Cobble Hill

How We Love Thee? In praise of Cobble Hill real estate before the LICH sale closes

Eye On Real Estate

September 3, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One of the things we love about LICH-Land (AKA Cobble Hill): 173 Amity St.
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How do we love thee, Cobble Hill? Let us count the ways.

So yeah, we’re borrowing a line from poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning — but 19th-Century sensibility makes sense when it comes to this largely landmarked brownstone neighborhood’s real estate. At least it does until the sale of Long Island College Hospital closes and large-scale residential development begins.

We love thee for thy small-scale, historically appropriate development.

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*Look at the genteel exteriors of red-brick row houses 357, 359 and 361 Henry St., just built in 2011 and 2012. Seen from the street, the trio doesn’t look out of place on this landmarked block, where French Renaissance residential building 110 Amity St., formerly LICH’s Lamm Institute, commands the corner of Henry Street.

The builder, 357-361 Henry Street Development LLC, bought vacant land for construction for $2.65 million in 2011, city Finance Department records show. Simkho Aranbayev is the LLC member whose name shows up in property records.

Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty has a marketing sign posted outside the Henry Street Townhouses, as they’re called. No home sales have closed, or at least no sale deeds have appeared yet in the Finance Department’s online records.

* We love thee for 173 Amity St., a lovely limestone apartment house with curved bays built in 1900.

It was designed by architect Albert Parfitt — his and his brothers’ works can be found throughout brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods.

A Stribling marketing sign outside it advertises one-, two- and three-bedroom condos. The developer, Lonicera Partners, which bought the building through an LLC for $4.525 million in 2012,  is making market-rate rental units into condos and maintaining rent-regulated units until those tenants vacate or are bought out, the firm’s website indicates.

* We love thee for other pretty properties on prominent corners, like 235 Clinton St., 165 Baltic St. and 491 Henry St.

* We love thee for the mural on Baltic Street that depicts the Chrysler Building — and a pigeon.

* We love thy diminutive, soft-hued row houses on Verandah Place, flanking Cobble Hill Park. Of course everyone else in the universe does too. As well they should.

* We love thee for glorious, court-yarded Cobble Hill Towers, which philanthropist Alfred T. White built in the 1870s to house workers. Converted from rental to condo complex in recent years, the nine-building enclave on Warren, Baltic and Hicks streets is starting to see apartment values climb.

Some of the difference between lowest and highest condo prices may have to do with whether units were bought “as is” or renovated. Even so, the numbers are interesting.

Sale prices were as low as $382 per square foot last year and many were in the $400s or $500s per square foot, according to real estate website PropertyShark.com.

But sales in the $600s per square foot are becoming more common. And a unit at 129 Baltic St. sold last December for $727 per square foot, PropertyShark.com indicates.

The actual price of that condo was $555,019. By way of contrast, the actual price of one of the $382-per-square-foot apartments, which is only 100 square feet smaller, was $253,435.

* We love thee for neighboring Warren Place Mews, cottages also designed by Alfred T. White which line up on either side of a skinny garden running between Warren and Baltic Streets.

* We love the eye-catching church bell standing in the yard at 58 Strong Place, now a condo property. The magnificent building, constructed in the 1850s, was originally Strong Place Baptist Church. Its designer was distinguished church architect Minard Lafever.

* We love thee for the stoop-side memorial at 27 Cheever Place, with its banner commemorating 9/11.

* We love that practically whatever block you turn onto serves up preservationists’ eye candy, like caramel-colored brownstones on Amity Street, yummy red-brick row houses on Degraw Street and a row of matching licorice-black stoop railings on Tompkins Place.

* We love thee for renovation work percolating all over LICH-Land (AKA Cobble Hill), at 42 Tompkins Place, stunning mansion-turned-co-op building 219 Clinton St. and oodles of other places.


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