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Surveying Bushwick Brooklyn and Ridgewood Queens (and beyond)

1178 Gates Ave - From urban renewal to investment property

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An alteration application has been filed for 1178 Gates Ave (between Bushwick and Evergreen Aves) to “convert an existing two family two story to eight family four story building”

The property was purchased in December for $203,000 by Dream Home New York (via 1178 Gates Ave Inc), from a seller who paid $580,000 in 2009.  The new owner, which specializes in cash purchases of “distressed, bank owned, REO, foreclosure, short sale & estate properties” has renovated several other nearby properties including 125 Cooper Street, 901 Bushwick Ave, and 514 Central Ave.

The proposal for 1178 Gates Ave would enlarge the building footprint, increase the height from 24 to 55 feet, and more than triple the floor area from 2,000 to 6,900 SF.  Dream Home New York did not respond to emails inquiring if the apartments would be rentals or condos.

City records show that 1178 Gates Ave was built in 1994, one of many constructed by New York City and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council to replace boarded up buildings and rubble-strewn lots.

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1980s tax photos of the property

The new homes were developed for for low- and moderate-income families, with low down payments, subsidies, and a 20-year tax abatement, and were sold with covenants intended to ensure that the properties would remain owner-occupied and contribute to the stabilization of the neighborhood:

[The property owner] will and shall devote the Premises to the uses specified in the Urban Development Action Area Project, and the Bushwick II Urban Renewal Plan…This covenant shall remain in effect with respect to said Bushwick II Urban Renewal Plan, for a period of forty (40) years from the date of approval by the City…

For…twenty-five (25) years from the date of the conveyance of the Premises…the Party of the Second Part, their successor or assigns, shall own and occupy…at least one Dwelling Unit in the Premises…as their primary residence.

These covenants expire in 2019 and 2020.  It’s unclear if the current ownership and proposed alterations are in compliance, but expect more such purchases and enlargements in the years ahead.  In the meantime, with the current push for more affordable housing in Bushwick and across the city to combat rising displacement, it’s worth considering whether a single generation of affordability is sufficient.

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