Thursday, May 17, 2007

Get your condos here! And...your yoga?

The weekend's almost here, which means this weekend's open houses are almost upon us, which's real estate time, folks! Today brings another glowing(ish) PLG feature, this one in the Post. The story focuses on the recent condo development, all of which highlight one of the main attractions of the neighborhood: the prices, which remain less than half as much as those directly across the park in the Slope. There's the 2233 Caton Ave development, a six-story, 15-unit, elevator building; the condos feature oak floors, balconies, and access to the buildings roof deck. It sounds like these are mainly 2-brs, with prices ranging from $400,000 to $525,000 for between 800 and 1,000 sq-feet of new development goodness. (Twenty percent of the units are in contract; closings will begin later this summer.) There's also discussion of the Rogers/Lefferts Aves building; 850-sq feet 2-br units there are priced between $350,000 and $400,000.

Finally, story also quotes Prospect Lefferts United for Services' (PLUS) and A&H's Mark Dicus, who says there are plans to bring a wine shop, a lady-folk gym, and a yoga studio to the area. (Lord knows there's enough vacant retail space.) If those plans do pan out, I'd expect a big change here: the Ditmas exodus went from a trickle to a landslide once The Farm on Adderley, a high-end wine shop, a gorgeous furniture store, etc., joined the already-existing food co-op...

Lord knows there have been stories touting PLG as the next big thing for years (check out this Times story from 2004), but this really is one of the last remaining neighborhoods were single-family homes are available for a million bucks, and it's the only one within spitting distance from the Park (and on an express train). As for 2-brs in new construction buildings with nice appliances for under $500,000...well, try finding that anyplace else from Prospect Park South and points north (or west). The summer buying season should tell us a lot about what's to come. With prices at or above their 2006 highs, people hoping to wait out the boom are likely to wade back in before there's another double-digit increase in housing prices. And for people looking for some of the last bargains in the area...well, we're it.


Ed said...

I can't help but wonder how a wine shop will survive in the neighborhood presently. Do people really buy that much wine? Perhaps a store that offers wine in addition to something else would have a better shot at survival. Regarding a "lady-folk gym," that made me laugh out loud. Don't men-folk need to work out too? I wonder if PLUS will be able to convince landlords that the negotiation of lease terms/prices that are favorable to a new business will be better than a vacancy.

I like the new condo on Caton - it's not so awful, although I'm sure it irks someone lacking taste who thinks everything should resmemble a brownstone. I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised that it's only 20% sold. That's only 3 units.

I think the key to PLG development is a hot new restaurant and perhaps a new lounge. Maybe two. And for all the complaining about hipsters that goes on in some ill-conceived venues, their presence in the neighborhood's apartment buildings is what's going to make the neighborhood turn. Businesses need to cater to them, not just the family-rearing, brownstone crowd.

Jevon said...

I agree the wine shop would also have to sell the hard stuff too. That condo on caton is frickin hideous asthetically speaking, but then again most modern architecture is lacking in that sense. A lotta cookie-cutter pre-fab crap in my opinion. There's one goin up around the corner from me on parkside and bedford, similarly blah.