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I'm curious if anyone has had a chance to check out the units at these two buildings in Downtown Brooklyn, 42 Duffield & 44 Duffield Street. My wife and I have been looking for a 1-bedroom that has a large enough living space to convert into a 2nd smaller room in the Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights/Carroll Gardens vicinity for under $600k and there is just about nothing we've seen that would work. These 2 new buildings have real 2-br apartments for under $500k, obviously based on the location. Is there anything to like about where these 2 buildings are? Any other thoughts on the units themselves?
I checked out the building and was able to look into some of the spaces. The area is an interesting little quiet pocket of residential buildings that to me feels like it is in the middle of everything, but close to nothing in terms of walking. You have to cross either Flatbush/Tillary to get to Downtown or under the BQE and past the projects to get to DUMBO/Vinegar Hill. But for car access, you are right there with the Manhattan Bridge and BQE too. The area has been referred to as RAMBO - yes, another acronym - Right After the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. That said, the area does have 189 Bridge St and two huge rental buildings (and also a stalled Karl Fischer building too), so it has changed somewhat. On the back side, your views may be affected by any development that goes in on the Flatbush/Tillary corner which did have a hotel planned before the 2008 crash.
The units are fairly nice and decent in size, and seemed comparable to most new condo apartments that I have seen lately in the general area. I did like the model unit which had a small interior office space. I don’t believe any of those apartments are available currently though. The developer from my understanding has done a number of similar buildings in Williamsburg, and this one is their first one in another part of Brooklyn. The recent price drop along with the low maintenance has to me made these units much more competitive and fairly attractive compared to other apartments if you are willing to take a chance on the location.
I went to an open house the other weekend and the buidlings are great. As the others pointed out though it is in a random street and not close to much but in a nice little street with townhouses. The apts themselves weren't as spacious as envisioned and the layouts not optimal to me, e.g. half-bath in the duplexes on the second floor rather than just an actual full size bath to make it an ensuite.
In the interest of full disclosure, we are in the process of going into contract on one of these units in this building.
Much of what has been previously stated is pretty on point.
Cons: limited amenities within walking distance... you have to cross Tillary or Flatbush to get to downtown...Not far from projects (however, I've been lead to believe that statistically it's amazingly safe over there, as any crime gets you booted from the housing -- the morality of which is open to debate)...the name RAMBO is just awful in my opinion. I think its historical designation has been Bridge Plaza, which I so prefer. There is a legitimate chance that at some time in the future we will be subjected to prolonged building in the vacant lots along Flatbush extension (hotel and/or high rise condos).
Pros: Price per square foot is pretty great. Haven't seen anything in that range over there since the fire sale at the Forte... Construction seems decent (It's not the best ever, nor the worst)... Eventually, there will be amenities in the area... I honestly believe the supermarket and retail at the Navy Yard three blocks away will happen sooner than later, and I don't mean in 2050, but I could be wrong who can predict such things. It's a very unique enclave, and I've investigated it at all times of the day/night. I saw many a single woman walking alone at night, and they each told me they feel perfectly safe in the area (there are a minimum of two police cars posted around the 3 blocks due to Manhattan Bridge security)... Subways are not too far a walk, and there are many options (2,3,4,5,R,F,A,C)... Obviously, some are closer than others. If you are a bicyclist, you can't have any easier commute to the city... And, lastly while there is some stalled construction and buildings in need of a revamp, it really is a cute block.
Wow, I realize I'm starting to ramble so I'll wrap it up...
As to the original posters inquiry, I will say both my wife and I were very impressed with the lay out of at least one of the 2 bedrooms we looked at (I think it was 2B). They're not massive by any means, but we felt they were a good use of the space.
Sorry to have been so long winded.
Just to add to that. I lived in the Avalon (recently bought in BK Heights tho). As far as the projects, it's a non issue. Never a problem and never saw police presence other than a normal amount (normal for any neighborhood). Any issue would be a person feeling of uneasiness because of preconceived notions or dislike for certain demographics. I know the block and it stands apart from the major streets in the area. Not a bad place. If they would build even basic retail right near it, it would be pretty good.
Everybody has pretty good points and I share your thoughts in general. I am in contract in the building and wanted to bring to light an aspect that no one has dealt with or discussed unless you go beyond looking and buy. I have been in contract for many months now. I was told by the broker that the C of O would be in place last August 2011 - well that date came and went. Now it's March 2012 and still no C of O insight. The only thing I get is BS and deception!
The broker, the seller, and the sellers attorney have lied so many times to my face that I'm beyond any ability to feel good about the situation at any price! In fact their attorney added some amendments to the offering plan in which he out and out lied to the AG saying no units would be affected by his amendments and subsequently got them passed! Well, my amazing attorney phoned up the AG directly and sent over the signed contracts, can I say the Sh&* hit the fan.
The sellers attorney phoned us within hours like we were long lost friends begging for a compromise because I quote,"The building is on the verge of bankruptcy and we need you to close".
Everybody beware, these people are full of it. Don't trust them and be prepared for a long wait if it doesn't go rental.
Hi SteveKinno - I have been in contract for a long time as well and am concerned what the hold up is. I saw they had a temporary CO that expired in Jan 2012. As you mentioned the brokers and sponsors attorney have not been very forth coming. I was not made aware of any amendments to the offering plan. Could you elaborate or contact me off list? email@example.com
Closings seem to be happening at 44 Duffield st. Any insight?
This seems like a pretty bad situation, although maybe not so bad if closings are starting. I've been looking to move into Downtown Brooklyn, but this seems a little far away from anything to me... Great prices, though. Best of luck to those in contract! I'd really like to hear how it goes.
Any updates on this development? Have closings actually been occurring? Has anyone had the building inspected -as to the construction quality?
Building has C of O, and tax abatement appears to be approved at this time. I believe people are already living in 44 Duffield, tho nobody in 42 Duffield quite yet. Construction quality is pretty good save a few things. The walls are 5/8" gypsum (great!), the floors are real wood and not a picture of wood, plumbing an electric seem good. At the other end of things, the windows are crap windows that will likely need to be replaced soon. The construction of the walls in the common areas look like they could use some help. The HVAC units, although new, appear somewhat cheap and may be inefficient. I think the overall design and layout seemed fairly good.
Closings happened at 44 Duffield St. 42 Duffield hopefully soon. If you are in contract at 42 Duffield and want to connect, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.