Now is the time for Columbia Street Waterfront

The view from The Columbia Street Waterfront District — specifically from the roof of Columbia Commons.

For years, the Columbia Street Waterfront District has been treated like the middle child of South Brooklyn. While neighboring Cobble Hill and Red Hook have taken turns in the spotlight, this four-block mini ‘hood has sat in the shadows — both literally and figuratively — as the salt piles and stacks of cargo containers in the Red Hook Terminal shipping yard obstruct arguably the best views of Manhattan from the Brooklyn coast.

Nestled between the BQE and the East River, the area has been often discussed as a ‘the next (insert trendy outer-borough).’ However, the six-block trek to the nearest G-line train, and associations with the industrial commotion surrounding it, have kept the masses away. In 2007, a resident was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “This will never be a restaurant row …  unless they give us some help.”

Enter the Bloomberg Administration, with the help the community had been hoping for. On March 13, they released a ten-year comprehensive plan for the Brooklyn waterfront, including commitment to the development of the long-awaited Columbia Street Park in the next two years. The new park will likely be both an entry point for residents to the rest of the waterfront’s offerings and a destination for residents of other areas. While the design hasn’t been finalized, a dog park, concession stand and sculpture garden are some of the proposed ideas.

The past year has also seen an influx of development in the area, with new condominiums popping up where factories once stood — many designed in the spirit of the nearby brownstone culture. “It’s an undiscovered secret, like a little enclave. You have to be in-the-know,” said Roberta Benzilio, Executive Director of Sales for Halstead Property in Brooklyn, whose Columbia Commons project is almost all occupied. Families are flocking to buildings like this and 100 Congress St. for the aforementioned neighborhood value as well as a great school district, PS 29.  It may take time for the word to spread, but with lower prices than its neighbors, this could finally be the year that the Columbia Street Waterfront District is done being ‘next’ and gets some love now.

Living in the CSWD

There are currently 16 available apartments on the market for sale in the CSWD, according to StreetEasy.com. The median price for listings in the area is $599,500, at an average of $601 per square foot.



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