With or without the Brooklyn Flea, Dumbo is abuzz with exciting and exclusive opportunities every season. Rumor has it that those artists who gave the borough its “uncool” nickname in the 1970s did so in an anti-marketing effort to protect it from development and gentrification. Go figure!
Serving as the borough’s unofficial welcoming post for Manhattanites crossing over into Brooklyn, Dumbo tempts them to go no further. The first of many reasons to stay is the ambiance. With cobblestone streets and old train tracks that recall the neighborhood’s 18th century industrial past, Dumbo offers some of the greatest views of Manhattan of all time, especially when the sun sets.
When in Dumbo, there are more than a few must-sees and must-dos. Check out our top picks below!
Open Thursdays through Sundays throughout the winter season, Jane’s Carousel is a Brooklyn Bridge Park stronghold. With 48 exquisitely carved horses and two superb chariots, the beautiful structure was created in 1922 and has charmed its riders ever since. Come for the afternoon, or plan a photoshoot on the horses!
Visit powerHouse Arena, home to the world-renowned art book publisher powerHouse Books. The Arena stands as a gallery, boutique, bookstore and performative events space all in one. In the words of the owners, powerHouse Arena “showcases a series of landmark exhibitions, performances, and controlled mayhem fusing the worlds of art, photography, design, fashion, pop culture, advertising, music, dance, film, and television into a glorious whirlwind of captivating spectacle.” With soaring 24-foot ceilings and a 5,000-square-foot ground floor featuring glass frontage, the space is airy and makes for a delightful viewing or browsing experience!
Though during the warmer months the Dumbo food scene is championed by the Brooklyn Flea, in the winter many choose to warm up with hot chocolate and handmade treats at Jacques Torres Chocolate. The Willy Wonka-esque emporium offers everything from truffles and cookies to bonbons and gluten-free treats. What’s more, the Dumbo location reigns as the world-famous Mr. Chocolate’s (Jacques Torres) very first chocolate factory.
Founded by the same mogul behind Grimaldi’s Pizza, Juliana’s is just a few steps away from the original New York City stronghold. Named for pizza proprietor Patsy Grimaldi’s mother Juliana, the old-school pies are delicious with their thin crusts and the finest housemade, locally and internationally-sourced toppings.
Through its art gallery and online collection, the McMahan Photo Art Gallery and Archive includes over 25,000 photos for sale, for use as fine art photo prints, posters and greeting cards. Founded by award-winning New York City-based urban landscape and documentary photographer Robert McMahan in 2001, the gallery has since grown into an art collection of worldwide acclaim with historical, unique and iconic photographs of museum quality.
Top your Dumbo experience off by witnessing one of the borough’s best views. Here on Washington Street between Front and Water Streets, the Empire State Building is visible behind the Manhattan Bridge. The charm of Dumbo’s cobblestone streets in the forefront makes the image more than capture-worthy!
The Brickell City Centre is emerging as a transformative mixed-use real estate development. Set just south of the Miami River, beyond the Downtown section of the city, the project will ultimately span 11 acres upon its completion and include seven towers — five of which are currently under construction in Phase I.
The elevated shopping mall alone will stretch 500,000 square feet. The open-air construct will feature road-spanning skyways and boast an extensive list of tenants. Luxury brands will be located throughout the street-accessible first floor of Brickell City Centre’s retail component. Stores located on the second and third floors will emphasize premium and contemporary retailers in categories such as beauty, home decor, jewelry, apparel and more. Dining options will be situated throughout the fourth floor, and the entire shopping center will seamlessly connect with Miami’s key transportation nodes.
Saks Fifth Avenue has signed on as the Brickell City Centre’s anchor tenant and will occupy three floors of the shopping center with street-level access. There will be a luxury dine-in movie theater, Cinemex, and more. Other retail clients include Armani Collezioni, SportsAction, Addict, Kendra Scott, Big Easy Winebar & Grill, Taco Chic and more. Look out for the Eataly-like Italian food hall in the center’s north block, offering fresh produce, home-meal replacements, imported artisanal cheeses and meats and more.
The Centre’s two office towers will connect directly to the shopping mall. Designed by Arquitectonica, the location of the towers is the manifestation of Swire’s promise to create a live/work/relax complex. The glassy buildings will have palm trees at their base, massive conference rooms with luscious hardwood flooring, cafes with community bar tops, lounge areas with plush couches and chairs, offices designed for collaboration, and outstanding views of the city.
The complex’s 40-story, 352-room hotel in a minimalist design — has already opened with 20,000 square feet of event space, including a 250-person ballroom. Guests will be able to easily access the shopping mall on the second and third floors, and on the 40th floor and the rooftop is Sugar, a bar and Balinese garden. The Asian-inspired restaurant, which features furniture made in Vietnam, will serve tapas. A South American eatery, Quinto La Huella, spans an impressive 97,000 square feetseating 359 people. It has a private dining room and expansive outdoor terrace as well. Off-season, rates at the hotel start at $259 per night, in season at $450.
Residences at the Brickell City Centre will combine luxury with modernity and great technology packages. Ceiling heights in the apartments will rise up to 11 foot 4 inches, while exclusive penthouses will feature 12-foot-4-inch ceilings, plus upgraded appliance packages, outdoor kitchens and private rooftop pools. There will be biometric technology elevator access, city-view terraces, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, fully finished walk-in closets in the master bedrooms, and the homes will be pre-wired for high-speed Internet with USB charging stations in the bedrooms. Kitchens will be outfitted with Bosch appliance packages and U-Line 48-bottle, temperature-controlled wine storage, while bathrooms are set to feature Italian cabinetry, imported quartz stone vanity tops, marble flooring and Duravit Sensawash water closets in the master suites. Apartments can be delivered fully furnished with a choice of two interior finish packages. Many homes in the towers dubbed REACH and RISE have already been snatched off the market.
The Brickell City Centre will seem to have it all, even its own fire station on the west side of the development. Phase I of the 5.4 million square foot project will be complete this fall.
When most people think about the Bronx, they probably think of the Yankees or the Bronx Zoo. While both of those institutions are part of what make this city great, lately people have been thinking “real estate hotbed” when they hear the name of that borough to the north.
The real estate market has been trending upward throughout the Bronx landscape over the past 12 to 24 months—right about the time reports began to note that people were getting priced out of Western Queens, much like they had, once upon a time, in places like Williamsburg and the Lower East Side. Naturally, investors have moved in to the Boogie Down Bronx—an area filled with reasonable prices and a ton of upside potential. In 2014, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released a report stating that $1.2 billion worth of real estate investment was made in his borough that year—a 26 percent jump from the year prior. Since 2013, investors have purchased 156 multifamily buildings in the South Bronx, accounting for more than 4,330 units, many of which are potential conversion projects from rental units to condos or co-ops.
In April, The Real Deal reported that there was a 35 percent sales spike in the Bronx over the course of this year’s first quarter. Meanwhile, sales dropped 2 percent in Manhattan and 4 percent in Brooklyn. The average sale price of a Bronx home, according to the report, was $378,000, the lowest of all the five boroughs. But that price point jumps to $450,000 in select submarkets, like City Island and Pelham Bay.
A multitude of high-profile Bronx-based transactions have been announced recently as well, both on the residential and commercial sides of the spectrum. Houlihan-Parnes arranged a $30 million mortgage in the borough to cover a commercial condominium interest in the Grand Concourse section. In similar news, the Morgan Group refinanced its Bronx portfolio with a $150 million loan of its own, and in May, the Long Island-based Abro Management Corp. bought a Bedford Park residential building for $27 million.
Another great sign of the booming times in the Bronx is all the new development in the area, even in the borough’s historically maligned southern sections. Cheaper land prices in the South Bronx are bringing developers who see opportunity, and while sections along the Hudson such as Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale are already experiencing a deluge of new residents, the South Bronx is being eyed as another new frontier. Upon its opening in 2012, the green-conscious Via Verde co-op in the Woodstock neighborhood, provided 220 new units. The 11 units in the Bronx Bricks building at 305 East 140th Street, the first market-rate condo development in the South Bronx, have sold out.
The Bronx is now a market that must be strongly considered, especially for first-time homebuyers. StreetEasy ranks Riverdale as the best neighborhood for market newbies, and the borough requires the smallest average down payment (20 percent) across all of New York City—5 percentage points less than its closest competitor, Brooklyn.
When people think of Flushing, Queens, they might contemplate a ballgame at Citi Field, or consider shopping on Main Street and then indulging in the delectably authentic Asian cuisine of New York’s second-largest Chinatown. But, as The Wall Street Journal recently reported, the neighborhood has also emerged as a new development hot spot, one of the fastest growing in all the five boroughs. There are a number of real estate companies planning to add luxury homes to the slate of Flushing attractions, and groundbreakings in the area occur frequently. With the Flushing market already among the strongest in the five boroughs—home sales prices shot up more than 51 percent between 2010 and 2014, according to Trulia.com, and QNS.com recently put Flushing among Queens’ top-five priciest neighborhoods—residents can only expect greater maturation in property values as a new local skyline emerges throughout the next half decade.
In the neighborhood’s western end, the Shops at SkyView Center complex has attracted big-name retailers like Target, Nordstrom Rack,Nikeand Uniqlo and others. The Blackstone GroupLP fund paid roughly $410 million for a large portion of the 680,000-square-foot shopping center and its garage. It was the company’s first significant investment in Queens, and, undoubtedly, the fact that the Shops sit at the base of a tremendous luxury housing project, SkyView Parc, was part of the construct’s collective allure.
Last winter, The Queens Tribune reported that 75 percent of the condos and 85 percent of the offices that make up Phase I of the highly publicized Flushing Commons mega-project were in contract after just a few months on the market. Calling the Flushing Commons a “neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood,” the development will ultimately feature a 1.5-acre town square of open space with a fountain plaza, approximately 600 new residential units and approximately 500,000 square feet of commercial space, including local and national restaurants and retailers. There will also be a 62,000-square-foot YMCA facility, 15,000 square feet of additional community space and parking for 1,600 cars. Currently, the project is set to wrap up in 2021, but Phase I alone will offer 1.8 million square feet and bring 148 residential condos, as well as office condos and retail, to downtown Flushing. Located between Union and 138th streets and 37th and 39th avenues, the project’s first phase is expected to be complete in less than one year’s time.
Near the southern portion of the Flushing River will stand a three-tower hotel and residential property developed by Sam Chang of the McSam Hotel Group. Chang currently has several hotels going up in Manhattan, but in late 2014, he committed $24 million to purchase a plot for this Queens-based mixed-use project that will span a monstrous 557,400 square feet. There will be a 16-story, 390-room hotel, as well as two residential towers rising 15 stories each with 222 total units, not to mention retail space, a community center and a parking garage.
Brothers Christopher and George Xu are putting up an 11-story, glassy mixed-use building, one block off Main Street, that is projected to include 43 residential units, 191 hotel rooms, a community facility and an 11,000-square-foot retail space housing coffee shops and other restaurants. They hope to also build a 155-space parking lot and a 33-spot bicycle lockup area in this development, while they continue to renovate their 14-story, mixed-use tower on 134th Street and 35th Avenue as well.
At the intersection of Main Street and Northern Boulevard, Flushing Square, a 17-story, mixed-use apartment tower bringing 209 residential units of its own will sit atop the landmarked RKO Keith’s Theater. JK Equities had to construct “a protective shell” around the historic theater, which will be incorporated into the building’s lobby.
All of these developments entered deep stages of planning and construction prior to April 2016 when The Real Deal published a list of the ten biggest projects coming to New York City. Three of the projects that made the cut will be built in Flushing. So, it’s safe to say that the strong Queens market stretches far beyond Long Island City and Astoria.