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, September 12, 2014

Head Scratcher on Woodruff

picture deleted because the owner was pissed.

Not sure what to make of this. Brownstoner today noted that 171 Woodruff is for rent - for $5,300. Sure it's a whole house. But the block..well, um, let's just say it surprises the Q. Hey, and I live on Clarkson, which is not exactly Park Avenue. Sandwiched as 171 it is by Moses Fried owned social service provider buildings and low-cost SRO rentals, the street life remains vibrant on Woodruff. I know this block super well. That is, I don't see it as an upscale renter's dream. And yet, for the hardy, I'd say a bunch of still inhaling recent grads, could find it a perfect party house. I certainly would have jumped at this kinda place in my youth - but it probably woulda been super cheap. I mean it's got a big backyard, and plenty of room to "get down." Still, three bedrooms means each person pays $1,766 to SHARE a place. Which means, by the old reliable standard of 1/3 gross pay, each person makes $64K. Or a young family, I suppose, where the gross is $190K. But if you make $190K, is Woodruff really your first choice? That's why I'm scratchin' my head like a bad case of dandruff.

I guess this kinda gets at the heart of the class divide. No more needs to be said. The price, and the block, and the difference in financial means of prospective renters, say it all.

12 comments:

lenoX said...

this is insanely overpriced, but i must say i think that block is beautiful. some of the prettiest townhouses around. i've always admired these little flat-front guys, too. but for $5k+ i would want at least another floor and maybe a swimming pool/basement bowling alley, ha

Clarkson FlatBed said...

yes, yes, no knock against the block's lovely houses. if not a bowling alley, at least a wet bar and rec room with bean bag chairs and overstuffed sofas, pool table and a pinball machine and a 60" plasma TV for the big games. Wait. That's a frat house. The Alpha Gamma Rho House.

[] said...

I'm actually surprised the row of 3 town houses isn't in a tiny historical district a la Chester Court.Looks like woodruff had a pretty different street life back in the day

http://brooklynhistory.pastperfect-online.com/35872cgi/mweb.exe?request=record;id=B2C7B211-A567-45BD-AA46-454029037709;type=102

FlatLen said...

Still, three bedrooms means each person pays $1,766 to SHARE a place. Which means, by the old reliable standard of 1/3 gross pay, each person makes $64K. Or a young family, I suppose, where the gross is $190K. But if you make $190K, is Woodruff really your first choice? That's why I'm scratchin' my head like a bad case of dandruff.

My thoughts: Or, they could be three people each earning a fraction of $64k, but with parents subsidizing them.

I read a story about that sort of thing in the NYT recently, a young woman planning to go to SUNY Downstate, but who is moving into a new development in the Eastern Parkway area.

Her parents will pay the rent while she is in school; once she graduates, she will pay them back.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Yes of course, that's the dirty secret of gentrification, and should be implicit in the run-up. Most current residents have no well of Daddy Dough. This is yet another example of how the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. The biggest transference of wealth in the history of humankind is taking place right now from Boomers to X's and Y's and Millennials. Guess who misses out on the windfall?

diak said...

For sheer eloquence on the topic of how wealth or poverty gets passed on to the next generation, see this piece by NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof from about a month ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-is-a-hard-life-inherited.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A6%22%7D&_r=0

Bob Marvin said...

"I'm actually surprised the row of 3 town houses isn't in a tiny historical district a la Chester Court"

The 18 Chester Court houses aren't an Historic District yet, although they are on their way towards getting that status. The 12 Ocean Ave. houses have been an HD for several years. In both cases the residents had to really want to have their houses designated and work VERY hard towards that end. Who knows if the owners of the Woodruff houses are willing to make the effort, or if the LPC woul1184d designate such a small district. FWIW I helped with the Ocean-on-the-Park HD and it was an uphill battle because of the small size.

Rogers said...

I think this is more a case of aspirational pricing by the broker than a real market price. Maybe they hope a sucker will come along that thinks they're renting a house on the other side of the park.

But more to the point, I don't think the stereotype of partying 20-something living off of their wealthy parents is all that common in reality. In my experience (admittedly limited) in renting/selling, I have always been amazed at both how strong the demand is for apartments in NYC and how many buyers AND renters there are in this town with big incomes.

I don't want to sound like your buddy slappz, but what happens when there is a housing shortage is that prices get driven up on what few homes/apartments become available.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Rogers: I was just suggesting a possible scenario where that price would make sense. "DOOOOOD, a WHOLE house!!!"

You're right. Maybe $3K, or $3.5 outside.

I apologize to the owner who may find this and think I'm trying to blow their deal. Well, I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

disco princess said...

Q, the first choice of the woman profiled in the NY Times was really in Park Slope. The company didn't want to rent to her because her guarantors (i.e. her parents) were out of state.

Christopher1974 said...

I always bring up the 1/3 of income ideal for rent. Which I've managed to do my entire adult life, and everyone laughs at me. I'm 40 but I don't think I'm that old. I have lived in insanely expensive cities -- NY, SF, DC -- in the last 20 years but still. I'm just not sure people follow that rule.

Frankly though when I see that house, I think. Well, obviously we'd have one in each bedroom, maybe a couple in another one. Do we really need a dining room? Let's rent out that. I have lived several times in what were 1 bedrooms with 4 people. I've lived in multiple apartments where we didn't have any gathering space but the kitchen. I've lived a 2 bedroom with 4 people. And a 3 bedroom with 4. Thinking about adding a 4th to my 3 bedroom now. And could easily do that in my next place.

I don't think see when and where 3 bedrooms ever meant just 3 people.

Duane Joseph said...

Well, this is not a surprise to me.