First Service Realty NYC
Welcome to Brick Underground’s sponsor apartment pick of the week, where we feature a co-op for sale by the owner of the building. You do not need board approval to buy these apartments, they are often newly renovated, and they typically require a down payment of only 10 percent, versus the 20 to 25 percent that most co-ops demand. In exchange for the condo-like ease of acquisition, expect to pay a bit more than a regular co-op, but considerably less than a condo. For more information, check out "Everything you ever wanted to know about sponsor apartments but were afraid to ask."
This studio, 220 Congress St., #5B, is on the fifth floor of a pet-friendly co-op in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill. The apartment has seen a price reduction of $25,000 in the last few weeks and is being offered at $499,995. According to StreetEasy, the unit last changed hands in 2016, when it was on the market for $295,000. That's a lot less than the current asking price.
Cobble Hill is probably best known for its brownstones, and there are too few studios for sale in the area to give a current median sales price of similar-sized units, but the median asking price for a studio in nearby Downtown Brooklyn is $680,000.
Maintenance for the co-op is $955. Amenities include an elevator, a live-in super, and shared laundry facilities. There’s bike storage for an additional fee. Basement storage and parking are both currently wait-listed.
There's no foyer, and the kitchen is tucked into an alcove that runs along one wall. The countertop space looks minimal but there's a dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator—all stainless steel—and the way it is configured means it doesn't dominate the living area.
The living area's only window faces west, which is the best orientation for evening light, although the listing photos give no indication the unit has any kind of view.
There are three closets. To the right of the storage space is the bathroom.
The bathroom has a window and simple aesthetic with gray and beige tiles, a small vanity, and a small tub.
Congress Gardens was built in 1949 and converted to a co-op in 1981. There are 114 apartments in total, and the building is one block from the F train at Bergen, and a few blocks from the R, 2,3, 4, and 5 trains at Borough Hall. Trader Joe's is nearby as well as Court and Smith street stores and restaurants. The area has lots of bike paths, Citi Bike stations, and carshare vehicles.
The building is just a few blocks from the BQE, which is going to be rebuilt in the next few years. The reconstruction plan is yet to be decided, but the work could create local traffic issues, noise, and vibration.
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