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Soleil, a 10-story condominium at 275 South First Street, has opened in South Williamsburg near Havemeyer Street. In time, the big yards were responsible for the name of the neighborhood, and for its reputation as a fine place to view Christmas lights during the holidays. Although the yards serve as leafy margins to the streets, creating ample open space between the rows of brownstones arrayed on either side, they also put those streets into the ?wide? category for zoning purposes. In recent months, some local residents, with one eye on all the construction, have been objecting to this rule. The streets themselves are not wide, the residents add; it is the front yards that push the street width over the 75 feet that is the outer limit for the classification of a street as ?narrow.? But why, they ask, should the front yards count? The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to decide if the streets should be reclassified as narrow. Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, has endorsed the proposal to reclassify the streets, but he said that many people were worried that it would unduly restrict local development. The locals know the four-story Federal-style brownstone at Cranberry and Willow Streets in Brooklyn Heights as the ?Moonstruck? House because it was the setting for the 1987 movie starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.
The historic Brooklyn Heights home known as the ?Moonstruck? House, because it was depicted in the film, still draws sightseers. It was owned for nearly 50 years by Edwards Rullman, who was instrumental in persuading the city to declare Brooklyn Heights the first historic district in New York more than four decades ago. When the Rullmans bought their Brooklyn Heights home, the neighborhood was a grittier version of the now-pristine and upscale enclave filled with impeccably preserved brownstones. As early as 1958, some families began meeting to discuss ways to preserve their neighborhood. The Historic Preservation Committee?s goal was to win legal preservation status for the neighborhood while trying to defend the area from redevelopment. In 1962, the committee drafted a preservation proposal that aimed to protect 1,284 buildings, including 1,078 houses built in the 19th century, with at least 684 of those constructed before the Civil War. Clay Lancaster, a historian and writer who lived in the neighborhood, cataloged antebellum buildings in the Heights to make the case for legal protection as a landmark district. The committee failed to stave off the Cadman Plaza project, and in 1964 the demolitions proceeded. Finally, in November 1965, the Landmarks Preservation Commission granted the Brooklyn Heights Historic District protected status.
Since we last looked at 339 Greene Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant, the new residential development has risen from four stories to its final height of 12 stories.
A Park Slope building designed to house a Jewish ritual bath ? a mikvah ? faces revocation of its construction permit after the Buildings Department challenged the sponsor?s plans to have hotel units and a conference center on site. The news comes after some neighbors of the building, on 15th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, told the city they feared it would generate traffic and parking congestion.
The three-story structure, to be built by Chabad of Brownstone Brooklyn, is slated to have separate mikvah facilities for men and women on the first floor and in the basement ? plus a conference room and two apartments that would be rented for short periods to observant Jews visiting the neighborhood. The developer has said that the apartments were designed for overnight stays by people visiting relatives at nearby New York Methodist Hospital. Although the plans approved earlier included the conference room and apartments, those facilities are now under review, said Buildings spokeswoman Carly Sullivan. The department says the design violates the zoning and must be addressed within 15 days, or the permit would be revoked. Rabbi Shimon Hecht, who is both the head of Chabad of Brownstone Brooklyn and spiritual leader of Congregation B?nai Jacob on Ninth Street, declined to comment.
Observant Jews view the ritual monthly bathing by women as one of the most important tenets of Judaism, above even going to synagogue services or owning a Torah scroll. BUSHWICK?Take this as a sign that hope is alive, in a real estate market that shows all the signs of getting a little soft around the edges. Yet, this is 320 Knickerbocker Avenue, aka the Knickerbocker Condominiums, which is a 49-unit condo that's described as being "in the up-and-coming Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn.
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT ? Offering new affordable home ownership opportunities in Bedford-Stuyvesant is a goal of the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp.
The agency reports it is redeveloping four vacant lots in the Tompkins Park North neighborhood for that purpose. The lots, at 119-125 Vernon Ave., between Tompkins and Marcy avenues, were city-owned and the development is in collaboration with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), according to Alma Cox, a spokesperson for NEBHDCO. To be called the Vernon Avenue Condominiums, the new construction calls for two four-story buildings, totaling approximately 7,583 square feet each, with entrances facing Vernon Avenue.

Designed by Arthur Yellin of the Office for Architecture and Planning, based in Great Neck, amenities will include an on-site laundry room, individual storage areas for each homeowner and approximately 2,059 square feet of common outdoor space with landscaping. Prices will range from a low of $96,000 for a one-bedroom to a high of $374,000 for a two-bedroom. Work on the luxury condo tower dubbed the 'Hell Building' in Carroll Gardens stopped months ago, and its owners have been unable to come up with a completion date. Nearly three years after a Buildings Department permit was granted to convert the Regency Service Carts building on Carroll St.
The result is a messy construction site with no major work going on for more than a year and a half - and neighbors fear it will remain an eyesore for months to come.
Residents fumed that the addition on top of the former three-story factory was a blight in a neighborhood already targeted by a slew of developers interested in building big and tall. Work on the interior of the 19th century building stopped for the third time in March after Buildings Department inspectors determined plans to build two additional extra floors and an eight-unit penthouse would have been too dense. An employee who works for building owner Isaac Fischman said a completion date for the controversial luxury condominium conversion has not been determined.
A source who has discussed the long-delayed project with Fischman, however, said the developer is now considering selling the site - out of frustration with the steady string of delays. There are no height restrictions in that part of the neighborhood, but there is a cap on how dense the building can become.
The most recent Buildings Department stop-work order was issued after controversial architect Robert Scarano had inaccurately claimed the building was zoned to allow for the additional stories. Scarano, who was ousted from the project in January, did not return a call for comment yesterday. City Councilman Bill de Blasio said the project showed how vulnerable the neighborhood is to hungry developers. The 173,500-square-foot complex is comprised of a six-story portion facing Green Street and a five-story portion facing Huron Street, offering 130 luxury units.
The complex's reinforced concrete frame was also designed to provide a greater flexibility in the building facade materials and also to create higher ceilings in the residential homes.
The story: The owners of the grand houses of Remsen, Joralemon and other Brooklyn Heights streets had to house their horses and carriages somewhere, so many of Brooklyn Height?s busier cross streets are dotted with carriage houses. As neighborhoods grow, and the technology of transportation evolved, these carriage houses endured. When cars replaced horses, some of these carriage houses became garages, but many people were finding them excellent homes, as well.
The mixture of two 2-story carriage houses, with a larger 3-story one in the middle, all built by the same builder at the same time, makes for a rhythm and flow that extends throughout the whole row. In the early days of the Civil War when Manhattan?s elite families were establishing themselves in the Murray Hill area, three ambitious speculators devised an idea. The carriage houses, which the developers called ?Sniffen Court,? were finished early in 1864. As automobiles replaced horse-drawn carriages in the early 20th Century, the stables found a new use. Today Sniffen Court is one of the most desirable and quaint residential hide-aways in Manhattan.
The building's 20 apartments, which include two ground-floor duplexes, range from 620 to 830 square feet and from $489,000 to $615,000. This means developers can build structures on those streets that are taller than would otherwise be allowed.
On the several streets that would be affected, the maximum building height would be reduced to 55 feet from 70.
One skeptic is Buddy Scotto, 80, a lifelong resident and the owner of Scotto Funeral Home on First Place, one of the streets at issue. Scotto owns several residential buildings in the neighborhood, as does his daughter Debra, a local developer who dismisses the proposal as a faulty ?quick fix.? Both father and daughter insisted they had no financial stake in the outcome. Rullman and his wife sold the house this month for nearly $4 million, according to Elliott Lokitz, an agent at the Corcoran Group who handled the sale.
The construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway eliminated architectural treasures, including the literary group house whose residents included W. Led by a lawyer named Otis Pratt Pearsall, they called themselves the Historic Preservation Committee of the Brooklyn Heights Association. In 1956, the State Legislature passed the Bard Law, which allowed municipalities to designate landmarks and historic districts.

Rullman became chairman of the committee?s Design Advisory Council, which offered free advice to homeowners on proper preservation methods, ranging from historically accurate shades of house paint to the number of panes to put in a window to where to find authentic banisters. Historic brownstones were destroyed as well as the print shop where Walt Whitman set the type for the first edition of ?Leaves of Grass? in 1855. Rullman quit his job at a Manhattan architectural firm to open a small shop devoted to restoration in Brooklyn Heights.
Rullman said that moving to Cape Cod made sense for him and his wife, except for one small problem. In Brooklyn Heights, neighbors rarely ? if ever ? complain about traffic, said Community Board 2 District Manager Rob Parris. Looks like a Stop Work order is holding up this Karl Fischer-to-be at 267 6th Street, corner of 4th Avenue, the Novo's next door neighbor. In fact, Brooklyn Heights probably has more intact carriage houses than any other Brooklyn neighborhood. As a streetscape, they are a wonderful parade of arches and rooftops, with a practical mastery of the use of brick and stone.
Take into consideration similar carriage houses directly across the street, add the other architectural elements on the block, themselves a mixture of styles and materials, and you have the makings of one of the most charming blocks in Brooklyn Heights. The wealthy families whose brownstones were rising along Madison Avenue all owned fine carriages and well-bred horses.
Where piles of flagstones were once piled against the far wall artist Malvina Hoffman, who lived in the Court for four decades, installed Greek horsemen bas relief sculptures. Where the horses of 19th Century aristocrats once chewed oats, apartments now sell for several million dollars. The building, developed by Yidel Hirsch, features a common roof deck and five private roof cabanas that are selling separately. The desire back then was to attract developers, he said, but today the sentiment has been reversed, with most of his neighbors ?panic-stricken? by anti-development mania. Although the Department of City Planning has promised to consider a broader rezoning of Carroll Gardens ? a plan that many residents prefer as a more complete bulwark against development ? no timetable has been set for it. The reason was a familiar one: their children had long moved away and the house felt too big for just the two of them. They even dug out a cast iron circular staircase from a 12-foot-wide house on Middagh Street. They'll be LEED certified and near Maria Hernandez Park and if they actually happen, the Treasure Dept.
The total of 16 will include 14 two-bedrooms with sizes ranging from 781 to 801 square feet and two one-bedrooms with an average of 601 square feet. According to the DOB, it'll be a 12-story, 107-building (conveniently just under the height that would force it to include affordable housing). The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, in which legendary basketball player Magic Johnson is an investor, provided partial financial backing for the project, he said. On August 10 of that year, The New York Times reported ?An interesting deal in Sniffen Court, one of those little-known thoroughfares in this city?provided the chief activity in the realty market.? The stables at No. The pieces recovered were cataloged and sold for modest prices to anyone who promised to use them to restore buildings in Brooklyn Heights.
The larger, better appointed ones could house more than one carriage rig, with rooms for several grooms, or a groomsman and his family, in the floors above the stable.
Whitelaw Reid who lived in the prestigious Villard houses at Madison Avenue and 50th Street owned No.
Single-family homes were turned into boarding houses for sailors who worked in the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard. Once built, it will serve as a mixed use facility, containing both retail shopping and residential condominiums. Being ideally located in Park Slope, with twelve stories, the building will feature a gym and other recreational amenities for the residents of the building. Their ingenious scheme of situating the buildings on a cul-de-sac reduced the noises and odors associated with stables.

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