clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Old Student Housing Reborn As Rentals In Brooklyn Heights

New, 4 comments

Kushner Companies snapped up six former student residences from Brooklyn Law School earlier this year, and while three of those Brooklyn Heights buildings are on their way to becoming single-family mansions, the other three have been remade as market rate rentals. Just four months after Kushner bought them, the multi-family buildings at 144 Willow Street, 18 Sidney Place, and 89 Hicks Street have already begun their post-law-school lives. The three buildings hold a total of 69 renovated apartments (plus eight rent-stabilized units), offering a mix of studios and one-bedroom units, all of which have a dishwasher and washer/dryer. Rents range from $2,500 for a studio to $4,700 for a 1.5 bedroom with a private backyard.

StreetEasy puts the median price for studios and one-bedrooms in the neighborhood at $2,745. That said, the website only shows 97 availabilities (including the live listings in these buildings) for studios and one-bedrooms, so these developments are significantly increasing the neighborhood's stock of smaller rental units with units that are pretty spacious. "With these properties, we are offering new opportunities for people to live in an area that had previously been out of reach," said Kushner Companies COO Patrick Crosetto. "These properties are a rare find, and interest has been incredible." One of the three buildings is already fully leased.

All of the buildings have completely new plumbing and wiring, video intercoms, hardwood floors, new moldings, and all kitchens feature stainless steel appliances and caesarstone countertops. Bathrooms have black tile floors and white sinks and tubs.

As it has the fewest number of units of the three buildings, 144 Willow Street reached the renovation finish line first, and all nine of its remade units have been rented. The least expensive unit was a first floor studio that rented for $2,500, while the most expensive was a large 1.5 bedroom with a private backyard that rented for $4,700 with one month free (so the net effective rent is $4,308). The five-story building was originally built in 1851, and the central staircase is original. Many of the unit have decorative fireplaces and exposed brick walls, which had been previously covered up when the buildings were student housing. All units in 144 Willow have central air conditioning, and the building has a shared rooftop deck.

When Curbed toured the buildings, the last units in 18 Sidney Place were being renovated, and the building should now be complete, save for finishing touches to the common spaces. This seven-story elevator building holds 17 renovated units (plus two rent-stabilized apartments), several of which are duplex one-bedrooms that have spiral staircases connecting the two levels. This was a quirky layout feature that came with the building, and Kushner Companies ran with it. Nine units have been rented. The least expensive was a $2,550/month studio with a sunken living area, and the priciest was a $4,145/month duplex one-bedroom with a private terrace on the top floor. Remaining units fall within the same price range. All units in the building have one month free, and they come with a free six-month membership to Equinox. Like Willow Street, 18 Sidney will also have a shared rooftop deck.

With a total of 48 apartments—43 of which are being renovated—89 Hicks Street is the largest of the bunch. As of two weeks ago, the top of the six floors was complete, and Kushner Properties expects to be finished with the whole building by the end of September. Each floor has eight units, and Kushner hired Joyce Elizabeth of Decorilla to outfit the model units on the sixth floor. Sixty percent of the units in 89 Hicks are studios, and the rest are one-bedrooms. Rents here average about $2,700 to $2,800 per month, and all units have one month free, plus a free six-month Equinox membership. Two studios have been rented, and currently StreetEasy shows four live listings, with rents ranging from $2,600 for a studio to $3,300 for a one-bedroom. All of the studios have layouts that allow for decent separation of the kitchen from the living space.
· Former Student Housing to Become Single-Family Mansions [Curbed]
· Kushner Companies [official]
· 144 Willow Street [official]
· 18 Sidney Place [official]
· 89 Hick Street [official]