Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Sandwich Shop for Franklin

More to come on this later tonight, but for right now, the word is out that 736A Franklin Avenue, the former home of about About Time Boutique (and The Spot, if you go way back), will re-open soon as a sandwich shop. ILFA is thrilled, both because Kevin and Garnet Philip are awesome people whose businesses are community lynchpins, and because ILFA absofreakinglutely loves sandwiches. About Time's designs are still available online, and based on the photo, the new shop has all the excellent style we've come to love. No word on the opening or offerings yet, but watch this space for more info.

Sunday Funday at the Roger That Garden Project

If you're around tomorrow and want to get involved with the Roger That Garden Project over on Rogers and Park, they're having a clean-up day from 12-5pm. More from their organizers:

We'll be out cleaning the Garden this Sunday from 12-5 if you want to come weed, clear out rubble, share ideas, have fun outside, and help plot out the new raised bed design. Bring gloves, heavy duty trash bags, and kids if you've got em! We could also use a pick ax and sledge hammer if you have that too.
Also some totally amazing news -->

We did it! Our Kickstarter is now fully funded! 59 backers, 7 days. Wow. This ensures that we’ll be able to receive funds. BUT you can still encourage others to donate until May 18th. The more funding the better. More importantly, the more volunteers the better!

We're looking for donated plants (maybe you have some to divide at home?), soil, mulch, and0 tools so keep your eyes peeled (whatever that means). Also we're hunting down friends, friends of friends, or even frien-emies who may have pick-up trucks and vans if you know of anyone. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Increase the Peace With the SOS Crown Heights Spring Talent Showcase This Saturday

Check out this great event from the SOS Crown Heights team this Saturday at St. Marks and Kingston, and mark your calendar for their Arts to End Violence Festival, which is coming up in May.

Dear Supporters of S.O.S. Crown Heights,
Please join us at our first S.O.S. Crown Heights "Increase The Peace" Talent Showcase. The S.O.S. Team and  Anthony Newerls of  Brooklyn Blizzards have worked over the past several months to secure the best talent that either reside or attend school within the  S.O.S. Crown Heights target area and who are dedicated to promoting positive messages with their talents. 
There is a broad spectrum of talent from poets to dancers, singers to martial artists; we promise you will enjoy and leave wanting more! 
All performers are winners, there will be no judging. Join us to show your support for these positive young performers. 
Date: Saturday April 28th, 2012
Time: Doors open at 2:00pm for a Mini Resource Fair
Showtime: 3:00pm
Location: P.S. 289, 900 St. Marks Avenue (Corner of Kingston Avenue, entrance on St.Marks)
This is a free event. Please call our office at 718-773-6886 for tickets.
In Peace,
The S.O.S. Team
P.S. Be on the lookout for our "Arts to End Violence Festival," May 19th-24th, a community generated art show and family festival, and S.O.S. Week, June 2nd-June 10th, during which we will have our annual March to End Gun Violence.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Kings County Cinema Society, a party to help produce "Medora," today at LaunchPad

Movie night with the Kings County Cinema Society returns to LaunchPad tonight with a very special party to help build momentum for the production of "Medora," a fascinating look at the collapse of small-town America amid deindustrialization and depopulation. Check them out on Kickstarter even if you can't make it (but do make it - it's BYOB and they've got free popcorn!).

From KCCS:

Kickstarter party for Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn's doc MEDORA, now in production.
Learn more about the 
kickstarter campaign and check out an extended preview. Director Andrew Cohn will also present a quick short short, "Little Helper" shot next door to Launchpad at J's Wong restaurant on Franklin Ave.

"Years ago, Medora was a booming rural community with prosperous farms, an automotive parts factory, a brick plant, and a thriving middle class. The factories have since closed, crippling Medora's economy and its pride. The population has slowly dwindled to around 500 people. Drug use is common, the school faces consolidation, and as one resident put it, “This town's on the ropes.”  ... Medora follows the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets varsity basketball team over the course of the 2010 - 2011 season, capturing the players’ stories both on and off the court. The Hornets were riding a 44-game losing streak when we arrived, often playing schools ten to twenty times its size. The team’s struggle to compete bears eerie resonances with the town’s fight for survival in a country whose economy has shifted away from farming and manufacturing. Medora is an in-depth, deeply personal look at small-town life, a thrilling, underdog basketball story, and an inspiring tale of a community refusing to give up hope despite the brutal odds stacked against them — we like to think of it as a real-life, modern-day Hoosiers. On a grander scale, it’s a film about America, and the thousands of small towns across the country facing the same fight.
Followed by the recent verite doc 
October Country (dir. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, 2009, 80min) a verite look at an American family haunted by the ghosts of war. Filmed in upstate NY.
This Thursday April 26, 8pm
LaunchPad: 721 Franklin Ave btw Park and Sterling Pl.
2/3/4/5 to Franklin
FREE, BYOB, free popcorn

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beautiful Crown Heights: Art Not Arrests, Roger That, Gardener's Libraries

Lots of great people are working to make Crown Heights beautiful this spring. 
Check out these three projects:

Art Not Arrests has a beautiful installation under continuous construction in the Crow Hill Community Garden. The first phase of the project was funded through Kickstarter, but now that the canopy is up, you can contribute a piece to the project - literally, a link in the canopy, as seen above - by donating $3 toward youth art classes in the garden this summer. More from the folks at Ground Up Designers, who launched the project in association with the CHCA:

100% of the money raised through these donations will go toward the Art Not Arrests summer art classes, hosted in the Crow Hill Community Garden, by the Crow Hill Community Association. Any money raised above and beyond what is required by the CHCA to host the summer art classes will be used toward individual scholarships for selected students – allowing them to continue their art education after the summer classes are over. Any additional funding will be donated to other arts related anti-violence initiatives in Crown Heights Brooklyn. 

You can find donation boxes and flyers at the following businesses along Franklin Ave: 

  • Guero’s Brooklyn
  • Owl & Thistle
  • Rosebud Vintage
  • The Candy Rush
  • Chavela’s Restaurant
  • Bella Greens
  • Little Zelda’s
  • 739 Franklin
  • Stork
  • Dutch Boy Burger
  • Franklin Park
  • Pine Tree
  • Veggies
  • Wino(t)
  • PeteZaaz (Classon Ave)
  • Winey Neighbor (Washington Ave)

Also, if you're one of the many members of the creative underclass here in Crown Heights, Art Not Arrests is still seeking teachers for summer art classes (and if you're a parent, they're seeking students of all ages, too). Either way, get in touch with them if you'd like to be involved!

Meanwhile, over on Rogers and Park, the Roger That Garden Project has been working to transform the lightly-cultivated community garden on that corner into a completely co-operative space for growing food and having fun. They've launched a Kickstarter to help make their vision a reality, which is almost funded but could always use a few more donations to get it over the hump (check 'em out on Tumblr, too).

Finally, out in front of LaunchPad, construction of a bench-based gardener's library, which will contain tomes on gardening and cooking as well as seeds to share, is almost complete. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Saturday: Built in Brooklyn Craft Fair


The Craft Fair returns to LaunchPad on Saturday from 12-6pm this Saturday:

Come fly away with us!      
Stop by the LaunchPad -
to pick up something for yourself
and your Momma -
(Mother's Day is right around the corner)
This month's Craft Fair features anIntro to Kite Making Workshop
brought to you by Kites For

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform Candidates Forum Tonight

Short notice on this one, but Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform is hosting a Candidates Forum at their general meeting tonight. Full info from their FB page below:

Next Club Meeting
Thursday, April 19th
Location: Duryea Church
362 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY
Corner of Underhill and Sterling

Invited Guests:

11th Congressional District
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke
Sylvia Kinard

52nd Assembly District
Joan Millman

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Conversation with Artist Edouard Steinhauer, Thursday at Five Myles

(Edouard Steinhauer, "Beast")

The Haiti Cultural Exchange sponsors a Cafe Conversation with Haitian-American artist Edouard Steinhauer, tomorrow evening at Five Myles Gallery on St. John's from 6-8pm. More below from  the Facebook event invite:

Edouard Steinhauer is a Haitian-American artist whose use of of found and transformed objects in his work pushes the limits of medium and the imagination. His current multi-media installation entitled “In No Strange Land” pays homage to John Hampton’s “The throne of the third heaven of the nations’ Millenium General Assembly” located at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. In Steinhauer’s interpretation of Hampton’s shrine, the aluminum-wrapped components become electricity conductors. Using 4×5 analong film process, Steinhauer captures the ethereal electric charges. Large prints of these images are up on display. The second work in the installation is a series of kinetic sculptures composed of common household appliances and furniture that rotate, begin and stop seemingly at random. The audio component to this installation is comprised of low frequency beats produces with synthesizers and keyboards.

In a review of “In No Strange Land,” André Juste cites the “magical beauty- and even the mystery- in the show lies in its transparency of means.” The use of consciously distinguishable elements in Steinhauer’s work only adds to the power of the mystical aura that seems to surround his composed pieces. The effect is an intriguing straddling of the real and beyond.

Join Haiti Cultural Exchange for a discussion with Edouard Steinhauer about his present and past work, use of medium and his inspiration. His current exhibition will also be up for view.

Also, check out André Juste's review here.

Refreshments will be served.

Seating is limited, please RSVP to

This event is free but we do ask for a suggested $10 donation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crow Hill Community Association Meeting Today at 7:30 - Come Hear from the 77th Precinct and Learn About Project TBOC (Take Back Our Community)


The Crow Hill Community Association meets tonight at 7:30pm in the Gospel Tabernacle Church at 725 Franklin Avenue. The meeting promises to be a fascinating one - here's their announcement.

Our meeting this Tuesday will be in two parts:
First we will have a meet & greet with the 77th Precinct, this will include officers from the command as well as the Impact Zone. This is a great time to get any NYPD related questions answered especially if it is hard for you to attend the 77th Precinct Community Council meetings.
Next we will have a working meeting to start organizingOperation TBOC in Crow Hill. We have been talking about the TBOC initiative at our last few meetings and now we are ready to start organizing: block by block.
This is a program that is designed to provide community members with the tools to take control of “quality of life” issues in their community.
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting and important community project, come to April’s meeting ready to get started.

NB: Even though our "official" borders are between Franklin & Bedford, if you live between Franklin & Classon we want you to join us!!!
If you can’t attend or would like to learn a bit more about the program in advance, we have posted the outline for you to download.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Franklin Park Reading Series Tonight at 8pm

The readings return with another incredible lineup, tonight at 8pm! More info from their FB page below:

Jean Renoir famously asked, "Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?" Not according to authors HEIDI JULAVITS (The Vanishers), TOURE (Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?), FIONA MAAZEL (Last Last Chance), JOSEPH RIIPPI (A Cloth House) & LEAH UMANSKY (Barrow Str...eet), who'll share tales of backstabbing colleagues, frenemies, unfaithful lovers and sinister machines in a shocking "Night of Betrayal"!


HEIDI JULAVITS (The Vanishers)
TOURE (Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?)
FIONA MAAZEL (Last Last Chance)
LEAH UMANSKY (Barrow Street)


618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Subway: 2/3/4/5 trains to Franklin Avenue


HEIDI JULAVITS is a founding editor of The Believer magazine and the author of four critically acclaimed novels: The Vanishers, The Uses of Enchantment, The Effect of Living Backwards, and The Mineral Palace. She is a Guggenheim recipient, and her work has appeared in Esquire, Time, The New York Times, McSweeney's, and other publications.

TOURE is an American novelist, essayist, music journalist, cultural critic, and television personality based in New York City. His most recent book is a collection of interviews and essays, Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness? He is also the author of the essay collection Never Drank the Kool-Aid, the novel Soul City, and the short story collection The Portable Promised Land. He is the host of Fuse's Hiphop Shop and On The Record and an MSNBC contributor. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, where he is a contributing editor, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Believer, and other publications. His work has also been featured in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays, The Best American Sportswriting, and The Da Capo Best Music Writing.

FIONA MAAZEL is the author of the novel Last Last Chance. She is the winner of the Bard Prize for 2009 and a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree for 2008. Her work has appeared in Bomb, Bookforum, The Common, Conjunctions, Fence, The Mississippi Review, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Salon, n+1, and The Yale Review. She lives in Brooklyn, and her second novel, Woke Up Lonely, will be published by Graywolf Press in the spring of 2013.

JOSEPH RIIPPI is the author, most recently, of the novella A Cloth House and poetry chapbook Treesisters. His novel Do Something! Do Something! Do Something! was published in 2009, and his story collection, The Orange Suitcase, was released in 2011. His work has appeared in a wide range of venues, including The Collagist, BOMB's Word Choice, Tin House Flash Fridays, Pank, Elimae, NANO Fiction and The Brooklyn Rail. A Seattle native, he now lives with his wife in New York City.

LEAH UMANSKY is a New Yorker by birth, a teacher by choice, and an anglophile at heart. Her first book, “Domestic Uncertainties,” is floating around contest piles and hoping for someone to say, “yes!” She received her BA in English/Creative Writing from SUNY Binghamton and her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She has contributed to the BOMB Magazine and Best American Poetry blogs and reviewed poetry for The Rumpus. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Contemporary Verse 2, Cream City Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere. She blogs at and is the host and curator of COUPLET: A Poetry and Music Series on NYC’s Lower East Side.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Openings: Bike Shop, Restaurant Coming to Franklin

They might not be multi-million dollar projects, but these new additions to the Avenue will certainly be here sooner. At 694 Franklin (between Prospect Place and Park Place), Excelsior Cycles, a spacious new bike shop from the folks who own Ninth Street Cycles in Park Slope, is slated to open May 1st. Meanwhile, the permits on the building at the southwest corner of Franklin and Sterling are for a conversion to an "eating and drinking establishment." 

There've been some closings, too, of course - over on Park Place, the only thing that remains from the star-crossed Pawn Shop is the hotly-debated mural

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Images for 341 Eastern Parkway: Investment Package and Layout

An anonymous tipster passed along the investment package, new images, and layout plans for 341 Eastern Parkway, which will surely generate plenty of conversation. Before we get to the new info, one quick thought on the many comments that followed Tuesday's post about this new development. While I think it's crucial, as several comments noted, to get beyond the "victim-oppressor" dichotomy when talking about neighborhood change, I'm hesitant to subscribe to the economic determinism that some commentors are employing to describe of what's happening in Crown Heights (or anywhere else). Power and wealth are, of course, closely correlated, but communities are not wholly without power to influence developers or development, and indeed, they often do (it's one of the reasons that the many neighborhoods gentrifying in Brooklyn, from Greenpoint to Sunset Park, don't all look the same). Alwayslookaround makes an excellent point about the value collective economic efforts, and such collective efforts can also include more overtly political components (the life of Elsie Richardson and other organizers in the decades before our own are instructive in this regard). There are many ways to put pressure on developers, including (and there's a long history of this in NYC), direct action. Something this drastic takes an immense amount of local mobilization, doesn't always lead to victories, and it's certainly the exception, not the rule. Still, there are hundreds of cases where organized communities have made an impact on local development, and we shouldn't discount these possibilities. Markets are an essential determinant of the shape of local neighborhoods, but they're not the only ones.

From the Investment Package: 

Purchase Details: Purchase of a 78,644 S.F. Development project. The Property is a few short blocks from The Richard Meier Project called “On Prospect Park” which sold for prices as high as 1,000 PSF.
Property Details: The property is located in a prime location on the corner of the pulsing Franklin Avenue retail corridor and the scenic promenade of Eastern Parkway. The proximity to Prospect Park, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as well as Atlantic Mall and the Barclays Center, makes the site uniquely suited to benefit from the strong residential rental and condo sales market in the area between Washington Avenue and Franklin Avenue. Franklin Avenue had also seen a strong retail transformation with the addition of new restaurants, wine stores and boutiques.
Property Use: The corner site has an irregular footprint of 98.67 ft x 123.33 ft for a total approximate lot size of 13,896 Sq. Ft. The area is zoned R7‐1 / C1‐3. The site currently has approved plans and active permits in place for a 77,167 Sq. Ft. mixed use building. The approved plans allow for 63 residential units, over 7,500 Sq. Ft. of retail space, over 870 Sq. Ft. of community facility and 38 parking spots.

Investment Highlights:
The property has a full foundation in place and is qualified for 421A benefits. The seller has spent over $2,000,000 getting the property to this stage. There are a full set of plans already in place and we can continue construction on the property as soon as we close. The 2, 3, 4, & 5 subway lines are located directly outside the site at the Franklin Avenue subway station, making the commute to Manhattan just 25 minutes. The property is also just one subway stop from the Atlantic Terminal with access to the D, M, N, R, B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 Trains and the LIRR.
Fees and Distributions:Investors will have a preferential return of 8%. Thereafter profits will be split 70% to investors and 30% to the sponsors.

Builder: George Roth started his profession in the building and construction industry more than three decades ago with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Initially, Mr. Roth pursued his engineering interests at a consultant-engineering firm, where he prepared drawings and specifications for mechanical systems of commercial and residential buildings. Several years later Mr. Roth earned a law degree to complement his practice in construction. Indeed, a significant ten-year portion of his early career was spent at Schiavone Construction Co., where he worked primarily as a construction manager and claims advisor in his dual capacity as lawyer and engineer. For the past twenty-plus years, George Roth has been working independently as President of a private residential construction firm. Mr. Roth started the business specializing in high-quality custom work building new single-family luxury homes in the exclusive areas of New York City and Long Island, where the cost of construction frequently exceeds $1,000,000.00. A significant portion of such construction work, to this date, is in Lawrence, Queens, and Brooklyn. In addition to custom construction, the business also buys vacant land to build speculative 1-3 family houses for sale. Currently, Mr. Roth is involved both as a contractor and developer in a $13 million Riverdale, NY project. The development is completing it plans to build ten single-family homes, accessible via a private roadway, each having luxurious specifications and unique architectural designs. Approximately fifteen years ago, Mr. Roth expanded his construction business into the multi- family / apartment building industry and condominium market. One earlier development completed, is The Lee Gardens Condominium in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY, where Mr. Roth was general contractor for a $35 million project for the development of 27 four-family buildings. Over the past few years Mr. Roth has completed many multi-family buildings mostly in Brooklyn. Recently, Mr. Roth completed a 6-story elevator building on the corner of South 3rd and Berry Street in Brooklyn, NY, where there will be 28 condominium units and approx. 30,000 sq ft of commercial space. He is also completing a $12 million development at 405 Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn, NY to build 27 condominium units in two attached 7-story elevator buildings. More recently, Mr. Roth has transitioned into larger luxury condominium developments, including a 130 unit development named The Gretsch, where penthouse units sold in the range of $1,000,000.00 – $3,000,000.00. Mr. Roth is also developing an oceanfront property in Far Rockaway, named Ocean Hills Condominiums, with nearly 150 units plus commercial space and a private beach. Mr. Roth presently lives in Queens with his wife. His three children, two sons and a daughter are married with kids. Notably, his oldest son has joined the family construction business and is active participants with the various developments.

Architect: Gene Kaufman, Architect has a staff of thirty architects and engineers. Principal Gene Kaufman gives personal supervision to projects on a daily basis, aided by senior personnel. The architectural staff has a wide-ranging background and numerous areas of expertise. The firm has expanded from year to year, adding engineering disciplines to its core professional architectural and administrative staff. Structural, mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, electrical and fire alarm engineering is performed in house for many of the firm projects and is supplemented by wide range of consulting engineering firms. The staff is fully computer literate and develops all projects in the latest computer graphic technology. For over twenty years the firm has specialized in urban developments, notably multi-family housing; hotels; adaptive reuse; new buildings for residential, commercial and institutional use; high-rises; modular buildings; student housing; and schools. Corollary areas of expertise include zoning, land use changes, variances, urban planning, and historic restoration. The estimated total construction value of current projects under contract is over $500,000,000. Recent projects include Schaefer Landing, a waterfront residential development comprising three high rises and a public park; the restoration and adaptive reuse of New York City's first skyscraper as a residential condominium; and numerous ground-up new hotels for Hilton, Starwood and Marriott. Gene Kaufman was profiled in "New York Architects, Volume 3" (U.S.A. Books, 1991), a review of sixteen leading New York City architects. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world, including Asia, Europe, North and South America. Gene Kaufman's work has also been published in numerous architectural and real estate periodicals, newspapers and repeatedly in the New York Times.
Interior Designer: Durukan Design is an interior design and architecture firm specializing in residential and hospitality projects. They are known for their elegance and warmth, created by the merging of timeless, modern minimalist design concepts with a focus on functionality. The firm’s highly talented designers and architects are knowledgeable in all aspects of new materials, finishes and architectural elements, and they are involved in every step of the design and construction process. Starting with a two-dimensional plan, they work on every square inch to ensure the best combination of space utilization and design. From there, they transform the concept into a three-dimensional plan, adding unique elements, and designing every finish and detail. During the construction stage, Durukan Design plans and coordinates with all contractors to ensure for a seamless process. Their philosophy is that high design can be cost efficient for the developer, and this belief is taken into consideration on each project. The result is a beautifully transformed modern space, in both form and function.

341 Eastern Parkway - Condo Analysis
Project Type 8 Story Residential Condminium Development with Ground Floor Retail.
Location Corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue
Block/Lot 1259 / 1
Site 13,896
Proposed Development 78,644
Proposed Residential Sellable 48,195
Proposed Retail Sellable 8,833
Number of Apt Units 62
Number of Retail Units 1
Number of Parking Spaces 40
Land Value $ 9,000,000 Includes Acquisiton Fee and Closing Costs
Construction Hard Costs $ 9,639,000 200 per foot (1)
Parking and Retail Hard Costs $ 3,044,900 100 per foot
Soft Costs $ 1,572,880 20 per foot
Developer/Management $ 1,179,660 15 per foot
Total Costs $ 24,436,440
Construction Loan $ 15,335,580
Equity Investment $ 9,100,860
Annual Interest Payment $ 9 20,135 6%
Residential Sell Out $ 28,917,000 600 per foot
Commercial Sell Out $ 6,940,214 786 per foot (2)
Parking Sell Out $ 1,200,000 30,000 per spot
Broker's Commission $ (867,510) 3%
Net Sellout $ 36,189,704
Net Sellout $ 36,189,704
Less Mortgage Paydown $ (17,175,850) 2 Years Interest
Net Funds $ 19,013,854
Return of Funds $ 9,100,860
Pref. Return $ 1,456,138 8% Expected completion date is 2 Years
Balance after Preffered $ 8,456,857
Investor $ 5,919,800 70% of profits
Syndicator $ 2,537,057 30% of profits
Investor's Pool $ 7,375,937
Equity Investment $ 9,100,860
Return on Investment 81%
(1) There is already a foundation in place with a full set of plans. Over 2 million was already put in to the property.
(2) Assumes rent of 485,815. 55 PSF Triple Net, at a cap rate of 7 percent.
341 Eastern Parkway- Rental Analysis
Project Type 8 Story Residential Condminium Development with Ground Floor Retail.
Location Corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue
Block/Lot 1259 / 1
Site 13,896
Proposed Development 78,644
Proposed Residential Sellable 48,195
Proposed Retail Sellable 8,833
Number of Apt Units 62
Number of Retail Units 1
Number of Parking Spaces 40
Land Value $ 9 ,000,000 Includes Acquisiton Fee and Closing Costs
Construction Hard Costs $ 9 ,639,000 200 per foot (1)
Parking and Retail Hard Costs $ 3 ,349,390 110 per foot
Soft Costs $ 1 ,572,880 20 per foot
Developer/Management $ 1,179,660 15 per foot
Total Costs $ 24,740,930
Construction Loan $ 15,335,580
Equity Investment $ 9 ,405,350
Annual Interest Payment $ 920,135 6%
Residential $ 2 ,072,385 43 per foot
Commercial $ 485,815 55 per foot
Parking $ 9 6,000 2,400 per spot
Expenses $ (300,000)
Net Income $ 2 ,354,200
Capitalization Rate 7%
Value $ 33,631,429
Net Profit $ 8 ,890,499
Pref. Return $ 1,504,856 8% Expected completion date is 2 Years
Balance after Preffered $ 7,385,643
Investor $ 5,169,950 70% of profits
Syndicator $ 2 ,215,693 30% of profits
Investor's Pool $ 6,674,806
Equity Investment $ 9 ,405,350
Return on Investment 71%
(1)There is already a foundation in place with a full set of plans. Over 2 million was already put in to the property.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crown Heights Roundup: Remembering Elsie Richardson, Art Not Arrests, & More New Construction on Franklin

There's a worthwhile discussion taking place on the thread below this one, but there's too much going on around the neighborhood not to post some links:

- Art Not Arrests assembled their canopy this weekend in the Crow Hill Community Garden. Check out the video/photo montage above for an inside look at the process.

- Mike Woodsworth has a moving tribute to civil rights leader and longtime Crown Heights resident Elsie Richardson, who passed away last month at the age of 90, in The Nation. Crown Heights isn't often remembered as a hotbed of civil rights struggle, but leaders like Ms. Richardson were instrumental in improving and preserving the neighborhood at a time in its history when neither the city nor private industry was doing much to keep it from ruin. Those of us who enjoy a comfortable life amidst the beauty of Crown Heights today have leaders like her to thank for their efforts. Among the many campaigns Ms. Richardson was involved in was the founding of Medgar Evers College, a dynamic living reminder of the civil rights legacy in Central Brooklyn.

- The Brooklyn Yoga Cooperative, currently based at LaunchPad, has grown so tremendously that they'll be moving into their own space two blocks south (in the former hairdresser's spot, next to the dollar store between Lincoln and St. John's, I believe) sometime soon.

- Speaking of LaunchPad, they'll be launching a Game Night on April 21st.

- ILFA caught up with the new owners of the former 3D's space on the NE corner of Franklin and Sterling. They're aiming to open their Caribbean restaurant, Island Seas, in about a month, which will will be a "wine and dine" spot featuring jerk chicken, several varieties of fish, and "the best oxtail you've ever had." 

- Meanwhile, reader Damian reports that the long-underused space on the SW corner of Franklin and Sterling is getting a major makeover, with new walls and what looks like a restaurant kitchen going in.  That location was used as storage for years, but it was only a matter of time before the owners decided to develop it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eastern and Franklin: Hole=Sold

(coming soon to Eastern and Franklin?)

After four years of inaction at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin, the lot at 341 Eastern Parkway has changed hands for $8,265,000. The new owners of the property are, according to the deed filed with the city yesterday, Eastern Parkway Partners LLC, a corporation that shares an address with BlueJay Management in Nassau County. BlueJay lists 341 Eastern Parkway as a "75,000 square foot residential development with a retail component" among their portfolio of properties "currently owned and managed." An image of what the development might look like (above) is available from IZ Design, the folks who designed the Classon, who list the property among their "current projects." Existing zoning regulations would require than any retail be accessed from Franklin, not Eastern (though the developer could make efforts to change that, as some retail is present on Eastern Parkway to the east). 

As for that sign from Pinnacle Realty, reports are that they represented the new owners in the sale of the property (though the realtor listed, David Junik, has nothing about the property on his own page) and that they are not connected with the infamous slumlord (for those keeping score, this ILFA post was wildly off the mark). 

We've had over 40 small business openings on Franklin Avenue since 2008, but this summer looks to be the summer of the big development. Readers, your thoughts?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Art Not Arrests Garden Cleanup RIGHT NOW

Ack - time has flown so fast over the last few weeks that I looked at the email from Art Not Arrests and CHCA and thought "oh, April 7, that's NEXT weekend." Not so much. So, if you're around right now or this afternoon for an hour or two, head on down to the Crow Hill Community Garden  (Franklin between Sterling and Park) to help the folks from Ground Up Designers clean up and prepare the garden for this summer's installation, as well as build the actual frame that will hold the canopy of zip ties.

Friday, April 06, 2012

It's Weekend Time: Food, Drink, & Cherry Blossoms

- The cherry trees are beginning to bloom at the BBG (see above), so put on your walking shoes and go for a stroll with that special someone this weekend (don't wait for the festival at the end of the month, which is always packed and, with global warming, always comes too late, anyway). To appreciate them even more, check out this fabulous story about the dirt the trees are planted in (here's a Brooklyn Dodgers connection) from Michael W. Robbins' collection Brooklyn: A State of Mind.

- Tonight, check out Chef Benoit Bofia's SoulKofa Soiree at Lily & Fig for good company and a vegan African buffet. 

- Tonight and tomorrow, 739 Franklin offers food, music, and cocktails in their brand new space as part of their grand opening.

- Finally, as regular readers will know, ILFA is a total map nerd. Check out this latest one from Columbia, an energy-use map of NYC.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Crown Heights in the News, Falafel, Murals, and More

Straight from the rumor mill, ILFA has heard that the former Passion Hair Salon on Franklin between Eastern and Lincoln (798A, if memory serves) is being transformed into a falafel joint as we speak. Whenever they open, Gothamist will have to update their "Food and Drink Tour of Crown Heights" and the Daily News will have to update their "Guide to Crown Heights and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden," both of which were published in the last few days. 

Meanwhile, down the street, the clinic at Franklin and Park is getting a new mural, courtesy of Imaginal Disc Art. 

Finally, while it's not in Crown Heights, tonight's party for dance documentary Flex is Kings over on Bond and Union looks to be truly fantastic (and I know some local folks are involved in the project, so hey, there's your CH connection).

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

WSJ: Brownstoner Investing In Crown Heights

Years ago, a local developer turned an old Studebaker building in Crown Heights into low-income housing, an unlikely redevelopment that was hailed at the time for marrying preservation and affordable units. Today, it was announced by the Wall Street Journal that the other Studebaker building in the neighborhood, the former service station at 1000 Dean Street just west of the shuttle tracks, is also slated for a radical transformation. Jonathan Butler, the creator of real-estate blog Brownstoner and the Brooklyn Flea and a guy who knows about as much as one blogger can about the changing shape of Brooklyn neighborhoods, has put together a mega-deal to pour $30 million into three industrial properties along Dean between Franklin and Classon. The WSJ reports that much of the space will be used for "mixed-use office space to house a mix of small businesses like Internet start-ups, food makers and light industrial manufacturers," hopefully employing 400-500 people in a couple of years. (no word on how much local hiring is in the works). Additionally, Butler and his partners (who include Goldman Sachs and the guys who brought you the Toren) plan to set aside some space for good times. Writes the Journal, "one section of the property will be used for cultural events and another section will have a food and beer hall that will feature food vendors from the Brooklyn Flea, a flea market held on weekends in Fort Greene and Williamsburg. Mr. Butler envisions that the 9,000-square-foot food hall will have five or six different food vendors." 

About 15 months ago, with new businesses including Thirst Bar and Compare Foods opening up in the area, Nostrand Park described the hitherto-light-industrial-but-starting-to-develop area bounded by Prospect, Atlantic, Washington, and Franklin as Four Corners (so named for its location, at the juncture of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Bed-Stuy, and Clinton Hill). At the time (as it does now), the area that still had many working junkyards, auto body shops, and live poultry butchers, but was also attracting wine bars, high-end residential development, and increasing numbers of creative-class types. With Butler's big-time investment getting under way this summer, one can only imagine that "Four Corners" will be turning a corner as all of these trends accelerate. Readers, any prognostications?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

St. Marks: Bridge v. Truck, Bridge Wins

Thanks to reader Amar for sending these photos, which arrived in my inbox with the subject line "maybe time for a "maximum height" sign on the shuttle line bridges?" If, like Amar, you live nearby and woke up to a big bang this morning, this was it.

Monday, April 02, 2012

739 Franklin: Grand Opening This Weekend

The announcement says it all - 739 Franklin, the latest addition to the super-hot block between Sterling Park, opens for business this weekend with a two-day celebration. Swing by on Friday or Saturday for free (while supplies last) catered hors d'oeuvres and music (a DJ on Friday, and live jazz on Saturday), as well as first crack at their cocktails and other offerings behind the bar. Should be a good time - the Franklin Avenue Merchants always know how to welcome a new spot to the Avenue in style.

SoulKofa Soiree at Lily & Fig, Friday from 6-11pm

For those looking for an interesting Friday night, chef Benoit Bofia hosts his monthly SoulKofa Soiree this Friday, April 6, at Lily & Fig, featuring a vegan African buffet and eclectic company from 6-11pm. For more information, click on the flyer above or check them out on FB.