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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

35 Clarkson - Here Goes The Neighborhood?

Since Mrs. Q and I moved to Clarkson 10 years ago we've battled now and again with our hulking neighbors 35 Clarkson over any number of things, from people throwing garbage out their windows to drugs and drunken fights. It's not been horrible day in and day out, and there are plenty of fine folks in the building, but it's been enough of a pain that I've made an attempt to bond with the owner and managing agent, and over the last year we identified the gang members in a particular apartment and have been working with them and the 71st and the block association to get them out. Finally, with the help of cameras and a number of arrests, the owners were able to evict the family in question. It was obvious to anyone on the block what was going on. Junkies would scream up at 5 in the morning (not cool, guys...you're blowing their cover! even dealers need sleep!) Our dealers attracted other thugs, so it was kinda Thug Central Station for awhile. The building across the street installed bright lighting, which forced us all to get better curtains, cuz you could have played major league baseball in our bedroom at night. Where am I going with this?  (By the way our bedroom isn't big enough to play baseball. I was referring to the light. You might be able to play a cramped badminton on a rainy day, but it wouldn't be much fun given the lamps. Badminton is another one of those words I always have to look up. Maybe if I started pronouncing it correctly that would help. You know, with the 'n' in it. Of course, I rarely have use for the word, so maybe it's not worth the effort, any more than it's worth writing this sentence. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice day!)

Oh yes. A few months ago, the managing agent John tells me they're going to convert to condo. I laughed "Yeah, right. Are they giving mortgages to crackheads now? You think it's still early 2007? Gimme a break Johnny boy!!!" That's why they wanted the worst offenders out. I'd noticed that some apartments were staying vacant longer than you'd imagine being profitable. (I've since learned this is called "warehousing," an unscrupulous practice that allows the owner to sell more units when the building gets approved for conversion). They've been doing work on the building non-stop for the past year and now...ladies and gentlemen. THIS is what they're selling:

They used a wide angle because frankly, the building don't look so hot. According to DNA Info, ALL 14 of the listed condo apartments were snatched up in ONE night. With backup buyers, and at listed rates between $200K and $400K. Dougie Elliman is showing the goods.

So basically I've known this place as a bit of a problem, the sort of place when they do work on the plumbing rats end up in our yard. The place where, when I started trying to turn our backyard mud pit into a garden, and we can see the west facing apartment windows, a guy would stick his ying-yang out the window and let his yellow mother nature fly on a regular basis. And one time I just got so fed up I looked up and yelled "you stick that thing out the window one more time I'm gonna shoot it off with my shotgun!" He never did it again. Never mind I don't have a shotgun and I don't know how to shoot. Then there was the time kids were throwing eggs on me from the roof, and I ran through my house and into 35 (the door was never locked) and charged up the stairs and heard doors shutting behind them and I yelled "you kids better cut it out. You don't want to mess with a crazy retired COP!!" Honestly, I don't know where the words came from, but I'm pretty sure word got around because people pretty much leave me alone.

And now this is how they're trying to market that very same "lobby":


and "interior garden":

and the apartments?



Look. It doesn't need any commentary from me. The pictures say it all.





19 comments:

MadMommaCarmen said...

Wow. One sure can do amazing things with Photoshop, huh?

Anonymous said...

Is that what it actually looks like, or did they sell all the apartments pre-renovation?

disco princess said...

Interesting. Let us know if anyone actually moves in.

Now if only something like this can be done with the abandoned condo building across the street from me.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Disco:
Where do you live? What building? Gotsta know!

theoldspeakjournal said...

Wow. I am utterly gobsmacked that people are paying 200 to 400K to live in apartments in that building. WOW. I was wondering why they were doing major renovations on the lobbies and front door... WOW.

Anonymous said...

Insinuation of gentrification? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

By the way, thank you Mr. Clarkson FlatBed for everything you do for the nabe. To call you an asset to the neighborhood would be the biggest understatement of the century.

You are a blessing to this place. Thank you for never giving up in dear PLG, she's forever indebted to you. I wish more people (including myself) could do more.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hey, I'll take it! Thanks. Makes up for the occasional hate mail.

By the way, none of those photos reflect reality. I'm surprised to learn that so many reputable businesses have signed on to this endeavor. As to giving up or not on the neighborhood, it's always been delightful here and therefore I've never experienced a downturn to give up about. Yeah, there's problems, and with condo conversions and new construction there'll be a whole new batch ahead.

Folks, and I'm speaking only for myself here, I've spent the best 10 years of my adult life living on Clarkson Avenue. I've grown to know who I am, what I can and can't do, to be okay with my mistakes and regrets, learn I don't have to get rich to be happy, learn to love people of every stripe, learn to get involved, learn to love the City on a whole new level. It's not because of Clarkson of course. But this is where I live, it's my home, it's my family's home, we put a lot into our house, we made a lot of friends, and you don't just pick up your stakes and run from your home unless there are zombies or something. Did somebody hear something about zombies? Cause if they did I'm out of here.

ElizabethC said...

horrible. horrible. Was cut and paste designed to be so abused?

Unknown said...

My husband and I were reading this article together last night (chuckling over the shotgun comments) and realized the same thing happened in our old building right before we moved in. It was a rent stabilized building that converted to co-ops and upgraded a little bit. Then a subsidiary of the bigger property management co. bought up each apartment individually so they could re-rent them as destabilized apartments. Sneaky business, but not uncommon.

If they all sold without the actual renovations being completed, we're guessing this is what's going on. Just a hunch, though.

Anonymous said...

If the building is converting to condos, then it's likely the owners can rent to whomever they please.

Considering interest rates and rents in the area, the prices of the units are probably low enough that owners can profit if they install tenants.

JDB said...

I am not surprised that people would buy these without seeing the renovations or knowing much about the building. Demand in Brooklyn is greater now than during the boom years of 2005 and 2006 and there is a lot less inventory.

Btw - love the shotgun story.

disco princess said...

Hi, Clarkson Flatbed,

The property in question is at 90 Sullivan Place:

http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/154829/90-Sullivan-Pl-Brooklyn-NY-11225/

It still looks like that. There is a partial stop work order on the property.

Alex said...

I actually know someone who bought one of these apartments. He's an individual owner, no other real estate investments.

babs said...

Does he have a closing date yet? It's my understanding that until the plan is declared effective by the AG (hadn't happened last I checked, about a week ago), they can't go anywhere. Also, banks won't make a mortgage.

Alex said...

Babs - Don't know yet. Can people go into contract before the AG fully approves the plan?

babs said...

I think they can sign the contract (and put down their deposit) but they can't close or get bank funding until the plan is effective and a minimum number of units are in contract. Your friend's lawyer will know better, but from what I've heard about previous conversions of this type that could take a long time.

peter said...

you can actually look up information on an offering plan on the AG website. It says the offering plan has been accepted. I think that means they can market the units and put them in contract, but the plan doesn't become effective until a certain number of sales are closed. They probably have a single lender that is working to close on a bunch of units at once.

CAMBA said...

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