Real Estate

A Bed-Stuy Loft Transformed With an Out-of-the-Ordinary Renovation

After years of renting, Jackson Owens and Flora Jin bought a loft in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and it felt like the stuff of dreams. A week or so later, it was more like a nightmare.

A few floors above them there was a gas leak, then an explosion. When the sprinklers came on, many of the building’s apartments were drenched, including the couple’s new 1,200-square-foot condo, which they’d bought for about $1.1 million in July 2021.

“Our unit had severe water damage,” said Mr. Owens, 32, a software engineer. “It was quite an introduction to homeownership.”

Flora Jin and Jackson Owens worked with the architecture firm Almost Studio to renovate their loft in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, after it was flooded by sprinklers.Credit…Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

They moved out, shuttling between hotel rooms and short-term rentals with their two cats. Along the way, they learned more than they wanted to know about property restoration and insurance claims. “We had never even hired a plumber before, let alone dealt with an insurance claim,” said Ms. Jin, also 32, a jewelry designer.

Coming to grips with their situation, they began to see a potential upside: the chance to create a new home they truly loved. “With the destruction,” Ms. Jin said, “there was an opportunity.”

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