Around 2000, when she was 24, Elana Karopkin had the good sense to realize that in light of rising rents, her teacher’s salary would be insufficient to sustain a comfortable lifestyle in her native Brooklyn. Her solution, to buy an under-priced apartment in Boerum Hill—a neighborhood more expensive than Prospect Heights, where she’d been renting—proved wise, the Times noted back in 2007.
The investment allowed Ms. Karopkin and boyfriend Michael Rabinowitz, who worked then in left-leaning politics, to enjoy the culinary fruits of gentrification—French bistros, Thai cafes and, naturally, sushi by the pound. It no-doubt helped as well when they decided to upgrade to a $1.63 million Crown Heights townhouse at 934 Pacific Street, the sale of which just closed, according to city records.
In 2007, the couple, already feeling flush, was considering a purchase in Queens. “We looked at a cute little row house that was across the street from the tollbooth entrance to the Midtown Tunnel,” Ms. Karopkin told the Times. “It needed a gut renovation, and it was over a million dollars.”
Of course, the price of her new place gives the $1 million mark healthy clearance. And she has not, in all likelihood, avoided a gut renovation. But as the listing, held by Gary Drew at Fillmore Real Estate, crows—in echo of the ur-real estate sales cliche—”Location, location, location!” (Crown Heights, as you may have heard, has lately gone from being up-and-coming to being more or less just Up.) An eight-bedroom, three-family affair, the redbrick home offers a large backyard and cords of hardwood inside. Three-and-a-half baths seems a bit skimpy for all those bedrooms, but if Ms. Karopkin and Mr. Rabinowitz convert the property to single-family use, 3.5 baths should be sufficient. Intact “bones” hold up high ceilings and elegant archways. There are intricate pressed inlays along the wall of one staircase and plenty of molding ready for scraping and painting.
The previous owners 934 Pacific Street Brooklyn LLC made out pretty well on the sale—they bought the house for $900,000 just five months ago(!!!)—but given the market trend evidenced by that meteoric appreciation, we have to scratch our heads over the timing. With a bit of elbow grease, 934 Pacific Street Brooklyn LLC could have had something on their hands that in a few years time might have sold for a good deal more. Like this house, for example. Will the new owners hang onto their prize for the long haul, or succumb to the temptation of a lucrative fast flip?
Who knows, though one thing we can say with relative certainty is that they’re no-doubt pleased not to be living across the street from the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel.