Brooklyn Boro

Around Brooklyn: Brooklyn sees huge increase in rents

March 20, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn sees huge increase in rents

Brooklyn saw its largest year-over-year increase in residential rents since 2013, according to the StreetEasy Brooklyn Rent Increase. Rents in the borough went up 5.5 percent to $2,745. Brooklyn’s rent growth was led by Williamsburg and Greenpoint, collectively classified as North Brooklyn in the report. North Brooklyn is now the fourth-most expensive sub-market in New York City behind only Downtown Manhattan, the Upper West Side and Midtown Manhattan. The surge in Brooklyn rents has the borough closing in on Manhattan prices, says the study.

Adams forces staffers to work in office, says Post

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is forcing nearly his entire 65-member staff to commute and work at the office despite the spreading coronavirus pandemic, according to the New York Post. The decision has caused grumbling among some staffers who believe they can easily perform their work from home and avoid getting exposed to the deadly COVID-19 or risk transmitting it to others. “The borough president has two essential jobs in the City Charter, land use and appointing members to community board — neither of which are happening right now,” a staffer told the Post. Adams confirmed that he’s requiring 60 of his 65 employees to physically be at Borough Hall instead of working remotely at home. It’s about fairness, he says.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Permits filed for low-rise building in Bed-Stuy

Permits have been filed for a four-story residential building at 531 Classon Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to New York YIMBY. Located between Putnam Avenue and Fulton Street, the site is two blocks from the A and C trains’ Franklin Avenue subway station. Haitao Bian of Y&L Classon Corp is listed as the owner, and Hany Rizkalla Architect PLLC is listed as the architect of record. The building is slated to have eight residences, most likely rentals, and a rear yard. Demolition permits for the property now on the premises, a three-story brick building, have not been filed yet, New York YIMBY said.

Man found dead after building catches fire

A man was found dead in Bedford-Stuyvesant recently after firefighters put out a blaze in a four-story apartment building there, according to the New York Post. The man, whose name and age were not released, was found unresponsive with severe burns in the basement of the apartment building just after 2 p.m., police said. A 54-year-old man was taken into custody and was being questioned in connection to the death and fire at 494 Jefferson Ave., near Marcus Garvey Boulevard, the Post said.

East New York hotel gets refinancing deal

The Helmsley Spear real estate firm has arranged a refinancing transaction for the Kings Hotel, located at 2416 Atlantic Ave. in East New York, according to Globe Street, a global real estate website. The loan was co-structured with Coronado Bay Capital with Crown Bank-provided financing. “This was a complicated transaction that we are pleased to have closed and thank all parties for their cooperation to successfully close this refinancing,” Showket Ahamed of Helmsley Spear told Globe Street.

Affordable housing lottery in Williamsburg

An affordable housing lottery has opened for the Milo, a new eight-story residential building at 885 Grand St., Williamsburg, according to Brownstoner. The building features a laundry room, a fitness center, an elevator, an outdoor courtyard and a small park. Seven apartments are available for tenants at 60 percent of area median income. One-bedroom apartments are available for $1,060, and two-bedroom apartments are available for $1,193 per month. Five percent of the units prefer mobility-disabled people, and 2 percent have a preference for those who have hearing or vision disabilities.

Shipping containers pile up in Brooklyn

To most shipping professionals, not to mention other people, shipping containers are simply utilitarian tools, according to DC Velocity, a freight shipping website. However, designers with an architecture firm called Lot-Ek see them as building blocks for architecture. The firm specializes in the “adaptive reuse” of industrial objects such as 40-foot ocean containers. For its latest project, known as “Triangle STACK No. 2,” the firm has teamed up with French street artist JR. This maze-like structure is located in Domino Park, the former site of the Domino Sugar refinery on the Williamsburg waterfront. Also in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum is hosting a collection of JR’s murals, photographs, films, videos and dioramas through May 3, DC Velocity reports.

Crown Heights development to be renovated

Scott Jaffee of Metropolitan Realty Group has received a $38.6 million FHA loan for the refinancing of Union Street Houses, a 119-unit affordable community in Brooklyn. Rockport Mortgage Corp. provided the HUD-fixed-interest financing due to mature in 2055, according to Multi-Housing News. The community, located at 1690 Union St. in Crown Heights, consists of six four-story buildings developed between 1914 and 1925. Upgrades will focus on apartment interiors, hallway and lobby improvements, and modernization of three elevators, Multi-Housing News reported.

Park Slope Food Co-op sells nonperishables quickly

Like other grocery stores in New York City, the Park Slope Food Co-op is out of hand sanitizer, according to Fern’s AG Insider, a food industry website. However, even with 17,000 members, shelves are still very full. With reports of coronavirus spreading in New York, “We started upping our orders of non-perishables,” or beans, grains, pasta and tomato products, according to Joe Holtz, the co-op’s general manager. Ron Zisa, a staff member, added, “We sold more than 700 pounds of garbanzos last week. It’s usually about 300.” The co-op also sold 1,600 pounds of rolled oats during that period versus a normal of 900.

Frontus praises officials on home-care programs

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island-Bay Ridge-Gravesend) recently praised state officials for easing access to consumer-directed home-care programs.  “Leaving elderly and disabled patients without care for even a few days is a hidden public health emergency within the larger coronavirus emergency,” Frontus said. “I thank the Department of Health for taking swift action to make sure everyone can receive the care they need.” The state’s new guidelines allow medical assessments and enrollment procedures to be completed by phone.

Adams, Chamber call for exemption from sales tax

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers recently issued a joint statement calling for suspension of sales tax and payroll tax collection due to the coronavirus epidemic. “The future of our borough depends on our present ability to rescue small businesses that are doing all they can to stay afloat but are facing tremendous hardships,” the statement read. “We urge Governor Cuomo to immediately suspend sales tax collection until, at minimum, the lifting of the state of emergency declared due to the pandemic.”

Food pantry remains open in Bensonhurst

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Bensonhurst nonprofit food pantry Reaching Out Community Services has decided to remain open to help underprivileged local residents in need of food. Thomas Neve, the founder of Reaching Out, said that the pantry will operate outdoors so clients can pick up food there. “The whole idea now is other than having the over 10,000 families registered, we have people calling off the hook looking for our services,” he said.

Cruise ship docked in Narrows confuses residents

A Norwegian Cruise Liner sailed into New York Harbor on March 15, sat in the Narrows for three days and was gone by March 17, according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights) spoke to Capt. Jason Tama of the Port of New York and found that the major cruise lines are executing a 30-day pause in operations to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That ship was resting in New York Harbor before it sailed to a location where it could lay up for a few weeks. There were no passengers on board the cruise ship while it was anchored in the Narrows.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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  1. Voltaire42

    This is exactly what was predicted before passing the “Tenant Protection Act” – why did people think restricting the supply of housing would make it more affordable to everyone? Rent controls don’t work, never have, never will.

  2. JDO1947

    Often I wondered, while walking around New York City, what it would be like if the city lost all its electricity, or its water and sewer services. Now I wonder what New York will be like in three or four years? Maybe rent controls will be replaced with rent incentives?