The Real Deal New York

Bed-Stuy / Bushwick neighborhood news

  • From left: Councilmember Diana Reyna and the CastleBraid apartments in Bushwick

    As discussions about a Bushwick rezoning bid take shape, some locals are hoping to prevent the neighborhood from becoming the next luxury condominium-filled Williamsburg. The Wall Street Journal reported that community leaders, such as Councilmember Diana Reyna, are seeking to influence the development that some see as inevitable.

    Reyna, for one, wants the rezoning to look different than the one that took place in Williamsburg and Greenpoint seven years ago and paved the way for high-density luxury developments and rental buildings to overtake industrial properties. Reyna, instead, wants low-rise developments to populate the industrial Bushwick, so a strong presence of affordable housing and for local jobs to be preserved. [more]

  • Green Fitness Studio

    Bushwick may already be famous for its gritty industrial ethos and its throngs of hipsters. Now a local environmentally conscious gym is looking to up the ante. Green Fitness Studio, located at 232 Varet Street, wants to let its hot and sweaty members cool off with a Pabst (PBR, in Williamsburg-speak) and has submitted an application for a liquor license to prove it, according to DNAinfo.

    The multi-level gym is known for its recycled workout equipment, grass-covered roof, capoeira and yoga classes, but it could soon become a host to rooftop events in the evening. [more]

  • A rendering of the Pitkin Theater renovation (credit: Brownstoner)

    A $43 million adaptive reuse project in Brownsville, Brooklyn is now complete, Curbed reported. Two years ago, developer POKO Partners embarked on the redevelopment of the Pitkin Theaternto, a complex that includes retail and the Brownsville Ascend Charter School. [more]

  • The Slave Theater

    Would-be buyers have expressed interest in the famed Slave Theater in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, the New York Daily News reported. This news comes on the heels of reports last week that the theater’s foreclosure auction last had been canceled; there were rumors that a new purchaser had been found. There are a total of five interested parties being considered, sources said.

    Although the Daily News does not name names, the paper says one developer wants to spend $74 million to bring a Red Roof Inn as well as another theater to the site. [more]

  • From left: Jonathan Solari, artistic director of the New Brooklyn Theater, and the Slave Theater

    There’s a new Kickstarter campaign to buy the Slave Theater in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownstoner reported. The non-profit New Brooklyn Theater is behind the effort and aims to raise $200,000 by early October for a down payment on the building’s purchase. So far, $15,113 has been raised by 66 backers.

    The New Brooklyn Theater pledges to restore the crumbling theater, use it as a showplace for Brooklyn artists and sell affordable tickets. [more]

  • Drooling over Bushwick

    June 15, 2012 04:00PM

    The CastleBraid apartments at 114 Troutman Street in Bushwick

    From the June issue:  Much like once-obscure Soho in the 1980s, Bushwick is a magnet for today’s artists and hipsters. And real estate players are now hoping to get in on the action.

    Developers are salivating over sites in Bushwick, industry experts said, especially as nearby Williamsburg has transitioned from a gritty industrial area to an expensive residential neighborhood. Bushwick is still relatively affordable in comparison, but is seeing strong demand for rental housing. [more]

  • (source: MNS)

    Brooklyn rents ticked up 2 percent in May and now sit 10 percent higher than they did during May 2011, according to a rental market report released today by brokerage MNS. Studio apartments in the borough now cost an average of $1,791 per month, a 10.8 percent annual increase, one-bedrooms go for $2,354 on average, an 8.3 percent jump from May 2011, and two-bedroom units average $3,077 per month, up 11.6 percent year-over-year. [more]

  • Richard Guishard and 19 Bogart Street (credit: PropertyShark)

    The boutique hotel trend is spreading all the way to Bushwick. DNAinfo reported that designer Richard Guishard, of the closed Morgan Restaurant and Morgan Room, and business partner Andy Chau broke ground this week, at 19 Bogart Street, to erect a five-story, 63-room hotel. They yet-to-be named hotel is projected to open in 18 months and is slated to include four retail shops on its ground floor. [more]

  • From left: West 145th Street in West Harlem and Hancock Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant

    Two of the city’s traditionally less affluent neighborhoods are poised to gain recognition for their historic character. The Department of City Planning said today it is launching the public review process for rezonings of West Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant North meant primarily to preserve the areas’ existing character. [more]

  • Homes in Bedford Stuyvesant

    New York Community Bank, New York City’s biggest lender to landlords, has agreed to a 50 percent discount on the distressed mortgages for four residential properties in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Crain’s reported. This is a first for the bank. The property addresses were not mentioned. [more]

  • The Luhring Augustine Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn

    While Bushwick has been an artsy enclave for a while, the harbingers of full-on gentrification have recently popped up in the neighborhood, the New York Times reported.

    In addition to the cafes and more fringe art events, brand name art galleries such as Luhring Augustine, which has a gallery at 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, at Ingraham Street, have moved in. The gallery, which also has a Chelsea outpost, opened its Bushwick space last October. Interstate Projects, another gallery, opened at 56 Bogart Street last March, and Nurture Art, a not-for-profit gallery moved to the same address last August. [more]

  • The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn has the highest density per square mile of vacant buildings of anywhere in the five boroughs, according to a new land-use study soon to be released by the city, the Brooklyn Ink reported.

    While many homes are in foreclosure, others are properties that owners are “warehousing,” a practice where an owner simply waits until a property is wanted, the blog said. This has led to blight in the area.  [more]

  • Six Bedford Stuyvesant homeowners are accusing developer Delight Construction and indicted Department of Housing Preservation and Development official Wendell Waters of demanding extra cash for their city-subsidized homes, they told the Daily News, and of leaving them with subpar construction on the buildings.

    The homeowners, who won a housing lottery for homes along Lexington Avenue, made their down payments in 2005, the News said, but have since run into problems related to move-in delays, requests for more money to clean up suspected contamination, and plumbing and heating malfunctions.

    “Either we paid the money or we could walk away from the contract,” said Onika McLean, one of the owners. … [more]

  • House prices rebounding in Bed-Stuy

    September 09, 2011 09:23AM

    Bedford-Stuyvesant, the area bordered by Clinton Hill, Bushwick, Williamsburg and Crown Heights, famous for its African-American history and tree-lined streets, saw a bout of foreclosures after the development boom morphed into a recession, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prices dropped and developers switched their condominium plans to rental plans.
    Prices in Bedford-Stuyvesant however, though still far from 2008 levels, are on the rise, according to The median sales price of homes that closed in the first half of 2011 was $373,500, an 8 percent jump from the same period last year. The volume of sales in the neighborhood has increased too, in contrast to a citywide trend, the data shows. … [more]

  • A 16-year-old loan from predatory lender Delta Funding is threatening to leave an 82-year-old great-grandmother homeless. The New York Daily News reported Mary Lee Ward faces eviction from her Bedford-Stuyvesant home.

    In 1995 Ward was targeted by Delta Funding, a subprime lender that was sued by the federal government four years later for zeroing in on black women in Brooklyn and Queens with predatory loans, which sent her a flyer promising a $10,000 cash advance if she borrowed against her single-family home at 320 Tompkins Avenue. Ward accepted the offer needing cash to protect her great-granddaughter from being adopted. … [more]

  • alternate
    From left: The lot at 354 Stockton Street as it originally looked and progress on the farm (credit: Bushwick City Farm)

    Bushwick City Farm, a neighborhood volunteer organization, has taken over a long-vacant 9,000-square-foot lot in Bushwick with plans to install a vegetable garden, a chicken coop and and organic orchard to produce free food for the community, the website BushwickBK reported.

    The lot at 354 Stockton Street near the corner of Lewis Avenue has been abandoned for at least 30 years and is currently owned by a Forest Hills-based entity called Toxo and Arrow Proper, which purchased it in 2004, public records show. Since then, it has been home to a whole host of illegal activities, including squatting, garbage dumping and even violence. … [more]

  • alternate text
    United Homes head Yaron Hershco and 557 Hancock Street (building source: PropertyShark)
    [Updated 4:18 p.m.] A group of eight African-American homeowners were awarded a total of more than $1 million last week, after a nine-member jury found that Yaron Hershco’s United Homes committed fraud — yet cleared him of discrimination — in a wide-ranging property flipping scheme in Bedford-Stuyvesant,
    Bushwick and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

    Hershco, a developer of single-family homes and luxury condominium buildings, had been accused in the federal district court complaint of luring first-time homebuyers to a so-called one-stop shop, where appraisers, lenders, lawyers and other officials conspired to sell them homes at over-inflated prices until the buyers were on the brink of foreclosure. [more]

  • As lenders remain hesitant to finance large condominium developments in Brooklyn, especially in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill, developers are migrating towards government-subsidized affordable housing apartments, and even more so, townhouses in those areas, the Wall Street Journal reported. Construction is in the works at multi-family townhomes at 37-41 Lexington Avenue and 258-262 Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill, while five townhouses are about to come to market at 101-107 Stockton Street, also in Clinton Hill. Meanwhile, at 482 Franklin Avenue in Bed-Stuy, Realty Within Reach has plans for 78-units of middle-income housing and Dunn Development closed a deal yesterday with plans for a 59-unit, affordable housing building in Clinton Hill. … [more]

  • Brooklyn renters allege fraud

    March 29, 2011 12:28PM

    A scam artist has allegedly duped eight would-be Brooklyn renters in Bedford-Stuyvesant into paying him rental money and deposits on units he neither owns nor has any affiliation with, police say. The alleged con-artist advertised the units in January, according to the Wall Street Journal, and even broke into some of the apartments to show them to potential renters. The reported incidents of fraud took place during January, but authorities say the suspect may be continuing his scheme. The victims of the alleged scam say they only learned they’d been conned when they tried to move into their homes but were locked out. [WSJ]

  • A New York City artists collective that dwells in trailers has been evicted from the Bushwick warehouse where it had taken up residence, according to the New York Times. The eviction from 304 Meserole Street, which the artists say was done illegally and without notice, comes after months of trying to find a permanent home. The 25-person group had previously parked its trailers at 304 Meserole Street in December 2009, before being evicted two months later, after the Fire Department of New York deemed the space unsafe. After briefly considering a move to Chelsea, the collective moved back to the Bushwick warehouse with the building owner’s consent and has remained there for roughly a year. … [more]