New York Shitty Day Ender: Christmas Trees

March 26, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As I indicated last week, a film shoot is indeed coming to pass at BaNoNa…

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part III: Gratitude

March 26, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A personal we’ll call “D” writes:

Hi Miss Heather,

Thanks to your coverage I was able to avoid renting at 239 Banker. I was very close to moving in when I saw your posts. So after some savvy DOB research and a couple calls I decided it was not worth it. These folks are shady! Here are some bullet points as to why.

1. On the phone they had me meet at another location instead of giving the address. None of the advertisements for this place show the address anymore. Because it’s not a legal building.

2. They are advertising 2-3 bedrooms but even if the building were legal the spaces cannot be legally be divided up to be more than 1 bedroom without a window in each.

3. They say they will build out the space for move in, but there is no toilet, no heat, no stove, no appliances, the windows are unsealed, the doors don’t have locks, floors unfinished. Getting all that work done in a couple weeks is doubtful. Finishing floors alone can take a week with all the fumes and dust.

4. The place is full of unfinished apartments. Who wants to live in a construction zone? Not me.

Don’t get me wrong. We all know folks who inhabit work lofts with a wink-wink nudge-nudge agreement. And I’m okay with that. But this is masquerading as an apartment conversion and charging near market rates. I don’t want these people to end up on the street all over again!

Take care

xo

Thanks for the kind words, D! On a lark I headed over to Craigslist (which is apparently where a number of advertisements for this space are to be found) to see what’s shaking. Follows is one I found:

As you can see this place is apparently for rent by owner. Fascinating. Those of you who desire to do so can view this advertisement by clicking here.

New York Shitty Photo du Jour: Tulips

March 25, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken March 24, 2012.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: What’s Up At BaNoNa?

March 22, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

READ: The intersection of North 15th, Banker Street and Nassau Avenue

Ann Kansfield, co-proprietress of our local Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry and all-around Garden Spot badass writes:

Where did the camper on the corner of Nassau and North 15 street go?

Well, I cannot answer that question but I CAN tell you what is happening. Per the gentlemen working on the site (which formerly housed a gas station), they are preparing it for a film shoot. I know, this is hardly shocking news: north Brooklyn is the location of choice for many a film company as well all know. Rather, I would like to pose a(nother) question:

What is going to happen after this plot has ceased to be used for this purpose?

I for one (and Ann concurred) think it would be a wonderful location for a community garden. Granted, the soil is probably laden with god-only-knows-what— and for this reason raised beds would have to be pressed into service. Nonetheless, if ever there was an area in our fair burgh that could use a little greenery this would be near the top of the list. Thoughts, anyone?

Closing on a somewhat related note I would like to take a moment to draw attention to something about which I feel quite strongly: the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry. Many people reading this are undoubtedly aware of the great work Ann and Jen do. however, what you might not be aware of is on top of/despite having their funding cut last year, they are giving groceries to more people than ever. We’re talking in excess of 650 people, our neighbors, a week. If my memory serves me correctly this is triple the number of people they assisted a couple of years ago. Times are truly tough indeed!

For this reason I implore those who are able to make a donation of time or money to this very worthy cause. Those who are able to do so can make a monetary donation by clicking here. Otherwise, any/all interested volunteers can/should check out their “Volunteer” page.

Thanks!

UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: This evening the Greenpoint Reformed Church gave groceries to over 700 people.

Now At 39 Meserole Avenue: The Factory Building

February 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yes gentle readers, it would appear the place formerly known as the Sweater Factory Lofts is not only continuing its brave endeavor to press a transient hotel into service as residential space, but now it has a new address, new name and these will set you back an additional $700.00 plus a month! The newly christened Factory Lofts listing on Street Easy (as seen above) can be perused by clicking here. Please do take a moment to give this a read. Follows is a sample of the ad copy which awaits your delectation:

The lofts at The FACTORY BUILDING are made for unique individuals. Each loft apartment remains different, and there are endless opportunities to divide, reimagine and design your own personal space. Yes, we’ve thrown in new amenities to make sure that you’re living in modern comfort, but how you decide to live is up to you. These are raw, chic spaces ready for you to make your mark.
Another huge perk of The FACTORY BUILDING lofts is the preservation of old windows from when the building was a factory. Come for a viewing on a bright day. Sunlight pours through the windows and adds a wonderful aura to the spaces. We’ve reinsulated and reinstalled all apartment fixtures, so you get old world ambiance with new improvements.

These words struck me as being eerily familiar. After a little research I discovered why:

It is the same exact ad copy used to pitch the Sweater Factory Lofts in 2009! And of course we all know what came of “old world ambiance meets new improvements” that time around…

 Caveat emptor, apartment hunters.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Apartments For Rent At 239 Banker?

January 8, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

An anonymous tipster writes:

Hello Heather,

I’ve been apartment hunting in Greenpoint and responded to this Craigslist ad about a “newly converted warehouse”:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/abo/2786376022.html

The agent set up a showing with me today, and told me to meet her at the corner of Meserole and Franklin. When I arrived, she was 10 minutes late, so I called her phone and she told me to come meet her outside of 239 Banker.

Well I know quite a bit about 239 Banker, thanks to your blog. And I couldn’t resist going in and having a look-see.

I asked the agent whether this is the same building where all the tenants were forced out because the building was unsafe/illegal. She tried dodging the question at first but eventually conceded that it was in fact the same building. I then asked her if the building was still owned by the same guy, and whether it was up to code/legal. She assured me it was and that he had fixed all of those issues.

She showed me a number of units on the 4th floor, all priced between $3000 for a moderately-sized studio loft up to $3300 for a larger loft, and apparently all prices are negotiable. In fact when I told her I’d looked at a different loft building on Kent (59 Kent), she pressed me for details on how much they were charging for units there.

I’d say the units seem semi-habitable. Some looked as though they’d recently been spruced up, most did not yet have any appliances, and the laundry rooms did not have any machines in them. One unit still had evidence of the old tenants- a makeshift lofted space still intact, and some artwork left sitting above the kitchen cabinets.

One unit I looked at literally had a hole in the brick wall about the size of a baseball that went straight through to the outdoors. I joked that perhaps there were squirrels living in the unit. The agent did not seem amused.

Many of the floors showed signs of water/environmental damage. They were uneven in many units, and peeling up in others. It’s actually quite sad, because the space could be very nice. The original details are great, and the square footage of the units are pretty well-sized.

Anyways, I thought I’d let you know because I’m VERY curious to know if 239 Banker is legally habitable. Regardless, I won’t be renting there given the history of the building.

To address Anonymous’s question, the answer is an emphatic NO.

239 Banker Street is located in an Industrial Business Zone. Curiously enough, hotels are permissible in such areas (take the proliferation of such establishments on the Northside, for example). Residential property, however, is not. The owners of 239 Banker Street could seek a zoning variance through our local Community Board to make this arrangement legal. (They haven’t.) They can also file paperwork with the Department of Buildings to “convert” this manufacturing property into residential. This they tried…

and it was declined. Inasmuch as I can ascertain work has been conducted on this property without the auspices of any applicable permits whatsoever. Peruse the permits on file and see for yourself. This just goes to show if something strikes you as being amiss about an apartment you are viewing, gentle readers, it is best to go with those instincts (and consult the Department of Buildings’s Building Information System).

Caveat emptor, apartment shoppers.

UPDATE, January 9, 2012: It would appear this tome has come to the attention of a former resident. Here’s what he/she has to say:

Hilarious! Those pictures (well, two of them) are of my former pad pre-vacate order.

Classy.

UPDATE, January 9, 2012; 5:40 p.m.: A tipster found these units listed on Street Easy.

He/she writes:

FYI

All units are up on street easy as available.  I started a discussion at the bottom.  Good looking out.

While this is clearly a listing from the previous owner, it is informative nonetheless. In 2009 these “units” went for $2,100 plus. Three years later you can have the luxury of living in this illegal apartment building at the starting price of $3,000 a month! Nice.

P.S.: In the event the above-mentioned apartment advertisement is removed by Craigslist, you can view a screencap of it by clicking here. Do give it a read. Your truly’s favorite passage is as follows:

Several units to choose from at this point! Some are complete 2 or 3 bedrooms while other are beautiful open spaces.

One has to admire this rather artful spin on an illegal (and unfinished) apartment building. And yes, there are plenty of units to choose from after a building has been, say, vacated by the Department of Buildings for conditions imminently perilous to human life. Genius!

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Vert

December 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken December 28, 2011.

The Word On The Street, Part I: Revised

From Banker Street.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Banker Street

November 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken November 22, 2011.

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Look Out Crew

November 1, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From Banker Street.

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    Bronx Supreme Court BuildingMcDonalds next to Yankee Stadium34th Street Penn StationSunshine after the rainMen's LeadersBrooklyn Navy YardAt the bus stopRidgewood Reservoir - Highland Park, Queens
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