The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shooting Mars Leadup to Holidays

WTF?

In the middle of the day, yesterday around 4pm, gunfire rings out on the Flabenue. Clearly some kind of beef is getting mighty serious that people pull weapons on a sunny Thursday afternoon. The internets say four perps shot a woman, but I'm waiting for confirmation from the 71st to say for certain.


Pic by Noel H.

Pic by Noel H.

It's not related of course, but have you been following the story of Bobby Shmurda and his run-in with the cops? The accusations against him are pretty intense. I assumed when I saw his "shmoney dance" video that it was pretty harmless but annoying gangsta stuff, but Bratton seems to think there's nothing "video game" about it.

I bring it up because this sort of run around shoot 'em up stuff is definitely too video-esque for safety. You wanna kill someone out in the open? Who does that? Someone who watched Scarface too many times, and thinks they'll live forever. In other words...your average teenager with too much time and too little hope.

I'm not going to embed the Shmurda video here, if you haven't seen it, click through. And I trust if you watch it you have the good sense to place it in historical, political and musical context. I don't mean to glorify or vilify...but the way these young neighbors (E. Flatbush mostly) are basically baiting the cops (Bratton & co. obviously took the bait because they're nailing Shmurda for a massive gun and gang ring) reminds me of NWA back in the early '90s. The video's bravado and lyrics and smoking and drinking read "come and get me pig!" Punk rock was nursery rhymes comparatively.


Intense stuff, not for the wee ones. And then there's that silly Shmoney Dance part of it, which is just plain wiggy. Cartoons, automatic weapons, goofy dancing. A sociologist's doctoral thesis in the making.

Is it early '90s all over again? Makes you wonder.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mamary Bounces; LPT to Move?

Jim Mamary is closing Lincoln Park Tavern. Well, as I've said here before, that's the plan. Landlord Rong Ge wants serious coin, and now that Mamary has Bluebird Cafe up and running, he's probably willing to ride month to month til Rong locks the doors. He recently re-upped his liquor license, so perhaps there's an extension or two in play for the (tentative) Feb 1 sayonara.

But wait. There's more.

Enter the ghost of Meytex, one of the only real Ghanaian Chop Bars in town. Since closing earlier this year, I'll bet you've wondered what will take its place. What if I told you, on very good authority, that Mamary has leased the place and will be moving his operation over there? If the fight with Rong is finally winding down, perhaps the longtime restauranteur will finally find the right mix of businesses for his Leffertsonian strategy. A notorious tinkerer, Mamary is always looking for the perfect mix of zeitgeist and comfort. Perhaps at 545 Flatbush Avenue, he'll hit the sweetspot.

Au Revoir Meytex. Remember that time the SUV backed into the windows?



115 Ocean Goes for a Boatload: What's Next?

115 Ocean and Yankelovich: Article/Photo - Claire Moses

An eagle-eyed reader noted the sale of 115 Ocean in The Real Deal, and while the sale of a big apartment building is hardly news in these heady times, the price paid is a real eye-popper - $26 million. You coulda bought a building like this a decade ago at $5 million or even less. Especially one like this, called the "worst in the City" due to violations like roaches and mold and peeling paint. The apartments are all stabilized of course.

So stick with me here. At that price, each apartment is worth nearly $300K. If you bought this building, wouldn't you want to take it coop/condo eventually? Even if you got market rate of (say) $2,500 per apartment, at 89 apartments, that's about $2.67 million a year. Strangely close to a 10% return. But then you got lots of money going into renovations and upkeep. Can you clear 5% at those market prices? I suppose so.

Now, I don't know the first thing about running a 90 unit apartment building. But something tells me you gotta up the rent substantially from its current rent-stabilized state. Maybe you buy everyone out and sell the units? How do you do that without being accused of "warehousing?" I'm being serious here. How do you DO this without being a d-i-c-k?

Note the final sentence in this post from TRD:



A 87,000-square-foot multifamily building in the heart of Prospect Lefferts Garden traded for $25.7 million, The Real Deal has learned. Owner Lincoln Prospect Associates sold the building in an off-market deal to a local investor. Lincoln bought the 89-unit building in 2010 for $9.8 million, property records show. GFI Realty’s Erik Yankelovich was the sole broker on the off-market transaction.

The unnamed buyer is a local family “that has been investing in Brooklyn for multiple years,” the broker said. The apartments in the building are all rent stabilized. In February, the city reportedly named the building the borough’s worst building, due to violations that included peeling lead paint, mold and roaches. According to the most recent records on the Department of Buildings’ website, there are currently 12 open violations on the building, a dramatic decrease from the hundreds of open violations that were reported earlier in the year. The $25.7 million sale price works out to $290,000 per apartment or $295 per square foot.

The price for the building is one of the highest in the area, said Yankelovich. With a lot of money coming into the area and a lack of supply in multifamily buildings, he said, more properties in the neighborhood will likely be sold for similarly high prices.

A 87,000-square-foot multifamily building in the heart of Prospect Lefferts Garden traded for $25.7 million, The Real Deal has learned.
Owner Lincoln Prospect Associates sold the building in an off-market deal to a local investor. Lincoln bought the 89-unit building in 2010 for $9.8 million, property records show.
GFI Realty’s Erik Yankelovich was the sole broker on the off-market transaction.
The unnamed buyer is a local family “that has been investing in Brooklyn for multiple years,” the broker said.
The apartments in the building are all rent stabilized. In February, the city reportedly named the building the borough’s worst building, due to violations that included peeling lead paint, mold and roaches. According to the most recent records on the Department of Buildings’ website, there are currently 12 open violations on the building, a dramatic decrease from the hundreds of open violations that were reported earlier in the year.
The $25.7 million sale price works out to $290,000 per apartment or $295 per square foot.
The price for the building is one of the highest in the area, said Yankelovich. With a lot of money coming into the area and a lack of supply in multifamily buildings, he said, more properties in the neighborhood will likely be sold for similarly high prices.
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/12/17/brooklyn-building-bought-for-10m-sells-for-26m/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brooklyn-building-bought-for-10m-sells-for-26m#sthash.3lWVXeNX.dpuf
A 87,000-square-foot multifamily building in the heart of Prospect Lefferts Garden traded for $25.7 million, The Real Deal has learned.
Owner Lincoln Prospect Associates sold the building in an off-market deal to a local investor. Lincoln bought the 89-unit building in 2010 for $9.8 million, property records show.
GFI Realty’s Erik Yankelovich was the sole broker on the off-market transaction.
The unnamed buyer is a local family “that has been investing in Brooklyn for multiple years,” the broker said.
The apartments in the building are all rent stabilized. In February, the city reportedly named the building the borough’s worst building, due to violations that included peeling lead paint, mold and roaches. According to the most recent records on the Department of Buildings’ website, there are currently 12 open violations on the building, a dramatic decrease from the hundreds of open violations that were reported earlier in the year.
The $25.7 million sale price works out to $290,000 per apartment or $295 per square foot.
The price for the building is one of the highest in the area, said Yankelovich. With a lot of money coming into the area and a lack of supply in multifamily buildings, he said, more properties in the neighborhood will likely be sold for similarly high prices.
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/12/17/brooklyn-building-bought-for-10m-sells-for-26m/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brooklyn-building-bought-for-10m-sells-for-26m#sthash.3lWVXeNX.dpuf

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lefferts Gardens South! A New Name Takes Flight!

The Q Loves Martense! Follow it to Nostrand for the world's best Meat Market, Michael's!

An eagle-eyed Q reader noted the below description of an unusual looking house on Martense described as residing in "Prospect Lefferts Gardens South." (note the lack of hyphen. might this be the defining mark of southern Leffertsonians?) Other interesting tidbits: the listing clearly notes Lefferts newcomer Midwood Flats as being an attraction, Vero Yoga, and Planet Fitness, all of which are clearly part of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens NORTH. And where's the Mason-Dixon line do you suppose? Hawthorne? And the southern tier? Church? Erasmus Hall? Better vote now, or the real estate agents will make the call for us!!!

Classic Victorian- Style, two family frame townhome in the premiere historical neighborhood of Prospect Lefferts Gardens South. This exclusive offering is uniquely suited to todays buyer who is looking to purchase a multi-family home in this prestigious location for a price well below the current record-breaking sales of over $1.5 million. Original details abound in this circa 1920s home with a dramatic entrance that shows off an ornate solid wood staircase. 10 ceilings, stunning wide plank oak floors, classic crown moldings, original wainscoting, and French doors dress the entire home. The main living area is anchored by an impressive exposed brick decorative fireplace and large bay windows. The entire residence includes custom fit window treatments, generous closet space, and solid wood floor to ceiling built-ins. An incredible bonus is a wrought iron and oak spiral staircase on the second floor that leads to a surprisingly large, fully finished attic space with a cathedral steeple ceiling, measuring 14 in height at its peak. Multiple windows adorn this space that was designed by a talented previous owner/architect. This magnificent bonus room that makes for a perfect home office or guest quarters, has a private door that leads to the roof where you can easily add a quaint roof deck for additional outdoor enjoyment. The property also provides the luxury of private parking for two cars on a deep 122-foot lot that still allows for a sizeable backyard and deck. Currently over 2,100 square feet of finished living space with the potential of a complete 2,400SF double duplex layout after finishing the basement. Located within blocks of Prospect Park, Midwood Flats gastro pub, Lincoln Tavern , Vero Yoga, Planet Fitness, and the 2,5, and Q trains. Luxury and value welcome you at the front door of 226 Martense St. Come on home.

Hilarious, But True

So you move to NYC. You've got barely a trunkfull of belongings. You drive from Lafayette, or Omaha, or Eugene 'cross the heartland. Your heart skips a beat when you see the Empire State Building, maybe even a bit of Lady Liberty. You've saved all summer to pay the first month and security deposit, prepared to steam espresso for your fellow 20-somethings while you plot your indie-rock takeover. Some fellow students from Vassar/Bard/Oberlin and that dude who used to sell you weed (did he even GO to the college?) are also planning to be there, and you can't wait to start up that Sustainable Rooftop Farm collective you designed for a senior class thesis. And meet a mate. Eventually. And have babies and move to Maplewood. But you don't know that part yet.

You check out the NYC Craigslist. You scan for places under $1,000 a month (even better - $900!) You know it'll be a share, but that's cool. That's how you lived in the "commune" at Vassar/Bard/Oberlin anyway. Then you see it! You better pounce! And it's in Williamsburg to boot! Score! Victory!

Perhaps the greatest thing about this place (a true Craigslist posting) is the way the poster has taken so many pictures and provided the full panoramic awesomeness of this under-100-sf room. Props to Curbed for finding it. Because L&G's, this is what it means to move to NYC to fulfill a dream. And it's almost identically sized (actually it's a bit more spacious) to the place the Q rented in South Park Slope when he fulfilled HIS midwestern NYC fantasy...at $300 in 1988.


Towels may look closer when zoomed in on

Towels included (fee for washing)


Air conditioner not included (provided for size check); towels included (fee for washing)
The posters come with the room! Bedspread not included.
The first time the dishes have been done in this shared kitchen in months!
Best part? You only have a trunkfull of belongings anyway.

I'll TAKE it! (but you're too late. someone already got it...and it's that guy who sold you weed at School!)

Where the Rubber Meets the Road on Affordability

You've heard the Q extol the virtues of the Crown Heights Tenants Union and the Flatbush Tenants Coalition. I urge you to support their march this Saturday in the lead-up to the showdown in June in Albany over rent regulation. Some big numbers on Saturday at 10:30 at Franklin and President, or along the route, will show the State we mean business.

This is where the real war for our neighborhood's diversity of income gets fought. Wherever you are in your life and finances, please support those whose very homes are at stake.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Sign A Petition For Maple Street School


The MTA is taking applications for use of the space inside the train station at Prospect Park, where the Maple Street nursery school now resides and has for a decade. In order to let them know that we prefer to keep them there rather than cede to, say, the world's smallest Applebee's, please sign the below. No money, no hassle. Just a simple e-signing and you're off to experience more free-floating anxiety about the holidays!

Just clicketh here.




Yes!

A Victory for Capital C Community
Thanks to every Q reader who gave to the Kwenci Jones mural project. He hit his $4,000 total goal, and can now protect the mural with a fancy high tech coating and we'll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Sweet.


Crime News

While I hate to burst the holiday vibe, it would be remiss of me not to note to major crimes in the area. Last week, an armed robbery occurred at 618 Flatbush, which I believe is the Rochdale Pharmacy (or the salon next door, 618A). Police are considering it possibly connected to the rash of armed robberies in the Flatbush area over the last month. Scary stuff. Everybody on the ground, give us your money. Right out of the movies.

Then yesterday, a dispute turned violent on Rogers and Winthrop. The shooting is being investigated, and being called "gang-related," which the Q has learned means pretty much next to nothing, since almost any dispute between two black guys gets called that. Not being snarky; just something I've learned through the years of blogging. The insinuation is "don't worry, they weren't out to get YOU, just each other."

Saturday, December 13, 2014