These days, rental apartments in certain hip Brooklyn neighborhoods are getting so expensive that young professionals and the like are being forced to move… into cheaper Manhattan! Let’s just let that sink in for a minute, shall we? It’s now less expensive (in terms of “median price”) to move into a West Village studio apartment than a similar rental in DUMBO. Or Williamsburg!
In fact, the median price of a Manhattan studio rental in such prime, coveted neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, the FiDi, Murray Hill, the Upper West Side, the East Village, on and on, can be hundreds of dollars LESS than you’d find in DUMBO and Williamsburg. Ten years ago–heck five years ago–you’d have called me nuts if I had predicted such a thing. Remarkable.
Anyway, this relatively sudden shift has prompted real estate writers and the like to seek out the next hip Brooklyn neighborhood, and though Bushwick and Bed-Stuy come up often in such conversations, it’s really been Red Hook to the south, and Greenpoint to the north that have captured the imagination of the press, the developers and, of course, those seeking out Brooklyn rental apartments.
For example, the New York Times last weekend dropped a monster profile on Brooklyn’s next/now hip neighborhood, Greenpoint, which seems on the verge of transformation, especially along the East River, an area now littered with abandoned warehouses.
Soon (?) the Greenpoint waterfront will be home to a residential waterfront quay that, according to Benjamin R. Bernstein of RedSky Capital, who has invested heavily in the neighborhood, is “going to be bigger than Williamsburg, it’s going to dwarf DUMBO, and be twice the size of the Long Island City waterfront, like a massive version of the West Village waterfront.”
We’ll see about all that–lack of direct subway access to Manhattan will always be a deal-breaker to some (though the East River Ferry seems to be an increasingly viable commuting option for those more well-heeled Greenpoint residents)–but one thing about moving into a Greenpoint rental apartment is certain, though: right now the neighborhood does have the best doughnuts in the city, at Peter Pan, and possibly the town’s best cookies at well, at the great Ovenly, below. And check out this Gothamist post for a nice roundup of all the best Greenpoint eats and drinks.
Meanwhile, the Times, the Post, and the Wall Street Journal have all been hyping up Brooklyn’s historically industrial waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook as a strong candidate for development and increased valuation.
Families, artists and creative types have already “discovered” Red Hook’s inexpensive housing, and many find the area’s isolation to be invigorating–which is how most hip Brooklyn neighborhoods start out. But even as Red Hook becomes a retail and culinary destination (IKEA, Fairway, the Good Fork, Red Hook Winery, Baked, Brooklyn Crab), the closest subway stop is still a long bus ride away, making a daily commute into Manhattan via public, non-ferry transportation almost too painful to contemplate.
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