For close to a century, J. Josephs & Sons Co. has sold furniture and appliances out of three storefronts on Manhattan Avenue in northern Greenpoint. Now, the shops and their distinctive metal signage will bite the dust for a new apartment building at 1056 Manhattan Avenue.
J. Josephs owned most of the block between Eagle and Freeman streets, and the owner’s holding company sold all of those properties to Bruman Realty last November for $18.5 million. Bruman’s new seven-story, mixed-use development would occupy 125 feet of frontage on Manhattan Avenue and replace seven small commercial and residential buildings.
New building applications filed yesterday call for 90 apartments, stacked on top of 12,311 square feet of commercial space. Those 90 units would be divided across 60,611 square feet of residential space, for average units measuring 685 square feet. The small apartments suggest plenty of studios and one-bedrooms, and we expect this will be yet another crop of pricey rentals for Greenpoint.
Each of the upper floors would host 12 to 18 apartments, followed by a roof deck on the seventh story. The building will also offer recreation space on the ground floor, and a gym, laundry, and bike storage in the cellar. There will be underground parking for 46 cars – the minimum required by zoning.
Architect Karl Fischer will handle the design.
Typical rents for new construction in the area are close to what you’d find in North Williamsburg, one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods. Domain Companies finished a 105-unit rental up the block at 1133 Manhattan Avenue at the end of 2014. Available apartments there include one-bedrooms asking $3,325 a month and two-bedrooms starting at $4,000.
Demolition plans haven’t been filed for the J. Josephs & Sons storefronts yet, but we are sure they’ll arrive in the next few months. The development will change the block dramatically, and it’s not only because the building will be taller than many of its neighbors. J. Josephs’ attractive metal signs were an integral part of the streetscape along Manhattan Avenue, creating a quaint, neighborhood feel that will be difficult to replace.
Local blogger Miss Heather, of New York Shitty, posted some historic photos of the storefronts back in 2009. They show the buildings in 1928, which was around the time that they were first built.
Bruman Realty is linked with two well-known Brooklyn investors, Joseph Brunner and Abe Mandel. Brunner also has a stake in a big site nearby at 49 Dupont Street, which used to be the Harte & Co. chemical factory. One of his fellow investors in the heavily polluted property, Chaim Miller, is currently suing him for allegedly failing to repay a loan, The Real Deal reported last year.
Update: HAP Investments is not involved in this project, but they were mistakenly listed on the DOB filing. Bruman Realty is the developer, and we have updated the post to reflect that.