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A Lavish Limestone Condo Building Is Set To Rise On One Of Park Slope’s Prime Blocks

The demolition of a long vacant building on Park Slope’s gold coast will allow the owner’s family to construct a new building which aims to blend in within its stately surroundings.

By Jeff Vasishta March 10, 2017

Park Slope’s 3rd St between 7th & 8th Avenues is like living off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Coveted, ultra wide and tree lined with gorgeous brownstones and renaissance revival limestone buildings it has long been the one street other Slope residents which they lived on. Now they might have a chance.

When the long-neglected brownstone at 497 Third St was deemed too dilapidated to save, the owner, Carlos Hernandez’ son, Bryan Hernandez, president of Kaito Management, (he cited identity theft as one of the reasons the old brownstone couldn’t be restored) decided to build an entirely new structure. Dubbed The Homage  the condo building which has not yet started construction, will try to capture some of the elegance of one of Park Slope’s grandest blocks, the developer told DNA Info. A limestone brick facade, custom metalwork and “European wood” windows will ensure the new building fits into its stately surroundings.

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“Everything about that block is just beautiful,” Hernandez said. His family’s property is not in the neighborhood’s Historic District so the Landmark’s Preservation Commission didn’t need to be consulted. “We’re trying to pay homage to that block.”

The building had been in a state of disrepair for many years and was a continued source of contention amongst locals who failed to understand why one of the most sought after blocks in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods could contain a vacant eyesore.

Tinnie Chan Sassano, a broker with Compass, who will be handling the property’s sales and marketing aims to put the neighborhood’s concerns at bay.

“We’re excited and we want the community to be excited too,” she said. “Bryan has listened to the community. [He wants] to make it beautiful again.”

Specifically, plans for the building are to create condos and a ground-floor commercial space that will “serve the community,” Chan Sassano said. Three of the condominiums will be full-floor two-bedrooms, and the fourth will be three-bedroom duplex on the fifth and sixth floors.

Early Park Slope developer Edwin Litchfield reportedly designed Third Street to be wide enough to accommodate his carriage so he could travel between his office on Third Avenue and Third Street (now Whole Foods) and his mansion on Prospect Park (Litchfield Villa).

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Needless to say, condos in the area are not cheap. A nearby (Apt 5) one at 486 3St Street sold in the summer for $1.450 million. Park Slope was one of the first Brooklyn neighborhoods to gentrify in the 1980’s and ’90’s. It’s stunning Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne residences grace the landmarked Park Slope Historic District on the western edge of Prospect Park. Seventh and Fifth Avenues are bustling with restaurants and boutique shops.

Its enduring lure is its brownstones. Top selling broker for Corcoran, Jessica Buchman has made it her business in the last decade to move a lot them and she knows her clientele well.

“Wealthy people from Manhattan buy the brownstone townhouses as status symbols. I’ve seen it. They’re the couple with the labradoodle, the fancy car, two children,” she says “They have good jobs. Both parents are making well into the six figures and the house is like something on their checklist.”

But with available brownstones in the area low in supply and high on price (Buchman currently represents 56 8th Avenue, one of the grander townhouses on the market, with a price of $5.5 million) townhouses converted into condos or those in newer buildings tend to be very high end and move fast.

“The building is going to be ultra luxurious,” Chan Sassano said of the new 497 Third St “They’re paying a lot of attention to the amenities. The design will pay homage to the past but embrace the changing tastes of today’s buyers.”

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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