Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Cranberry Beret

    The scaffolding is down and the website is up at

    How soon before we see “price decreased” next to its listing on Streeteasy like all of the other houses in the nabe currently asking mega-millions but languishing on the market?

  • Mike Suko

    Yes, high end properties sometimes DO take a while to be sold, but it has almost never been by slashing prices. I’m sure you’d agree that movie stars seem like unlikely neighbors, but anyone calling the Heights home probably likes many of the same things that THEY do…. Only, of course, they are barely constrained by pricing.

    Even our “1%” situation doesn’t, by itself, explain why $5 and $10 million apartments change hands at those levels. It’s all but impossible, sometimes, to tell WHO is behind this or that LLC purchaser.

    You wouldn’t think there were THAT MANY sheikhs and criminals, but there are more than enough to make these diamond-like properties an excellent place to park eye-popping sums. By and large, you have a century of “10% p.a., compounded” returns – and the figures post-2008 are even higher. The supply (at the top) isn’t remotely keeping pace w/ demand!

    Next time, you or anyone makes a prediction so patently off the mark, try to remember – “The Rich Are Different.”

  • KXrVrii1

    Any idea what it is listed at? Not that it really matters, since having a brownstone across the street from a falafel shop is obviously priceless.

    And, since your posting sent me on a brief Zillow-go-round: is the following now a trend? Saw a listing for a $2.6m one bedroom in Dumbo, but with 3 baths, which seemed odd. Digging a little deeper, the apt also has two “home offices,” which look to be windowless, although the photo of one of those “home offices” shows a comfy looking bed, closets, etc. I believe in NYC bedrooms require at least one window…

    I don’t know, just kind of blew my mind that even at that price point, people have to deal with those types of compromises in NYC, and that the realtors have come up with a dignified way of marketing it.

    “Daddy, I can’t find my winter shoes.”

    “Have you checked the closet in your home office?”

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    According to DOB to qualify as a bedroom/room the room should be at least 8′ in each dimension, 80 square foot size and have a window. Many BH homeowners (mostly in co-ops ) chop up their studio/one bedroom apartments to make them into 1/2 bedrooms hoping to jack up the value of their properties. In many instances these conversions are illegal….

  • Cranberry Beret

    I didn’t say rich people don’t have lots of $$$ to park or launder.

    I said asking prices in this neighborhood seem to be set too high and frequently drop significantly after a long time on the market. That’s not “patently off the mark” it’s demonstrably true. Go to Streeteasy or Zillow and take a look at the price histories.

    Here’s a sampler:
    15 Willow Street – listed Aug-2016 for $14.15 million, sold June-2019 for $8.99 million
    59 Middagh – listed Sept-2018 for $11.5 million, still on the market for $9.5 million
    51 Cranberry – listed April-2016 for $8.65 million, still on the market for $6.95 million
    314 Hicks – listed May-2018 for $7.95 million, still on the market for $6.8 million

  • CassieVonMontague

    They often price the mega-mansions high for the free media.

    Here’s 81 Pierrepont on WLNY:

  • Jorale-man

    I went into the former Garden of Eden on Montague today and saw they were still bagging groceries in plastic bags. When I put my canvas bag down on counter then, I got an eye roll, then the cashier just handed me each of the items, one by one, so that I had to bag them myself.

    So glad to see they’re stepping up and following the new law. Will see what happens when the fines start rolling in next month.

  • Arch Stanton

    Many stores are simply exhausting their supply of bags before enforcement begins.
    Why you are shopping at that awful store is another matter…

  • Mike Suko

    You cherry pick. There are plenty that sell quickly at or above asking, and in the thin air segment, it’s often a win-win if there are side deals.

    Pricing properties is more science than art these days. Sure, maybe with COVID on everybody’s mind, someone could swoop in and do an all-cash deal for a mill. off, but that’s offset by weeks where 2 parties blow the roof off some listing or other. And yes, that sq ft metric is imperfect. But those gut rehabs aren’t “normal people” playing games with software and quickie walls – they’re architects who know what’s desired, and they’re more often right than wrong!

  • W.R.

    That is a vomit inducing brochure. The whole thing looks tacky and soul less. Who wants no space in a back yard to play? And a ground floor where everyone can see in, especially on a relatively loud and busy street. The ad is basically a Bernie magnet.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Name some townhouses that sold “quickly at or above asking” in the last 1-2 years in this neighborhood.

    Also, you don’t know what you’re talking about with these gut rehabs. The folks who did 15 Willow spent $4.8 mil to buy the house in 2014 and they must’ve poured $1.5-2 mil into the reno. But they priced too high and because it sat, they carried the house for 5 years. After you subtract their interest, carrying costs and selling fees, they probably didn’t clear a huge profit even with the leverage. They could’ve made more in the S&P 500.

  • Jorale-man

    Hey, it’s the most convenient grocery store to my apartment. I don’t love it either but occasionally you have to take one for the team (which doesn’t get them off the hook for not preparing for a change that’s been in the works for at least a year).

  • Teresa

    I’ve been to several stores this week and they’ve all used plastic bags.

  • South Brooklyn Boys

    As my kid would say “too bright”.

  • Jorale-man

    Wow. So much for being a city governed by laws. Maybe it’s the Trump effect. We all just do what we want now.

  • MaryT

    Totally off topic, but – Gage & Tollner returns to historic Fulton Street space this month! I’m saving my pennies.. read all about it in yesterday’s NYT 🍤

  • Mike Suko

    Yes, there are always under-performers, and you’ve identified one of those. You think you’ve done “research” because you’ve looked at few listings. Here is what you’re missing – no doubt stemming from the kind of combo of bias and incredulity that we all share to some extent:

    a) This is still a very small segment, and what may be a large part of it doesn’t even need ads. They’re not quite sure things to the developers, but they do NOT go the Corcoran route, either.
    b) It’s a reality of the economy for all my adult life that some things really are not meant to sell at the first price a buyer is likely to see. That is, just as buyers often offer less than they’re willing to pay, you must be aware that someone pricing a property at $12MM might have $10MM as the knock down price from day 1.
    c) The Times routinely lists properties with their ask & selling prices, and to my unscientific eye, those that moved only after the price was slashed seem balanced by ones where a bidding war must have taken place.

    Start from axioms like “Developers aren’t stupid,” and you’ll realize that you’re just venting here, wasting energy trying to prove your thesis that listing prices are insane & un-gettable.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I dunno, New York drivers were giving themselves a few seconds to run red lights (for example) well before Trump got elected. If anything, he’s a symptom, not the disease. Like a fake parking placard: “Oh, I bought myself a loophole, and no one’s come to arrest me, so the law doesn’t apply.”

  • Mike Suko

    There IS no topic, but I really wonder if that hiatus (is it 20 years?) doesn’t mean that the new owners keep the name & not much else. (It’s arguable that they SHOULD, because so very much has changed since its heyday.) I was amused by the brouhaha about Peter Luger’s last year. Very little – even in “fine dining” – can be put “in amber” and hack it.

    And for all that that location is convenient enough to folks living in the Heights, Dumbo or – crucially – DoBro, it probably is crippling. Brooklyn Fare moved to Manhattan, remember, and that stretch of Fulton St. will turn off the old for “image” reasons and the young because it fails any “funk test.” TGIF *was* a more natural fit. Brooklynites know – You can’t go home again!

  • Arch Stanton

    The menu looks pretty solid, a nod to its former self but updated enough to be in the “New Brooklyn” game. If they can back it up with enough quality to earn the prices they may have a good shot at making it work.

  • Andrew Porter

    Every single building on the west side of Hicks on this block has had major work done on it.

  • Andrew Porter

    The only thing I buy there is the Jewish seeded rye bread, $3.99 for a big block.

  • Andrew Porter

    Alas, not the best of times to open a restaurant, considering all that’s happening…

  • CassieVonMontague

    The main draw for the restaurant is that the interior is landmarked, so that much is put “in amber”.

    As for the food, the owners run the Good Fork, Insa & Fort Defiance. I highly recommend all three places.

    As for the location, I would argue that the above restaurants have helped turn Red Hook and Gowanus into destinations for dining. So, hopefully they can do the same for Downtown Brooklyn

  • Jorale-man

    Good points. And to be charitable, when the smoking ban was introduced 15 years ago there were probably a few straggler restaurants still allowing it, until the enforcement and fines kicked in. Perhaps it’s human nature that people will do what they feel they can get away with.

  • Arch Stanton

    Why, all what’s happening?

  • Cranberry Beret

    You still haven’t shown us any of those properties that went above ask. So who’s wasting energy here?

    BTW, I’ve looked at every property with recorded sale price from ACRIS. (I only look at listings to ID asking prices.) But, feel free to keep up the ad hominem attacks disparaging my “research.”

  • Montaguy

    Wait till Bjarke Ingels starts his multi-year project building a tower on top of 111 Hicks…that for sure won’t be pretty.

  • Andrew Porter

    I like how people comment on something you didn’t say…

    A tower? Really? What, maybe 30 feet high?

  • Andrew Porter

    Remind me to stay 6 feet away from all your comments.