280 Hicks: Sold!

gavel-1According to Cullen & Dykman, the law firm that handled the estate, “280 Hicks went to contract for $2,080,000 to a person in the neighborhood who intends on fixing it up and living there.” Perhaps a happy end for a house that had fallen on hard times over the past several decades.

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  • nabeguy

    Wow! And a local too!

  • BrandonH

    Having viewed 280 Hicks at the weekend showing, I can say that it is a great carriage house. True, it was cluttered with junk and very rough around the edges, but you can see its incredible structure. The floor joists are massive and have a nice patina that develops over 100+ years. The rear “great room” on the 2nd floor was incredibly impressive with a giant north-facing skylight. This is the house that Esteban Vincente lived in 1942-1946. That “great room” was undoubtedly his art studio. 280 Hicks has a lot of history and you can see why a great artist chose to rent it from the Palmer family back in the 1940s.

  • Homer Fink

    His studio… oddly… was in in the Village:

  • harumph

    Kind of incredible – there were so many artists (Ab-ex) that lived in this neighborhood at this time!

  • http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com Flashlight Worthy

    Does anyone know the square footage of the building? And how it was divided up? Property Shark is a bit… vague.

    For example, it says it was 2,800 square feet.

    But it also says it was 2 floors, with each floor being 25×75. My math brings that to be 3,750 — not 2,800.

    I ask because I wonder what this selling price means for the ~3,800 square foot carriage house for sale on Grace Court Alley that’s current on the market at $2,995,000.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I had the same question. The NYC website says 2800sf of finished space, 200sf of garage and 1500sf of unfinished space. I’m guessing that translates to 3,750sf total on the first and second floors (25x75x2, with the first floor consisting of the 200sf “garage”, 750sf of “unfinished” space adjacent to the garage and 925sf of “finished” space in the back), with another 750sf of unfinished space in the cellar.

    If you renovate this, I think it would translate to 3600sf of livable space if you kept a 1-car garage and the full 3750sf if you got rid of the garage.

    I have no idea on pricing. 3500sf spread over 2 floors on a 25×75 floorplate is a much different animal than a typical 25×35 townhouse spread over 4 floors.

  • bkhtsp

    It’s hard to compare 280 Hicks with 8 Grace Court Alley. For one, 280 Hicks was an estate sale at public auction with the property sold “as is” without recourse to an engineer’s report, etc. On a more subjective level, some people would prefer Grace Court Alley because it’s more secluded, but that is a matter of personal taste. Some people probably would choose whichever carriage house appealed to them the most without regard to the specific location because the Hicks house is in a charming row of carriage houses. It has great curb appeal.

    The Hicks house also is on a larger plot of land and its garden is much nicer in terms of size vs. Grace Court Alley. It’s very hard in Brooklyn Heights to find a house with both parking and a nice garden, so Hicks wins on that point.

    Grace Court Alley most likely wins on location, but the structure is not as nice as the Hicks house. For example, the ceiling height of the Hicks house is just over 11 feet while the Grace Court Alley one is just over 9 feet. That’s a big difference in how the eventual renovated space will feel like.

    Subjectively, I think the Grace Court Alley house will probably sell for more because it is a cleaner sale without all the risk inherent in buying an estate condition property at public auction. There is a reason why properties are less expensive when auctioned: there are more hidden surprises and thus potentially higher costs in fixing the place up.

    I figure that the best way of comparing apples with apples is to price it on a gross per square foot basis. Hicks gross square feet is 3750 and Grace Court is approx 3800. Given all the contingencies with Hicks, Grace Court is probably worth about $2.6-$2.7mln, but it only takes one motivated buyer to make it worth the asking of $2.95mln.

  • curiousgeorge

    With so many comments on it being the deal of the century, why were there only 3 bidders at the auction?

  • http://Robert HeightsGuy

    For one thing, beside the contingencies mentioned above, homes bought at public auction are all-cash deals. That knocks out many potential buyers who can afford it and who could qualify for a mortgage, but do not have sufficient cash to bid on the property. The successful bidder of 280 Hicks will need, in cash, $2.08 million plus all closing costs, fees, taxes, etc. You can probably see why homes that sell at auction often go well below market value: it’s because the terms of sale are onerous and not easily met by many people, even those who can literally afford the homes. In this case, cash is king. To the king go the spoils of war.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Who said it was the deal of the century? Considering the necessary renovation costs and lost opportunity costs for having to put up all cash, I think the price is not much discount to market. If the buyer is acting as his/her own contractor, I think the buyer could make a small profit (on resale, or in increased equity). But if the buyer is going out to hire an architect and contractor, the total costs will probably equal out to the post-renovation market value.

  • curiousgeorge

    There is no mention that this had to be an all cash deal. You need to have financing in place by the time you closed or you forfeit the down payment. Many people owning in the Heights could get a mortgage for the number it sold. It’s a unique property and properties surrounding it will sell for over a million more than what it went for. Just getting all new mechanicals in order, you can probably flip this and make a profit. The new owner was smart to make the play. I wish them well!

  • ParisW

    I hear that the Grace Court Alley carriage house has a few bids submitted to the seller’s attorney. Should be interesting to see how much it sells for. If anywhere near the 2.95 mln asking price, then that will be the final judgement if 280 Hicks at 2.08 mln was a good deal or not.

  • http://Robert HeightsGuy

    8 Grace Court Alley is now in contract, according to the Brown Harris Stevens website. If 8 Grace Court Alley went close to its asking price of $2.95 mln, then 280 Hicks at $2.08 mln seems like a very good deal for the purchaser. I guess we’ll have to wait until 8 GCA closes before we will know the answer.

  • HeightsGuy

    8 Grace Court Alley sold for $2.65 mln, which was recorded in ACRIS.

  • bkhtsp

    Well, looks like my estimate on May 5th that Grace Court Alley is worth $2.6-$2.7 mln was accurate. It sold right in the middle of that range!