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187 Hicks Street Pre-Paul Giamatti; No Potties in Uptown Building

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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS?Word spread yesterday that actor Paul Giamatti paid $1.3 million for a 3BR co-op at 187 Hicks Street, and the place looked pretty put together in photos. It wasn't always like that, a tipster writes: "I looked at that apartment in September 2007 - the guy who owned it demolished the entire place (photos above), tried to merge two apartments and then ran into trouble with the co-op board about removing the structural wall. He was trying to sell it in this condition (I remember him asking $1.1mm). The new 'arches' are the end result of the structural wall not coming out and not being able to move the plumbing stack. They basically ended up rebuilding the apartment the way it was before demo. The corner window has an unexpected (distant) view of the Verrazano bridge due to the way the building sticks out on the block." [CurbedWire Inbox]

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS?How bad does a building have to be to have a judge boot the landlord from managing the property? Well, it happened at six-story, 52-unit 452 Ft. Washington Avenue, and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development paints the scene: "In 2008, the owners of the building caused work to be done in the building allegedly to repair bathrooms in the 2-line of apartments. The contractors removed all fixtures and gutted the floors, walls and ceilings of the bathrooms – creating not only a great inconvenience but also unsafe conditions for the tenants residing in those apartments. These tenants were left without functioning showers and bathing facilities; they were forced to find alternate accommodations, including the use of bathroom facilities in vacant apartments within the building." Yikes! [CurbedWire Inbox]