Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is a summer Valentine to Bedford-Stuyvesant, where landmarked brownstones are passed down from generation to generation and gardeners compete hard in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest.
There are intriguing places at every turn. How about a Top Ten List to whet your interest?
We won't include the Notorious B.I.G.'s childhood home at 226 St. James Place, which is a magnet for tour buses bearing fans of the late rapper. Bloggers have debated at length about whether it was a Bed-Stuy address back in Biggie's youth. Now everyone thinks of it as Clinton Hill.
Numero Uno is the shuttered Slave Theater at 1215 Fulton St., with its rich history as a setting for civil rights activism and pending drama over its future. See related story.
No. 2: Pricey condo building 105 Lexington Ave. was the site of Bed-Stuy's first $1 million condo sale last summer (or $999,999, to be precise). At the time, it was the highest condo price ever for the neighborhood, the New York Post reported.
In December, a 1,648-square-foot, three-bedroom unit in the building topped that record, changing hands for $1.25 million, sale broker Douglas Elliman's website indicates.
Clearly the buyers weren't bothered by the auto-body shops and such on the opposite site of the block.
No. 3: The best lemonade in Bed-Stuy is sold at Ms. Dahlia's Café at 449 Nostrand Ave. It's flavored with cucumber, which makes it sweet but not cloying.
There's tasty red velvet cake to be had as well, in slices so large you might consider splitting them with a friend.
No. 4: The city's prettiest bed-and-breakfast is Akwaaba Mansion at 347 MacDonough St., an 1860s-vintage Italianate villa Monique Greenwood and her husband Glenn Pogue bought in 1994 and transformed into an inn. It has nine original fireplaces and an enclosed porch with 52 windows.
No. 5: A busy spot for development is at DeKalb Avenue from Tompkins to Throop avenues. Seven sites there have in-the-works or just-completed residential projects or are lots with construction fences surrounding them. For instance, SSJ Realty is building a 70-unit apartment house at 785 DeKalb Ave.
No. 6: Candidates for Bed-Stuy's most beautiful brownstone row can be found on MacDonough Street between Lewis and Stuyvesant avenues, where there are front lawns; on Greene Avenue between Bedford and Nostrand avenues, with its magisterial homes; on Macon Street between Tompkins and Marcy avenues, where the façades glow in early evening light; on Jefferson Street near the corner of Marcy Avenue, where the homes have regal rooflines; and on Madison Street off Marcy Avenue, where the façades are candy-colored.
Readers should nominate their favorites in the Comment section below.
No. 7: Bed-Stuy's best bake and shark — a Trinidadian treat consisting of puffy fried bread and tasty fish filling — is served at A & A Bake & Doubles Shop at 481 Nostrand Ave. Shark is expensive so sometimes it's not served. If that's the case, order the bake and codfish.
No. 8: Bed-Stuy's coolest front door is at 368 MacDonough St. The stone ornamentation that crowns its arched entrance is a face with a beard and mustache fashioned from leaves. What would your barber say if you showed up with a face full of foliage like that?
No. 9: The big-bucks corner of Arlington Place at Halsey Street had three brownstones change hands for mucho money in the past 14 months.
In late May, 5 Arlington Place sold for $1.05 million, city Finance Department records indicate.
It is an apartment house with six rent-stabilized units, according to Brownstoner.com.
In February, 1 Arlington Place sold for a whopping $1.923 million, according to Finance Department records.
The property, once a single-room occupancy (SRO) building, was vacant when offered for sale, Brownstoner.com reported.
In May 2013, 7 Arlington Place sold for $1.7 million. It was a setting for Spike Lee's movie “Crooklyn.”
No. 10: Bed-Stuy's best place to calm cravings for Southern food — even born-and-bred Yankees get them sometimes — is Peaches at 393 Lewis Ave.
We're talking grits. For supper. With catfish on top and a side of collard greens. Hot damn, y'all.