By Jonathan Berman Vice President, Ariel Property Advisors
New development is pushing the eastern boundary of Prospect Heights beyond its city-designated border of Washington Avenue and solidly into what has traditionally been thought of as Crown Heights.
Google has moved the Prospect Heights border one block east to the eastern side of Classon Avenue, while New York Magazine took the neighborhood’s border an additional block east and expanded it to include Franklin Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Sterling Place. Some organizations, including prominent real estate agencies, have pushed the border between Crown Heights and Prospect Heights even farther east to include Bedford Avenue.
But it doesn’t matter which neighborhood claims Classon Avenue (between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue); what matters is the significant and exciting developments that are transforming this corridor:
• In January 2011, G-Way Management, headed by Israeli investor Ami Ariel, purchased the commercial condo on the west side of 225 Eastern Parkway, which runs along Classon to Lincoln Place, and transformed a group of shuttered stores into modern retail establishments.
• The property at 823 Classon Ave. was transformed by architect and Columbia University professor Lynne Bresslin and Charles Frank from an old two-story garage into a soldout, ultramodern, seven-story condominium that boasts penthouses overlooking Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum.
• A property at 951 Dean St. at Classon was purchased by local investors and will be transformed from a garage into a retail establishment.
• On the same block, the old St. Vincent Medical Center at 635 Classon Ave. and the lots on the corner of Pacific and Classon avenues are seeking new owners.
• Other properties, including 640 and 629 Classon, are also in transition, being sold by their long-time owners.
• The property at 1000 Dean St., a 140,000-square-foot old Studebaker garage, was recently traded from Time Moving & Storage to Don Capoccia, whose firm is reportedly developing it with Jonathan Butler as a food incubator and possible center for artists and residents.
• The beautiful two-story warehouse at 1050 Atlantic Ave. at Classon was until recently a distressed property, but the new owner plans to convert it to a Storage Deluxe facility.
All of this leads one to conclude that the future of Classon Avenue, no matter if in Prospect Heights or Crown Heights, is exciting, the changes are significant and the future of the entire area is bright.