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Chris Havens

Brooklyn Beat

The Return of the New Construction Condo

Due to insatiable demand and a number of other factors, condos are finally being built again after the long post-crash hiatus.

And it’s not a moment too soon, given the lack of sales inventory in Brooklyn.

David Maundrell, the founder and president of aptsandlofts.com, explained to us why this is happening.

During the last downturn, Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Community Change Can Be Bood

Capital One Bank’s nearly $100 per square foot retail lease on Franklin Avenue at Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights appears at first to be about gentrification and the hot Brooklyn retail market. “There goes the neighborhood,” some would say. Others, including many longtime residents, are pleased to see basic services many New Yorkers take for Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Are Brooklyn Artist Communes a Thing of the Past?

One of the uber-Brooklyn real estate structures is the creative ‘commune’, where artists, performers and others pool their resources to build small arts communities. This archetype is dying out as real estate becomes much more expensive, building regulations are enforced and stratospheric residential values remove huge amounts of commercial space from the inventory.

While there Read More

Brooklyn Beat

The 2013 Downtown Brooklyn “Well Done” Awards

First up is the Barclays Center–from the shockingly improved traffic situation at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues to the friendly staff, the Barclays success heralds much more to come for Brooklyn.

Almost all urban arenas are lit up like huge tacky artificial fireplaces–not this place. The gorgeous Cor-Ten type steel is a low-key presence compared to Read More

Brooklyn Beat

How to Keep Artists in Industry City

Industry City is the most important collection of vintage space in the western hemisphere! Nowhere else does one group control so much pre-war loft space in one place. Tenants in Brooklyn need to go to the Sunset Park waterfront, because there is practically nowhere else to go. And it has an amazing future, given that Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Real Estate Critics of Mayor-Elect Out of Touch

The overblown fears of an anti-real estate Mayor coming to power are just that, out of line and out of touch. A deeply practical politician and leader, Bill De Blasio will mostly continue the policy of leveraging large development projects while supporting the pro-tenant groups he must help.

While in the past he has made Read More

Brooklyn Beat

The Crown Heights Retail Affair

Crown Heights has had the fastest retail gentrification that observers have seen in Brooklyn since Williamsburg back in its heyday.

With over 50 storefronts going upscale in the last three years, short term leases and low rents are giving way to $60 per SF stores and what I call ‘brunchification’.

Bars started the roll, Franklin Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Brooklyn as a Borough of Families

Institutional investors, real estate investment trusts, large national development firms—often based in Manhattan—are now quite active in Brooklyn, after years of borough-based families dominating the scene.

Two years ago the Manhattan big boys were ignoring efforts to join the rush—now they all want in.

The last three decades of the Brooklyn’s great leap forward was Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Why Brooklyn Real Estate Is So Hot

I am asked weekly why Brooklyn is so hot.

The majority of investors, small office tenants, townhouse buyers and people seeking to start restaurants can’t find space now for love or money or both. Residential tenants are paying record rents, some office deals are hitting $50 per square foot, and land prices are skyrocketing.

There Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Of Burgers and Theater Districts

Earlier this year, the Five Guys shop at Fulton and Flatbush, paying $125 per square foot, closed due to insufficient business. Across the street from a top-grossing McDonald’s, Five Guys couldn’t make it. At nearly the same moment, Shake Shack made a deal for $200 per square foot across from Barclays Arena.

What will we Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Watch These Brooklyn Bellweather Neighborhoods

One of my pet phrases for northern Brooklynites is ‘south of the park,’ referring to the area of Brooklyn that is south of Prospect Park.

Brooklyn is huge, which is sometimes forgotten in the cool buzz of the north − Dumbo, Williamsburg, Bushwick.

So watch Flatbush, Sunset Park and Crown Heights this fall.

Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Land Rush: Developers Seeking Brooklyn Over Manhattan

The $300-per-foot price being paid for the 1.2 million-square-foot Watchtower Property at the back entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge is a startling number for nonresidential footage.

Zoned for commercial usage, aside from the modern tower on Jay Street, the Watchtower’s former printing and warehouse buildings lend themselves to creative office use for major tenants seeking Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Williamsburg’s Commercial Market

Echoing the fully international nature of the Brooklyn market, aptsandlofts.com recently leased several spaces on Union Avenue north of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to retail tenants for new or enlarged businesses.

New Yorkers of Japanese, Chinese, South Asian, African and European descent took space at 568 Union Avenue to create bakeries, lounges, hair salons Read More