Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Property as they Divest from Brooklyn

Sep 04, 17 Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Property as they Divest from Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Real Estate

Jehovah’s Witnesses are sold off close to their last bits of Brooklyn real estate in the wake of their relocation to Upstate New York. The most recent sale was of their Brooklyn Heights, 12-story, 97-unit apartment building for $58 million. The sale of 97 Columbia Heights was to a Los Angeles-based investment firm, Hawkins Way Capital, which also purchased another Witness building for $18 million, located at 119 Columbia Heights, just up the street. 97 Columbia Heights, close to 89,000 square-feet, was purchased by the Witnesses when it was still under construction in 1986. The Witnesses also put up for sale what is their last empty lot in Brooklyn, located at 1 York Street, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights. The lot’s price is not listed, but it is estimated to be worth about $54 million, with about 189,000 to 250,000 square-feet of buildable space on 52,000 square-feet. That comes to about $300 per build-able...

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New York’s Passive Houses

Jan 02, 17 New York’s Passive Houses

Posted by in Business, Real Estate

The passive house standard was established less than a decade ago in Germany by the Passivhaus Institut.  Given the advantages to the environment and energy bills it provides, it soon spread to other parts of the world including the New York area.  As such, it gave various professionals in the industry (including Rocco Basile of Avo Construction, and Stephen Lynch of Caliper Studio among others) a greener way to build, while maintaining top quality standards. Having such a positive impact on so many aspects involved in building construction, the “sweeping green-building initiative” is also being greatly lauded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  He is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050 and using this type of construction is a huge step in the right direction. Avo Construction –launched in 2011 by Rocco Basile – built Brooklyn’s 210 Pacific Street using this method.  In Cobble Hill, this unit was designed and developed by NAVA Companies (offering both half-floor and full-floor units containing three and four bedrooms).  It features induction cooktops, solar thermal hot water systems, and various other green elements. The way the passive house works is through the use of a system exchanging interior and exterior air (such as an energy recovery ventilator) along with an airtight building envelope.  With the units in New York, there is the need for both heating and cooling systems but these are much smaller than standard ones, generating far less greenhouse gas emissions and keeping energy bills down. According to the Passivhaus Institut, units using this method require around a quarter of the energy using in a home that is powered with regular energy.  Other benefits with the model are much quieter interiors due to very thick, insulated walls as well as cleaner and fresher air because of the filters used in energy recovery ventilators.  Furthermore, these filters can actually help eradicate asthmatic systems and other related-allergies. Basile and Avo Construction have always sought to employ the most qualified experts to build...

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Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Dec 14, 16 Montauk Colony – Living the Dream

Posted by in Business, Real Estate

If you want to own a piece of property in Montauk or you’re hoping to find a rental, you have many options. There are many real estate agents who can help you to find the right property for your needs. After all, if you’re investing your time and money in a property, you want it to be the right property for you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Speak to friends who already own property in the Montauk Colony area. Which realtor did they use? Were they happy with the experience that they had? Why have they chosen to live in the area where they live? The Montauk Colony collection is a unique location at the very tip of Long Island. As you think about a property it’s important to consider the climate and location. Do you want a property that is closer to town so you can walk and feel like you are part of the area? Or would you prefer one that is on a cliff and that offers a far-away feel of isolation? As you look at properties, make sure to ask questions about the insulation, heating costs, leaks and other winter related questions. Consider your purpose as you look at properties. Are you looking for a place that will be a summer home and an occasional location for family get-togethers? Or are you hoping to settle in the Montauk Colony area? Do you want a property that includes grounds and are you willing to do the upkeep on those grounds? Or would you prefer something smaller that will provide you with a place to get away, but with less headaches to do so? There are many real estate agencies that are ready to help you with your search. A few of the names in the area include classically large companies like Century 21 LLC. There are a number of real estate agencies, as well, that are unique to the area and specialize in this lovely location. These...

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Affordable Brooklyn? Try Sheepshead Bay

Nov 07, 16 Affordable Brooklyn? Try Sheepshead Bay

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Although the average rental in Brooklyn is considerably less than Manhattan’s sky-high prices, the range in Brooklyn is wide. Some people who might be thinking, based on Brooklyn’s overall average rent, that living in Brooklyn is still too costly, should consider some of the borough’s less expensive neighborhoods. There are three areas in Brooklyn where the average rental goes for under $2,000. That’s a bargain if you compare to Brooklyn’s most expensive area, DUMBO, where rents average out at over $5,500. Compare that to the Manhattan average of a bit more than $4,100 and Brooklyn’s average rent of almost $3,200. It kind of makes you want to know what horrible places have rentals for under $2,000. Well, it turns out these places are nice. In Sheepshead Bay, which is on the southernmost border of Brooklyn, just east of Brighton Beach and Coney Island, there is a charming, quiet, calm feel in the air. “It’s a tight-knit neighborhood that is relatively quiet compared to living in, say, Downtown Brooklyn,” says Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel. “A key draw continues to be its location on the water and, thus, the area has been seeing more new development activity,” he added. The downside is that it takes about one hour to get to midtown Manhattan by the B and Q trains. The other two neighborhoods which have rentals for under $2,000 per month are Sunset Park and Flatbush. Not as cheap as Sheepshead Bay, and maybe not as charming, but a bit closer to Manhattan, and overall, nice places,...

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Fearless Development of Brooklyn’s Waterfront Proceeds Apace

Sep 19, 16 Fearless Development of Brooklyn’s Waterfront Proceeds Apace

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The memory of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation it left in its wake seems to be quickly fading for many as developers clamor to bring modern structures into the most vulnerable Brooklyn neighborhoods. Take Sheepshead Bay, for instance. Once a sleepy fishing village, parts of the neighborhood lie within the riskiest of the city’s six designated flood zones, the zone closest to the shore. Yet development has been growing steadily. In 2013, just one year after Sandy, only 13 permits were filed for new buildings in the 11235 zip code section of Sheepshead Bay. In 2014 that number rose to 18, and then in 2015 it rose again to 21. Also up are permits for demolition; 14 in 2013 and 42 in 2015. Today there are at least two noteworthy projects under construction. Already going up is a 28-story condominium tower at 1501 Voorhies Avenue. Muss Development and AvalonBay are partnering on this building which will be the tallest structure in Sheepshead Bay when it is completed in 2017. Its location adjacent to the Sheepshead Bay subway station and the B and Q subway lines makes it easily accessible to Downtown Brooklyn and Midtown Manhattan. Just a few blocks away from the condo a 7-story commercial-residential development is also under construction. The VUE is under the auspices of developer Sergey Rybak. Located on Emmons Avenue, it will have a roof-top pool and deck and 58 units. The property was purchased for $13 million, including buying out a local diner which had operated on that location for over 40 years. The look of the new building, a modern, glass-sheathed design, is also a stark contrast to the brick and mortar style buildings that characterize the area. Push-back has come to these projects and others for basically two reasons. One is the fear that the new, modern designs will change the character of the neighborhood. Modern, high-density condo-towers will not only change the look of the area, but it will also attract a new type of...

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Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Jul 18, 16 Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

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The transformation of Brooklyn’s cultural center has taken a huge step forward with the opening of the Ashland residential tower. The tower is located at the meeting point of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, where the cultural institutions are located with the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the anchor. New York has spent over $100 million in public spaces and arts organizations found there. New developments are sprouting up as affordable housing, retail, and office space grow. Ashland is 53 stories with 304 full-rate apartments sprinkled with 282 affordable units. They range in size studios to three-bedroom apartments with monthly rents for market-rate apartments starting at $2,600 and three bedrooms going for as much as $7,500. The affordable units are distributed by lottery. They will start at $801 for a studio, and a three-bedroom unit will cost $3,649 for a three-person household making between $126,995 and $155,400 a year. There were 82,262 applicants for the affordable apartments. “The location is incredible, as you have beautiful Fort Greene as your front yard, Downtown Brooklyn to the west, and you have all the cultural offerings literally right outside your door,” said David L. Picket, the president of the Gotham Organization, the developer of the...

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