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

    Bob and Betty's thinks it has such a clause as well.    

    However, said clause was put in effect with the prior owner of the property (back when it was a Mazon's discount store).    The new owners and Starbucks are arguing that the contract is not binding as a result of some perceived loophole in said non compete clause.

    In the event this argument fails, Starbuck's will start building out Climax.

  • The owner of Pulp and Bean might conclude that the cost of enforcing the non compete clause may exceed the benefits.

    He might take cash and walk away, or get nothing and merely walk away.
  • I can say with some satisfaction that aesthetically this building is one of the most appropriate new constructions the neighborhood has seen.  It fits in completely with both Franklin and EP -- well done, architects!
  • P.S. Anyone know what's going on with the subway entrance on Franklin?  The opening date changed quite radically from 2/28 to 5/28.
  • Thanks for posting whynot, I hasnt heard that it was going to be a bank.  Kind of a bummer.  So much for Starbucks, unless the space is split and not entirely the bank?
  • The first floor consists of 3 -4 spaces.

    1. The bank.
    2. The space that was going to be a restaurant, but now might become Starbucks.

    3, 4 still available space (s)
  • Hi. New to discussion. Interested in buying one of the units once the building is finished. Anyone have any insight on when they may be listed? I've been watching this building go up from day 1. I think it's a great addition to the neighborhood.
  • Welcome.

    I believe the firm Apts and Lofts will exclusively list the units, which should happen in a few weeks.

    www.aptsandlofts.com
  • thanks whynot. I've heard this and will keep my eye out. Hoping they stay in the 700 psf range.
  • I expect them to be closer to $850 psf or more, depending on the finishes.
  • I agree with whynot. Scaffolding has been removed and now the building can be seen almost completely. Awful aesthetics in my opinion. The bulkhead couldn't be bigger. Let's hope it brings, at least, the boost the neighborhood needs.
  • The neighborhood NEEDS a Starbucks, preferably one that opens early and closes late.  Please let it be!
  • image
    Here's a closer shot
  • Two more. Soon we will get prices and open houses:

    image
    image

    Photos not taken by Whynot.
  • Heads up!

    Curbed says the developers have changed their mind: The units will be rentals, not condos.

    http://m.ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/03/31/longintheworks_eastern_parkway_condo_shows_itself.php
  • This is extremely disappointing. I was really looking forward to buying in this building. Will be interesting to see what they're listed for rent.
  • Sorry about that. However, there are a lot of buildings in construction, and some of them may end up as condos. 


     Meanwhile, area businesses should be considering if they are properly positioned to meet the means and preferences of high income, transient renters.

    ....their preferences and demographics are often different than folks who buy.
  • that's a very good point, whynot. i think having such a large rental building in that space will have a very different effect on the area vs buyers. Will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Your link is great! Thanks for sharing.
  • I do wonder why the developers would opt to go rental instead of condo, especially with prices and popularity in this neighborhood having increased so much in the last two years..I'm guessing they would have done quite well selling the units. Hmmm...any thoughts about why they may have gone the rental-route?
  • I suspect the building will be sold once it is fully occupied, to a different firm which has a long term investment strategy.

    This would allow the present owners to get "full value" for their work without having to wait for the units to sell at a ~$900 sf asking price.

    Speculation, of course
  • Yup...That makes sense. Very reasonable speculation.
  • Wow!  Very interesting developments since I've last checked in!

    Although the developer uses very charming promotional copy to described the building: 

    "... We recreated the grandeur of the turn of the century architecture.. "

    Sadly, to me, the building's exterior has all the charm of a clean, but drab factory. 

    The interior images do offer promise for the actual units though.

    image
    Photo: curbed

    Whynot_31 - what do feel are the primary differences between the means and preferences of high income, transient renters versus buyers?
    means and preferences of high income, transient renters.
    - See more at: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/comment/546505?post#Form_Body
    means and preferences of high income, transient renters.
    - See more at: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/comment/546505?post#Form_Body
    means and preferences of high income, transient renters.
    - See more at: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/comment/546505?post#Form_Body
  • Welcome back SBQ.

    When compared to owners, my stereotype of market rate renters is that they are:

    Younger.

    Less likely to have children.

    More transient.

    More likely to receive a promotion within the next 5 years.

    less likely to have a large amount of earned wealth.


  • Mixed emotions about the exterior, but snowboardqueen isnt far off.  It's not as horrid as some of the other Fedders crapitecture stuff out there, but certainly not noteworthy or befitting of its corner prominence.  It's like architects/financiers/builders have no pride anymore, no desire to proudly show others what lasting impression they created.
  • First floor:

    image
  • The suspense is killing me.  Other than Capital One, any news on who is going to occupy the retail space?  Any news on Starbucks?
  • Leasing for the retail space remains unresolved.

    The owners reportedly really want Starbucks, but Starbucks wants assurances that Pulp and Bean won't try to enforce its non compete agreement.

    At some point, Starbucks will decide, but is in no hurry ...and it knows it is sought after as a tenant. Everyone wants them.

    Billy Squier flashback moment: Everybody wants you...

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kycH29cnrcU

  • There is one very good reason why developers go rental rather than condo - construction financing. It is still very difficult to get construction financing for a condo building (despite the shortage of condo stock). Banks like rental buildings because they fill up really quickly. I also think that banks like luxury buildings with transient tenants who move every couple of years - it is much easier to keep the rents going up. Between early 2008 and about 2012 it took a long time to sell and close units in condo buildings, although that has changed significantly over the last couple of years. The first closing in our building occurred in late 2008, and it took two to three years for the building to be fully occupied.

    Add to this, banks don't want to lend more than 80% of the lower of purchase price or appraisal, and they don't want to close unless half the building has already closed (I guess they expect the first half to be cash buyers). Also, the presence of the retail space can be a big turnoff to condo buyers, especially if there is a food service establishment - think rats (not the two legged kind).
  • Builders are going rental to capture the expected future rent increases that are not available with a condo.
  • After something like 7 years, the sidewalk returns.

    image

    Commentary on how much Capital One paid for its space, and the meaning...

    http://commercialobserver.com/2014/04/community-change-can-be-bood/
  • Folks who are interested in the sneak preview event for the apartments can register here:

  • Evidence that Starbuck's has yet to be secured as a tenant, and that if you'd like to rent high profile commercial space, they would like to hear from you:

    http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/04/19/341-eastern-parkway-to-hit-market-this-spring/

    This has led me to conclude that the residential tenants might start moving in before the commercial spaces are leased.
  • Today, employees from Starbuck's corporate office were in one of the "yet to be leased" spaces, measuring it.
  • This morning there was a huge "Now Leasing" sign hanging in the corner of the building.
  • Yes, it advertises this website:


    I haven't seen any commentary on it yet, but I find the "w" in 341epw.com to be interesting.

    It might mean Eastern ParkWay, but in my mind, without labeling the "w", they are letting potential renters know that this building is not on the eastern part of Eastern Parkway.    It is on the western part.

    ...someone in marketing apparently looked at the web domains presently available, and thought that this would be good one, and I expect they know what they are doing.


      
  • I still don't understand what made them decide to design this building the way they did.  Had they made the entire thing look like the top several floors it would have looked much better (which was how the building looked in most of the later designs).  Or even just make it all the same color as the bottom.  It looks like half way through building it they decided to switch designs and just ran with it.  Either their design aesthetic is just that hideous or it was cheaper to do it this way.  I'm assuming it's the latter.
  • Either that, or your sense of aesthetics is not universal. Must be hard to imagine, I know.
  • eastbloc said:

    Either that, or your sense of aesthetics is not universal. Must be hard to imagine, I know.



    Or, he was just giving his opinion of the aesthetics and not claiming they were universal.
  • Fair enough.

    I like the building.
  • I view this nearby building as a comp, and think 341 EP will lease for more $:

    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2014/05/bed-stuy-building-50-percent-leased-after-three-weeks/

    "Our" finishes and location are better.
  • The building will begin to host viewings within days of getting its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.

    It doesn't have one yet...

  • Is there any news on the remaining tenant?  Is Starbucks moving forward?  This is a great destination point for a family walk (at least for me) down the parkway, and I'm curious if it will be ready sometime soon or even before fall/winter sets in again.
  • Remaining tenant?  I thought this was built out for 3 or 4 tenants, and only the bank has signed on.


  • Starbucks is believed to be confirmed, but it is not known whether they will take all of the remaining space.
  • I walked by there the other night.  It seems that there are two entrances for retail tenants.  One seems to be for the actual corner space and the other seems to be for the retail space on Franklin.   Which space is the bank taking - do they want to be on EP or Franklin?
  • My understanding is that the bank opens on to EP, and Starbucks would open onto Franklin.

    EP has rules that (with few exceptions) mandate that only professional spaces (banks, religions, MDs, daycares, Dentists, etc) can be accessed from it.

  • Interesting...  There seems to be quite a bit of sectioned off outdoor space which would be optimal for outside seating similar to the Dunkin Donuts on Nostrand and EP.  If the bank has the corner spot, interesting to see what will be done with the outdoor space. 
  • Yes, I have thought about that as well.

    I suppose the Starbucks could effectively lease that area for its customers. I believe Dunkin Donuts effectively complied with the rule by placing their entrance at an angle, or it may have replaced a non-conforming store and been grandfathered in.

    image

    I do not think the rule affects whether outdoor seating is allowed.
  • Leasing the outdoor space with the bank in middle just wont be the same as being connected, and the bank may not like the idea people congregating right outside its windows.

    I noted the angled entrance for Dunkin Donuts as well.  Other corners on EP have the same.  I was also thinking that if Starbucks had the corner spot, they can have the actual (main) entrance on Franklin.
  • Yes, they could reconfigure the doors and glass pretty easily.

    It is also my understanding that only the developer's contractors can work before the TCO is awarded.

    So, the build out for Capital One and Starbucks can't yet happen.

    ...and that ugly fire standpipe jutting from the building onto the sidewalk must remain for now.
  • Oh, that standpipe(!), I almost hurt myself real bad on that.  If you are rushing between the subway entrance and the gate around the outdoor space, you can easily slam your hip into it.

    Also, did anyone else realize that that whole outdoor area smells like urine?  (It may have just been this past Sunday night, but it was quite strong.)
  • Holy cannoli! $3400 for two-bedroom apartments!
  • Quote: Studios will start at $2,200, one-bedrooms at $2,700, and two-bedrooms at $3,400. "Duplex penthouses" will start at $3,800.
  • The Jeffersons must be rolling in their graves. That's Park Slope pricing.
  • Here are all the listings with floor plans.

    I should be sick and home from work more often. So much posting can be done this way...
  • So far, it seems they are only listing the units on the lower floors.

    How long before the commercial strip across the street looks nothing like this photo?

    image

    How long before 90% of 341 EP is rented?
  • I personally hope it wont be long. That bodega on the SW corner is really awful...looking forward to a bit of beautification and appealing go-to spots in lieu of all the seedy advertisement-covered glass that dominates these storefronts...
  • As you are aware, several of the stores in the photo are already gone. Once 341 EP fills up, the strip will likely be influenced by their means and preferences.

    I read leases can begin early as July 1.

    I suspect the building will be 75% filled with tenants by Sept 1.
  • That block of Franklin Av. is going to look more like 5th Ave. in no time. Yogu Moo will be replaced by Pinkberry, the bodegas will become pricy boutiques, maybe Union Market will open a new location.

    And we'll all be forced to move to Sheepshead Bay.
  • That ugly fire standpipe jutting from the building is [almost] gone. A pipe coming out of the ground is wrapped up and is the only part that remains.
  • Now if they would only contact me to schedule the viewing I requested....

    Note: I am interested in seeing the units, but not in renting one.

    @AP- Sheepshead Bay is sorta nice.
  • whynot_31 said:


    @AP- Sheepshead Bay is sorta nice.



    Whynot, I didn't mean to imply that Sheepshead Bay isn't nice, just that it's FAR out into Brooklyln, comparatively.

  • The bodega on the far left of the above photo is on a prime corner, and isn't yet changing in response to the neighborhood.

    When it is time for its lease to be renewed, it will be lucky if it can afford Ralph Avenue.

    That corner might become "boutique pet supplies and grooming".
  • Whynot, re: your question about the non-conforming use of the Dunkin Donuts, I think that that building may be grandfathered. Before the health center was there (the brown build out in the picture above), that building used to house a large fancy sit-down (white tablecloth) Chinese restaurant. They shut down and moved out in the mid-80's and I'm not what was there until the health center came along. But I wouldn't be surprised if the usage for that entire ground floor area predates the prohibition.
  • That makes sense.

    While I don't dislike Starbucks, I am still kind of sad that the restaurant considering the space (mentioned way up the thread) didn't happen.

    If configured to abide by the zoning rules, it could have utilized the front area for outdoor seating. It is easy for me to envision people there dining on $28 entrees while drinking wine.
  • DNAinfo: Starbucks to Open First Crown Heights Location This Fall

    Starbucks said Wednesday it will open a new location in Crown Heights this fall at the new residential building at 341 Eastern Parkway.

  • Those wondering exactly how the store will be laid out should consult the drawings on Page 2 of this RFP in PDF:

    http://visiblecc.com/planroom/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Bid-Set-Plans-Starbucks-Brooklyn-EastParkway_CDs_05-23-14_MEP.pdf

    ....more than you ever wanted to know :)
  • Seems like they are going to share a wall with supermarket/Pulp and Bean.  Or am I reading this wrong?
  • http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2014/06/starbucks-is-coming-to-crown-heights/

    First Starbucks east of Flatbush Ave.--a most interesting factoid!
  • Southeast-
    You've got it. I can't convert page 2 to a jpeg and upload it at the moment, but the entrance will be on Franklin (as discussed above), and I believe they will take up all the space that wasn't taken by Capital One.

    If you have time, dig into that RFP to see if it contains any info about Starbucks having exclusive rights to the outdoor space on Eastern Parkway.

    ...or, create and upload that jpeg.
  • homeowner said:

    Whynot, re: your question about the non-conforming use of the Dunkin Donuts, I think that that building may be grandfathered. Before the health center was there (the brown build out in the picture above), that building used to house a large fancy sit-down (white tablecloth) Chinese restaurant. They shut down and moved out in the mid-80's and I'm not what was there until the health center came along. But I wouldn't be surprised if the usage for that entire ground floor area predates the prohibition.



    It's kinda silly they don't allow outdoor dining along the Parkways— they're supposed to be modelled after Parisian boulevards, and what's more Parisian than an outdoor cafe on a boulevard?
  • Just saw the building in person for the first time today (no longer use the Franklin 2/3/4/5 on a regular basis) and oh my is it ugly. What was the design process like?

    "Let's see... Cinderblock base, check. Cheap faux brick facade in jaundice yellow, check. Hey, I know, why don't we make the top look like a condo in downtown Houston."

    I'm not in love with the Meier building on GAP (it looks out of place), but I would much rather see that here than this piece of shit.
  • Still no C of O:

    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/COsByLocationServlet?requestid=1&allbin=3397468

    My understanding is that they can't begin to show the spaces, or allow Starbucks and Capital One begin buildouts until they get one.

    Hopefully they get it this week.
  • A TCO (temporary cert of occupancy) is typically issued first and allows the building to be used. They are allowed to show the apartments, but they can't sign leases until the TCO or C of O is granted. Closing out all of the final inspections and paper work to get the TCO is a slow process that can be held by the Dept of Buildings for minor issues. I think the building will lease out very quickly due to high demand in the area, so it makes sense to wait until the TCO is issued. 

    The retail spaces will pull their own permits for the interior fit out. This will happen on a separate schedule. The drawings posted by WhyNot31 appear to be "bidding drawings" not filing drawings. So they are using these to hire a general contractor, and will probably file for permit after the GC is hired.  
  • I agree.
  • Just saw the building in person for the first time today (no longer use the Franklin 2/3/4/5 on a regular basis) and oh my is it ugly. What was the design process like?

    "Let's see... Cinderblock base, check. Cheap faux brick facade in jaundice yellow, check. Hey, I know, why don't we make the top look like a condo in downtown Houston."



    word. it's not cute at all. 
  • Lots of interesting developments since I've last been in town.

    I'm not a coffee enthusiast, so Starbucks or no Starbucks isn't a selling point.

    I was more curious about the units being rentals opposed to condos.

    I'd personally prefer a vegetarian restaurant - but the lease might be out of reach for most.

    After a few years in Crown Heights, anything that thoroughly cleans up the choices of stores on Franklin Ave would be a nice benefit.

    I just can not get used to Franklin & Nostrand Ave and still shop in my former neighborhood Park Slope.

    As to the aesthetics of 341 Eastern Parkway.., it unfortunately seems from the outside, they skimped and went the cheap route.

    I was truly expecting so much more.., but perhaps if they make room for a bit of landscaping?

    If they cut back on the cement on cement cinder-block look - a little bit of charm could still be squeezed out of their over priced cement tower.

    But then again, no matter how uninspiring the building is, for better or worse, it well sped up the tide of change for Franklin Ave and it's commercial spaces.
  • You still shop in Park Slope?  Buy local is the responsible real thing to do. If you want more inspiring buildings then attend the Community board reviews while you are shopping locally!
  • The community board does not get to approve building designs.
  • How do the building designs get reviewed? For years I assumed wrong and I have been to some meetings where we complained about building design. For instance we were able to influence the TD Bank in Park Slope to not be a drive thru bank.
  • The Dept of Buildings approves plans.

    Sometimes developers listen to the input of community members, including community boards.

    If the building is in land marked area, the community board gets more involvement.
  • snowboardqueen, a new vegetarian restaurant called Meme's Healthy Nibbles just opened up on Nostrand Ave, between Park Place and Sterling Place. It has loads of delicious vegetarian options, plus vegan desserts. It is beautifully designed and welcoming. Try it out!
  • I'd definitely LOVE to buy local - and try to when possible - but sometimes one just can't.

    Healthy Nibbles - I can't wait to try!  Thank you for the lead!

    Whynot - any idea why a Capital One choose the location over a Citibank?

    I believe their is a chase Bank a block East on Rodgers & EP

    Besides mortgages, many people bank online.

    Do you think it's indicative of Capital One wanting to stake a claim in the long term needs commercial & personal needs of newer businesses & residents?


  • When this branch opens, Capital One will close its nearby branch (Washington and Lincoln).

    So, they aren't really expanding into the neighborhood.

  • Perhaps Capital One feel there are more options for growth at EP & Franklin than Washington & Lincoln?

    I'd love to put a Bitcoin ATM in a small space in Pulp & Bean and would love to see who does more business - traditional banking or decentralized cryptocurrencies.

    I'm going to assume 3 - 6 months after Starbucks opens, Tony will have a different business where pulp & Bean is now.

    I wonder what would thrive in the space if my assumption is correct?
  • a banh mi joint! :)
  • Sbq-
    The present location of Capital One is said to be in a state of disrepair, so that might be part of their equation

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/38905/the-capital-one-on-washington-at-lincoln/p1
  • snowboardqueen, have you looked into the Crown Heights CSA for another local option?  All the shares are full for this season, but there is a waiting list, and it's something to keep in mind for next season or the winter share.
  • I just want to second Crownheightser's banh mi suggestion. Yes.
  • When I got in last night a little before 11, the subway entrance directly in front of 341 EP (that was renovated recently) had completely flooded at the low point.  I wish I took a picture, as it was literally a pond.  Technically, the entrance was still open, however they did put up one of those little yellow signs to warn that the floor was wet......

    As of this morning, there were workers pumping the area out (dumping into the storm drains) and the entrance was closed.  Since the two island entrances are under construction, everyone was routed across EP to the far south entrance. 

    So who thinks that the flooding will be a permanent fixture of this entrance?  Or is it a one-off because of the construction on 341 EP/the island subway entrances? 
  • I don't recall whether there are drains in that low section. If so, it's possible they were simply overwhelmed with the amount of water coming over an incredibly short period time. If not, then yes, we are looking at a permanent flooding problem.
  • Some decending stairwells are designed to prevent flooding by having users go up one step, before they go down.

    http://thenewyorkcitypopper.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/subway-stairs.jpg

    The MTA may need to come back and install this feature.
  • That feature is already in place. But we got a ridiculous amount of rain over a 15-20 minute period which may have been why you had such a large amount of water at the bottom of the stairs. The solution to that might be the kind of covering at the West Broadway stop of the 1 train

    http://www.casarchitects.net/Portfolio/Public/franklin.html
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