Come see the Brighton Beach bungalows
Eye on Real Estate
Oh, the nostalgia.
Beach bungalows. In Brighton-by-the-Sea.
Think back to the end of World War I.
The Brighton Beach Racetrack had recently shut down. In its place, sweet single-story wood-frame homes were constructed a few blocks away from the shoreline.
Folks packed up their worsted wool swim dresses or tank tops and swim trunks and trundled down on the trolley to live in these summer rentals and soak up the sea and sun.
By the way, Brighton-by-the-Sea is the neighborhood name you find on property deeds for these bungalows.
Today, a century later, Brighton Beach still has bungalows if you know where to look.
Many have been torn down and replaced with apartment buildings. Some have burned down — in fires set by squatters or developers, depending on who’s telling the story.
The bungalows that survived the long years have been winterized and turned into year-round residences.
Some have been raised up on foundations. Anyone who experienced Superstorm Sandy’s floods knows that’s a very good thing.
Some have been enlarged, others covered with brick, stucco or siding. They are charming, even when altered.
The bungalows are concentrated in the area between Brighton Beach Avenue and Neptune Avenue and Brighton 1st Street and Brighton 8th Street.
Some are on streets with vehicular traffic. Others are in labyrinths of pedestrian paths.
These pedestrian paths aren’t on maps
These paths, which are narrow sidewalks, aren’t shown on maps. To find them, go to Brighton 1st Street and start walking around.
Bungalows can be found on Brighton 1st Lane, Brighton 1st Terrace, Brighton 1st Path and Brighton 1st Walk. And that’s just for starters.
Brighton 3rd Lane is a nifty pedestrian pathway. You have to walk down a staircase to reach it.
Brighton 8th Street has some meticulously renovated bungalows — and derelict ones as well.
There’s a lot of ground to cover, especially if you’re a compulsive photographer. And at some point during your visit, you’ll want to take a break for borscht on the nearby Boardwalk. See related story.
So in an afternoon of walking, you may not have time to see every single bungalow that’s left in Brighton Beach. But you’ll get an eyeful.
Seven bungalows razed for a development site
To get an idea of what has made bungalows disappear in Brighton Beach, consider the example of 2954 Brighton 3rd St., a newly constructed seven-story, 17-unit apartment building.
City Finance Department records show Maya Zubok and Henry Shapiro assembled the development site by buying one-story bungalows from four different owners in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
As the Finance Department records indicate, the developers paid $385,000 for the house that stood at 2954 Brighton 3rd St., $314,000 for 52 Brighton 2nd Lane, $380,000 for 53 Brighton 2nd Path and $270,000 for 54 Brighton 2nd Path.
And they constructed an adjacent five-story medical building at 2952 Brighton 3rd St. on the site of a single-story house and two pieces of vacant land. We gleaned info about these 2011 transactions from Finance Department records and Buildings Department filings.
The developers paid $420,900 for land at 2952 Brighton 3rd St. The previous owners had torn down a bungalow on the property.
Zubok and Shapiro paid $269,100 for land at 2944 Brighton 3rd St. where a bungalow had also been torn down by the previous owners — and purchased a $300,000 bungalow at 2940 Brighton 3rd St., which they later demolished.