Real Es­tate Boom Takes Over Brook­lyn's Flat­bush Av­enue

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Charles Bern­stein

Over the last decade, Brook­lyn's Flat­bush Av­enue has gone through ma­jor gen­tri­fi­ca­tion. Res­i­dents in the area were in­fu­ri­ated when the 24-story rental build­ing was first pro­posed for 626 Flat­bush Av­enue. Now the con­tro­ver­sially tall lux­ury build­ing called Parkline, with rents start­ing at $2,012 and go­ing up to $4,430, is just one among a trend of new build­ings with stun­ning views and su­perb ameni­ties to hit the area.

Jessi Ar­ring­ton and Creighton Mer­shon spoke to The Post about their de­ci­sion to make the move this year from Dumbo to Prospect Lef­ferts Gar­dens. The cou­ple weighed two ma­jor trade-offs. The Post re­ports, “They could rent a big­ger, older walkup in the town­house-heavy neigh­bor­hood, or opt for a small pad in a brand-new build­ing with stun­ning views and a play area for their 2-year-old daugh­ter, Dot­tie Mae. The sec­ond, more weighty co­nun­drum: Could they make peace with be­com­ing gen­tri­fiers?”

The 38-year-old Ar­ring­ton, who runs a co-work­ing space in Gowanus called Small City, told The Post, “We made a life de­ci­sion that we needed to take money off our rent, which meant mov­ing fur­ther into Brook­lyn. Some­body is go­ing to move into that [Parkline] apart­ment. If it's us, we can try to be­come a part of the neigh­bor­hood as much as any­one could.”

The cou­ple did end up de­cid­ing to move into a 500-square­foot stu­dio in the Parkline.

If you con­tinue down Flat­bush Av­enue from the Man­hat­tan Bridge past the bustling in­san­ity of Down­town Brook­lyn, then as you pass Prospect Park it splits into two rel­a­tively quiet and quickly up-and-com­ing neigh­bor­hoods of Prospect Lef­ferts Gar­dens and Flat­bush.

In a re­cent ar­ti­cle, The Post out­lined some of the new ma­jor de­vel­op­ments to hit these boom­ing ar­eas. The Post re­ports, “The con­trast be­tween north­ern and south­ern Flat­bush Av­enue is strik­ing, but par­al­lel trends emerge. Down­town Brook­lyn is boom­ing with new con­struc­tion like mixed-use City Point, which opened this year with an Alamo Draft­house movie the­ater, Trader Joe's, Tar­get and more. Just a few miles down the road, the his­toric Kings Theatre, sparkling af­ter a $95 mil­lion restora­tion, is spurring area de­vel­op­ment since its re­open­ing in 2015.

Across the street from City Point and next door to Ju­nior's iconic cheese­cake out­post, con­struc­tion be­gan last month on 9 DeKalb Ave., which will be Brook­lyn's tallest build­ing. With 73 sto­ries ris­ing 1,066 feet and hous­ing 500 rentals, the SHoP Ar­chi­tects-de­signed tower will dwarf ev­ery­thing nearby. In a merg­ing of old and new, de­vel­op­ers JDS and the Chetrit Group are in­cor­po­rat­ing the land­marked Dime Sav­ings Bank into the su­per­tall tower's base and will lease it to a re­tail ten­ant when the project is com­pleted in 2020.

About four blocks south, Al­loy De­vel­op­ment wants to re­de­velop an en­tire city block at 80 Flat­bush Ave. with a 38-story build­ing fea­tur­ing res­i­den­tial, of­fice and re­tail com­po­nents, as well as a 74-story mixed-use build­ing. The project will ac­com­mo­date two schools for 700 stu­dents, plus 900 new hous­ing units (both con­dos and rentals).”

Like the many other new su­per tall de­vel­op­ments to hit the area, res­i­dents of the neigh­bor­hood protested Al­loy as well, claim­ing it will draw more peo­ple to the al­ready over­crowded Bar­clay area and over­shadow the town­houses that make up the heart of the area. A pe­ti­tion was launched last month by the Boerum Hill As­so­ci­a­tion with the slo­gan, “No Tow­ers Over Brown­stone Brook­lyn.”

In an email, Al­loy pres­i­dent AJ Pires said that 80 Flat­bush will be made even bet­ter by the “ro­bust com­mu­nity feed­back,” and that he has plans for “great ar­chi­tec­ture” that will “add to the vi­brancy of the area.” This year the project is ex­pected to be­gin the city's pub­lic re­view process, and by 2022 the first phase is sched­uled to be com­plete.

No one ar­gues that the land­scape of the area was re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent a decade ago. Though the build­ings aren't as tall and dense as those in Man­hat­tan, new con­struc­tion seems to be on par with Long Is­land City, as it fills with lux­ury con­dos and “glassy tow­ers.”

Two projects that will con­trib­ute to the trans­for­ma­tion of the area are now be­ing mar­keted by Citi Habi­tats. A 19-story rental build­ing is planned to open in early-2018 at One Flat­bush at the cor­ner of Ful­ton Street cor­ner. The build­ing will have ap­prox­i­mately 19,000 square feet of re­tail on the first and sec­ond floors, then apart­ments above that with an av­er­age square footage of 674. Though spe­cific prices have not been an­nounced for this project, Citi Habi­tats says that monthly rents for apart­ments in the area now range from $2,715 to $7,578.

Also slated to open next year is 470 Dean Street, across from

Citi Habi­tats says that monthly rents for apart­ments in the area now range from $2,715 to $7,578.

Bar­clays Cen­ter. Ac­cord­ing to The Post, “It'll have 63 rentals, 6,000 square feet of re­tail and a 110-car un­der­ground garage. Nearby rents run be­tween $2,136 and $4,382. It'll be com­pet­ing with 461 Dean, which hugs the Bar­clays Cen­ter and, at 32 sto­ries, opened in 2016 as the world's tallest mod­u­lar build­ing. That 363-unit rental, where prices range from $2,311 to $5,907, is part of the ‘city within a city' megade­vel­op­ment around Bar­clays Cen­ter called Pa­cific Park.”

This shift also means good bye to small shops and bode­gas, who are be­ing priced out of the area, mak­ing room for big brands like Whole Foods and Ap­ple.

The real es­tate boom of Down­town Brook­lyn is mak­ing its way down Flat­bush Av­enue, gen­tri­fy­ing neigh­bor­hoods on the far side of Prospect Park. (Photo via Google Maps)

City Point is a mixed-use project along Flat­bush Av­enue in Down­town Brook­lyn. (Photo Credit: Aca­dia Realty Trust)

Photo cour­tesy of Al­loy De­vel­op­ment

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