Monday, December 10, 2007

Halsey Street, Condo Haven?













The Condo-ization of Halsey Street

Over the past few weeks we've noticed two browstone/townhouses turning condo on Halsey Street, between Bedford and Marcy Avenues. Over the weekend, we saw 83 Halsey Street, and today we noticed an ad for 145 Halsey Street. Both these buildings were featured and discussed on the Bed-Stuy Blog.

We went to an open house at 83 Halsey Street on Saturday. This four story brownstone has been divided into four condo apartments listed at market prices: $499,000, $445,000, $655,00 and $625,00. Prices aside, each apartment featured some pretty nice perks: gas burning fireplaces, stainless steel appliances, decks for the higher floors and private backyard entrances for the lower floors. The investors also went to a lot of trouble to preserve the wood detailing, such as the original sliding doors and stained glass windows. However, there was a downside: the bathrooms were really small, and the garden apartment features a standing shower. The tiling and fixtures in the bathrooms were no show stoppers either. According to Property Shark, 83 Halsey Street LLC, brought the building for $630,000 on February 23, 2006. The apartment on the top floor, a two bedroom, two bath, is already under contract at $499,000.

145 Halsey Street (http://www.145halsey.com/ ) which was purchased in 2005 for $710,000, boasts that each sun-filled condo has three rooms, eleven foot ceilings with elaborate crown moldings, modern chandeliers with original plasterwork medallions, original fireplaces, pine flooring, a restored original bathtub, stainless steel appliances and cherrywood finish cabinets in the kitchen. There's a showing this weekend from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

What does this mean for long time residents on this street? Will these condos help boost property values? Will renters be priced out?

83 Halsey Street is between Bedford and Nostrand, where some of the largest and most well-kept brownstones in this part of Bedstuy can be found. My guess is that many of the owners on the block could care less, and probably welcome the condo and the change it represents as it will only increase their property values and the likelihood that they will recieve top dollar for their homes.

145 Halsey is on a nice, but different block: the brownstones are slightly more narrow and several of the owners are new. There are also several kinds of browstones on this block-- some are traditional brownstones, others are brick/brownstone combos and there's a really big conversion project going on at the corner of Halsey and Marcy. Time will tell what change will bring to this strip of Halsey Street, but either way, I'll be around to let you know the deal.



145 Halsey Street

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

We looked at the units at 83 Halsey and at first glance thought they were great -- lovely, bright spaces, brand new systems throughout (including very large, if not oversized, hot water heaters), private locked storage units in the basement and an overall decent reno job. The effort to save the building's orginal detail made a big difference, too. But then we started looking closer -- top Brooklyn dollar (roughly $600+ sq. ft for the largest unit, #2) for what appeard to be off-the-shelf Lowe's kitchens, medium-quality stainless steel appliances, not such nice bathrooms with some seriously cheap details and common charges that are inexplicably high, especially given the lack of services (after all, it's a four-unit condo...). Unless we misunderstood, unit owners pay all utilities -- making carrying costs pretty high all around. Maybe the units will go for close to asking, but there are quite a lot of condos at this price point and with lower cc's in nearby neighborhoods.

Mr. Renovation said...

We totally agree with you. The nicest thing about the apartments were the fireplaces, but they also looked like something you could catch on sale at Lowe's. The maintenance fees were astronomically high--about $500 per apartment. What exactly would an owner be paying for? They'll sell though. Not quickly, but they'll sell.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we couldn't figure out why the common charges were so high. Cost of lighting and cleaning the common areas (e.g., the hallways) can't possibly account for much. The realtor said something about the developers offering "free management" the first year, so couldn't be that either. And ultimately, owners in a four-unit building will either work out a shared plan for dealing with cleaning, getting trash to the street, etc., or hire a local handy person to help out -- for minimal cost. Could it be upkeep of the "free" washer/dryers in the basement?? Perplexing, really. Sure, those places will sell, but we're thinking at much less than asking, and can't believe the top-floor has gone to contract for $499... If so, that's one hell of a naive buyer (sorry to say).

Mr. Renovation said...

Common charges/Maintenance fees are a rip-off. We forgot to ask what the top floor was in contract for, but if the buyer gave full price, they're defintiely naive. You can still buy houses in the area for the asking of the parlor floor, so we don't think that's going to move for a while.

Anonymous said...

You could buy a house but you would have to renovate. This is in perfect condition w/ fireplaces. That matters.

Anonymous said...

The last "anonymous" comment was most likely the realtor or developer. What's the big deal about the fireplaces? A nice touch, bu I happen to know for a fact that those gas-burning fireplace inserts are in the $2500 range, installed -- and are very costly to run. Doesn't quite offset the other costs...

Laura said...

I am the developer at 83 Halsey Street. The kitchens are custom made along with granite counter tops. Each unit has central air and heat.
There are 2 bathrooms for 3 of the units (Everyone is ready on time). The first floor only has a shower because it has to be wheelchair accessible per NYC regulations for new construction. A tub can be put in. In addition, there is brand new plumbing and electrical throughout (100 amps per unit).
Everyone has private outdoor space as well as storage. Common charges are estimated on the high side to insure that buyers can afford to live here. Adjustments are usually made by the condo association itself after the first year.
This building is brand new from top to bottom with the original details restored. You need to do NOTHING but decorate when you move in.
I invite any questions you may have and hope to see you!

Anonymous said...

All well and good, I suppose, but still pretty pricey for the neighborhood and given current market conditions and assuming a tax abatement's in the works or already in place -- even if the cc's are eventually reduced. Wonder if the sponsor's aware of some appealing similarly priced condos on the market in Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, parts of the Slope, etc. Gonna be tough at asking, but good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Renovation -- What's become of these Halsey Street condos? Have any of them sold? If yes, at or close to asking??