CROWN HEIGHTS — A former manufacturing site in Crown Heights was bought for $17.5 million this week by a developer who hopes to build a 119-unit, mixed-use residential property there, the sale's broker said.
The sale marks the latest step in the transformation of the northwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Dean Street, which is currently home to rundown former industrial buildings, but is slated to become an 80-foot commercial and residential tower, according to the developer's plans.
The developer, 608 Franklin Ave. LLC, hopes to devote 82,000 square feet of the forthcoming building to homes and the remaining 18,000 to commercial space, according to their plans.
In 2008, developer Fabian Friedland bought the recently sold property and some of the surrounding lot for just $7.5 million, records show.
The area was rezoned in 2013 to allow mixed-use buildings and Friedland put his holdings up for sale, including the lot at Franklin and Dean, at an asking price of $18 million, according to TerraCRG, which brokered its sale this week.
The block of Franklin Avenue between Dean and Bergen streets was previously a manufacturing zone until the fall of 2013, when western Crown Heights was rezoned to allow mixed-use residential and commercial properties.
Crown Heights has seen a “transformation” in recent years, said Ofer Cohen, president of TerraCRG. Land prices in the neighborhood have nearly tripled since 2011, he said in a statement.
"Land owners have been taking advantage of this exciting market," Cohen added.
It’s the same story with rentals in the area, with costs rising in the double digits in recent months. The trend is not lost on Crown Heights residents, many of whom are organizing to avoid being displaced by skyrocketing costs.