Tag Archives: brooklyn heights

My 2 Cents: The Price of College [Place] Goes Up

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of March 4th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

While the market is very warm to almost hot for townhomes located in the more desirable brownstone neighborhoods delivering unfinished vanilla boxes is something I haven’t seen since the heady Manhattan warehouse conversion days of the late ‘80’s. Now comes this – listed just 20 days ago 14 College Place had a price increase of 20% on March 3rd from its original asking price of $5,125,000 (or $1,350 per sq ft). Currently. 14 College Place and 12 College Place (a rebuilt commercial building adjacent to a line of charming carriage houses) are currently being marketed for $5,950,000 (or $1,565 per sq ft) and $5,125,000 (or $1,348 per sq ft), respectively. While I am bullish on Brooklyn real estate as much as the next guy, and of course wish the developer and listing agents for these properties all the best, these prices certainly seem aggressive. Especially when considering that at least another $50 per sq ft will need to go into these buildings in order to finish the kitchens and baths (at the buyer’s expense). I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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My 2 Cents: Recent Activity in the Local Market

Note: These posts are a part of our weekly email updates that we send to our exclusive buyer and seller clients, weeks in advance of posting them here. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealestate.com.

30 Strong Place, Cobble Hill, was recently brought to market and within a couple of days had an accepted offer. The single-family townhouse had an advertised asking price of $2,800,000, or $825 per sq ft. To be honest I thought this property was priced aggressively due to its age, non-modernized systems, and what appears to be significant deferred maintenance. The market proved me wrong – it may have been underpriced. Demand is obviously still strong for brownstone Brooklyn townhomes and since only a handful of townhomes trade hands in Cobble Hill every year sellers are doing well if their property is priced right and competing properties are limited in number.

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Strong Place Project Update

Well Under Way! from Brennan Realty Services on Vimeo.

We are actively marketing the properties for sale and are offering pre-construction discounts on the advertised prices to buyers willing to enter into purchase agreements before construction begins. Pre-construction buyers will be able to participate in the customization of their homes by selecting their own finishes, appliances, cabinets, etc. Please contact Betsy at 917-622-3879 or bhoffman@brennanrealestate.com if you would like to learn more about the project.

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Brennan Buzz Newsletter—September 2011

The September issue of the Brennan Buzz Newsletter is now available. If you’re not already receiving these by email, sign up now–just submit your email address right here:

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Brennan Elected to BHA Board

Donald Brennan was elected to the Brooklyn Heights Association’s Board of Governors at the association’s annual meeting held February 28. Brennan, principal of Brennan Realty Services and MyHome, Brooklyn, is a 17-year resident of Brooklyn Heights.

“I’m a strong supporter of community preservation and am always impressed by the work of the BHA. I’m honored to be a part of this important organization and look forward to working diligently to support its mission,” commented Brennan. The BHA Board is made up of local residents with a record of strong commitment to the community. Brennan currently volunteers as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Dodge YMCA and Chairman of its Strong Kids Campaign.

The Brooklyn Heights Association celebrated its centennial in 2010, and was instrumental in the 1965 formation of Brooklyn Heights as New York City’s first historic district.


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Brennan Client Happy New Owner of CG Condo

Duplex at 100 Second Place, Carroll Gardens
One of our buyer clients is now the happy new owner of what I consider to be one of the best condo rehab projects in Carroll Gardens – a three-bedroom lower duplex spacious home, with garden, at 100 Second Place.

This transaction is a good example of how our boutique firm can help clients looking for homes in brownstone Brooklyn. Our buyers were comfortable submitting a bid for the property because they were confident in our assessment of its value,  the comparable properties in the market place, and how their property compared to alternative purchases.  They were also confident in the advice we provided on potential improvements to their property, since they knew we had vast first-hand experience renovating brownstone buildings. (We first met the buyers in 2007, when they came to look at our redevelopment project at 118 State Street in Brooklyn Heights.)
They are savvy and patient buyers, just like most of our clients, and were informed enough to know that 100 Second Place was worth it.  In this environment you need to act fast—and in order to act fast you need to have confidence in yourself and your advisor. We keep our clients informed about market trends, property values, and rehab possibilities and costs—so when the right opportunity comes along, they are able to act with confidence.

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Takeaway from the Brooklyn Roundtable

What stood out for me at the recent Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable were David Ridini’s comments on the 20 Henry Street project. It was a relief to hear that his firm, Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, is committed to completing this Brooklyn Heights condo project, and that after year-long delays and funding and legal problems, work is once again underway. I did find his pricing strategy a bit puzzling, though.  He estimated the units would be listed for about $1,000/square foot. This seems priced to sell, although I’m skeptical as to whether they can deliver the project at this price–due to the need for investor returns in the double digits. By the time these units get on the market they’ll likely be priced higher. Ridini also claimed they plan to charge more per square foot for smaller apartments vs. larger ones. This goes against the traditional pricing model of charging a premium for larger spaces, due to the limited supply of those units.  I’m wondering if this pricing model will succeed in the Brooklyn marketplace.

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Genealogy: Schermerhorn Street

Former “Rope Walk” and Home to Shipping Magnates

Check out this new genealogy about Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn Heights. Named after a Dutch family in the shipping business, the street was once used as a path to “walk” rope in the manufacture of shipping rope. Today, Schermerhorn Street maintains much of its historic character, with several 19th century brownstones remaining.

Download this genealogy here and find out more.

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Brooklyn Heights Street Scenes

Check out this new photo album of Brooklyn Heights street scenes we justed added on our facebook page–and like us on Facebook!

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A History of Preservation, Chapter Three

Columbia Heights, 1830s, Flickr/CHN

Our first and second installments in the history of preservation series, written by Suzanne Spellen (aka “Montrose Morris” in the blogosphere) for MyHome, Brooklyn and Brennan Realty Services, looked at the birth of the movement in the United States and later in Brooklyn. In Chapter Three, Brooklyn Heights beats out Soho and Greenwich Village as the first historic district! Read below or download the pdf.

Preservation Primer, Chapter III: The Landmarking of Brooklyn Heights

The post-World War II years birthed a different New York City. Robert Moses, New York’s “Master Builder”—who held as many as 14 different public service jobs and had tremendous control over public works projects—was hard at work shaping the future New York City of his dreams. While many of his projects such as parks, highways and urban renewal were both desirable and necessary, the way he went about them left many irked or outraged. And he famously prized the automobile over any public transportation. Read More »

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