Work at 834 Sterling Place — Brooklynian

Work at 834 Sterling Place

Those of us attending a community board meeting about 1 1/2 year ago were advised that the owners of this factory near Nostrand intended to convert this derelict factory into storage and office space, but wanted a height variance. We never heard back from them about their plans.

Today in a chance conversation with an employee of the owner, I was advanced that the project is moving forward. Indeed, as he pointed out, that dilapidated awning was removed last week.

It would nice to see this eyesore removed. Here's a link to what the Dept of Buildings has to say on the matter.

Renovation of this property will just about complete the transformation of this once dreary block. In that last couple of years we've seen added to the block 2 dialysis centers and just recently a new construction project to total 82 apartments. Rumor has it that the abandoned warehouse on Sterling Place and Rogers Avenue is slated for a new housing project as well.

Viva la difference!


  • Oddly enough, I actually like the character of the warehouse and the awning, although I agree that that stretch of Sterling seems somewhat desolate.

    I used to live in Clinton Hill, which has a couple of storage facilities in the neighborhood. Those monstrosities (most notably the one on Washington and Atlantic) are an eyesore to say the very least. I hope that nothing like that is slated for Sterling!
  • Subject: guest

    Is that the building that has the very cool colored glass on the second story? when you can see inside it seems like an amazing art space. I hope the renovations don't change that - i love those windows. But I thought the downstairs was a parking garage? Or is this on the opposite side of the street? I also thought that building was the one busted as a crack house earlier this year.
  • The parking garage is definitely across the street and the crack house, was a house, 865 Sterling, across Nostrand from this warehouse.

    I too am sorry they took off the awning - I though it would make for a great cafe with tables and chairs underneath and a huge space inside.

    Such dreams....
  • Laudanum wrote: The parking garage is definitely across the street and the crack house, was a house, 865 Sterling, across Nostrand from this warehouse.

    I too am sorry they took off the awning - I though it would make for a great cafe with tables and chairs underneath and a huge space inside.

    Such dreams....
    The company that is moving there is a remarkable outfit. They design and market stamps for developing countries. Apparently stamps are big revenue generators for small countries who come up with unique and colorul stamps that become collector items. The company represents dozens of small African and Pacific island countries and is owned by a family of Hasidim living in Crown Heights. According to the plan that the owner presented at the community board many months ago, the intention is to move their worldwide HQ's to Sterling Place. Currently it is in Manhattan.

    They may or may not also have a secure warehouse for stamps at the location as well. Stamps, once issued, are very valuable and must be kept in a secure warehouse. I guess the owner was being obscure about the warehouse for obvious security reasons.
  • Several years ago, this thread began with Capt Planet's attempts to get a variance for the property.

    Fast forward almost 5 years and the neighborhood has changed.

    Hello Living (locally known for its properties on Pacific near Washington) has purchased the site for $3M, and has big plans for the site:

    Brownstoner wrote:

    Plans have been approved for six (6) stories and forty-six (46) units. No word whether rentals or condos, but the previous nine Hello Living buildings sold condo units.

    ...development comes to Nostrand!

  • Not that this comment has much to do with this thread but I heard a report on 880 AM this morning that the developers around Barclay's are asking the unions to take a 25% pay cut so that they can fulfill their promise to build housing around the center. I guess you never have enough money.

  • edited July 2014

    The building at 834 Sterling Place is also being discussed on a thread entitled Changes on Nostrand 2013+

  • edited July 2014
    But there is no reason we can't discuss it here too.

    Here is a photo of it today.

    It looks like it might be ready for occupancy by November 2014.

  • I'm really interested in this building. I have been watching the space since I moved to Crown Heights last winter. According to hl's website, they're installing the windows now which are supposed to be really neat.
  • When will they ticket those cars and trucks that frequently park on the sidewalk near the day care and garage? Doesn't the garage have enough space of thier own? Why is parking on sidewalks always tolerated in this PCT?  Duh, its called a side "walk".
  • edited March 2015
    I don't think they are going to make my Nov 2014 estimate. They seem to have recently resolved a DOB stop work order.

    So, we might be looking at at a Dec or Jan occupancy if they really work on this...
  • The envelope is closed, and the building is looking like it will be ready for occupancy in a few months.

    I'll guess May.

  • The balconies are HUGE.
  • Balconies don't count toward a building's FAR, and are very popular with whoever designs the Hello Living buildings.

    Mid rise, new buildings.

  • The Hello Living developer is originally from FL. All his buildings are reminiscent (to me) of FL beach condos. 
  • It is clear to me that the main design imperative for Hello Living is moving as much living space and as many building services as possible to exterior spaces that don't count against FAR, in order to provide the biggest apartment possible for the money. Aesthetics unfortunately suffer.

    I, personally, would prefer the zoning code be loosened a bit, at least in the FAR department, so such tradeoffs didn't need made. Likewise, loosen the parking requirements anywhere near a subway or SBS line.
  • I am all for zoning that encourages New Urbanism, but I think the thing that would cause me to avoid living in this building is that fact that the balconies reduce the amount of natural light that enters the apartment.

  • edited January 2015
    New Urbanism is usually more about using zoning to encourage people to build suburbs that look more like 1920s streetcar suburbs as opposed to 1980s shit suburbs. I certainly prefer the 1920s streetcar suburb I grew up in to a modern suburb where it's impossible to walk anywhere, but I like genuinely urban neighborhoods even better. In an urban context, I favor something that tends more toward Old Urbanism, like the lightweight 1916 Zoning Code ( ), as opposed to the relatively anti-urban 1961 Zoning Code ( ).
  • edited January 2015
    Being that tenants will pay lots of $ for a parking spot, the codes requiring them often match demand.

    ...developers do not always perceive them as a huge burden to comply with.
  • edited January 2015
    Surprisingly, a YIMBY writer writes about the site today, but does not predict when it will open:
  • I noticed that Eli's attorney filed for an offering plan with the Attorney General in June.  Plans can be approved in as little as six months, so he might be able to proceed with marketing at any time.

  • Being that tenants will pay lots of $ for a parking spot, the codes requiring them often match demand.

    ...developers do not always perceived them as a huge burden to comply with.
    In some markets, yes. But the same would be true if the zoning code required Jacuzzis.
  • We briefly had a moment when builders were told by the market to include big tubs with water jets, but that craze seems to have passed.

    On the contrary, people really love and really hate cars.

    If parking spots ever lose their value, developers will get the regulations requiring them removed part because locals will stop insisting that any new developments include them.

    Until then, the writers at Streetsblog will be mostly unsuccessful.
  • edited March 2015
    The Hello Living website indicates the offering plan for this development has been approved.  I assume more marketing material will follow soon. 

  • I look forward to that offering plan.

    In sharp contrast to many of the mid to large size buildings presently being developed in the area, this building will be composed of condos.

    ...Condos that I expect to be around $1000 PSF.
  • edited March 2015
    Contractors are working today, Saturday, to put the finishing touches on the units.

  • Wood fence and scaffolding now gone. Time for some appliances and landscaping.

  • Eww. Looks like a prison. Or mutli-level parking lot. Or communist office building. Maybe the photos don't do it justice, but its disappointing how a lot of these new developments go for quite the gloomy and boring designs and colors.
  • I think they still have always to go before the building is prettied up enough for buyers. I really hope landscaping and lighting will soften the outside of this a bit.
  • The balconies look like they will prevent a lot of natural light from getting in, which is unfortunate.

    I am interested in seeing whether they get any light from the back.

    I hope to get in to see some units when they are listed, and want to see how close to $1000 PSF they get.

    I think we will see a lot of double income families with children under 4, and DINKs.
  • Night shot

  • edited May 2015
    Whynot_31 to Hello Living: "Please send me specs when sales launch. Thanks."

    Hello Living to Whynot_31: You can download floor plans for your reference layouts.pdf?dl=0

    and here is a video of the model unit:

    I only have one 1 bedroom apartment left at $510K. I am starting to get people in for sneak previews before a grand opening sometime in the summer. We expect the Certificate of Occupancy in mid-July. Would you be interested in seeing these?

    Fouad Eduard Rahmé
    Director of Sales and Acquistions
    Hello Living, LLC
    +1 (646) 207-6081
    Sent from my iPhone
  • edited May 2015
    The video above is definitely worth clicking thru to watch.    It shows a 2 BR, which is going to run much more than $510k.   So snazzy!

    The light one gets from the windows on the back of the building is quite nice.
  • Is faux stone the new exposed brick?
  • In the video, one of the bedrooms has exposed unpainted cinder block.
  • Exposed concrete block?  Kind of reminds me of 542 St. Marks, another of the architect's experiments which turned into a rental after failing as a condo.
    The vast outdoor space would be great in Miami, not such much so in Brooklyn in January.  None the less, viva la difference.  Certainly not the predictable sterility found in most new developments.

  • edited May 2015
    Nothing says NYCHA to me like exposed cinder block.

    ....let's see if there are buyers who think differently. In the present market, there probably are.
  • edited June 2015
    (posting problem)
  • edited June 2015
    Look at these transactions:

    900 sq ft 2br/1ba units are being purchased for $730k

    It appears the units are selling rapidly:

    Screen shot 2015-06-10 at 9.27.46 PM
  • WOW. That is EXPENSIVE. But it does not surprise me that they are selling like hotcakes. In my building, when units go up for sale, they are in contract by the end of the week.

    Looks like Tinto, Two Saints, Colina Cuervo, and Lula Bagel are going to be getting some new customers with $ to spend.
  • In addition to the sales price, the purchaser must pay another $700 per month in common charges and real estate taxes.

    We should keep in mind that these units are not on a high floor, and -thus- do not have a view.

  • Note that buyers are now paying real estate taxes. This is new. Up until 2013 most new construction in brooklyn got tax abatements. This is essentially another tax on the middle class as these buyers are not wealthy.
    We should ask DeBlasio what he's doing with all of these additional taxes. From what I've seen the subsisidies he's offering for profit developers to build affordable housing are very thin. Community based not-for-profits are not even in the mix. This needs to change as well.
  • Well, I am thrilled that people are paying more taxes. More $ to hire more teachers, firefighters, police, parks employees and money for intrastructure projects. Compared to the suburbs, those taxes are LOW. I think that if you can afford a $550,000+ 1/2 bedroom apartment, you are wealthy. Maybe you have to work for your money, but those people are far from struggling. They can afford the taxes. 
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests "they" have money to eat out and drink.

    So, I think that gov is making a safe bet when it predicts that the demographic moving into such units is able to do something like merely cut back on going out to pay some taxes, and won't flee the city anytime soon.
  • Exactly. Or they don't even have to cut back on their "going out" money because they make more than enough to afford their mortgage, taxes and common charges. Taxes, common charges, and mortgage interest which is tax-deductible, mind you. 
  • edited June 2015
    Needless to say, the above prices are likely caused by a combination of wealth and desperation.

    The housing market is such that they are willing to pay these prices despite the building not yet being ready for occupancy.

    ...and are about live across from unsightly buildings, ie some health care facilities and a parking garage.

  • Desperation (caused by low inventory). Or vision. They can see the day (perhaps within 5 years?) when PSI and the dialysis clinic will not be there and they will have their own slice of the "reclaimed factory/loft" living that so may desire...and so many cannot afford. 
  • Vision likely plays a role as well.

    I can certainly see the day when those facilities are not there, and Nostrand has become filled with businesses that match their means and preferences.

    The buildings being constructed at Bedford and EP, along with the armory's rebirth, will likely make these prices look cheap in a few years.
  • So bottom line, unless you own your own apartment or house, or live in a rent stabilized apartment, it's only a matter of time until you'll be moving.   Those in rent stabilized apartments, don't get too excited.  The real estate developers will figure out a way to get your apartment one way or another.  See y'all in East NY.
  • Capt -

    There is no need to stay in NYC. We live in a big country. If people perceive that moving to another city is their best interests, they will.

    In many ways, NYC will remain a place for people who can afford it, and those who can not afford to leave it.
  • So, how's the view from Mount Olympus?  I'll bet it isn't too crowded up there.  For the rest of us, it's hard to take such a casual view of things.

  • edited June 2015
    Until another city offers me a combination of things like employment, friends, housing and weather that beats NYC, I'll be just like you: Can't afford to leave NYC.
  • It's the people who were born and raised here but can't afford to live in NYC we're talking about.
  • You are right, these units are not going to be able to house those without the means to pay for them. matter how long they have lived in NYC.

  • edited August 2015
    I just thought I would give readers an update on sales in this development, Hello Sterling.

    Here's the key phrase:  "All other units are in contract, have contracts out or offers accepted."

    That's right, only three units remain unspoken for.

    Screen shot 2015-08-25 at 8.06.54 PM
  • edited October 2015
    Today, I saw what appeared to be residents moving in.

    ...which causes me to conclude that the build rec'd its C of O and the residents have closed on their units.image

    This thread is now near completion, some 8 years after it began.
  • I just saw a bunch of apts posted for rent last week from this project. At this point I don't believe anything the broker says.
  • edited October 2015

    Yes, seven units come up as being available for rent. Maybe some buyers cancelled their contracts before closing?

    Screen shot 2015-10-04 at 8.55.30 PM
  • No action on Acris, which would tell us when the individual units sell.
  • ACRIS can be 4-6 weeks behind actual closings. 
  • edited October 2015
    Isn't it possible that some purchasers bought their apartments only as investments, and are renting them out until they sell?
  • But 7 units wouldn't typically come on the market on one day if these were all separate investors.  More likely these are sponsored owned units.

  • We looked at the building earlier this summer, and at that time the developer said he was planning to keep a few units to rent out.  7 is more than "a few," but this would be in line with what he told us. 
  • According to Streeteasy, the sponsor has already rented 7 and currently has 7 more on the market for a total of 14.  Seems nowadays that owners think Crown Heights is the next new "thing" and are increasingly uninterested in selling anything.  
    Pity the poor condo buyer who has the same idea!

  • I suspect the folks who are renting out their units are part of Hello Living's Owner's Club.

    If I understand it correctly, you buy a unit for cash long before it is built. 

    Few "regular people" have that kind of time or cash to invest for such a time period.   As a result, it sounds like an excellent investment for an LLC or REIT.

    You could benefit by putting some of your cash into a REIT.   They are not that expensive.
  • Here is a short video that discusses how the founder of Hello Living got into the business:
  • edited December 2015

    While this ad says the building is in Greenpoint, it actually advertises units at Hello Sterling in Crown Heights:

    Apparently, there are still units for rent.    ...were some of the units purchases only to then be offered for lease?  

This discussion has been closed.