Brooklyn Heights Mega-Mansion Trend Has Some Shouting ‘Move to the Suburbs!’

This week, Brownstoner posted about a planned addition to 108 Joralemon Street (photo here is a rendering of it). The multi-family dwelling is being converted into a 4,800 square foot one family dwelling. This could be a trend – earlier this year Jared Kusnher announced a plan to turn 3 former Brooklyn Law School dorms into mega-mansions.

The Brownstoner peanut gallery, at least many of them, is not thrilled about this:

“Tfpunko” comments: As if housing in NYC, and in Brooklyn in particular, is not already extremely expensive and hard to find, this trend of the very wealthy buying multi-family townhouses and converting them back to one-family homes adds to the squeeze. If you want twelve rooms and five baths and a media room and all that stuff go back to the suburbs. Don’t come live in the city if mega-consumption is your way. The environmental benefits of urban living are being slowly strangled by this over-consumption of space and resources. And I am sure many of these families are driving gas-guzzling Range Rovers as they go about their daily errands.

“dandelion” adds: I have to say, I also find this rather disgusting. The 4-story house isn’t big enough for one family? They really need the addition? I know it’s just replacing an older addition, but that was to house five apartments.

“Andrew Porter”, moonlighting on ‘Stoner, tries to put things in perspective: “Also, as a property owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, this property formerly paid no property taxes. This is now being returned to private use, hence will be back on all the tax rolls.
Houses that are bought in BH commonly have the old stucco removed, their stoops put back on, etc. Consider the appearance of the restored house at the NE corner of Hicks and Joralemon, which won an award from the Brooklyn Heights Association.”

So what do you think? Comment away!

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  • Remsen Street Dweller

    My building had to repaint the outside trim because Landmarks claimed it was a shade darker than in 1964. Why is it ok for this building to completely overhaul the front facade?

  • HenryLoL

    This is an extension on the back…

  • Heights Observer

    Not true. If the remodel can be seen from the street it gives Landmarks approval power over the remodel.

  • Jorale-man

    It certainly raises a lot of complicated questions about the value and character of a neighborhood when the ultra-wealthy move in. As Andrew Porter notes, it’s not a bad thing to see tired or run-down brownstones getting spruced up while improving the area’s overall housing stock. But at the same time, I’d hate to see Brooklyn Heights turn into another Upper East Side. Too many single-family houses like this could have such an effect.

  • stuart

    the ultra-wealthy started moving in to the neighborhood in the 1840’s.

  • Teresa

    Do you have a link to the Brownstoner article about 108 Joralemon?

  • Karl Junkersfeld
  • s

    I like the rear addition, think it is very attractive. Certainly a big improvement to the ugly garage that was there before. This house is not all that huge. It is only two-bays wide and four stories tall. The big houses in the Heights are three bays wide and five stories tall. The controversy is much ado about nothing. The Witnesses sold a decrepit dorm and someone is turning it back to a beautiful house. Oh woe!

  • ltap917

    I see no problem with houses being converted back to single family.
    What I think might destroy the character of the Heights is the park. It’s already getting overcrowded.

  • Teresa

    Thank you.

  • DIBS

    First they came for people’s right to buy a home and live in it the way they wanted, and I said nothing

  • Isabelle Katz

    Just look at this…see those windows that overlook the side of 98 Joralemon. Who is the dumb architect who designed this and their even dumber clients who approved this addition?

  • MaggieO
  • sbetts

    The park has become very intrusive. Pier 2 has lights at night that overwhelm the once calming romance of the promenade. It makes the BH neighborhood feel like it is next to a suburban shopping mall. BBP can do better. Cover the east side of the structure with tall evergreens or better yet close it in to provide a structure that is not exposed to the weather or their neighbors.

  • Andrew Porter

    That “Andrew Porter” is a real troublemaker!

  • Andrew Porter

    Sunday there were lots of cars backed up along Columbia Heights, leading to the traffic light at Old Fulton Street, as lots and lots of people drove to BBP and then couldn’t find anywhere to park. These people who want to go everywhere in their enormous personal car but don’t want to take the subway or bus there diminish the quality of life here in the Heights.

  • Andrew Porter

    … and then they wanted to rent their place via AirBnB and you still said nothing…

  • Klezmer O’Brien

    “The calming romance of the Promenade”?

    If I’m not mistaken there’s a two story, three lane highway just beneath the Promenade that is packed with commercial traffic 24 hours a day.

  • sbetts

    Commercial traffic is more a day time occurrence……

  • DIBS

    Yeah, who cares. It’s a private home.