The Curious Case of 341 Eastern Parkway - formerly known as "The Hole". — Brooklynian

The Curious Case of 341 Eastern Parkway - formerly known as "The Hole".

There's a new Realtor's sign up at "The Hole" at 341 Eastern Parkway, at the NE corner of Franklin Ave.

A few months ago, Crain’s NY reported that "Ofer Cohen, president of the Brokerage firm, TerraCRG Commercial Realty Group, was retained to exclusively market the site".

Perhaps, his vision of the ideal tenant/buyer did not pan out.

What do you think should be developed at this site?

I delve a bit deeper into the question here, but welcome all thoughts on any place it's posted.



  • The problem is not the project concept. Many banks and developers would love to be a part of this.

    The owner is not qualified to build this and has unrealistic expectations on what people should pay for the project or split with the owner in a Joint Venture.

  • Correct: The owner consistently requests around $4.3M for the site, despite only receiving bids in the $2.5M range.

    The fact that the present owner paid too much for it, is unrelated to how much it is worth today.

  • Whynot - I don't think the current owner paid too much for it. They bought it for not so much money a while ago and the only debt they had on it was for the foundation work. I know they did owe much less than $2.5M on it. Not sure if that has changed though.

  • Vaportrail-

    So noted. I wish to adapt my statement from:

    The fact that the present owner paid too much for it, is unrelated to how much it is worth today.


    "The fact that the present owner believes its worth $4.3M, is unrelated to the fact that bidders seem only willing to pay $2.5M for it. This property isn't going to move until he lowers his price, and him changing real estate agencies isn't going to make a difference."

  • Exactly whynot. You're a quick study.

    Instead the problem being the ability to pay off a bank loan in full if the owner sold at $2.5M, the hold-up is just unrealistic expectations or just ______ (fill in the blank). That's my understanding at least.

    What's upsetting is that the community has had to look at a hole for the past 4 years because of this.

    To the owner's credit though, rents have gone up, making the site more valuable. Whether or not he benefits from this while still having to pay the interest on the construction loan, I have no idea.

  • I think we are seeing the following things:

    1. Mr. Mazon believes it will again be 2008 if he just keeps repeating his asking price over and over to realtors .

    2. Mr. Mazon's accountant has this property on the books at some unrealistically high number, however, this loss will remain "unrealized" until he actually sells it. If he sells it for less than book value, he has is unwilling to pay out the $ needed to make his books balance.

    3. I suspect that he has a very low tax rate on the lot.

    4. I suspect that he has paid off any construction loan he received for the foundation, and is still "licking his financial wounds" from the bill.

    Yes, rents have continued to go up. But I hate the incentive of rooting for higher rents in order to The Hole filled.

  • Current assessed value is $813k. The tax roll for an unimproved property thus assessed is going to be in the vicinity of $3k per year.

    Even if he has to wait 20 years to get $100,000 higher than current offers, that would make it worth his while to hold on to the hole.

    Well, without accounting for inflation, anyway.

  • Pinnacle are awful - one of the worst landlords in the city. Just did a longer post about them, but from what I heard, they're not even associated with the site (and just whacked up the banner illegally to draw attention to other properties in the area). Even if they are, it's bad news:

  • ILFA-

    Say what you wish about Pinnacle and their sign, but I was just informed by their staff that they are now the real estate agency with the listing for this property.

    The Agent's name is David Junick. They will reportedly add it to his portfolio section of the website soon.

    Mega firm TerraCRG was the last one to be fired by Mr. Mazon. Does anyone have any bets on whether Pinnacle will soon be fired by Mr. Mazon because they aren't able find someone willing to pay his asking price?

    Does anyone think a bigger sign would help snag the person who happens to walk by with around $4.3M to spend? I am pleased to report that I think buyers, sellers and realtors are more sophisticated than that.

  • The murals should be preserved as artwork viewable on the exterior or interior.

  • Epicly-

    If you like the murals, you might need to act fast.

    ILFA is reporting the site recently changed hands.

    You might be able to convince the new owners to let you remove it with a hammer as long as you replace it with a blue painted 4' x 8' sheet.

    What I think is interesting is how much the property sold for: $8.2M!

    This is way more than any of my contacts expected.

    ...leading me to believe we are going to have something built that is different than the commercial and residential models we played with.

  • Hello condos. No way a rental can pencil out at that price.

  • Those Condos are going to need be priced around $800 a sq ft.

    Hello Meier Building II.

    ...the owners of the Meier building built units that were so expensive, it took literally years for most of the condos to finally sell.

    The new owners seem to believe that "if they build it, the wealthy will come". ...for their sake, I hope they are right.

    I figure we win even if they are wrong; a fancy condo beats a ugly hole.

  • $585/square foot? That's freaking amazing, we'll see what actually happens next. Don't love the way the rendering fits with the block and the 'hood but it sure beats a hole.

    It's certainly way more than I've ever seen for a brown field in this neighborhood. We paid $144/square foot last year just a few blocks away -- a much smaller property, granted, and not on the corner above the subway station, but still.

  • whynot - you said it a long time ago. Roughly At $575 SF that would gross about $32M in Revenue. If they can build it for $16M + $8.2M price, that's $7.8M profit, or about a 32% return.

    $32M is conservative. Here's the math.

    They would have to sell the retail portion of the site to make it work like this, but that's possible.

    Retail: 8,000 SF. Using $40 psf less 10% operating expenses.Then divided that amount by 6.5% (cap rate). Cap rates on a good credit tenants are probably in the 5.75% range which would generate more revenue to the seller. --> $4.5M

    Condos: 48,000 SF to sell. At $575SF that's $26.5M.

    Parking: 38 spots at $75k a pop. That's $2.85M.

    Grand total of $35M in revenue. If they can pull it off with around $25M in costs, that's home run - 40% return. We'll see. This is Crown Heights in 2012! LOL.

  • FYI - 'The Prospect' condos at 825 Classon sold for about $575 SF.

    The Eastern Parkway project is much bigger and riskier, but we will see.

  • Yup. We shall.

    While there remains a heck of a lot of demand for truly luxury housing, it doesn't sell unless you can effectively brand it and give it a lot of cache'.

    We are going to need some really slick commercials. Lots of amenities and fine finishes.

    ...and a uber cool, ultra modern appeal to successfully bring in those with money to spend.

    I don't think the design will end up as originally planned..


    Atop the ground-floor retail space will be seven more stories containing 63 residential units. Jacobowitz said Bluejay has not determined whether the units will be condominiums or rentals. But he said that the site’s location, along the growing Franklin Avenue retail corridor with a subway stop on the corner, would allow Bluejay to turn a profit either way.

    “It’s a fantastic site in a great neighborhood,” he said. “Franklin Avenue is already strong and its only getting better.”

    He said the site has a foundation in place, a 421-a tax abatement and will include an 8,800-square-foot retail space “that has already drawn serious interest from banks and pharmacies.”

    The top two floors of this eight story building should get some nice views of Manhattan. If they go condo, those apartments might fetch $800 per sq ft. 1200 sq ft would result in $960k

    P.S. It looks like TerraCRG was the sellers agent, and Pinnacle represented the buyer.

  • More pharmacies on Franklin? I've only been to Swan and thought it was a little overpriced and lacking in stock. Mixed opinions about that possibility.

  • I suspect some competition, like Duane Reade, would quickly kill Swan.

    The vacant space left by Swan could become yet another casual dining place with alcohol.

  • BTW, ILFA has obtained all of the projected numbers for the project if you would like be an armchair developer:

    Spoiler alert: As expected, we are talking condos not rentals.

  • BTW, here's an image that gives readers an idea of what the site looked like as it was being torn down in 2007. It is taken from an angle similar to the one above:

    The thin, brick building in the photo fronted Eastern Parkway. In the early 2000s, it featured a fried chicken place and a beauty salon on the first floor, and the second floor was largely vacant.

    As you looked at the site from Franklin Ave, there was a large one story building that was located to the left of the above building. It featured a Mazon Discount store which was similar to the existing Mazon locations.

    ...if anyone has a better shot, please post it. The contrast between the old site and the building that will be completed in 2014 should be interesting.

  • Regardless of whether they go condo or rental, the market is looking good for the developer:

    Today a report from MNS looks only at new developments in Brooklyn. It’s a glittering picture, fueled by luxury waterfront developments. Total new-development sales dollar volume more than doubled in the second quarter versus the first quarter of 2012. Just four luxury projects — Edge, Northside Piers, One Brooklyn Bridge Park, and On Prospect Park — made up 45 percent of sales by dollar volume. Median price per square foot of sales at new condos increased 16 percent year over year, to $690. The most expensive neighborhood for new developments was Prospect Heights, where the median price per square foot rang in at more than $900 — presumably thanks almost entirely to On Prospect Park. Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights followed at just under $850. The neighborhood most responsible for all the new-development sales activity was, naturally, Williamsburg, which accounted for 33 percent of new-development sales across the borough. Where can you find the cheapest new builds? Crown Heights, where the median square foot clocked in at just under $300.

  • As I walked by today, Oct 14, 2012, the plywood construction wall has been painted blue, and the steel girders have begun to rise from the foundation.

    ....I suspect units will be ready to be occupied by the Spring of 2014.

  • The scene this morning.

  • A few details on the retail and residential scene.

    Note, plans subject to change.

  • The developers don't seem to know where their building is: the top of the ad says, "Prospect Heights," while under "Features" it says, "In the heart of Crown Heights."

  • yup.

    They also list Franklin Roadhouse as being nearby, which has been closed for months.

    They are also being very optimistic on their construction schedule. They are promising potential commercial tenants that it will be available in the 3rd Quarter of 2013.

    This would mean they are going to be ready by Sept 30, 2013, less than one year from today. They are presently putting up the steel.

  • Press:

    curbed wrote: There will be 8-stories, 65 units (with a live-in super), a rooftop terrace, an outdoor space and recreation room on the second floor, and the ground floor will have retail space and a "ambulatory diagnostic or treatment healthcare facility." We're guessing that's the "community space" that CPEX is advertising.

  • If it looks anything like the rendering, it will have exceeded my expectations.

  • I'm actually pretty sad to see the hole get filled in.

  • How come? To be fair, I end up hating on most modern buildings that get put up because they're either hideous or straight out of context (check the building that's being put up on Rogers which is both.) I actually really like the way this building looks from the rendering. I hope when it's finished it's as nice as it looks there

  • The steel is rising pretty quickly. It should top out at eight stories pretty soon.

  • Are you talking about the building on Rogers and Sterling, Epic? That's actually not a new construction, but a "major alteration" <sic>.

    I don't think it's terrible for a rental. I've seen a lot worse, i.e. look at 590 Sterling Place, or 658 Classon. At least on Rogers they don't have exposed air conditioners and plenty of windows, and the architect (weakly) tried to break up the monotony of the flat roof line in a nod to the original building (which looked just like the ones to the right of it).

  • December 4, 2012:

    curbed wrote: CROWN HEIGHTS—A press person for 341 Eastern Parkway, at the corner of Franklin Avenue, confirmed that the under-construction building will feature 63 condos, and will be handling the sales and marketing. The building will also have more than 8,000-square-feet of street-level retail. Still no word on pricing or when construction will be complete.

    As suspected, we are looking at Condos ...not rentals

  • I don't have a picture handy, but this building now seems to have the first four (4) floors of steel in place.

    Four more to go.

  • In a different thread:

    dmiami said:

    What's commercial space going for accross EP at the new building being constructed?

    To my knowledge the tenants have not been announced. However, I have heard that a non-compete contract was signed with Bob & Betty's, and Pulp & Bean.

    So, we know the tenants will not be a coffee shop or a supermarket type store.

  • I was asking if anyone knows what the space is "going for" in terms of cost, not what type of business. I'm curious if the $12,500/month rent on Maiman's old place is close to what commercial space will cost in the new building, just accross EP.

  • ah, my mistake.

    I think 341 EP (as big, new Class A building) might be a bad comp

    ....the spaces soon to be occupied by the Hummus Station or the Pizza place might be better.

    similar size.

    old building

    On one hand, they are not on the corner of the building. On the other hand, they are on the wealthier side of EP.

  • via Curbed:

    "CROWN HEIGHTS—The 63-unit condo building going up at 341 Eastern Parkway has been a bit of a mystery. Last night, the developers were supposed to go before the local community board to gain support for their application for a 421-a tax abatement, but no one showed up. But the board did have a printed rendering of the building. However, it wasn't anything new. In fact, it was the old Gene Kaufman that we thought had been replaced. Does this mean it's back in the running? The actual building is currently just a steel frame."

  • Aesthetically, the building can reflect the preferences of the developers, not the board's.

    The developers may not want the obligations that come with the 421-A tax exemption. It might be more profitable and/or easier to build with out it.

    This design firm seems to be actively working on the design:

    Here's a rendering:

    There's more renderings, including some interior ones, on the above link

    Here's their pitch:

    This 70 unit new construction rental building is located on the prominent corner of Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Limestone and brick facades line Eastern Parkway alongside major buildings like the Brooklyn museum and the Grand Army Plaza Entrance. We recreated the grandeur of the turn of the century architecture but with today’s means and methods. The interiors are clean with transitional cabinetry and modern hardware and appliances. The bathrooms are stylish and functional with timeless character and contemporary features. Designed for the young professionals and the families of Brooklyn this building will become the newest landmark to be built on Eastern Parkway in the past century.

    Note, unless they are simply using round numbers, the number of units has grown from 63 to 70.

    Also of interest is how far they show the building as being set back from the street. This set back likely allowed them to build the additional two stories (8 stories, instead of the zoned 6).

  • The new renderings seem to be a much better fit than anything produced previously. I'm a little puzzled by the tiny window on the corner of the second floor. . . . . .

  • I think the rendering looks wonderful! Let's see what the building actually looks like. My guess is, lots more straight lines, fewer curves, and more flat surfaces, fewer textures.

  • Vapor trail-

    I suspect the windows on the left, top of the building look small merely due to the angle of the rendering.


    If you click through to the interior renderings, it looks like they are going to use very high end finishes. Folks are going to pay top dollar for these condos.

    Think they will get $700 a sq ft? 1000 sq ft = $700k

  • whynot- to clarify, I'm talking about the only window currently installed in the building as of last Saturday. It's on the second floor on the southwest corner (facing EP). It seems cheap, very small and not like the other spaces framed out for windows. If this is a sign of things to come it is very concerning.

  • Ah, that.

    I think that is a temporary office for the security guard and engineers to work out of.

  • If you look at this project, it is moving along pretty quickly.

    Usually, they first finish the structural steel, then work on the exterior walls, then work on the interior walls and systems.

    In this case, they seem to have various crews working on all of this at the same time.

    ...the building has yet to reach its max height, yet they are already working on interior stuff.

    some logistics!

  • whynot_31 said:

    Here's a rendering:

    There's more renderings, including some interior ones, on the above link

    Wow, that second rendering gave Tony's building (Bob & Betty's and the apartments above it) a massive face lift.

  • I like how in the second rendering, only the front of the new building is taller than Tony's building.

    However, the first rendering shows it is as being massive in comparison. (I think the first will be more accurate)

    Also, when one looks at the first floor of the renderings, you can see first version has arches and the second does not.

    ...I'm not sure whether I like the arches or not.

  • definitely don't like the arches.

    Also looks like the P&B has disappeared in pic 2.

    definitely an improvement from the Crown Fried Chicken that was there in 2002.

  • I don't think the pic 2 is actually supposed to be placed at the site. Note that the buildings on what should be EP are completely different as well. Whether the Bob and Betty thing happens, I don't think I'll live long enough to see the EP houses knocked down and rebuilt.

  • Pict 2 is also weird in its placement of the subway entrance.

    Here, one can see that subway entrance is going to be beside the front left of the building, not in front on some big expanse of sidewalk

    Likewise, pict 1 seems to show the subway entrance within the building. No, that isn't going to take place either.

  • I'm not sure how we can see that from your pic, whynot.

    The expanse of sidewalk is actually one of the best possible parts of this new construction. If the building and sidewalk end up looking like the rendering, we're going to have one of the nicest corners on EP.

    Either way, this is a HUGE win for the nabe, and I can't wait to see it come to fruition. I just hope the ground floor isn't going to be a dialysis clinic.

  • I'd call that expanse of sidewalk impossible. There is no way you get a 10+ foot setback of the building which is also in line with the yards of the homes on EP. Not unless the sidewalk is extended to completely block the service road. That second rendering may be a view of what the building is supposed to look like, but it's NOT in the proper context of the Frankin/EP corner.

    BTW, what's wrong with dialysis clinics?

  • Any ideas about how much the rents will be? Will it be a mix of 1- and 2-bedroom apts.? Maybe some studios?

  • AP-

    Word has it these will be condos, not rentals. This shows some of the interior finishes:

    Based on the location and the finishes, I imagine these will go for around $700 a sq ft.

    1000 sq ft = $ 700k

  • Hmmm. I was surprised to read on the Meshberg Group website that they will be rentals. Should be interesting to see how much they end up going for.

  • The actual decision as to whether they will be rentals or condos is occasionally made right before a building opens.

    Basically, the developers look at the market for each and then decide which is most profitable, and whether they want cash now (condos), or over the course of the long run (apartments).

    Yet another scenario is that the present developers sell the entire building to an entity (i.e. developers get cash now) which decides that it would like cash over time.

    The developer needs to make such decisions when it comes time to buying appliances and installing finishes, not at the present rough construction stage....

    They also have some flexibility re: the actual number of units (apartments or condos), if all is going well with DOB.

    Folks are going to talk about such topics here, at this upcoming conference:

    Today's Brownstoner:

    The eight-story apartment building going in on the corner of Franklin and Eastern Parkway at 341 Eastern Parkway is up to the fifth floor now. Construction started in the fall, and is supposed to be completed by the third quarter this year. There are 64 units planned, plus retail

  • Condos are typically designed very differently than rentals - i.e. larger floor plans and higher end finishes. It is not typical for developers to go into a project without these plans finalized and a clear exit strategy for their construction loan.

  • I was walking by yesterday, and that big expanse of the sidewalk is realistic. The building lines up with the homes next door(not the front of their yards). It should be a really open space out front. Curious how they'll use it.

  • Yes, the building lines up with homes to the right.

    However, the building actually owns several feet in front of it.

    The houses use this space for lawns/gardens and fence it in.

    The drawing suggest an expanse of sidewalk.... But the builders are under no obligations to let the public access it.

  • Ah! I see what you mean.

  • They could totally use that expanse of sidewalk for car parking just like the Chase Bank + medical building on the corner of Bedford and Eastern Parkway. Also, I think there's a church on Eastern Parkway where people do the same thing and park on the sidewalk.

  • Not to state the obvious, but how the "front of building" space is used will largely be related to the prefences of the first floor commercial tenant.

  • I'm impressed with how quickly this project seems to be moving along. It looked like they were starting to put in some windows today.

  • Does anyone know if the parking in front of the Chase bank on EP/Bedford is legal? There are no curb cuts and drivers just pull in through the handicap pedestrian ramps on the sidewalk. I'm constantly dodging cars and drivers dirty looks while just trying to walk on that sidewalk.

  • Photos taken April 27, 2013.

    It looks like they are working on the steel for the left tower:

  • May 5, 2013: Windows are going in on the lower floors.

    The steel for the two towers looks to be almost complete. This building seems to have reached its peak height.

  • If there is no curb cut, the parking is not legal.

    Conversely, if there is a curb cut, it doesn't mean the parking is legal, either. But absence of a curb cut is a guarantee that a space is not officially permitted to be used as parking.

  • We do know that the retail won't have a super market or coffee shop, because the owner of Bob and Betty's was able to get a non-compete clause in exchange for letting them have some his property.

  • BTW, while Brooklynian lacks the readership of Curbed, it seems my post above beat them by about a month. On 5/10/2013 they published an article pointing out the new design and architect....

    I read it with great interest, only to realize that I came upon that info weeks ago.

    They did, however, contribute this:

    During the Brooklyn Real Estate Summit, David Maundrell of confirmed that the development's 65 condos will hit the market in spring 2014.
  • I walked by this site this weekend (June 10, 2013), and it looks like they have the steel in place for the main 6 stories. The 7th story will be set back a little, and the 8th looks like it will just be those tower things.

    The towers look like they will have some nice, "writers perch" 360 degree views.

  • Those are going to be $$$.

  • yup.

    I expect it to be a modern doorman building, with all of the amenities typical of that style: in house gym, in unit laundry, car parking available in basement, central air etc.

    While our neighborhood is not Park Slope, this 1300 sq ft coop is asking $1.4M:

    Given that a few high floor condos went for over a $1M on Classon several years ago, and the real estate market has only gone up locally since then, it would not surprise me if they are able to fetch $750 a sq ft for the lower floors, and over $1000 for those prime, top units.

  • July 13:

    One can now see that they are working on the top two floors of the building, they are set back from the others.

  • Any word or rumors on the ground floor retail?

  • The location is still listed on CPEX's website, which could mean that they have not found a tenant yet, or have simply not taken it off their site.

    Everyone is stating it is going to be a bank and/or a drug store, but this seems to be based on expectations and hopes.


  • naturegurl-

    I have chosen to believe this report:

    It states that they will be condos, and open in the Spring of 2014.

  • While eating yummy West Indian food on Labor Day, I took a break from looking at the sparkly women at looked at this building.

    The structural steel appears to not be complete. The building is as tall as it is going to get, and they are now focusing on interior work.

    They look on track to "close the envelope" before Nov, which will allow them to work in a heated environment this winter.

    I look forward to the open houses in the Spring.

  • Another rendering of the facade. I'm pretty sure it is older than the above ones, but the builder is not bound to any of them:

  • We have been speculating for sometime that we are going to get a bank in this location.

    Today, Sept 17, I was told "the developers have signed with a bank, and possibly a healthcare company".

  • I came across this old photo today:

    It is taken from the corner of EP and Franklin, looking east on EP. The buildings on the left were demolished several years ago to create "the hole"

  • On the right side of this photo, one can see the same site, before the above buildings were built. One sees a vacant lot, then the building that presently contains Bob and Betty's:

  • A good source tells me the bank will be Capital One. No news about the "health care company". I hope it is a CVS and not a GNC.

  • The deal is not believed to be final, but I believe flirtations were underway with an entity like Humana or Wellpoint:

    ...not an entity like CVS or GNC.

  • That PDF about the brewery building says Capital One signed the lease

  • Nice spot Epicly!

    Readers, this says that -indeed- Capital One will be a tenant at 341 Eastern Parkway:

  • It's only just occurring to me how much more crowded the platform at Franklin is going to be with these 65 units, the 128 rental units on St. Marks, and the owners of Hello Living Sterling's 46 units switching to/from the 3.

  • Don't forget about the people will soon be getting OFF in the morning at Franklin to walk to where they now work:

    -1000 Dean

    -The Court Officers Academy.

  • At this point, we can all see (by looking) that the developers have chosen a light color brick as the facade for the building. So, I am just using the below rendering for illustrative purposes:

    At least 3 businesses will be accessed from Franklin Avenue, forming a "row of about five businesses" (Bob and Betty's + Pulp and Bean + 3 more).

    Eastern Parkway is presently zoned in such a way that only community/professional businesses can face it. Hence, discussions are underway with healthcare companies re: the space near the row houses.

  • Nov 11:

    A sit down restaurant is going to occupy part of the first floor, and will be accessed via Franklin Avenue.

    It will apply for an alcohol permit, and have a large bar.

    I have been told it will serve "American Food", and that the owner has other locations.

  • Dec 6:

    It appears as if the "building envelope has been closed", meaning that they have now finished the building to the degree that they can heat it.

    Once they finish some remaining things on the exterior, they will be able to take down the scaffolding and fully reveal it.

    Meanwhile, contractors are installing drywall and electrical inside.

    One can also see they have created a "sample unit" for potential buyers. It would not surprise me if they began showing the unit in February.

  • edited February 2014

    Readers, this development is one of the Big Developments happening in western Crown Heights in 2014 that we will watching closely. To learn about the others see this thread:

  • Nov 11:A sit down restaurant is going to occupy part of the first floor, and will be accessed via Franklin Avenue.It will apply for an alcohol permit, and have a large bar.I have been told it will serve “American Food”, and that the owner has other locations.
    Despite paying to build out some of the space, this restaurant entity is now no longer coming.A new tenant is being sought.
  • edited February 2014
    I can now disclose that Starbuck's is in conversation with the landlord for the space that was going to be the "american food" restaurant.

  • I thought Bob and Betty's got a no-compete clause?
This discussion has been closed.