OMG, a coffee shop is coming to Schenectady at Sterling — Brooklynian

OMG, a coffee shop is coming to Schenectady at Sterling

201 Schenectady.

This appears to be the exact storefront:

Crown Heights Coffee Heights/37847/Crown+Heights+Coffee

<small>View Larger Map</small>

The eastward trend continues. This may be merely the first "outpost" of the coming wave.


  • Interesting. We (fiancee and I) are renters right now, born and raised in New York. The more we debate whether we want to set our roots down in this ridiculously, increasingly expensive place that we love, Eastern Crown Heights has come up in a conversation more than a couple of times. I know there are others like us (on the verge of owning or not willing to shell out the increasing rents in WCH) with eyes set further east. This person is ahead of the game.

  • I walk thru E CH pretty regularly, and believe that something like Coffee Bites or Pennyhouse Coffee (both on Washington Ave for several years) could now prosper at this location.

    "Crown Heights Coffee", I wish you the best.

  • If I was in the market to buy right now, I would definitely be considering even as far east as Utica. The hyperinflation in pricing in Western CH is bound to send a lot of people further east in search of bargains, which will help establish those neighborhoods in terms of retail and housing stock renovation.

    Look on Trulia and Zillow, note where the inventory is high and dry (Kingston and points west) and where there's plenty of it to the east. A boom needs low (undervalued) housing prices to feed, over here the ship has already sailed, but further in has all the fuel needed for another cycle.

  • If you look closely, you will see the businesses on Utica are starting to change. The commercial properties are also beginning to be sold. More change will happen as leases expire.
  • I'm not surprised. When I was house hunting four years ago, we looked at a new condo conversion at 1328 Sterling (between Schenectady and Troy). Then last year a friend looked at the new construction condos on Prospect and St. Marks between Rochester and Buffalo -- his agent told him all 30 of them went into contract, and all to white buyers. And I just saw this listing for a "luxury" building on Schenectady between Lincoln and St. Johns: So residential change has already come to the easternmost edge of Crown Heights.
  • Speaking of the commercial changes on Utica, the same friend told me the Pretty Girl on Utica and St. Johns got an upscale renovation and now looks like an H&M. And I don't think we've talked about this new outdoor goods shop here yet:
  • There's also a snazzy new coffee shop, Chocolatte, in the Jewish Children's museum on Kingston and Eastern Parkway. I believe it opened last spring. They've got kosher croissants and fro-yo, sandwiches, free wifi and that modern gleaming clean look.
  • A new coffee shop is one sign that businesses are realizing, and looking forward to, changes in the neighborhood.Needless to say, landlords also run a business.Some are concerned that once a new landlord is found for these buildings located right near the new coffee shop, they will seek new customers:
    Hey all!As you all know, long-term, low-income tenants Crown Heights are at great risk of displacement and harassment. Tenants from 2 distressed buildings that are in foreclosure in Crown Heights (230 and 232 Schenectady) are holding a rally this Wednesday morning demanding that their owner stop trying to flip their buildings!Tenants have chosen a non-profit to buy their building who will preserve them for affordable housing and bring them back into good conditions. Will you come out to support?Who: Crown Heights tenants and their alliesWhen: Wednesday, January 15th at 11 AMWhere: 3811 13th Ave, Brooklyn, NYQuestions? Contact Elise Goldin at 212-479-3326 or
    Their fears seem valid to me.    Here's a streetview map to see what the area looked like a few years ago:View Larger MapIf the economic conditions continue, the business mix is not likely to look like this in 2016.
  • Wow! Historic Weeksville is going gentry??Who knows - mebbe East New York will be next. Can you see it now? ENY at one time the Mecca of USA sports had its own multisport stadium attracting crowds from everywhere. Back in the 1880s and 90s folks from the British upper classes went to the neighborhood to watch the championship cricket team - imagine that happening again!Gentrification may not be ideal for the poor but to the wealthier classes it will be ? ? Happy Days Are Here Again! ? ?Eastern Park (now Broadway Junction):
  • I believe the retail mix changes in the following sequence:First one gets a clean laundrymat, then aCoffee shop, then sit down Indian food, then a bar, then a Mexican take out place, then sit down places of all varieties.At least that is my perception of how Vanderbilt, Washington, Franklin happened.Nostrand, Kingston, Schenectady and Utica seem on track.
  • ^ kinda different from the old days where the gentrified areas in Brooklyn all had fancy haberdasheries, hattery shops, banks, Loews cinemas, & jewelry storesMebbe we'll soon be seeing these again along Pitkin Avenue - what a sight that would be!
  • I perceive 7th Avenue in Park Slope, and Broadway on the Upper West Side as meeting that description.Note, neither met that description in 1990.
  • WSJ and Brownstoner are now talking about the buildings at 230 and 232 Schenectady.
    When a nonprofit swooped in about two years ago to take over four Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment buildings in foreclosure, it was heralded as a victory for the city and housing advocates that would ensure the units would be repaired and kept affordable. Instead, the process has stalled in the courts.
    The city has been giving loans to nonprofits so they can beat out private investors to buy up apartment buildings in foreclosure and keep the units affordable to existing tenants. However, the program is not working, at least not for four buildings in B
    The articles provide a focus (and understanding of economics and court processes) that I hope is shared by the folks at UHAB.
  • It is a good idea for churches and other non-profit institutions to buy up lands and buildings in the quest to make housing more affordable. When non-profits own them they are exempt from certain local taxes thereby reducing their operating costs. But I wonder - who or what groups are making those repairs? Building tradesmen are notorious for running up repair costs. Are there groups which employs college or engineering students or apprentices who might conceivably charge less for repairing these buildings? Is there a possibility that sliding scales might be employed in determining the costs? Perhaps interest rates on loans for such repairs might be waived or significantly lowered in order to further reduce costs. Dunno what the solution is, just thinking out loud ...
  • Yes, as a result of not having to pay taxes, a non-profit certainly has more of a chance of breaking even on these very low income tenants than a for profit would.However, many of the buildings in these programs are in both a state of disrepair, AND have tenants who are not paying rent.In these situations, the landlord (whether it is a nonprofit or not) concludes that if it makes repairs, it will never recoup the costs.As a result, NYC DOB ends up making the repairs (which leads to the property being taken over by HPD and then sold at an NYC auction), and/or the landlord stops paying the mortgage (which leads to the property going thru bank foreclosure).
  • In this instance, a large complex is remaining affordable because it has a funding stream guaranteed by Section 8:
    An affordable housing complex in the Bronx will remain accessible to low-income residents for another two decades, thanks to a new landlord who's prepared to renovate the ailing properties.
    The buildings on Schenectady appear to have no such funding stream; they appear to rely solely on tenant paid rent.And this rent, by law, can not be increased.Why would a landlord invest money that he knew he would never get back? Where would he even get the money?
  • Why would a landlord invest money that he knew he would never get back? Where would he even get the money?
    I worked in the tax field for 20 years. Taxpayers are allowed under the law to invest in "tax shelters" as a means of reducing yearly taxes. This may ultimately lead to recapturing of their investments when the property appreciates in value thereby leading to high profits upon disposition of the realty asset. Banks or investment companies usually finance these investments.For example, let us say you along with persons named A, B, & C put up $250K to invest in buying a building via a legal partnership. The partnership reports a loss of, say, $40,000 that year - each of you is allowed under the tax law to take annual deductions for your share of depreciation, upkeep costs, maintenance, water, insulation, etc. These deductions are used on your tax returns to reduce the gross income reported so that you pay taxes on net income. Thus, you pay lower taxes every year due to your investment.Let us say that after four years the four of you decide to sell the property and dissolve the partnership. As invariably happens in NY, property values go upward. Let's say you sell it for $2 million. Each of you gets $500K which means you doubled your initial investment of $250K. You also got the benefit of yearly pass-through deductions on tax form 1065. There have been changes in the tax law since I left the field several years ago but this is the general procedure followed by investors. Therefore, while it appears that an investors may stand to lose money because of low rents, in fact he/she often gets huge returns on such investments through yearly deductions and upon disposition of the property.
  • Yes, I have an understanding of such techniques.I guess my thought is that these properties seem as if they will be purchased by someone who is far less "patient".
  • As with pro sports teams nowadays, individual ownership of a club is financially impossible so that ownerships now are exclusively done by conglomerates. With the ever rising cost of living & property ownership in Brooklyn, along the rest of NYC, I would venture to guess that financial conglomerates are the only feasible way of buying houses there. Hopefully the solution to the problem of affordable availability will be found soon.
  • The problem with affordable housing is that it's rarely affordable for the landlord. Most tenants are not inclined to try and conserve water or to take care of the property because, "the landlord will fix it or pay for it because that's why I pay rent." It's like an all you can eat buffet. Most people don't care how much they put on their plate because it's included in the price but 30% of the food goes to waste.Back in the late 70s I lived in Starrett City and the management company was the most dynamic I've ever seen. They have their own power plant so the management ran a contest stating that the grid (there were eight of them) that cut their power usage the most over a three month period would win. Each apartment got a check for $25 just for basically turning off the lights when they weren't needed. Then, when graffiti and vandalism became a problem (mostly from kids) the management company ran a contest stating that if that damage was cut by a certain amount they would use the money saved to take all the kids in development to Six Flags. That happened and they took eight busloads of kids. If landlords were willing to try and give that incentive people might be inclined to try a little harder and have more of a vested interest in where they live.
  • When the market will support it, landlords will make the investments necessary to give everyone their own electric meters.In addition to reducing their electrical costs, it will often count as a capital improvement that they can then pass on to the tenants....costs that put them that much closure to going over the $2500 rent stabilization cap.
  • management ... incentiveAgree 100% that management and tenants should work together as co-partners in order to enhance the quality of life for the buildings and all residents. I would add that police/security forces need to be an every day presence as well. I live in public housing in St Paul, MN and one unit is assigned to a police officer. Often these police are rotated and their hours are irregular so that intruders do not know who they are or when they will be present. If Starrett City/Spring Creek towers and other public housing did the same it would greatly improve safety and end the problem of graffiti and improvementInsulated tripled-paned windows, padded walls, jackets for pipes throughout the building and in the basement are all tax deductible and save money in the long run. Landlords should install these improvements before tenants move in as the costs will readily be recaptured under the tax laws, will prolong the life of the building, and improve the quality of life for tenants.
  • The copartner thing would be awesome.Seems like it would require mutual respect.
  • edited August 2014
    Meanwhile, just a block away, on Schenectady near Lincoln ....this commercial building is for sale:

    It would not surprise if some brave person put their life savings into it, opened a restaurant on the first floor and lived above occurs throughout NYC.
  • Noticed this morning that the outdoors goods shop I mentioned above, Brooklyn Outdoor Provisions at 198 Utica, had paper in the windows. According to Yelp, it's closed.
This discussion has been closed.