Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Terribly Sad Story Of The Little Red Brick House On Third Street

Screen Shot 2011-11-16 at 12.58.29 PM
Once upon a time: the charming old red building at 85 Third Street
(photo courtesy of Property Shark)
3rd Street Demolition, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
In 2008, during demo
(photo courtesy of Lisa De Brooklyn on Flickr
After the building was totally demolished
Stop work order served in October 2008
The site with the new steel frame, the way it has been left since 2009
Recent For Sale sign

Until a few years ago, Number 85 Third Street here in Carroll Gardens, was a small three-story brick building with a nice cornice.  It wasn't the most beautiful house in the neighborhood, but it had its own charm and had stood at that location for over a hundred years. No doubt, it was also a place where quite a few generations raised a family.
In 2006, it was sold for $875,000 to a Mr. A. Weiss, who promptly turned around and secured a loan from Wachovia Mortgage Co. for $ 1,750.000.   By 2008, permits were filed with the NYC's Department Of Buildings for "two additional floors to existing building."  However, instead of adding a vertical extension the entire building was demolished.
DOB caught on and issued a Stop Work Order in October of that year.  After refiling and amending the plans, work resumed in March of 2009.  A brand new steel frame went up quickly and it seemed as though issued had been resolved.  And stopped again.  Since then, little has happened at the site.
By early 2011, the owner had defaulted on his loan and the deed for the property was transferred to Wachovia, which is now part of Wells Fargo.
A quick online search revealed that the property was briefly on the market in April 2010 for $1,190,000. Just recently, a "For Sale" sign was posted on the plywood fence by Tom Marco Real Estate and the price has been dropped to $750,000.  The listing reads: 
"Vacant Land, 1,800 SQ FT, being sold in as is condition, close to all.  No representation. Cash offer only."
The 'vacant land' comes with quite a few DOB violations and monetary fines, which have amassed at the site.  Will clearing and paying for them be the responsibility of Mr. Weiss, Wachovia/Wells Fargo or the new owner?
How terribly ironic that the empty lot is now selling for less than the original house sold for in 2007.  Had the owner just left it standing, it would have been worth a lot more.  And a cute historical house would have been preserved in the neighborhood.


Batman said...

You do not make money by playing it safe. If playing it safe were the only option, Apple wouldn't be the company that it is today, Obama wouldn't be president, and our homes, which were built by DEVELOPERS, might not have been built.

When money is flowing freely, as it was at that time, it made sense to take the risk. It worked out for most who did it in our neighborhood, and it didn't work out for this guy or the guy on Carroll.

It's not sad or good or bad; it just is.

Anonymous said...

it is sad. sad that this piece of crap is sitting here for 2 years...i'd be so pissed if i lived next to this. people shouldn't be allowed to leave their garbage behind for others to live with just because they were losers who couldn't figure their crap out.

Anonymous said...

That is very sad! That was a cute little building and now it is an empty shell. You're right they should have just left it the way it was. Meanwhile that guy pocketed the money and abandoned it.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: no, you wouldn't be pissed if you lived next door. You'd be disinterested and apathetic as, evidently, the residents next-door to the little red house (who live in a fugly thing with driveway underneath) were.
How neighbors can be unaware of what is going on right next door to them is simply amazing to me.
The Dept of Buildings is a complete joke (corrupt and bungling as has been documented repeatedly) and cannot be relied upon to police every residential property with the potential for historic relevance and protection.
Members of the community (a/k/a "neighbors") should be aware of what is going on with vacant property or even property which is going on the market. How can you not? It is the only way to assure that a building will be afforded some protection. This is how preservation works, concerned citizens rally around and sound an alarm.
In this case there was complete silence and inaction on the part of the "community".