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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goodbye Neighbors

The ever on-it Brownstoner scooped me on my neighbor-building and its success turning rentals into condos  - SOLD condos. We half thought the managing agent John was joking when he told us about the conversion effort a couple years ago. The Mrs. and I noticed last night that nary a light could be seen on the side of the building facing us...a ghost pre-war of its former rowdy self. Usually by this time of year (near Carnival and J'ouvert), many of the apartments would be blasting music, and not all Caribbean! A thump war would sometimes erupt, and summer would end with intense volume punctuated by late-night screams of revelry (and occasionally screams of another sort, but not often). End of an era? Absolutely. I wonder how many buildings will follow suit?

From the

More than half of the apartments in the 40-unit building at 35-41 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts are already spoken for, according to Brian Meier, a broker with Douglas Elliman. Fourteen of the units were released in early June, and within a night, all had offers at their asking prices — between $200,000 and $400,000 — along with backup buyers. Now there are 16 units under contract, with another 6 ready for release on Wednesday.

The prewar, four-story building is a conversion from rentals to condos and will be 100 percent occupant owned, Meier added. “We are working with tenants to leave the building and then releasing the apartments in batches,” he wrote in an email.

As a commenter pointed out - what does it mean that they are "working with tenants" to get them to leave? A rational, sweet and warm conversation I imagine, and some help finding a new place. Maybe a little cash to sweeten the blow? It's a win-win all around, really!

photo by Brownstoner


Anonymous said...

This is why Mr. Butler is the Jedi blogger. This one article does a lot for the betterment of PLG.

ceelledee said...

This is the kind of "new development" I would like to see much more of in the nabe. Instead of sprawling upwards to ridiculous, non contextual heights, developers who are so hot to trot on building in PLG need to rescue these great old prewar buildings and return them to their once very desirable status. On top of it, these units look fairly "affordable." Hope this catches on. Great news!

The Snob said...

The Snob family lived for many years in a sponsored building, and treatment of pre-condo tenants is not always sinister or regressive. Sometimes cash incentives to move are welcome. And if the management company is square, rental tenants can and do stay in sponsored buildings for many years.

You like my new Pollyanna glasses?

Anonymous said...

It's a win-win all around"

What is the win? That the people of a lower socio economic background, who have lived in this neighborhood for 15- 20 plus years is forced to move out because someone else decides that this neighborhood is desirable and not good enough for them.

Is it a win because FINALLY you don't have to hear "those people" blast their Caribbean music and deal with their rambunctious culture.


Thank you

Anonymous said...

Seems kinda sad to me. Sometimes I look around at stuff that's for sale and find that with the monthly maintence and the cost of a morgage with 20% down (at least 40-80k in cash) and a decent intrest rate the monthky payments are so high. And then to hear that some of these places are being bought with cash or very high down payment above 20% it just depresses me. I don't want to claim that these will not be friendly neighbors, but they are from a privileged class that will change the flavor of the neighborhood. When I moved here a bit over 8 years ago, I fell in love with the hardworking blue colar family orient aspect of this neighborhood. Anyone claims that it was anything other than this never got to know the neighborhood, and only dwells on the bad. I just don't need to be around more people complaining about restaurants and the like without look around at what's already here.


Anonymous said...

I think The Q and You Anon 11:37 are on the same side. Pretty sure that "win-win" comment was sarcastic.

The thing about that building is that it was almost all Section 8 tenants. I know because a friend of mine moved in and moved right out when she realized where she was. So its going to be one of those places where the change in demographic is pretty drastic. Whether its good or bad depends on your perspective, but it would be foolish to think that good people aren't being forced to move. You just may believe that it's justified given the current state of things. Though I'm not even sure what that state of things is.

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe people are paying so much to buy such tiny apartments over here! Not that the neighborhood isn't worth good money to live in, but these apartments are so small.

Anonymous said...

I'm a gentrifier who is pro development but I cringe a little at a "woo hoo!" response to a low income apt building going condo and kicking people out. I support the Hudson Co development because it replaces a non residential medical building. As for building height, huh, I moved to NYC in 2004 and was pretty prepared for the existence of tall buildings. I don't get it. I would rather live next to an attractive tall building any day of the week than next to a fugly stucco medical building.

Anonymous said...

I'm of Caribbean descent, and I grew up with this type of thing in the general area you are writing about, the loud music and so forth. My family lives in the area, and I suppose I have just become to "bourgeois," through all my years living in lily-white wealthy suburbs. I welcome a change in the community, I must say.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Clarkson, I wonder what is happening at 50, 52, 54 Clarkson. Did anyone do a post on it? Three houses side by side, with fences around them, and some type of permit on the fence. ACRIS showed the houses were owned by one person who sold it what seems to be a developer. Stay tuned, I suppose?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh! Surprised I haven't posted...will do so soon. It's going to be an apartment building. Interestingly, they need permission to build to a certain height and are negotiating to do so - part of a stipulation in the deed of one of the properties. Stay tuned to see what kind of building ultimately gets built, but the owner is definitely trying to make $$ off the relatively higher income of newcomers.

Anonymous said...

Change is inevitable. That's all there is to say.

Anonymous said...

On that lot , 271 lenox road Brooklyn, new york , there used to be an actual house there. The house was 80-90 years. The house was almost declared a type of landmark in the state of New york due to its age and the fact the it was still in very good condition even in the 2000's. It was sold in 2005 but i can't find any images of the house that was there on the lot before it was tore down. can anyone be of an help? if so please leave a reply to this comment. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

if anyone has found any information on the house that was on located at 271 lenox road can you please send the information to

Anonymous said...

From Anon at 7:40 pm. Thanks for the reply.

That should be interesting; something in the deed? A restrictive covenant? Did that then restrict what type of permit the Department of Buildings could grant them to undertake their project?

If so, who put it in, when, and why? Who might own the interest today? How might the local zoning relate to it?

I don't know the zoning, but it seems to me that the zoning is residential, mixed, insofar as it might include, as per a Euclidean scheme, multi-family as well as single family uses.

The three houses, if I remember correctly, are in between two tall apartment buildings (six story?), but with smaller single to two family houses nearby and across the street.

Anonymous said...

At Anon 3:55 am: The house was almost declared a type of landmark in the state of New york due to its age and the fact the it was still in very good condition even in the 2000's.

Me: Were there actual efforts to have it declared a landmark? I'd be curious to learn more.

I wouldn't be surprised as well if the sale and eventual demolition just happened without anyone knowing or investigating, but with the sellers getting a lot more than they paid for the property.

Wasn't there a Massey Knakal sign on the property for some time? Perhaps I'm mixing it up with another property.