Today’s news:

Hurst is the latest luxury condo ’hood

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The Brooklyn Paper


Bensonhurst, a neighborhood known more for working-class renters than luxury penthouse owners, is the new frontier for prospective homebuyers seeking Manhattan-style frills.

This summer, apartments will likely sell out in the neighborhood’s most pricey condominium complex to date, a 20-unit, six-story building at 105 Kings Highway, near Stillwell Avenue.

The apartments will start at $649,000 and reach to $1 million, said broker Jack Potak, whose firm on 20th Avenue at 71st Street is handling the sales.

Five of the building’s 18 units have already been sold, said Potak, but its two penthouses have yet to fetch the $1 million asking price. New tenants will be able to move in this August.

“Bensonhurst has always been a very quiet, safe community, very middle class,” said Potak. “It’s a good neighborhood and this will be its first luxury elevator condo building.”

The building features a heated, underground garage, and a marble-floored lobby replete with waterfalls and surveillance cameras.

Apartments have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, said Potak, and range in size from 1,550 to 1,850 square feet. They have oak floors and washers and dryers. The kitchens feature marble floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and dishwashers. Potak said that each apartment would be furnished with a washer and dryer.

The 2,200- to 2,800-square-foot penthouses, said Potak, each have four bedrooms and three bathrooms. They afford terrace views of Coney Island and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

The ground floor is expected to include 4,800 square feet of retail space, which Potak said would be partly filled by a pharmacy and a clothing boutique.

Like its neighbor Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst is experiencing an unlikely condominium boom as the price of an average single-family home has shot to more than $750,000, according to Potak.

But area real estate brokers say that prices for those ritzy condos aren’t such a big stretch, considering that neighboring areas have also seen a similar boom.

Joseph Madaio, a broker and the owner of RE/Max 1st Choice Realty, said that over the past five years property prices in Bay Ridge have shot up with the rest of newly hip Brooklyn.

Last week, new residents began moving into The Vistas, a new, eight-story luxury condominium on Shore Road at 99th Street that includes apartments going for more than $1 million. Its 24 units will include unobstructed views of the harbor, a gym and indoor parking.

But some residents say that that building and others like it are diluting the character of both neighborhoods. Victoria Hofmo, a member of the Bay Ridge Conservancy, said that the largest of those complexes are often built at the expense of older homes with character.


Hofmo said that two single-family stone houses were razed five years ago so that construction could begin on The Vistas. Despite an outcry from nearby residents and Fontebonne Hall Academy, the private girl’s high school situated nearby, the building was erected with few difficulties.

“Luxury is a relative term,” said Hofmo, who along with Councilman Vincent Gentile released a report in February that recommended changes to zoning codes in both Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.

“What matters is that there’s no consideration for the neighbors,” said Hofmo. “It’s just about the almighty buck. I’m just not impressed.”


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