Vacant lot on Sterling between Washington and Classon
  • Does anybody know what's going on with the giant vacant lot across from 491 Sterling, between Washington and Classon? Lately, a bulldozer has been spotted there, and yesterday I saw a lone guy digging a trench with a shovel. I would presume at some point this will be massive new apartment building?

  • City records show that the tax lien was recently sold to the Bank of NY Mellon, and that the mortgage holder, Seaway Capital Corp has taken title to the land. My husband and I observed two men inspecting the property. The chain link fence sprouted a gate recently and the digger appeared.

    In June and July filing were made related to the previously approved plans to build a residential builing on the site. My guess is that the owner going to build the previously approved residential building, expect it to progress at a snail's pace.

  • They might be doing soil testing.

    It is amazing to live in one of the few parts of the country that is having new investment and development.

  • A few Brooklynian commenters noticed activity at the large empty lot at 504 Sterling Place between Classon and Washington avenues. It looks like a residential project is in the offing: the owners just filed with the DOB to change the previous new building plans, which call for a five-story, 38-unit residential building. Permits for this site go back to 2004, and we spotted some work at one point in 2007. According to public records, the deed for the land last transferred this May to an entity called Seaway Capital Corp.

    If they build 5 stories, yet construct only 38 units on that spot, my sense is the units will be large.

  • photo from, and believed to be taken in approx July 2012.

    Over the last two weeks, this lot has had some more activity.

    -A new construction fence.

    -Work permits

    -an Excavator.

    In July, it looks like it changed hands. This site reports that one of prior owners received a prison sentence:


  • On Wednesday it looked like the basement has been pretty well excavated.

    That, or they've decided to build a huge swimming pool instead.

    Interesting, I think that big concrete retaining wall was poured years ago during the first go at developing the site; that hole was filled in when the initial building plans fell through?

    Hopefully this time it will stick...

    Attached files image
  • When I looked through the construction fence today, I saw that big concrete things seemed to have been since constructed in the mud puddles in the above photo.

    There is also a excavator and a construction trailer on site.

  • Brownstoner ran a story on this lot today. Luxury rentals seem to still be the plan...

    500 Sterling

  • July 13:

    If one peeks thru the construction plywood, one can see structural steel rising from the aforementioned concrete things. Soon, the steel will be visible above the plywood walls.

  • August 5:

    Steel is now visible above the plywood.

  • Early Sept: Prep work for cement work (floors, basement, etc) is evident.

  • Sept 14: The steel is rising nicely. Once complete, it looks like there will be a driveway in the right side, and parking in the back.

  • Sept 24:

    I did some digging, and found an article from August 2013.

    buzzbuzz wrote: Developer Adam America Real Estate is angling to build a new rental at 500 Sterling Place in Prospect Heights.

    Located between Washington and Classon avenues, the planned development will consist of 62 studio, one- and two-bedroom units, according to Adam America’s site. Amenities will include a virtual doorman, gym, roof deck and private storage.

    The most recent Department of Buildings filing for the project was on July 8th.

    The 19,650-square-foot site was stalled during the housing crash and sold for $6.8 million in 2012, Crain’s reported. The lot came with a 421a tax abatement and approved plans for a 35-unit residential project up to 43,230 square feet.

    Since the time of the above article, DOB approved the plans submitted in July:

    And, during the process, minor changes have been made to the plans. For example, the building we now contain 64 units, as opposed to 62.

    Adamerica wrote: Upon completion, the building will feature 64 high-end residential rental units, consisting of a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, as well as additional cellar space.

    As of Sept 24, this is now believed to be the most recent rendering for the building:

    photo and quote:

  • It has grown again. Instead of 64 units, we are now getting:

    "Seven stories and 77 units with a total of 53,086 square feet"

  • And instead of Crown Heights, we are now getting Prospect Heights! Are they going to move the building?

  • This building might be nice enough that it attracts renters who will shop via Fresh Direct, as opposed to Compare (Crown Heights) or NSA (Prospect Heights).

    Will they "belong" to either neighborhood?

  • October 26, 2013:

    The steel continues to rise...

  • I dunno. I shop at Key Foods on 5th Ave and Sterling Place. What neighborhood does that make me a part of?

  • Existential questions have no answer.

  • Noticed a rendering up at the site:

    Attached files image
  • Those side balconies are right next to the auto garage...

  • The garage could be pretty quickly torn down, and the lot could feature a similarly sized residential building.

  • Looking forward to that day, as long as it doesn't block my view of the museum!

  • Looks like they're finishing up most of the steel this weekend:

  • Yes, I got a pretty good look at the site this weekend.

    The steel seems to be 95% in place, and they may have reached its terminal height.

    They are now applying cement to the beams on the lower columns, and starting the underlying work for the outer walls.

    I like how this building has open space on its left and right, which will allow those units to get natural light.

    The parking looks like it will be below ground, which (in my view) will improve its visual appeal.

  • 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:

  • Dec 15, 2013

  • They are making progress:P.S. The photo heightsmom posted above was originally the correct photo, but now has been accidently replaced with a different rendering, for some other construction site.Sorry, heightsmom.
  • The building envelope now appears sealed.

  • It's all good. ; )

  • The sign on the front says the building will not be complete until February 2015. Based on the progress they've already made, I'd have to assume the building will be finished much, much sooner than that. Would also really love to know what rents will be in here.. the $3500 2BR is seemingly becoming fairly common in this neighborhood.
  • They had originally said June 2014, and I thought they looked on schedule for that. I also heard $60/sq. ft. So, that's $4500/month for a 900 sq. ft. apartment. That seems steep to live in a sub-par school district right next to a chop shop.
  • Not everyone has kids.

    Not everyone views the school district as subpar, or staying that way.

    They might get $825 a sf. if they go condo.

    Scaffolding gone:

  • That's about what 475 Sterling is fetching these days.
  • They still need to do all of the interior work.

    I'm thinking the units will be ready for occupancy in October 2014, if they keep up their present rate if progress.
  • I hope the building on Sterling near Nostrand looks this good, if we have to accept these large masses.

  • I'd like to be the owner of the garage to the right of this building.

    When he sells, he will do very well. He will either never have to fix car again, or (if he is merely a landlord) never have to be the landlord to an auto shop again.

  • The two auto businesses that occupy the buildings between this one and 476 Sterling may be on borrowed time, but it all depends on whether the real estate company that owns the building can get the land rezoned from industrial to residential. The various community boards and the city council regularly shed crocodile tears for the loss of blue collar industry, so may block the rezoning. I think that the city needs auto shops, but I am not sure how and where to place them, people don't want to drive a long way to get their car fixed, but it becomes increasingly difficult to justify single story development in a city still claiming to suffer from the post-World War II housing emergency.
  • I'm ok with East NY and Foster Ave becoming filled with auto shops.

    Electrical and plumbing contractors are now regularly on site, and 24 hour guard is on hand to protect all of the hand tools.          

    The apartments have most of their finishes in place.
  • One can now register for a future showing:
  • How valuable is parking? Valuable enough that they installed those racks that let you park one car underneath another.

    Look closely, down the ramp:

  • I noticed that, as well. I'm wondering if the building will lease the lot to a private parking company. It doesn't seem possible for residents to get their car without an attendant.
  • Parking is all the more valuable given the DOB regulations that require some proportion of units have parking allocations.

    I wonder if doubling up on spaces vertically may help fulfill that requirement somehow even if they're not practically usable.
  • The building might have met their parking obligation via the regular spaces, and could be using the elevated spaces for additional revenue.

    The arrangement seems to require that someone (the super?) have access to all of the vehicle keys, and that residents relegated to the elevated spots be patient before they get access to their cars.

    Quick trips to Fairway seem problematic.
  • Listings have been posted:

    The building's website,, refers to the area as a "new neighborhood." SIGH.
  • image"Studios start at $1,999, one-bedrooms at $2,499, and two-bedrooms at $3,100. There’s also a one-bedroom, 1.5-bath duplex with two balconies asking $3,425, and a two-bedroom, 2.5-bath duplex with two balconies for $4,330."

    Those units are about as expensive as I thought they would be.

    Not big either.
  • detailed prices and availability are now posted:

    It looks like all of the apartments that are listed are staged.
  • Those are huge prices. Is parking included.?
  • I believe that is extra. There isn't a spot for every apt
  • Move ins have begun.

  • Yup. I suspect the building at 341 EP is doing similarly well.

    I expect the apartments to turnover about once every three years, 33% a year. It will be filled with young people and others in transition.

    IKEA furniture seems a good bet.

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