In his new â€śMy 2 Centsâ€ť column, Donald Brennan presents unbiased, hands-on evaluations of properties on the market that heâ€™s visited and examined inside and outâ€”and gives you his unique perspective as an architect, developer and appraiser. Â Contact Donald for more details about this home or others in brownstone Brooklyn.
Double duplex with a vision for single family use.
I attended the open house for 369 Clinton Street soon after I had checked out the adjoining property,Â No. 371, which I wrote about last week. Iâ€™ll compare them in my next postâ€”but here are my thoughts about this 4-story-plus-cellar brownstone. While I am not a huge fan of the double duplex configuration in narrow buildings this property can be easily converted to a single family.
Highlights: Impressive Chefâ€™s kitchen and garden level living space.
Price: $2,800,000 ($848/sf)
Local Externalitiesâ€”369 Clinton Street is located between DeGraw and Sackett streets in Carroll Gardens, just outside the Cobble Hill historic district and just a block from Court Street and its shops, restaurants and the Cobble Hill Cinemas. But youâ€™ll have a six-block walk to the Carroll Street subway station, and encounter a good amount of traffic since Clinton is a through street for cars headed north to the Heights and the Bridge. However, the block is filled with lovely, historic 19th century brownstones and row houses, most of which have maintained their historic character. 369 Clinton Street and the surrounding homes are of similar size, style and vintage, and all appear to be well maintained.
Architecture/Appearanceâ€”369 Clinton Streetâ€™s construction is consistent with the Italianate style brownstone homes built in the 1840s â€“ 1870s, with an arched doorways, double-leaf doors, and high stoops.Â (See the LPCâ€™s row house guide for details.) The buildingâ€™s exterior has a finish thatâ€™s a lighter shade of brown relative to its neighbors. Inside, it has a double duplex configurationâ€”a layout I find to be a less efficient use of space in narrow buildings like this one (16.5â€™ wide x 50â€™ deep). The ownerâ€™s duplexâ€”with two bedrooms and 1.5 baths–is on the garden and parlor floors. I found it odd that the parlor level had no bathroomâ€”the Â˝ bath is in the cellar. This duplex does have some beautiful finishes and detail, however, and itâ€™s nicely decorated. The garden level has an outstanding Chefâ€™s kitchen and French doors that lead to the dining room and outdoor patioâ€”perfect for entertaining. The rental duplexâ€”with two bedrooms and two full baths–is on the upper floors, and is of rental quality but well maintained. Reportedly, the tenant is paying $3,500/month in rent, but $4,500 is closer to market.
Rehabilitationâ€” The current configuration of this property doesnâ€™t give the owner/occupant the feeling of townhouse living, and I believe it would be much better served as a single-family home.Â Such a conversion would involve removing the partition at the parlor level foyer and the second kitchen, which would allow the master bedroom to be moved to the second floor. These renovations would cost about $15,000Â to $20,000–just for the minor reconfiguration work.
The takeaway: If you donâ€™t mind the double duplex configuration, this home does provide significant rental income along with some interesting features. If your heart is set on the single-family conversion, youâ€™ll need to factor in the additional cost and time to make it your own.
In the market? Iâ€™m happy to walk you through this home or others like it and tell you more. Please contact me to set up an appointment–no obligation:
Donald Brennan 917-568-6525Â firstname.lastname@example.org