Richard Flateau is the owner of , located at 368A Decatur Street near Malcolm X Boulevard.
He was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He left the neighborhood only briefly to earn his degree in economics from Harvard University and then later, an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
In 2000, he opened Flateau Realty where he works with clients primarily in Central Brooklyn, which includes the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and Bushwick.
“What I enjoy most about what I do is meeting different people, business people, helping people out in their transitions and learning more about the community,” said Flateau.
As someone who not only has traversed every street in Central Brooklyn, but who also has seen the insides of literally thousands of homes, Flateau is a walking Wikipedia of architecture and history with enough anecdotes to fill a Bible.
For example, on Classon Avenue and Clifton Place, where he was born, he now has a client leasing space inside of the Bed-Stuy Child Development Support Corporation—consequently, the very same building where the multi billion-dollar organization, Bristol-Myers Squibb, first opened its doors.
Or another example: Most recently, he came upon a mansion on MacDonough St. and Tompkins Ave, the home of the New York chapter of The United Order of Tents, a secret society of black women that dates back to the Civil War and is still active today.
“It’s a benevolent society and, I believe, the oldest living organization of black women in the United States that was started by white abolitionists and some black women to assist in the Underground Railroad,” his eyes flickered with excitement.
“Bed-Stuy used to be an Irish and German neighborhood, so (as the plot thickens),” and he leans in, “it also turns out that the building where the United Order of Tents is now, was built by the founder of Emigrant Bank, and Irish guy.”
It’s obvious Flateau is passionate about his work, his community and its history.
He’d be the first one to tell you that when it comes to Bed-Stuy, its homes, architecture and people, there’s a lot more beneath the surface than what is only visible to the eye.
And with his clients, he’s mastered that art digging in the right places to mine for the perfect jewel. Selling and renting properties? That’s the easy part.