Is Brooklyn Bridge Park Responsible For A Rez Boom In Brooklyn Heights?

According to a blissfully rosy story in The New York Post, the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park is not only about a year from being 60% complete, but deserves credit for a residential real estate boom in both Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.

First, the optimistic factoids regarding BBP’s 60% completion: The Post assures that “a sports facility with three soccer fields will open this fall at Pier 5,” followed by BBP President Regina Myer’s promise that next year, Pier 2 will be “fully developed,” with basketball, handball, exercise space, shuffleboard, bocce ball, a new lawn and in-line skating. She offers, “By the end of next year, we’ll be 60% finished with the park.”

Second, according to the story titled “Brooklyn Bridge Park is a boon to DUMBO and the Heights,” it says, “The surrounding real estate has gone along for the ride.” While a good portion of the story’s focus is on DUMBO, it credits BBP for a housing boom in “development-shy Brooklyn Heights.” Halstead broker Laura Amin—who is overseeing the final two sales at 24-unit 166 Montague Street—says, “We normally see a slowdown this time of year, but that certainly isn’t the case right now. We’re spring-like busy.”

And across the street at new 74-unit rental 75 Clinton Street, the NYP says “prices have reached levels you don’t expect to see in Brooklyn.” That project’s final available 3-bedroom (1,550sf with a 957sf terrace) leased for $11,000/month, according to Jackie Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors.

In addition, “the once-stalled, two-building 20 Henry Street should start closings in September, with 27 of its 39 condos spoken for and prices hovering around $1,050 per square foot,” while “there’s a spurt of new development,” including a former police station at 72 Poplar Street, which was bought by the Daten Group last year, with plans for a residential conversion… and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle site at 30 Henry Street has plans for a six-unit condo…. and in June, 172-174 Montague Street changed hands for $12 million. The Post also alludes to the 437-unit condo One Brooklyn Bridge Park, which it says is now 80% sold.

“I think what’s happening is that the last couple of years you didn’t see anything,” says Steve Rutter, EVP and managing director of Stribling Marketing, which is selling 20 Henry Street. “Now there’s a thirst to develop.”

“I felt a little ‘Green Acres,'” adds Chris Phoenix, CEO of the Phoenix Media Group, who lived in Brooklyn Heights proper for years before he and his wife bought at One Brooklyn Bridge Park. “My wife lived in [Chelsea’s] London Terrace, and here I was dragging her out to the farmlands of Brooklyn Heights. I didn’t hear a peep. I viewed it as a victory for Brooklyn.”

Meanwhile, in DUMBO, Jed Walentas of Two Trees, which has owned real estate in DUMBO since the 1980s, notes, “More employers in Downtown Brooklyn are going to figure out how to make [BBP] an amenity to office employees.”

The Toll Brothers/Starwood’s imminent 500,000-square-foot hotel/condo complex is another sign of “progress,” according to the Post. The “Pierhouse” 200-room hotel and 160-unit condo is slated for completion in 2015.

There’s more to read here.

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  • Jorale-man

    Most real estate news coverage tends to be very boosterish, especially from Murdoch publications. I guess it’s a valid point that surrounding property values will increase once the park gets closer to completion, but if feels too early to make such a close parallel.

    Of course, once the velodrome gets running, we’ll all become millionaires.

  • Anon

    Just as everyone who had a brain knew: Parks boost the value of surrounding real estate properties. So why on earth do we need luxury condos INSIDE a public park? Use the tax revenue from the increase in taxes from increased assessments on surrounding buildings. Or if they were really clever, place a park increment tax on a building’s sale over a specific amount. Or simply do what other cities do around the globe:dedicate a decent amount of money to preserve our open space. No park anywhere should have housing inside its borders. But if you expect our local elected officials to stand up for such ideas, think again. They are all raising money for their next big job, while our park gets filled with condos like the new buildings to rise on Pier 1 this fall. Inside the park.

  • Wiley E.

    Thanks, Anon.

  • Andrew Porter

    Why, it seems like yesteryear when BH was full of abandoned buildings, vacant lots, tenements where lower class carousel hating denizens hung out on their front stoops, drinking Budweiser or Coors, and now the hood has been regenerated by the many highrise towers that have gone up, the brownstones turned into high occupancy SROs, the luxury condos where just a few rat-filled private houses stood.

    Gotta go, the ambulance from Bellevue is here…

  • Wiley E.

    So right, Andrew. They have me strapped down too.

  • Gerry

    Jed Wallentas is kidding himself – that BBP “will become an amenity to office employees” the walk to/from would eat up nearly an entire lunch hour and in this day of “lean and mean” no employer really cares about an employees quality of life so forget the park that will never happen.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Gerry how many ways can your post be wrong?

    1) office workers now use the park. When I worked in one of Wallentas’ buildings on Washington St in DUMBO I along with most of my coworkers used the park all the time. Great place to have lunch

    2) employers don’t care about ther employee’s quality of life? You have been retired a long time haven’t you?

    3)the park that will never happen? I don’t know what this even means. The park is happening despite the NIMBY bellyachers like yourself

  • yikes

    Crusty, you are simply an apologist for those who want luxury condos inside our park – I guess you do work for those developers don’t you? Our park will have a whole bunch more condos inside of it – that is just wrong. Parks belong to the public and if you really care about this park, you should be demanding more park and no more condos. There are plenty of ways to pay for it, too, without forever losing our land to condos. But you are an apologist for the mayor and folks like Regina Myer suggesting that NYC can’t do what every other city does: pay for public parks with public funds.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Oh Yikes get off of it. I do not work for any developer or for the city or anybody else that has any vested interest in BBP in any way. I don’t drive a Prious and I don’t have a relationship or even know Regina Myers. I have never supported, contributed or voted for the current mayor or any of the other things I have been accused of by critics of the park.

    What arrogance to suggest that anyone having a differing viewpoint than yourself must be corrupted by financial interest. Critics of the park are all pure of motive but the supporters are disingenuous shills. How convenient. Why can’t you just argue the merits of your case rather than impune the motives of others?

    The time for making the case that there are “plenty” of ways to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the park is long gone. Get over it.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    “Why can’t you just argue the merits of your case rather than impune the motives of others?”

    Mr. Crusty,
    You should take your own advice as you yourself so often impugn the motives of others who do not agree with you.
    BTW, correct spelling: impugn and Prius.
    Couldn’t help myself!

  • Mr. Crusty

    @WillowStNeighbor Thanks for the spelling corrections. Never was one of my strong suits depute the best efforts of the St Joseph nun’s that tried to beat correct spelling into me. I do know my multiplication table though. Learned that at the end of a wooden pointer.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Mr. Crusty,
    Thanks for not taking me seriously. Seems we have alot in common. I went to a parochial grammar school in Brooklyn for five years. The nuns were brutal. They called handwriting “penmanship” in the old days. I remember being sent back to my desk to do over my paper after having been smacked on the knuckles with a yardstick.
    I learned how to spell just so I wouldn’t get hit. I also had beautiful penmanship not that that really matters anymore.
    I have dated myself now!!!