Nostrand Avenue odyssey, part 1: A stroll from Sheepshead Bay to Flatbush Nostrand Junction
Eye on Real Estate
Boats bobbing in the waters of Sheepshead Bay. Bed-Stuy landmarks designed by famed late 19th-century architect Montrose Morris.
These two photogenic sights, which sound so dissimilar, are connected by an eight-mile-long artery — Nostrand Avenue.
So yeah, there’s busy vehicular traffic in some spots on this north-south street. But it’s a rewarding route for an urban hike that will take you through several fascinating Brooklyn neighborhoods. Or urban hikes, plural.
For strollers with stamina, the distance is walkable in a single day, of course. But if you want to snap photos and stop periodically to snack and shop a bit, it’s going to take much longer. With this in mind, we’ve split the trip into segments.
Before we describe the first leg of the journey, here are a couple historic tidbits about Nostrand Avenue.
It has been around since 1840 and was originally called Nostrand’s Lane.
It was named for the Nostrand family, whose ancestor Hans Hansen Von Norstrand came to Flatbush in 1638.
According to “Brooklyn by Name,” a book by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss, the avenue’s name might refer to one of Hans Hansen’s sons, Gerret Noordstrandt. He was one of the first members of the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church.
But back to the present.
Nostrand Avenue’s address numbers begin at the intersection of Flushing Avenue, which is the northern border of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and get higher as you head south. But we’re not going to walk in that direction. It’s easier to see (and take photos) if you walk north and keep the sun at your back.
Sheepshead Bay bait shop and bungalows
So our first stroll starts at the south end of Nostrand Avenue, which is at the intersection of Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. It ends at Flatbush Nostrand Junction, where Brooklyn College is located.
* Before we start walking along Nostrand Avenue, there’s a picturesque boat dock a couple blocks away. It’s behind Stella Maris, a bait and tackle shop on Emmons Avenue. Come to think of it, a bait and tackle shop is also a pretty picturesque thing to find in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
Surely you know this, but we’re going to say it anyway: Sheepshead Bay is a neighborhood that deserves a full day’s visit. If you haven’t spent time here recently, come back soon while the weather’s still good.
* A few yards away from the intersection of Nostrand and Emmons avenues, there’s a pedestrian-only pathway called Webers Court that’s lined with bungalows.
These old-fashioned waterfront homes, which can be found on several Sheepshead Bay streets, are a cherished feature of the neighborhood. They were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Many bungalow owners are rebuilding them to comply with zoning regulations related to flood zones. For instance, the owners of 8 Webers Court and 9 Webers Court are both in the process of raising their houses on new pile foundations.
* Just north of the intersection of Nostrand and Emmons avenues, there’s a row of bungalows on a pedestrian-only pathway called Hitchings Avenue.
Classic apartment complexes and a suburban-style shopping center
* The Best Western Plus Brooklyn Bay Hotel was built a decade ago. It’s at 3003 Emmons Ave. on the corner of Nostrand Avenue.
* A small condo building at 4051 Nostrand Ave. that was constructed a few years ago has round window frames painted blue that look like portholes on a ship.
* As Nostrand Avenue proceeds north, there are blocks with attached houses with landscaped front yards. There are classic apartment complexes such as the Sea Isle co-ops at 3901-3903 Nostrand Ave. between Voorhies Avenue and Avenue Z.
There’s a New York City Housing Authority complex, the Sheepshead Bay Houses.
* There are heavily commercial blocks, including a suburban-style shopping center at 3779-3861 Nostrand Ave. One of its tenants is Aldi, a discount grocery chain.
* At the south end of Sheepshead Bay, Nostrand Avenue is a super-wide two-way street with a median strip. North of the intersection of Avenue X, the median strip disappears.
What happened to the car wash?
* A bit further north, the neighborhood on the east side of Nostrand Avenue is Marine Park.
In that neighborhood, a four-story, 19-unit apartment building is being developed at 2881 Nostrand Ave. After the city Board of Standards and Appeals gave property owner Moshe Packman a variance to construct a residential property of that size, he tore down Dynasty 21 Car Wash, which had stood on the site.
Packman had initially planned to construct a five-story, 26-unit apartment building. Marine Park residents objected to its height. Community Board 18 disapproved of that proposal.
* North of Kings Highway, Nostrand Avenue is considered the border of Midwood and Flatlands.
There are two newly constructed commercial properties in this area. Low-rise 3003 Avenue J is a flexible-office-space facility called Corner Office NYC.
There’s space for medical tenants and nonprofits in mid-rise 2361 Nostrand Ave.
The Marcal Group controls these properties through long-term leases that run for 48 years and 10 months, city Finance Department records indicate.
* There’s a big development site at 2251 Nostrand Ave. on the corner of Avenue I. An LLC with Allan Lebovits as a manager bought this property for $11.5 million in 2015, Finance Department records show.
Lebovits is a managing principal of Meral Property Group.
The purchaser has filed plans with the Buildings Department to construct a 79-foot-tall commercial building on the site.
* There’s a 225,000-square-foot Target at Triangle Junction, a shopping mall located at 2201 Nostrand Ave. near Brooklyn College.
Target opened in 2008.
Triangle Equities built the mall on a site that had been a city-owned parking lot.
* Across the street from the shopping center, there’s a Nike sportswear store at 2236 Nostrand Ave.
Retail and restaurant tenants in this area, which is known as Flatbush Nostrand Junction, are a mix of national chains and small entrepreneurs.
Check back with us next week for the second segment of our Nostrand Avenue odyssey.
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