505 St. Marks. Compare supermarket brings in the builders!? - Brooklynian

505 St. Marks. Compare supermarket brings in the builders!?

It really takes the 'hood to another level, and I suspect people are paying more to live near it.

Yesterday the brokerage Massey Knakal put out a release saying a local developer has purchased a site at 505 St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights and plans to construct a 128-unit rental. The existing building on the property, which is between Classon and Franklin avenues, is going to be demolished. The site sold for $4.5 million



  • Unfortunatly, the new building probably won't replace the old day care that was here, which, I predict will be sorely needed in the next five years.

  • Definitely an interesting time, for better or for worse, to be living in the neighborhood. Since moving here in November, there's been so many things going on its almost hard to keep up.

  • My mom used to work in that day care center.

  • edited March 9

    With all of these market rate developments coming, there is really no way that Compare could fail.

    ...yes, all of these new families will need Daycare, but I suspect they will have to go to a cheaper neighborhood, where land is less expensive, to obtain it.

  • Have you priced day care recently? I'm willing to bet it can make more money per square foot of real estate than a lot of the businesses on Franklin Ave.

  • While Daycare might be expensive, it is often not very profitable to provide. Sadly, that tuition money goes quickly out the door in the form of expenses like insurance, teacher payroll and conformance to DOH regulations.

    ...Mercedes driving Day Care owners are rare.

    Unless the owners obtain a clientele is able to pay for these expenses AND the convenience of being in an expensive neighborhood (which can be done...), the proprietors are wise to locate outside in a cheaper neighborhood.

    Push that stroller east?

    Hire a nanny?

  • Update Oct 13, 2102:

    A construction fence has been erected, and an excavator has begun to gnaw away at the buildings

  • I'm pretty sure that whole block of St. Marks is zoned for greater than 6 stories, so it wouldn't surprise me if some of the remaining low rise structures on the block also sold, demolished and built upon.

  • Update late Feb 2013: Some foundation work is actively going on at this site.

    Hopefully we will get to see some structural steel by May.

  • More rentals okay higher rents!

  • Yes, the rents will be infinitely higher than they are right now, considering we're talking about a dirt lot.

  • I predict this is going to be a tough next few years for Chloeroyale, accepting changes and coming to terms with reality.

  • Epiclylaterd it's a win win for me!! Trust me on that one!!!!

  • I don't think u should be concerned about me u need to look out for yourself! U just started the game!

  • I find the concept of there being winners and losers interesting.

    Each party (the renter, the landlord) agrees upon a price, which is correlated to their level of risk and investment, and things like age.

    Without more information, I am not sure which role I would choose.

  • Please why not please!

  • On the plus side, this development is likely to attract well qualified tenants, with good credit ratings, who I would have financial recourse against if they trashed the place.

    On the negative side, they are likely to be very transient and picky in nature, causing me to have to pay a lot for property management.

    On the plus side, the building should be new and easy to maintain when it is finally occupied.


  • Oh that's so wonderful for u why not

  • Epiclylaterd said:

    I predict this is going to be a tough next few years for Chloeroyale, accepting changes and coming to terms with reality.

    It's pretty easy for her I think. She'll just keep bashing the "new" people in the neighborhood and finding various things to complain about. I'm sure she'll be just fine.

  • Epiclylaterd let me check u now. I don't bash the new people in the area! I just tell u how I feel and I'm not alone in the way I feel. As for the new people soon there will be an exodus out of the area after the prices become unaffordable everything in this life is temporary . I won't dig into u too hard because mike will get on me again. U know he monitors me closely!!

  • Epiclylaterd said:

    Definitely an interesting time, for better or for worse, to be living in the neighborhood. Since moving here in November, there's been so many things going on its almost hard to keep up.

    That is why I focus mostly on the big projects, like this one.

    The opening and closing of small, storefront businesses are too hard to keep up with.

  • March 10th:

    I looked at the progress of this lot today.

    a. Demolition is complete.

    b. All debris has been removed.

    Next steps:

    -Dig a big hole for the foundation.

    -Haul away the dirt.

    -fun with cement.

  • P.S. Those mourning the loss of the daycare center that was previously at this site, should note that it one was of several to lose city (ACS) funding as of the start of FY 2011 (July 1, 2011).


    It isn't clear why this daycare center was selected to be among those closed, but ACS funds child care for families who are of limited means, and day care centers which are not able to maintain census are those at risk.

    It could be that this center was no longer able to maintain census as a result of the area becoming wealthier, and that ACS chose to allocated its limited resources to areas of greater need.

  • Noticed some wood go up on the old post office next to Compare Foods. Anyone have a heads up what's going on?

  • If you are talking about the building that used to be radiology, I'm not sure that Alma has a tenant yet.

    It is a big space. I'd be interested in it if I was CVS or Rite Aid.

    Single story building on far left of photo, before shuttle tracks:

  • That's the one

  • I want that "Radiation" lettering. That'd be a pretty boss decoration.

  • No idea why I thought it was a post office. Perhaps the overall depressing nature from the look of the building

  • ehgee, I think some people agree with you on the lettering. I have noticed that several of the letters are missing already.

  • edited December 2014

    Photo taken April 27, 2013

    At this point, the construction guys might be willing to knock them off for you.

  • I think it's either office or residential-- they are punching smaller vertical windows every couple feet, not like what you'd expect for a commercial space. And for what it's worth, the work permit says they'res no change in owner or use.

    Also, the work has been sporadic and not very professional looking. Hmmm.

  • Also no stirrings on the development site across the street? Who buys something for 4.5 million and then let it sit there? Apparently this is something people do.

  • The delay at 505 may be occurring while the owners of the site look for investors, bank loans or work on more profitable jobs.

    According to Street Easy, the architects are (were?) Issac & Stern.


    If they are still the architects, they will hopefully display the design on their website under residential: http://issacstern.com/

    Nope, it isn't there yet.

  • edited March 2014

    July 26:

    The 505 lot still appears dormant.

    Work continues to move along at the single story space next to Compare. I agree, this does not look like it is going to become commercial space.... the windows are too far apart.

  • Sept 13, 2013: Word has been received that No Parking Construction Zone signs have gone up in front of the big 505 St. Marks site.

    In addition to finding a different place to park, readers should also expect an exacavator to start digging the hole for the foundation, and dump trucks to haul the dirt away.

  • edited December 2014

    Oct 3, 2013

    Rendering now posted on construction fence.

    (dead photo link)

  • Hmm, not sure if that drawing is more or less inspiring than the old haunted playground that was there for so long, leftover from the daycare..

  • In this photo, the haunted playground is being used by boys and their toys for the last time.


  • edited October 2014

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


  • Pics of the new building.Mix use building, residential and community facility.8 story over cellar, approximately 113,000 sf. and 147 residences.
  • Update: Work on the foundation is now underway. Fun with excavators is ending, fun concrete and steel is beginning!
  • edited February 2014
    This one gets to have shuttle track views!
  • Foundation work complete. The steel begins to rise:

  • The foundation is complete, and the base for the first floor is now in place.


  • Fun with cement:

  • They appear to be accomplishing a floor a week:

  • In case you want a birds-eye view of the construction, here's my photo set. I'll be updating it regularly through the construction process!


  • Thanks!

    Here's today's photo of the building rising from street level:

  • edited July 2014
    From the back:


    From above photographer
  • edited July 2014

  • Now three visible floors

  • A photo from Atom, from the back:

  • Now as tall as the building on its left.image
  • edited August 2014
    Another floor this week. Now taller than its building on its left.

  • They have been busy:

  • edited September 2014


    Based on the above rendering, it looks like the next two floors are set back from the others at the far left and right of the building.      But we still have 2 more stories of height to go.
  • I believe they only have one more floor to pour.

  • It didn't get a picture today, but it appears that the building has now reached its terminal height.   

    (just add another floor to the above photo)

    If one looks very closely, one can already see the beginnings of plumbing and electrical work on the lower floors. 

    One should note that this building is being developed by the same firm (Realty Within Reach) that is constructing the large apartment building at 1515 Bedford, the site of the former theater/church:

  • edited March 9
    Apartments available in Spring 2015?
  • Cement work is now complete. Studs for the partition walls for floors 1 - 4 are visible. Electricians and plumbing contractors are now on site.
  • edited December 2014
    They have enclosed the building to the degree that they can continue to work in all weather.       We might see listings in May.

  • edited March 7
    We are now seeing the styrofoam layer go on the facade. Rough plumbing and electrical is believed to be finished.

  • I'm curious what people think of the new building?
    Personally, I think it's out of scale for the block and not attractive at all.
  • edited March 9
    This is certainly not my favorite new building going up in the area.

    I do think the building being planned for Dean and Franklin will be more attractive, and provide nicer, more expensive units.

    It will likely be in place by 2018.

  • I'm not a fan of the aesthetics. However, it's not like that block had much going for it in the first place.
  • The massing isn't half-bad. Definitely better than the 1970s nurses' dorm type thing next door.We'll see how the facade materials look. Hopefully better than that grimy formerly-white 3-year-old building across the shuttle tracks, or Doctor Butt's vandalized tenement.  
  • Just confirming..this is going to be rentals, correct?
  • Yup. 128 of 'em.

    All Market rate.
  • Windows in. Facade near complete. image
  • Is that flooring?
    Construction Report
  • Looks more like a bed..
  • edited May 28
    Multi purpose.

    BTW, this development is in the process of seeking a 421-A tax credit, a program that does not presently require an affordable housing component, but advocates want to adapt it to require same.

    Said advocates don't have much of a shot: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/05/28/de-blasio-calls-out-cuomo-for-stalling-on-421a/
  • edited June 13
    To get 421A exemption.within the exclusionary zone, the applicant does indeed have to have an affordable component to his building.   To pay for the affordable units, the developer is given a larger building envelope.  Under the leadership of then Assembly leader Vito Lopez, the exclusionary zone was expanded several years ago to include much of Brooklyn, including Crown Heights.  The exclusionary zone was sections of the city where 421A tax exemption was considered unnecessary to spur housing development.  Areas outside the exclusionary zone were areas where market rates were considered too low to support development without getting the special tax exemptions available with tax abatements available under 421A (for new development) and J-51 (for renovation of existing buildings).  Outside the exclusionary zone, which included Crown Heights until recently, 421A abatement was given more or less "as of right" for anyone developing new housing.   In the exclusionary zone, to get 421a abatement, you need to provide 20% of the units at rents considered affordable.  What's affordable is defined by the City as as percentage below the area median income, which is set annually by HUD.
  • edited June 13
    This building is outside the exclusionary zone, right?   If so, then I am only willing to amend my statement to: 

    "BTW, this development is in the process of seeking a 421-A tax credit, a program that does not presently require an affordable housing component IN THIS LOCATION, but advocates want to adapt it to require same."  

     Until then, developers are foolish to not seek a 421A on lots such as this:    

    --> The program provides them tax benefits without an obligation to construct affordable housing on it.    The program does not require them to create affordable housing somewhere else in exchange for accepting the benefit here <---   

    We shall see if the affordable housing advocates can change this. 
  • The building is within the exclusionary zone, as amended by Vito and gang.
  • edited June 13

    So, the building will include 26 affordable units (128 total units x .20) if the developer is offered rents and the income ranges that make it worth their while to accept the tax benefits inherent in 421A.

    Do you know how long the developer has to haggle with the various gov agencies involved and ultimately make the decision? 

    As I understand 421A, the credit usually lasts 10 years, and that the affordable apartments become market rate after this period.


    As a result, the news that this building is within the exclusionary zone and is in the process of pursuing a 421a doesn't make me very happy OR sad.   

  • If you wanted lower rents in a new building, it would make you happy.  But only if you were very lucky and won the lottery, as there will be many applicants.

  • YIMBY: Construction Update: 505 St Marks Avenue, Crown Heights http://newyorkyimby.com/2015/07/construction-update-505-st-marks-avenue-crown-heights.html

    "seems likely to finish by the end of 2015."
  • Facade is now 90% complete. The apartments still need drywall, kitchens, and finishes.

  • edited November 9
    The drywall appears installed in the units. In addition, many units appear painted and have ceiling light fixtures.

    I suspect "we" are now getting appliances and awaiting the Certificate of Occupancy.

    We could see listings in Jan 2016. Occupancy in February.
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