From The New York Shitty Inbox: Is Belvedere XXVIII For Me?

206kentAnonymous writes:

Miss Heather,

I came across your site while do some research on Greenpoint. Thank you for offering a not-so-tongue-in-cheek perspective of the neighborhood with great photos and frequent updates.

I am considering purchasing a condo in the Belvedere property at 206 Kent Street and would greatly appreciate any advice you may have. I’m twenty-three, work in midtown, live on the south shore of Nassau County and ready to move out.

My knee-jerk reaction: if you’re 23 years old and financially enabled to buy a condo I envy you. Secondly, I harbor a hatred for these buildings. The non-sequential (and increasingly cheaply constructed) dynasty that is Belvedere epitomizes the crapification of my neighborhood. Throw ’em up quick and cheap. The previous having been written, at least the air conditioning units are not on the balconies. YET. That’s becoming a more common feature nowadays.

Here’s the deal:

  1. Belvedere/Bridge Realty has been tossing these buildings up left and right in north Brooklyn. And the supply is NOT in keeping with demand. If you go to Calyer Street you will notice Belvedere VI— or is it Belvedere VIII— I cannot keep track— is advertising “luxury” apartments for rent. These apartments have been on the market for well over a year.
  2. Belvederes VI, VIII and XXVIII have one thing in common: a close proximity to McGuinness Boulevard. Inasmuch as I find this, the Champs-Élysées of Greenpoint, charming I would not to live close to it. ESPECIALLY given there is a fire station one block away from your condo in question and the largest waste treatment plant on the East Coast will probably perfume your balcony.
  3. If you work in Midtown and have the kind of budget I suspect you have, Anonymous, why trifle with this? Go to Long Island City. It’s a buyer’s market, you will have a direct commute to midtown (via the 7 train)  and get a beautiful park to boot!* My advice: haggle. HARD.

My two cents (and then some) having been tendered, I’ll leave this matter to my readers. Thoughts/advice, anyone?

Miss Heather

*What I find endearing about Greenpoint is not for everyone. Methinks Anonymous is one of them. What’s more, I hate to see someone get ripped off.


15 Comments on From The New York Shitty Inbox: Is Belvedere XXVIII For Me?

  1. SGI on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 8:13 am
  2. Are you aware that Belvedere is a synonym for CRAP? The architecture of these monstrosities is more than a little reminiscent os Soviet-era junk. belvedere uses the lowest quality materials when constructing these buildings. You’re paying for an illusion.

    For the kind of money that you’ll shell out on a one or two bedroom apartment, it would be better spent by purchasing a real house. If you are so enamored with the neighborhood, tou can do a little searching and still find someplace nice, as in a REAL house. Stay away from Corchoran, or any other “name” broker. They are more than happy to rape your bank acount by inflating tha property value for the sake of a larger commision. There are plenty of mom and pop real estate brokers which can get you a great deal in Greenpoint.

  3. Tony From Kent Street on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 8:45 am
  4. You have exercised some great diplomacy here today, Heather, wow, is this your Christmas spirit talking?!

    Let’s translate, you’re a rich kid from Long Island (a place I’d like to see fire-bombed) and have a job in midtown (a place I’d like to see fire-bombed) and I am thinking about buying a Belvedere condo (a place I’d like to see fire-bombed). What should I do?

    I personally suggest you look into the Viridian, by your apparent standards, this is a beautiful, new downtown-feeling oasis in the heart of Greenpoint with all the amenities you would expect. I hear they have an amazing indoor pool and gym. The place is quickly filling up and you should not wait another minute and lose out on this great opportunity.

  5. Brian H on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 12:34 pm
  6. First, I gotta say, my gf lives a couple of buildings down from here and I’m INSANELY jealous of the location. I love everything from the bars/restaurants on Manhattan a block or two away from Kent, great subway access (that’s right, I just paid a high compliment to the G-train), a ridiculous amount of cultural/entertainment programming in the neighborhood, two nice grocery stores inside of a long block’s walk, Fotoplay, and the Christmas tree stand you have pictured in the post below.

    Also, whenever I stayed over, I have never noticed, much less ever been bothered by, the Champs-Élysées. This spot is actually quite lovely.

    The only thing I don’t like about this part of Kent is, well, this building. It’s fug. I mean really fug. And it’s probably a total ripoff. In my own mind, “luxury” has become a codeword for “total ripoff.”

    I’m glad Anon is thinking about Greenpoint and I would never direct anyone to LIC, but I would suggest they look for an apartment to rent on Craigslist and take the Garden Spot out for a test drive before getting the bankers involved.

  7. Brian H on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 12:35 pm
  8. For Anon’s benefit, I should probably clarify that I was talking about Manhattan the Avenue, not Manhattan the Borough.

  9. missheather on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 1:45 pm
  10. I’m with you on this, Brian H. Why be so quick to buy? Why not rent for a year and go from there?

  11. missheather on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 3:01 pm
  12. Now, Tony… I look at it this way: if this person approaches me with courtesy and respect— and he did— I am going to return the favor. There is already enough nastiness out there as is (especially around Xmas for some inexplicable reason) there’s no need to add to it. As for the Viridian and the manifold number of other poorly constructed “luxury” buildings hereabouts, I wouldn’t inflict those on ANYONE. 🙂

  13. lylet on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 3:42 pm
  14. First, as a real estate professional (NOT in residential sales or in Greenpoint – I have no vested interest in the neighborhood as anything other than a resident), I would urge you NOT to buy one of these condos. If you’re looking at this as a long-term purchase, keep in mind that once the tax abatement (which I’m guessing this building has) expires, your monthly costs will increase significantly. Also, I’ve only heard questionable things about the quality of these buildings. Don’t let granite countertops and stainless steel appliances wow you – although they’re nice distractions until you realize that the soundproofing and other building systems were built to minimum code. If there’s anyone out there that either lives in a Belvedere or would like to take me through one to disprove these assumptions – I’d be happy to take you up on that offer. More advice: the above advice is most certainly correct – rent in the neighborhood for a while before you buy. Prices are still not low enough for this to be a good speculative buy (i.e. if I don’t like it after a year I’ll sell for a profit – not gonna happen).

    Second, as a young real estate professional who works in Midtown and grew up in NJ (which some would argue is as bad as LI) – I take offense to the stereotypes that are continuously reinforced whenever someone like myself identifies themselves as such (and props to Miss Heather for NOT falling into this trap on this post). While there are most definitely plenty of douche-baggy examples of the ‘rich kids’ from the tri-state area, we are not all ‘Jersey Shore’ wannabes and overtly entitled individuals. I take pride in my (reasonable) income and job – and also value in living in a ‘real’ neighborhood like Greenpoint where chatting with the Polish ladies on their stoops, shopping at Big D’s and the 99c store(s), and eating $6 tacos at Acapulco are all part of a normal week.

  15. missheather on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 3:49 pm
  16. Acapulco is outstanding. Here’s one of the best reasons I can think of to live in Greenpoint at the moment: chocolate gingerbread fucking babka!

  17. rowan on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 6:27 pm
  18. i work in midtown. it’s annoying but it’s where many jobs are. so i suck it up, try not to kick tourists and just get on with it. anonymous is in an enviable position of being able to buy but i don’t feel a belvedere is worth plunking cash down for. search the neighborhood a little more if you can. rent first if you would like to move out quickly (try Ula’s Real Estate).

    Greenpoint is a good neighborhood for twenty-somethings: lots of opportunities to meet people your age, etc. my two cents is to look around a bit more.

  19. superclam on Mon, 21st Dec 2009 8:16 pm
  20. As an engineer, part of my last job was to visit condos on behalf of the residents to determine why they are leaking. I looked at many condos in Brooklyn & Manhattan, and the “new construction” was almost always built shoddily. (Heather and I have enjoyed many an e-chuckle over the Viridian.)

    There’s often a lack of proper waterproofing which is essential to this type of construction. Some of these were very high-end luxury properties with all the amenities, but were missing insulation in the walls. I’ve examined 2 year old buildings that had leaks and drafts in most of the apartments. I live in a building from the 20’s that’s as solid as a rock.

    I advise you to spend a lot of time looking and to read the DOB reports to see if there’s any existing complaints before you think about buying.

    Like everyone said, renting for a year before buying seems like a smart move.

  21. depetitefille on Tue, 22nd Dec 2009 3:19 pm
  22. Heather- Such great advice!!! McGuinness is the Champs-Élysées of Greenpoint! ahha: Dreadfully obnoxious to cross. Greenpoint is surely no South Shore Long Island. Good call on Long Island City.. and I hate to stereotype Long Islanders but how about Murray Hill?

  23. missheather on Tue, 22nd Dec 2009 3:32 pm
  24. The important thing (in my mind) is to be an informed consumer and shop around. Anonymous should (if for no other reason than to get a “feel” for the market— be it sales or rental) investigate/explore multiple neighborhoods. In his case I’d recommend Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City. All the previous have a lot to offer. But when you get down to it, it boils down to a matter of personal taste. I for one would stay away from McGuinness. Too much noise and crossing it can be downright deadly.

  25. Jessa on Tue, 26th Jan 2010 5:13 pm
  26. I just came across this post because, I too, am considering buying one of these condos. It’s not ideal, I know, but there really aren’t many available condos for sale in Greenpoint other than these “luxury condos”. I’ve been living in Greenpoint for 4 years and I really don’t want to leave it. There are very few one family homes in this neighborhood and they are expensive anyway. There are a few reasonably priced condos in these belvederes so in order to stay in the neighborhood that I love, I might just sell my soul to belvedere.

  27. DoubleD on Fri, 16th Apr 2010 9:47 pm
  28. Long Island City sucks.

  29. POLISH LEGION, Greenpoint | Forgotten New York on Mon, 16th Jan 2012 11:50 am
  30. […] Though PLAV has appeared to have left the building (I can’t locate a web presence) ghosts, if there be such, abound here, with monuments, plaques, and the ultimate harbinger of death, the for sale sign. Our veterans’ cathedral will soon give way to… a Belvedere, perhaps. […]

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