On the Market: Why Don’t We All Buy Brownstones in Bed-Stuy?



As in New York, enthusiasm for bike share is great in cities across the country, but financing the program is another story, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bike share is now in at least 36 urban areas of the U.S., a huge increase from 2010, when it was in only six, but more than half of those cities have experienced technical or financial difficulties, due in part to a nascent industry struggling to find its way. There is also the question of whether such programs are really viable without public financing.

Trying to triple their money: Crain’s reports that developers Robert and Stephen Ancona have put a portfolio of 13 buildings in prime Williamsburg locations on the market for $50 million. They purchased the portfolio, which includes about 30 percent rent-stabilized units, for $17 million in 2005, but claim that a new buyer could still realize a profit as “we haven’t squeezed all the juice out of the fruit.”

The New York Times invites a Bed-Stuy land rush, touting the “availability of townhouses at relatively reasonable prices”—i.e. around $2 million—and “perhaps the largest collection of intact and largely untouched Victorian architecture in the country.” As for calling the neighborhood’s recent transformation gentrification, that would be to “deny the vitality and tenaciousness of a community with deep cultural and historic roots in the area.” And besides, as a Halstead broker says, the European investors flipping townhouses are really just a return to form for the neighborhood as Europeans built it in the 19th century.

Hey, these days a Bed-Stuy triplex asking $4,850 a month is now a pretty good deal, at least so thinks Brick Underground, citing the home’s backyard access and two(!) kitchens. Very real problems, however, include two half bedrooms in the 5.6 bedroom count meaning that residents would end up paying around $1,000 a month to live in a shared house at Marcus Garvey and Van Buren. Not exactly a steal.

One effect of that which we shall not call gentrification anymore, but rather diverse and changing: buyout offers for rent-stabilized tenants. Alas, these are not the fabled offers many dream of: The New York Times reports that many are far from generous, are sometimes as low as $2,000, rarely offer sufficient funds to finance living elsewhere longterm, and are frequently followed by aggressive illegal maneuvers to push tenants out.

Steven Cohen is taking a breather from trying to sell his Beacon Court penthouse: The Real Deal discovered that the former hedge fund titan recently pulled the listing. As with so many trophy listings, we expect this one will make a comeback, at lower ask, after enough time has elapsed for everyone to forget what it was asking in the first place.

The Broadway League is blaming a recent slump in ticket sales on costumed characters intimidating suburban tourists in Times Square, The Wall Street Journal reports. (Or as The Journal describes them, “costumed panhandlers.”) The claims come at the same time as the City Council is considering regulating the characters’ cash solicitations.

The de Blasio administration has announced a “steering committee” for the Midtown East rezoning proposal, according to Crain’s. The steering committee, actual members of which have not yet been announced, will study any and all aspects of the rezoning.