apparently, to avoid an open partial vacate order on the property, the result of creating an illegal occupancy space in the basement.  If the filed plans are approved, this would mean one of those charming finger buildings breaking up an otherwise (for now) unchanged block.

Note:  The photograph above is clearly rather dated (early '13), and will be updated shortly.  Since it was taken, Lucky 7 Deli appeared at the corner of 11th, and 500 Fourth found itself with a heap of structurally unsafe balconies.  Two years after 500's problems were first reported, repairs are still ongoing, but the balconies, all removed, are starting to make a comeback.

Here's a updated pic.  488 is the middle brick apartment house.

Under the Viaduct

Monday, July 27, 2015

Residential Housing & Retail For Eagle Provisions Site

The plans are finally revealed.  The Eagle Provisions buildings are set  to become a 28-unit residential building (The Real Deal).

Brooklyn developers George Malafis and Ioannis Glyptis are converting the former home of popular Polish market Eagle Provisions into apartments, according to a permit application filed Friday with the city’s Department of Buildings. 
The plans call for 28 units across 20,300 feet of residential space at 626-630 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 18th Street. The site includes three contiguous buildings, one of which housed Eagle Provisions from 1939 until it closed earlier this year. 
The developers want to merge the buildings and vertically enlarge them to six stories from the existing three, according to the filing. The project will also feature almost 2,100 square feet of commercial space, including ground-floor retail, and a 14-car garage. The second and third floors would hold seven apartments each, with six units on the fourth floor, five units on the fifth floor and three apartments on the sixth floor. The residential building would also house a common roof deck area.


Back in November last year, 213 and 215 20th Street were listed as a package development site by Cushman & Wakefield. Price: $3,200,000.  According to their website, the properties are in contract. There are no recent records of sales for either property, but they're already set for demolition. 213 has a secondary building that's also disappearing.
These are across the street from the poultry market, the best decorated live market I've ever come across, though hardly a draw, perhaps, for upscale apartment dwellers.  They're also close to the big development site on 19th. 
From the lexicon of realtor-speak, we live in "burgeoning" times.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Yesterday's Summer Stroll on Fifth from 12th to 18th. Early evening.

Messina in the shadow of the closed Eagle Provisions.  
South Brooklyn Shakespeare presents Much Ado about Nothing.

Wheels over the expressway

Hydrant love

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Only the Cute ...

Gowanus' Third continues to go ever more boutique.  Right next door to 512, the old Pascone barber shop featured in the 70s documentary, Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive,  a new store is set to open.  Hazel Village, at 510, will be selling stuffed, heirloom-quality woodland friends (the toys, not the neighbor, Morbid Anatomy kind).  The business has been around for four years, supplying to individual customers, & nationwide & international retailers including the likes of Barney's, J.Crew and ABC Home.  Its product line is endorsed by Martha Stewart.  The store-opening is set for July 31st.
510 Third was sold in late '13 to Manhattan real estate company Soho Suppliers Inc. for $1,500,000,

510, above center 


Friday, July 24, 2015

Down with the Sign

While I was looking for florists and monument works the other day,  I came across a picture of the White Eagle Tavern that I hadn't seen before.  It's another P.L. Sperr from 1941 (NYPL), taken at a time when the building was known as the White Eagle Hall and served as the Polish Democratic Club headquarters.  Condon's Florists (greenhouse intact) was right next door.

Here's the same scene in 2011.

and in May of this year.

As I've mentioned before, a White Eagle Tavern sign remained on the building for years, even as the slow and tortured construction work there stopped and started, stopped and started.  Last week though, I saw that it had gone, and where it once hung there was a slab of fresh cinderblock.  I looked in the nearby dumpster several times that week, and asked a couple of guys at the site if it was still around, but it was too late.