According to a study published by NerdWallet, a consumer finance website, Brooklyn residents have the highest car insurance premiums than any other county in all of New York. But if you own a car and live in Brooklyn, you probably know this already.
Although there are many things insurance companies take into consideration when computing premiums, the zip code in which you live and drive seems to be one of the most influential of determinants.
Close to half of the 8,337,000 residents of New York State own cars. The range of the price of car insurance is from the low of $1,038 to the highest, $3,713 per year. The zip code of that high figure is 11212, the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Why does a zip code play such a crucial role in determining insurance cost? Insurance companies look at several factors: what percentage of drivers in the neighborhood do not have insurance; natural disaster risk; traffic density; and accident history in the area. The number of insurers in an area also plays a part. The more companies vying for your dollars, the more competitive the prices.
The average premium for someone living in Brooklyn in general is $3,550.47. Bronx comes in second place with yearly premiums of $3,022.40. Manhattan ranks in the fifth spot with premiums set at an average of $2,272.80.
If you live in Brooklyn, all is not lost. The above figures are just averages. Individual drives have ways at their disposal to lower their own insurance costs. Discuss how with your insurance provider, and check out the suggestions MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has to change driving behaviors to stay safer, lower risk and insurance costs.
Brooklyn Bridge Park just became several decibels quieter when a 30-foot high man-made barrier was unveiled to the public. The sound barrier is a hill which stretches the length of Piers 4 and 5 near Clark Street, and helps to prevent some of the sound emanating from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway from reaching the park. Before the hill was built the level of noise at the park was measured to be about 75 decibels, the equivalent of standing next to a running lawnmower. Now the sound level is about 68 decibels, a significant improvement for those seeking a quiet, restful visit to this beautiful waterfront park.
The hill was begun in January, and is made up of 50,000 cubic yards of crushed rocks which were dug up during the MTA East Side Access project. There is still more work to do- the plans for the hill is that it extend the entire length of Furman Street, from Pier 5 to Pier 2, reducing the noise pollution even further.
Residential real estate broker Aptsandlofts.com is having déjà vu all over again. Eleven years ago David Maundrell, founder and president of the company, had a vision that Williamsburg was climbing out of the dumps and heading for a lovely place called ‘gentrification.’ Today Maundrell is having the same vision, only this time his inner voice is saying, “Its Bedford-Stuyvesant this time around.”
Putting his money where his dreams are, Maundrell just signed a lease for his third branch of Aptsandlofts.com. The 2,000 square-foot space is on two floors located at 308 Malcom X Boulevard, between MacDonough and Decatur streets. His first storefront is located in Williamsburg and the second, which opened just a year ago is in Cobble Hill.
As the supply of affordable homes continues to dwindle there has been an upswing of potential buyers and renters into Bed-Stuy. Maundrell says he is seeing families moving into the neighborhood, buying a three-family home for $1 million and then converting it into one cozy home for just them.
Aptsandlofts.com is not the only brokerage doing business in the ‘hood. Many of New York’s biggest realtors have listings in Bed-Stuy. However, none of those giants have an office right there in the smack of the action. Maundrell will be competing head on with smaller, neighborhood establishments, but he says he is really something in between those two business models.
“We’re not corporate, and not mom and pop,” he said. “We are kind of settled in the middle, and we are proud of it.”
Beginning on November 8, the Brooklyn Museum will have on exhibit a moving and astonishing collection of photographs depicting war. Entitled “WAR/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath,” the show will have on display 400 photographic prints, books, magazines, albums and camera equipment.
The photos, some well-known and others less-so, were taken by military personnel, commercial portrait photographers, photojournalists, amateurs, and artists. Many are recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.
The work of about 255 international photographers who have been at the epicenter of conflict over the past 166 years will be featured. The goal of the exhibit is to explore the relationship between war and photography, and the evolution of the medium through which war is recorded and remembered.
An innovative program is about to be launched in the Clinton Hill and Fort Greene sections of Brooklyn. The “Geezer Project” utilizes the help of volunteers to assist seniors with their day-to-day lives so they can stay in their apartments and neighborhoods and grow old with dignity.
So far there are 70 people who have signed up as volunteers. As soon as the project gets underway, members of the project will be a monthly fee and then have access to a wide variety of support.
“Pet care, grocery shopping with or without you, home repair support, snow removal, gardening,” are only a few of the helping activities available, according to Beverly Emmons, a senior involved in the project.
Not only do the seniors get help, but they are also able to help the younger folks when needed. For instance, mothers of young children can “rent a granny,” and “granny” will love to help.
“Everybody has a lot to teach each generation and I can learn a lot from younger people,” Patricia duBose, 67, said.
The main objective of the program is to help seniors live out their lives at home instead of becoming isolated as they get older. One woman in the program explained how moving her parents to a nursing home had devastating consequences.
“They just went downhill so fast when they weren’t where their friends were, they weren’t where they had any agency over their own lives in the same way,” Barbara Plimpton said.
In many ways the Geezer project has the potential of turning the bustling neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene into friendly villages.
“The older people are cooking, the children are running around. And so if you need something on an emergency basis, there’s someone who’s there to help you,” 83-year-old Hyacinth Graham explained.
When the Geezer project launches in the next few months it will join already existing similar programs throughout the country.
Madison Realty Capital announced that it closed a deal to underwrite a $21 million first mortgage loan for the purchase of an office building located in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.
The eight-floor office building was built in 1951 and contains 214,710 square-feet of space, which is at the moment being used as a warehouse. The intention of the borrower is to upgrade the building to a Class A office space and then offer reasonable rental agreements to tenants who are in need of affordable offices for their firms.
An additional $10 million has been committed by MRC conditionally to finance the renovation of the building, bringing the total offer from MRC to $31 million to the borrower.
“This latest financing is consistent with our focus of providing lending solutions that meet the needs of experienced borrowers pursuing quality development opportunities,” said Joshua Zegen, Co-Founder and Managing Member of MRC.
“The location and long-term strategy for this property has it well-positioned for success and the speedy completion of this deal will allow the borrower to move forward without further delay. We are pleased to be the lender of record on this transaction.”
The loft-style building is in a section of Clinton Hill known at the Wallabout neighborhood, and is in close proximity to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is now undergoing a development revolution which has attracted national movie studies and other tenants.
Not only will the building, located at 29 Ryerson Street, house offices, but its approximately 70 feet of frontage on Flushing Avenue will make it an ideal location for retail space due to the large amount of foot traffic on that major thoroughfare.
Last Friday night Greenpoint couple Allie Caran and Zach Botham returned home later than expected after spending the evening shopping for a gift for Oliver’s birthday. To their extreme dismay the object of their affection, a French bulldog, could not receive his gifts because he was gone! Not only were many inanimate possessions belonging to the couple missing, but their beloved dog had been snatched as well.
Allie and Zach contacted the police, who were more helpful than the couple had expected:
“The NYPD, for the first time in my life, came through in some incredible ways,” Caran said. “They treated the incident with the same severity that I felt it.”
Friends of the couple quickly turned to social media to help them locate Oliver. Dog lovers everywhere received the following tweet on Twitter: “#HelpFindOliver” began to swarm the internet.
“The response was amazing,” said Caran, employed at Toby’s Estate coffee shop. “Every coffee shop in New York was posting about it.”
There were also real-world efforts made to locate the dog. Caran and Allie posted flyers all over the neighborhood and beyond, in the hopes of tracking down Oliver.
On Sunday night they were finally rewarded for all their efforts. The police had found Oliver and the 22-year-old man who had absconded with him and their other belongings. The police would not reveal how they found the pup and the thief, but they are still in search of two accomplices who will most likely face burglary and grand larceny charges connected to the theft and break-in.
As for Oliver, he seems fine but maybe a bit skittish after the ordeal.
“He’s jumpy now. He sees people he doesn’t know and he freaks out a little bit,” Botham said.