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What will DoBro look like in ten years?


Storefronts on Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn

The Bridge, on the plethora of chain stores opening in NYC (emphasis ours):

Last year, Brooklyn saw the biggest percentage increase in the number of chain stores of all the city’s boroughs, with 1,587 locations, a 3.1% increase from the previous year, according to a December report from Center for an Urban Future. The greatest concentration of these stores is in zip code 11201 (Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn), which has 145 national retailer locations including City Point’s Target, Fulton Street’s H&M, and Sephora on Joralemon Street.

My wife and I have had long discussed what we think Downtown Brooklyn will look like in five to ten years. Her thought is that our neighborhood will most closely resemble current-day Tribeca.

I think I agree. At least, I think that’s what all these developers are hoping.

With a huge amount of high-priced luxury apartments, surrounded by chain stores. A massive shopping center along Fulton Street. Easy access to nearly every subway line, and just one stop into Manhattan on several lines. One can see why these developers are trying to turn Downtown Brooklyn into New York City’s Next Big Thing.

What do you think Downtown Brooklyn will look like in ten years? Will it resemble Tribeca? Or some other neighborhood? Let us know in the comments below.

A couple of award-winning buildings in our hood


Dekalb Market Hall in City Point

The Urban Land Institute New York (ULI NY) award ceremony was on April 10th, and a few of our very own buildings were among the winners (emphasis theirs):

Some of this year’s winners from Brooklyn included Dumbo-based Two Trees Development, which nabbed the Excellence in Market-Rate Housing Development award for their breathtaking 300 Ashland building, which is already being regarded as iconic as part of the BAM Cultural District.

Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners, which took the Excellence in Retail Development Award for their City Point project, 10 City Point just off the Fulton Mall and Flatbush. The development features among other retailers, a Target, a Century 21, a Trader Joe’s and the most happening food court in Brooklyn.

While I can’t personally speak to the “market-rate housing” award (sure they had 76 affordable housing units, but otherwise is >$2,000/month for a studio “market rate”?), the building is beautiful. Especially compared to the monstrosity that’s coming to 9 Dekalb Ave.

And the Excellence in Retail Development Award for City Point is well-earned. After opening last year, City Point quickly became the place in Brooklyn. Dekalb Market has all the food one could ever want, and the Target/Trader Joe’s/Alamo Drafthouse combo is killer.

But the development in Downtown Brooklyn has only just begun. And it remains to be seen how the neighborhood will turn out. Will all these developers be able to find renters for these high-priced luxury apartments? Or will we see prices drop, or units empty for years?

What do you think?

Construction near future(?) Willoughby Square Park


Construction near Willoughby Square Park

It came out last week that the promised park-above-a-parking-garage might not be going as planned.

Back in 2004, when this neighborhood was first rezoned (prompting the building frenzy that’s happening now), the city promised a one-acre public park right across from the new City Point structure. The city even approved tearing down rent stabilized buildings to make way for this new park slash parking garage.

But the construction company that won the bid (back in 2013) to complete the project couldn’t seem to get funding. So they just tore down the existing buildings…and here we are today.

You can see the edge of the perfectly cleared lot in the top right of the above picture. It’s just waiting for a park.

The construction pictured above is for…what? I don’t know. Is that supposed to be part of the park as well? Is it some new structure? Whatever it is, it’s actively being worked on.

If anyone knows anything, let us know.

Albee Square welcomes spring!


Albee Square, Downtown Brooklyn

Spring weather has finally arrived!

After a long beginning of spring, filled with snow day after snow day, we finally have 80 degree weather. People are out and about enjoying the sunshine, as seen here at Albee Square, next to City Point.

Behind is the old Dime Savings Bank, which will eventually be more retail. Originally, I had heard that Apple was scoping that spot out for an Apple Store, but it looks like they got impatient and headed up Flatbush Ave a few blocks instead. Although, I have no idea whether that rumor was even true in the first place.

Come 2020 (or so they say), we’ll be seeing a towering monstrosity of a building above the iconic dome. It’ll be the tallest — and most terrifying — building in Brooklyn.

But let’s not focus on that now. Let’s just enjoy this lovely weather. Right?