Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!


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  • CassieVonMontague

    NYTimes did a write up on the Decade of Condos

    Brooklyn Heights/Ft Greene saw the second highest median rent increases in the city from 2010 to 2018. From $1,571 to $2,116, an increase of 35%. I still cant find any information on just our neighborhood.

    Brooklyn Heights did not make the top ten neighborhoods for median sale price increase, but Cobble Hill topped the list with $834,115 in 2010 to $2,591,446 in 2018, an increase of 211%. The top ten neighborhoods all had increases above 107%.

  • Chris Bastian

    Say hello to another vacant storefront. PUREPOINT FINANCIAL (142 Montague St) sent out a letter yesterday that they will be closing all their brick and morter offices at the end of February (they’re one of these new online banks, so I never understood why they opened storefronts, much less in Brooklyn Hts)

  • Andrew Porter

    I not only never saw any customers in there, I never saw a single worker. Also, dimly lit; store apparently designed by vampires.

  • Andrew Porter

    Do we really need higher and higher real estate prices here? Increases show more of the 1% and fewer of everyone else. I for one do not welcome our new super-rich overlords.

  • Andrew Porter

    Now for something completely different. Courtesy the Municipal Archives, here’s the fountain and pool at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1937:

  • Jorale-man

    Anyone know what the story is with the mini-river that’s flowing down Clinton Street? Since Saturday there’s been what appears to be a water pipe break at the corner of Aitken Place. It seems to be getting worse, too.

  • MaggieO

    it’s still there? i saw it Sunday and my toddler delightedly sailed leaves down it on Monday. putting in a 311 request to DEP now.

  • CassieVonMontague


    1. Historical Districts should offset their frozen housing supply by somehow providing for more housing elsewhere.

    2. Pied-à-terre tax and a tax on combining housing units aka “Mega-Mansion Creators'” Tax

  • JDF

    Anyone know what’s going into the old Henry’s End space? Door was open this morning and it looks like it’s mostly built out and the kitchen is still there.

    While we are discussing vacant restaurant spaces, any news on the old Great Wall/Happy Fin Poke space?

  • CassieVonMontague

    NYTimes Editorial asks wealthy PTAs to share the wealth

    PS 8 reported $1.5 million in PTA income, similar to $1.7 million for PS 29 in Cobble Hill and $2.1 million at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens.

    Compare that to the $373,000 raised for PS 261 in Boerum Hill and PS 307 in Vinegar Hill, which reported no PTA income.

  • TeddyNYC

    I just noticed it today. At first when I saw the water running at the corner of State and Clinton, I thought it was a construction crew using a water hose. It’s appalling that it’s taking so long for a response. There was yellow tape when I last passed so maybe the DEP was there to assess the situation.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Don’t know what’s happening with the Fin Poke’s space but the old Henry’s End is going to be an upscale-ish prepared meals type place with take out and some tables for quick dining. I’m thinking something akin to Digg Inn or B. Good.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Why should more housing be provided elsewhere? There at least half a dozen buildings that could have gone 80/20 or set aside more affordable units. Look all the Jehovah’s Witness properties and how they are being developed. The one building on Sands Street is being developed as studios and 1BR apartments for the formerly homeless. So they will be truly affordable. That building however is zoned for PS307. Given the size of the units, it is not likely families will live in them. Post re-zoning PS8 is getting less and less diverse because of access to the housing within the zone in Brooklyn Heights. In order to create more opportunity for access to the school-historic districts in my opinion should make room for truly affordable housing. For example, when the library was built, the deal put the affordable housing in Fort Greene. That has to be a discussion the neighborhood is willing to have.

  • aconcernedneighbor

    Can we talk about Clark St station elevator etiquette for a second? How long to wait for others before letting the doors close?

  • Standish Matt D

    I always use the stairs at Clark st

  • Standish Matt D

    What is wrong with the 1 percenters??

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Please share more about this building on Sands. Are you saying they’re concentrating formerly homeless in one building? In what meaningful way will this be different than any other housing project tower?

    I never understood why, instead of building or retrofitting buildings and complexes to concentrate the poor together in one area in “affordable housing”, it wouldn’t make more sense (both socially and economically) to just pay their rents wherever they want to live? This would create socioeconomically more diverse neighborhoods (and schools!), and probably do a heck of a lot more for poor families, who could live in a safer environment with all its other benefits such as amenities and, if we’re being honest, lifestyle modeling. Or if people want to stay in class/ethnic enclaves for whatever reasons, they could too, but not by economic force.

    My suspicion is that this would be economically more viable than building housing projects or converting high-rises into housing projects, but that is not done because nobody stands to create any new profit from it. Am I missing something?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    OK, I’ll bite.

    Massive wealth inequality is terrible for the economy.

    (And, if your handle is supposed to allude to an A-list actor who is involved in a ton of humanitarian work concentrating on bettering the lives of poor children, impersonating that celebrity in order to defend massive wealth inequality is a pretty bad look.)

  • Cranberry Beret

    Zero seconds. You push that door close button and hold it for dear life. In any other place I’m as considerate as they come, but those elevators are a Survivor situation.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    As my son once told me, you really could have READ UP on this yourself. The point – one of them – re “chronic homelessness” is that many of the people in that category have multiple “issues.” “Just” putting a roof over their head is truly – for many – putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

    The non-profit central to the re-purposed building WILL – ostensibly – provide a wide range of services – counseling high among them.

    “Mainstreaming” always sounds better than it works out in practice. We don’t favor having immunized kids in with non-immunized. That’s a matter of law and good public health policy.

    Think about it – A lot of that 80-20 housing (and especially variants that would give extra points to the poorest or rape victims or recovering addicts) is equally misguided. And watch how 60% in B.H. who might favor it in theory would be a lot less in favor if these experiments gave them new next door neighbors with, say, a history of mental illness.

    What you call “a housing project,” I call (as do experts in the field) SUPPORTIVE housing. If and when, residents get ready to live “in the community,” it’s not at all clear to me why government should give them an edge over a newly minted BA coming to NYC wanting to start a life or a family or both.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Love the answer. Not sure how sincere it is…. I’m influenced by whether occupancy is 1 or 2 … or more AND by whether all 3 (yes, it must happen at least 30 days a year!) are in operation. … Of course “real elevators” – nor necessarily new, but ones where a modicum of design expertise was involved – do NOT build in 15-second delays when the OPEN button is pressed or someone breaks the “plane.” That would make “being nice” much less self-sacrificing.

  • Andrew Porter

    124 Columbia Heights was gutted, but is otherwise not under reconstruction. None of the redeveloped local JW properties were considered for such housing.

  • Andrew Porter

    I filed a report with 311 and forwarded it to the BHA, which replied to me,

    “We are aware of this as a resident on Clinton called us. According to DEP, it is not the main, but rather, a service line from a building and they have issued a violation and order to repair to the building. …it’s been going about 6 days now. We’ll follow up.”

  • Andrew Porter

    The entire building was renovated, which is one of the reasons Henry’s End was forced to move in the first place.

  • Andrew Porter

    I usually call out to clueless tourists that they should come in quickly.

    Right up there with the tourists who’ve never ridden down an escalator, and stand on the ones going down to High Street. I tell them, “make believe it’s a stairway,” which seems to work.

  • Andrew Porter

    Landmarks rejected the proposed design for a house at 56 Middagh. Article in The Eagle:

    One Commissioner said, “fake in every respect, an impossibility historically.”

    Also on the Eagle website, excellent tour of the Heights with lots of photos:

  • Banet

    Insane. So it’s the responsibility of the building owner yet the leak is occurring before the water gets to their meter. So the DEP has a massive amount of water literally pouring down the drain — water that costs real money — but the owner has no incentive to fix it beyond some likely minor fine? This is stupid. DEP should fix it ASAP and bill the owner. Like when a homeowner doesn’t fix their sidewalk.

  • CHatter

    10 seconds at least (or more if you see someone more than halfway down the hall and they are making the effort). Any less than that and you weren’t raised properly (sorry Cranberry Beret). Also there is a special place in hell for the jerks that run ahead in order to close the door on others. Those people were raised by wolves. Improperly.

  • SongBirdNYC

    I was talking about the lack of diversity both racial and socio- economically in Brooklyn Heights and that the cost of housing in our historic neighborhood excludes many people from having access to PS8. NYC public schools are THE most segregated in the country and it is because housing costs. I don’t even know how to begin to respond to your comments about “life-style modeling” and “just paying their rents” But here’s the info you asked for on the Sands Street building.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    As someone whose running days (down that speckled path) are a little behind him, BLESS YOU and thank you. “Raised by wolves…. Improperly” – you may have some competition in the next 350 or so days, but I nominate that for next year’s best-turned-phrase-on-BHB honors!