Bed-Stuy, the historic Brooklyn neighborhood with the highest concentration of Victorian homes in the city, is now going the way of big-city development.
According to the Real Deal, Bed-Stuy has among the fastest rising condo prices in the borough, with the average price per square foot up from $500 in April 2015 to $700 in March 2016 — a 40 percent increase. A new seven-building luxury condominium complex called the Cascade is now in development at 835 Myrtle Ave., with planned asking prices between $1 and $2 million on average.
Curbed reported on two smaller-scale — but still luxury — boutique condo buildings which hit the market in February. Nestseekers International has launched sales on 368-370 Gates, with eight two-bedroom, two-bath units starting at $999,000. Another eight-unit building,419 Herkimer, from Ideal Properties Group, is on the more affordable end, with one and two-bedroom units starting at $499,000.
Jim Hayes, a licensed real-estate salesperson with Nest Seekers International who has worked in Brooklyn for the past eight years, says he’s seeing more and more “value-seekers” leaving Manhattan for more space in Brooklyn — a couple decamping from a West Village co-op for a Bed-Stuy brownstone and Lower Manhattan singles purchasing one or two bedroom condos.
Currently, the price-point is higher for multi-family homes compared to condos, Hayes says. According to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)’s 4th Quarter 2016 New York City Residential Sales Report, the average sales price of a one-to-three family home in Bed-Stuy is $1,201,000, up 24 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. (The Brooklyn-wide average is $955,000).
It wasn't like that in the past. When Andrea E., a 42-year-old executive assistant, moved to the neighborhood in 2010, she and her husband were able to purchase a two-family home for around $600,000. After being priced out of both Fort Greene and Harlem as renters, the couple moved to Queens for several years to save up so they could buy a house — and Bed-Stuy proved an affordable option then. “You have to be a pioneer if you want to buy a building. [At that time] nobody wanted to live here,” she says. It helps that they can rent out one of the four floors of their brownstone. “When you own a two-family, it’s like you’re a business owner. You can write off everything,” she explains, noting expenses like installing new windows and rewiring the electricity.
Rentals, however, are still among the more affordable in the borough. MNS’ January 2017 Rental Market Report shows Bed-Stuy one-bedrooms averaging $2,085, compared to a borough-wide average of $2,615. It shares the more affordable end of the spectrum, along with Bushwick ($2,087), Crown Heights ($1,961) and Prospect Lefferts Gardens ($1,891). On the high end, DUMBO averages $3,922, Brooklyn Heights, $3,169, and Williamsburg, $3,029.
Young professionals are finding affordability and fun in the neighborhood.
Zoe Johnson, a 23-year old program associate at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, lived in Murray Hill, the Upper West Side and with her parents in New Jersey before settling in Bed-Stuy with a friend this July. The NYU grad pays $1,000 for her room in a two-bedroom located in a four-story walk-up on Nostrand Avenue near Gates Avenue.
“Bed-Stuy was the place we could find a newly-renovated apartment in our price range,” she explains. “And it’s not too far from the A, C and the G train; that’s one of the main reasons we chose it.”
Diana Kosov, an agent at Bedford Brownstone Realty located on Bedford Avenue at Putnam Avenue, ended up moving to Bed-Stuy herself. The 29-year-old Staten Island native pays $2,000 a month for a studio in a luxury building on Brooklyn Avenue. near Fulton Avenue. Being close to work and having amenities, like a gym and a parking garage, make it worth it for her, she says. “The neighborhood really grew on me. The gorgeous blocks, and the location — I’m only 8 minutes from Barclays Center.”
She sees a mix of folks among her clients who are seeking out the iconic brownstones and opting for newer condo buildings. She says she’s noticed freelancers and people who work from home value a residence that provides luxury amenities.
The craft beer bar — offering 10 rotating taps and growlers to go — from the team behind Bed-Vyne Cocktail and Bed-Vyne Wine is packed year-round, and in the warmer months, sees folks filling the front wooden deck (with an occasional pooch). Inside, the cozy space, made entirely of reclaimed wood, serves as a neighborhood gathering place and hosts regular DJ nights.370 Tompkins Ave.
The go-to spot for casual, upscale dining, the neighborhood Italian restaurant is a perennial favorite for diners seeking Neapolitan-style pies, pastas, charcuterie and fresh cheeses. It has recently expanded to include the adjacent Saraghina Bakery, offering fresh pastries and coffee and Saraghina Bar, offering tapas and small plates.435 Halsey St.
New in the neighborhood:
At this brand new 37-unit luxury rental building, one-bedroom asking rents start at $2,200 a month and two-bedrooms at $2,900 — with no fee. Amenities include a gym, virtual doorman, a landscaped roof deck, lounge and billiard room and parking. 740 Dekalb Ave.
In early February, the new luxury condo building began sales on its eight two-bedroom, two-bath units, which boast hardwood floors and private outdoor spaces (either balconies, gardens, or roof space). Located between Bedford and Nostrand, residents are five minutes from the G train and about a ten minute walk to the A-C. Dynaco Bar, Pilar Restaurant and Stone Fruit Espresso Coffee are steps away. Prices begin at $999,000.