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Around Brooklyn: Luxury residential market picks up

April 28, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Luxury residential market picks up

Activity in Brooklyn’s luxury residential market increased slightly last week from the week before, but sales remain extremely slow, according to the Real Deal. The borough saw four high-end contracts signed last week, split between two condos and two townhouses, according to the latest report from Compass. The report looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more in the most recent public listings. The priciest deal was for a townhouse at 268 Sterling Place in Prospect Heights, which was asking about $4.3 million. The seven-bedroom property spans 4,000 square feet and spent 95 days on the market. The second most expensive deal last week was for a townhouse at 56 Marlborough Road in Flatbush, which had been asking about $2.9 million.

Dem insurgents say party pushed them to canvass

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Two Brooklyn candidates say their names were removed from the June ballot for party positions in retaliation for pushing back against other Democratic officials who had asked them to canvass, even though one of them had coronavirus-like symptoms, according to Gotham Gazette. John Wasserman and Christina Das — who were running for re-election as 42nd Assembly District Alternative Judicial Delegate and Judicial Delegate, respectively — believe they were kicked off the ballot by the Brooklyn Democratic Party after they pushed back against the signature total demands made by District Leader Josue “Josh” Pierre. “I told Josh I was sick. I told Josh that I have coronavirus symptoms and was unable to collect any petition at that point in time,” said Wasserman, former president of Brooklyn Young Democrats.

Clinton Hill tower receives construction financing

Morris Adjmi Architects’ 29-story residential tower may soon start to rise at 550 Clinton Ave. in Clinton Hill after developer Hope Street Capital’s procurement of $180 million in construction financing, according to New York YIMBY. The building will eventually include 284 apartments and about 60,000 square feet of retail. While construction has slowed, excavation at the site is almost complete. The development sits at the busy intersection of Atlantic and Clinton avenues next to the historic Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew. In an effort to respect the history of the Romanesque church, Adam’s architectural team selected an understated, concrete enclosure for the building’s four-story podium, New York YIMBY said. The podium will also have an in-ground pool.

Warren Buffett helps Mount Sinai health system

Wealthy private hospitals, primarily in Manhattan, have been able to marshal reserves of cash and political clout to increase patient capacity, ramp up testing and acquire protective gear, according to the New York Times. The Mount Sinai health system was able to enlist private planes from Warren E. Buffett’s company to fly in N95 masks from China. However, University Hospital in Brooklyn, which is publicly funded and part of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, has tried to raise money for the same protective gear through a GoFundMe page started by a resident physician.

L Train tunnel returns amid coronavirus disaster

Fewer and fewer people are riding the subways than ever before, but ahead of schedule and under budget, the Canarsie Tunnel linking the portions of the L line between Brooklyn and Manhattan is now fully operational after a year-long partial shutdown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced. But there’s little celebration for the completion of the project, since the COVID-19 epidemic has caused a 90 percent ridership loss and reduced subway service to “essential” levels just to keep essential workers moving. Still, Cuomo congratulated himself on the tunnel’s opening. “It was a thunderstorm of opposition, but we did it anyway and we went ahead with it. We rebuilt the tunnel and the tunnel is now better than before with all these new techniques, it opens today,” Cuomo said.

Board games are making a comeback

As people are more and more isolated due to the days of quarantine and self-isolation, family board game nights are making a resurgence, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Two Brooklyn storefronts, Anyone Comics in Crown Heights and Twenty Sided Store in Williamsburg, have brought their marketplaces online and are offering same-day pickup for those eager to try a new game. The Union Street shop stocks mainly indie games, but will also order games not in stock upon request. Anyone Comics also carries a range of other merchandise like graphic novels and collectible figures, the Brooklyn Paper said.

Celebs say they’re ‘Brooklyn for Life’

The coronavirus has brought together a cavalcade of celebrities in video form to declare that they’re “Brooklyn for Life!” Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Daniel Craig, Taj Gibson and others hope to raise $1 million in donations to pay for front-line Brooklyn hospital workers and first responders’ meals as the coronavirus ravages the community, according to Patch. Actor Jeffrey Wright, a Brooklynite currently starring on HBO’s “Westworld,” helped launch the effort. “We started Brooklyn for Life! out of love for Brooklyn and out of solidarity with our neighbors,” he said in a statement. “This is home.”

Large numbers of food pantries have closed

A line for free food, shown on Twitter, stretched for nearly 20 blocks last week, according to Gothamist. Bread lines, evoking images of the Great Depression, have formed outside food pantries across the country as the COVID-19 crisis continues. In New York, they are due partly to skyrocketing unemployment. According to city officials, since the COVID-19 crisis began, approximately 35 percent of the city’s roughly one thousand food pantries, soup kitchens, and mobile pantries have closed. That’s pushed needy residents to take trains across the city to find help wherever they can.

Bicyclists, joggers told to ‘put on a F—- mask’

Pardon Me for Asking, a well-known blog for Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, recently received a photo of a flyer addressing joggers and bicyclists saying “Dear Jogger, Bicycle Douchebag, Yuppie Millennial, Narcissist Swine, Put on a F—- Mask!” One neighborhood resident said that the message was not subtle but true. “I see a LOT of joggers completely unaware, running on the sidewalk down Henry Street and Clinton Street, not distancing, not wearing masks.” Many local residents posted on Pardon Me for Asking’s Facebook page that they are having a hard time trying to avoid un-masked joggers on the sidewalk during the past two or three weeks.

New coffee roaster to open in midst of pandemic

Pueblo Querido Coffee Roasters originally opened in 2016 on the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard, according to Greenpointers. After signing a new lease in March 2019 for a Williamsburg storefront at 34 N. Sixth St., owner Christian Guzman remains optimistic about the tentative opening of his second coffee shop that is scheduled for May 1. Even in the midst of the pandemic, Guzman says he has no choice but to push forward with the opening due to his rent obligation and business insurance payments, Greenpointers said.

Crown Heights bar closed after still serving patrons

After repeated warnings over a month-long period, the State Liquor Authority has suspended the license of Crown Heights bar Atlantic Boat Club, according to New York Eater. The bar was allegedly continuing to serve patrons on site despite a state-mandated shutdown on dining in. The SLA suspended the license of the bar, located along Atlantic Avenue near Grand Avenue, about 10 days after police officers and deputies from the city’s sheriff’s office found a long line of people waiting outside of the space. Inside, the officers found 14 people being served drinks at the bar, according to the SLA. The summons marked the fourth infraction for the bar in just one month, New York Eater said.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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