As has been widely reported–and, as anyone searching for a Brooklyn rental apartment already knows–the cost of renting in the great Borough of Kings went through the roof in 2012. In fact, in such sought-after places as Williamsburg and DUMBO, mean rental prices actually passed most of Manhattan neighborhoods. Just to throw out a couple of pretty astonishing data points, the mean price for a Williamsburg studio in 2012 was $2,701, and a DUMBO one-bedroom rental apartment was **choke** $3,712! And even though Brooklyn rental apartment prices rose only slightly in January of 2013–and, in some neighborhoods, actually went down–prices borough-wide are still up more than $200 a month from last year at this time. But there is some good news for Brooklyn rental apartment residents: namely, Brooklyn’s a fantastic place to live! So here’s some news from all over the borough…
Red Hook and DUMBO were both hit hard by Sandy, and though a couple of our favorite food spots have recently stated that they will never be back (RIP, especially, Governor), there are some silver linings emerging in those long ago hurricane clouds. In Red Hook, for instance, Brooklyn’s only Fairway Market (as far as I’m concerned, the best supermarket in town) will reopen in a couple of weeks, on March 1, which is great news for neighboring businesses as well, who sorely missed the tens of thousands of shoppers who flooded Van Brunt Street every week.
And the excellent Stumptown Coffee announced that their Red Hook roastery is back up and, um, roasting again, so maybe this means their planned Cafe on West 8th Street in Manhattan is finally on its way as well? And in DUMBO, in addition to the recent reopening of powerHouse Arena, the Smack Melon gallery is back in business after a long cleanup, (currently on view: Aude Moreau’s huge Sugar Carpet, which looks like it sounds like it would look, and is made from two tons of the sweet white stuff), and neighborhood mainstay Galapagos Art Space is again hosting events.
Meanwhile up in North Brooklyn, Bushwick residents have seen their neighborhood teeter on the edge of respectability for a few years now, as the once-pioneering artists who shacked up in the neighborhood’s predominantly industrial spaces are being joined by more and more young professionals pushed inland by the insane rents of nearby Williamsburg. And all signs indicate that the trend is about to escalate.
The push for “large scale rezoning” of the area, from industrial to residential, started to make its way through the system last fall, and while it’s unclear if this means the beginning of the end in the neighborhood for such huge operations like the Boar’s Head factory (which stands right near Blanca, one of the most exciting and expensive restaurants in all of New York City), Bushwick’s days of being off the developer-radar are clearly over. Another case in point: the North Development Group is looking to convert a block-long warehouse-ish building just steps from the Morgan Street L station into a mall of sorts–a “grittier Chelsea Market”–with retail shops and restaurants.