By Jonathan Berman, Vice President, Ariel Property Advisors
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens has been discovered by developers armed with plans to transform vacant lots into residential developments on or near Flatbush Avenue.
The projects include eight buildings ranging in height from six to 23 stories that will contain a total of 616 units—mostly rentals but some luxury condominiums.
Bordered by Flatbush Avenue, Empire Boulevard and New York and Clarkson Avenues, Prospect Lefferts Gardens is no stranger to newcomers. For decades professionals and families have sought out the Romanesque, Colonial and Tudor Revival style homes built from 1895 to 1925 as a more affordable alternative to Park Slope on the other side of Prospect Park. In 1979, more than 11 blocks of the neighborhood were designated a historic district.
Now the same amenities that attracted homeowners to Prospect Lefferts Gardens are attracting developers—the neighborhood’s close proximity to Prospect Park, the Botanic Garden and major medical centers, easy commute to Manhattan and blocks and blocks of well-maintained, two- and three-story brick and limestone homes that are appreciating in value.
The new developments will increase the number of multifamily buildings in Brooklyn Community District 9, which includes Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights South and Wingate. One-third of the dwellings in Community District 9 are one-to-two family residential homes, while about 25 percent are multifamily buildings, and 1.2 percent of the lots are vacant land.
The few vacant lots that do exist in the neighborhood are getting picked off by developers and projects that were stalled during the recession are being resurrected by new owners.
Eight of the planned developments are highlighted below and serve as a sample of what the future may hold for Prospect Lefferts Gardens:
Hudson Companies filed plans with the NYC Department of Buildings to build a 23-story, mixed-use building at 626 Flatbush Avenue featuring 254 rental units in a 218,956-square-foot space, 4,758 square feet of commercial space, a 3,583-square-foot community facility, and enclosed parking. The developer is demolishing the existing two-story commercial space on Flatbush Avenue and building on the parking lot behind the retail storefronts. Our firm sold the property for $11 million in June 2013.
Tom Anderson of 31 Lincoln Road Development filed plans with the NYC Department of Buildings for a nine-story, 56-unit mixed-use building at 510 Flatbush Avenue, which will allow for 36,450 square feet for residential use, 5,000 square feet for commercial use, and 3,668 square feet for a community facility. In a related development around the corner on the same block, Mr. Anderson filed plans for an eight-story structure with 87 units at 33 Lincoln Road, which will allow for 60,455 square feet of residential development, 4,856 square feet of commercial development and 10,129 for a community facility. The 26,282-square-foot vacant lot on which the developments will be built sold for $6.5 million in August 2011.
Developer Eli Karp of Hello Living has already started marketing a 15-story luxury condominium at 271 Lenox Road, between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues, featuring 56 units with private terraces and private elevators opening directly into each unit, 32 parking spaces and a gym. The firm also is planning a six-story building with 40 condominium units, 20 parking spaces and a gym at 651 New York Avenue, on the corner of New York Avenue and Hawthorne Street.
The Department of Buildings issued a permit for a nine-story, 72-unit residential apartment house with a community facility on a vacant lot at 226 Linden Boulevard, between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues. The application was filed by owner Emory Brooks of C.C.M.S.
An application has been filed with the Department of Buildings for a six-story, 29-unit, 19,923-square-foot apartment building on a vacant lot at 329 Sterling Street, between Nostrand and New York Avenues. The Department of Buildings website notes that the application is pending zoning approval. The owner is Thomas Lieberman of Jacquelyn 327 LLC.
A permit has been issued by the Department of Buildings for a six-story, 22-unit apartment building with a community facility on a vacant lot at 329 Lincoln Road, between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues. The owner is Alembic Community Development.
Another development site featuring 145,720 buildable square feet at Nostrand and Clarkson Avenues, one block from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital, and other medical facilities, is in contract. It was on the market for $10 million.
Much of the press is intently focused on development in more developed parts of Brooklyn like Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope and Crown Heights. These developments are a clear sign that much more is taking place throughout the borough and will continue to do so.