Bed-Stuy Stories: Gloria Sandiford, Advocate and Real Estate Broker

GloriaBed-Stuy Blog’s newest contributor, Mikhal Weiner, is profiling interesting residents from our community for her column, Bed-Stuy Stories. Next up is Gloria Sandiford, a community activist, Real Estate Broker at Flateau Realty Corp, and president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Real Estate Board.

If you open Gloria Sandiford’s StreetEasy profile you’ll find yourself looking into her intelligent eyes, as they beam at the camera. Underneath, a short blurb explains that she is a “Brooklynite for Life! Community advocate and activist. Deep respect and admiration for arts & culture,” but most importantly: “My service policy: knowledge, trust, honesty, integrity & top-notch service, with a little humor!” In truth, Sandiford is all this and more. We met recently at Grandchamps, a local Bed-Stuy haven of Haitian cuisine. Sandiford walked in, shaking off an umbrella, and immediately took in the room with a warm smile. Calling the servers ‘honey’ and asking how they are, she made everyone’s day brighter.

Our conversation covered a wide swath of topics, but throughout her eclectic adventuresGloria2 one thread has remained consistent and strong: people, and the connections between them. “[The] word community encompasses so many different things,” she told me, considering the idea as she spoke, “The people, the processes, the leadership. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Schools, education, children, seniors, it’s all a part of that word community.” That’s where her passion lies, in helping the public become it’s best self, whether through advocacy, outreach, education, or simply buying groceries for an elderly neighbor.

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CB3 Will Hear Proposal to Add Five-Story Apartment Behind the Stuyvesant Heights Mansion

375 stuyvesant avenue, stuyvesant heights mansion, dxa studio

It’s hard to miss the freestanding Stuyvesant Heights Mansion, at 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, given its stately presence and large lot. (Read about the building’s incredible history here.) Now, renderings have surfaced for a proposal to erect a five-story apartment building at the back of the property. The property once held a stable house used by Bread Love as a cafe, but it was destroyed in 2014 due to a fire. DXA Studio first applied for permits to build the separate 7,386 square-foot structure, to be divided among seven units, last summer.

Now the actual design proposal will be presented to Community Board Three’s Landmarks Committee. Their meeting will be held at CB3’s board office, on the second floor of 1360 Fulton Street, this upcoming Monday February 12th at 6:30pm. The meeting is open to the public, and board members will have the opportunity to voice either concern or support of the proposal. After that, DXA Studio will need approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission before moving ahead with construction. Below, an image of the site as it currently looks.

375 stuyvesant avenue, stuyvesant heights mansion, dxa studio

Images via DXA Studio

Bed-Stuy New Development Round Up

the Dekalb, 740 Dekalb

Take a look: these are some new Bed-Stuy developments that have hit the market in the past week or so. Feel free to debate the insanity of prices in the comment section.

The Dekalb (pictured above)
Location: 740 Dekalb Avenue, between Tompkins and Marcy
Details: 37-unit luxury rental in a new building
Amenities: Landscaped roof deck, virtual doorman system, bike storage, fitness center, resident lounge, billiard room, laundry room, package room and on-site parking
Pricing: One- and two-bedroom no fee apartments start from $2,200/month


Gates Condos
Location: 368-370 Gates Avenue, between Nostrand and Bedford
Details: Eight-unit condo in a new brick building. All units have two bedrooms
Amenities: Each apartment comes with a large storage unit and has access to a shared roof deck
Pricing: Four units are up for sale and start at $999,000

415 Herkimer Street, 415 Herkimer, Ideal Properties

419 Herkimer
Location: 415 Herkimer Street, between Kingston and Albany
Details: A small condo apartments in a new construction building. Many apartments are duplexes, while some come with balconies and private outdoor spaces
Amenities: 15-year tax abatement, onsite bicycle storage, laundry room and video intercom. The penthouse apartment comes with a private roof deck space
Pricing: A one-bedroom, one bathroom apartment starts at $499,000

Buying Boom Continues in Bed Stuy

Bed sTUY, Bed Stuy development, Bed Stuy construction

For a few years now, there’s been talk about the Bed Stuy boom. Development’s going up, buyers are snatching up properties, record prices are being recorded. And here’s one more data point to add to the conversation. For the second sales quarter of 2015, Bed Stuy saw the most home sales activity of all Brooklyn neighborhoods. REBNY released data for the quarter and found sizable average price increases of 9 percent year-over-year in Brooklyn and Queens. Bed Stuy had the most sales of any Brooklyn neighborhood — 183 transactions! — followed by 137 sales in Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton. The average selling price for Bed Stuy properties is $874K, up 21 percent from last year. The median price is $850K. Condo prices average at $651K, a 15 percent jump from last year. Three-family homes average at $937K, up 25 percent.

Speaking of booms, I snapped this photo of demolition underway at 410 Tompkins Avenue, off of Hancock. The three two-story brick buildings will be replaced by a 35-unit luxury building that looks atrocious. According to signs on the construction fence, demolition will last through August.

A Progress Report on the Historic Commercial Building at 405 Gates Avenue

405 Gates Avenue, Bed Stuy,  MARIANNE RUSSO ARCHITECTS

I noticed construction going on at 405 Gates Avenue, a prominent three-story building on the corner of Nostrand Avenue. Turns out the building has a very interesting history — according to Brownstoner, it was built around 1888 as a public meeting house known as Arlington Hall. It was commonly used by fraternal organizations and societies as the area became home to an upper and middle class. According to writer Montrose Morris, “From what scraps of information I’ve gleaned, the building originally had meeting rooms, offices, a dining room and a bowling alley.” It was boarded up in the 70s and fell into disrepair.

405 Gates Avenue, bed stuy

405 Gates Avenue in 2006. Photo via PropertyShark.

Current construction will restore this building for commercial purposes. The architect, Marianne Russo, reported that the project faced delays with the Department of Buildings. But everything is back in order with the Department of Buildings, she said, although she couldn’t give a construction timeline. While the building suffered from some serious neglect, the team is trying to maintain the facade as much as possible. It’ll be great to see it open to the public again!

Shiny New Rental Development Will Replace Gas Station on Fulton Street

1520 Fulton Street, Bed Stuy, Bed Stuy development, Hello Living

While I was living on the Prospect Heights/Crown Heights border, I watched as the development company Hello Living plopped down one development after the other in the area. All of the developments have a pretty distinct look — glassy and boxy. A few years ago, Hello Living started moving toward developing in Eastern Crown Heights. And now they’ve made it to Bed Stuy.

This 10-story, 50-unit rental development (to be called “Hello Fulton”) is coming to the former gas station at 1520 Fulton Street, right off the Kingston/Throop station. The Real Deal reports that the “nearly 56,000-square-foot building will feature mostly two-bedroom units with private elevators that open directly into the apartments. The apartments will flow from the front to the back of the building and have large terraces in the back.” There will also be ground-floor retail space. No word on the construction timetable, or pricing for the rental units. Hello Living paid $7.3 million for the site this March.

Isaac and Stern Architects Have Two Big Projects Planned for Bed Stuy

627 Dekalb Avenue, bed Stuy, Isaac and Stern

So I stumbled across this construction site on the corner of Dekalb and Nostrand. The Department of Buildings approved a new building application this month for seven stories, 28 units and 25,215 total square feet. Construction should last through the spring of next year. The architect, Isaac and Stern, have fancy renderings up at their website:

627 Dekalb Avenue

627 Dekalb Avenue, renderings by Isaac and Stern Architects

Looking through the architect’s website, I also found a rendering for a massive project they are designing right on the border of Bed Stuy and Clinton Hill. This one is at 168-184 Franklin Avenue, on the corner of Willoughby:

184 Franklin Avenue

180 Franklin Avenue, rendering by Isaac and Stern Architects

The DOB issued a new building permit for this last month. It will be a five-story building with 118 units, 104,000 square feet, and a garage at the first floor. I like this design more than the one proposed for 627 Dekalb Avenue, which is a little more bland. Do you have a preference?