Brooklyn Heights

Who bought the ‘Asphalt Jungle’ house, 113 Willow St.?

Eye On Real Estate

October 8, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
We're waiting for the unveiling of 113 Willow St., which will be covered with replicated clapboard.
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We figured out who owns the “Asphalt Jungle” house.

That was our nickname for 113 Willow St., the 1820s-vintage clapboard house which was covered up by ghostly-looking asphalt shingles for at least a half-century.

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It’s going to need a new nickname once its new owner finishes fixing it up — one that honors its Back-To-The-Future-style exterior restoration.

For the longest time, it wasn’t possible to identify the man behind the LLC that paid $2.9 million cash for the Brooklyn Heights frame house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

That man is Alain Kodsi. His firm, Heights Advisors, has served as the lead investor in more than $1 billion in real estate projects. Sometimes Kodsi works with Lou Greco’s SDS Development — but SDS is not an owner of 113 Willow, a source involved in the renovation told Eye on Real Estate.

We hereby send a thank-you to the tipster who told us that a renovation permit from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission identifies Kodsi as 113 Willow’s owner.

The investor hasn’t yet decided if selling the single-family townhouse is the way to go once the renovation is finished, or if renting is the route to take instead, our source said.

The interior restoration will take another four to five months. The house had to be reinforced with a steel frame for support.

The asphalt shingles have been removed, as we’ve previously reported. But the clapboard that was beneath the shingles is so badly decayed that it needs to be replaced, the source revealed. The wood planks have been replicated in mahogany. (Or rather, that’s the type of wood used for the clapboard that will cover the street-facing side of the house. We weren’t told about the wood for the other façades).

The replicated clapboard will be painted a gray-bluish hue.

A photocopy of a historic photo of 113 Willow was hung inside the house by construction workers as a reminder of what the restoration should look like. The picture was taken in 1936 by famous photographer Berenice Abbott. (The rest of us can see that picture online in the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery.)


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