This small area of gorgeous brownstones at the southern edge of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn is primed to soar. Unlike other areas of Bed-Stuy, where the housing stock was decimated by decades of deep economic and social trouble, the Heights held on to its truly grand residences and leafy charm. Now pressure from inflated Fort Greene is spilling over, with realtors hungry for listings pamphleting every address in the neighborhood. Some streets are virtually interchangeable with those prized blocks off Central Park West. However, Manhattan-quality services like dry cleaning and shoe repair are missing from the shopping areas on busy Fulton Street. Influential ministers preach to large Sunday crowds at grand churches like Bethany Baptist on Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Our Lady of Victory on Throop Avenue. The renowned bed-and-breakfast Akwaaba Mansion fans the prosperous and homey feeling on Macdonough Street.
Prime areas: All of landmarked Stuyvesant Heights proper is grade-A. These are the tree-lined and stately blocks east of Tompkins Avenue, west of Stuyvesant Avenue, south of Halsey Street, and north of Fulton Street.
Wrong side of the tracks: The blocks are hit-and-miss north of the prime area, some with regal brownstones, others with modern eyesores, but the escalating prices of Fort Greene are rippling throughout the area nonetheless.
Commute to midtown: Board the A or the C train at Utica Avenue, and the ride to midtown is about 25 minutes.
Public schools: The two elementary schools in the area, P.S. 308, which has a gifted program, and top-rated P.S. 21, are good, but other schools are troubled, leading families with means to opt for private schools like Berkeley-Carroll in Park Slope, Brooklyn Friends School in the downtown area, and Packer and St. Ann's in Brooklyn Heights. Students at Boys and Girls High School, which serves a wide area of Bed-Stuy, score below the citywide average on standardized reading and math tests.
Hot-button issues: Residents fight to get a fair share of city services like street repair, garbage pickup, and snow removal. Crime remains a big concern and continues to keep prices low: The 81st Precinct, which covers half the area but includes far more troubled areas farther north, had nineteen murders and 45 reported rapes in 1999, up from ten murders and 29 rapes in 1998. The 79th Precinct, which also spreads north, had 27 murders in 1999, compared with 17 in 1998.
Hotshot brokers: Jerry Minsky at the Corcoran Group Brooklyn (718-923-8018), and William Turner of Cross Boro Realty Company (718-467-1800).