Second Wave of Development to Transform Downtown

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In just a few years, Brooklyn’s downtown will look like a different place, with lots more tall towers and housing — with about one fifth of it affordable, reported Crain’s New York.

In the next two to three years alone, 14 new residential properties with a combined 4,746 units will be completed, according to a study by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. About half of these projects are already rising, while the other half are currently in the development process. When they are completed, the area’s population will rise from a little more than 13,000 to well over 25,000. The boom began with a rezoning in 2004, which paved the way for new office and commercial towers along Flatbush Avenue and the surrounding blocks. Since then, 29 buildings with nearly 5,300 units have sprung up.

The story noted that under Bloomberg, the city has rezoned more than one-third of New York City’s landmass. Critics have charged housing for low- and middle-income families should be mandatory in all new developments, “but the administration prefers a market-driven approach that uses government incentives and tax breaks to promote the private development of affordable housing,” said the story. Projects currently in the pipeline will bring the number of affordable units Downtown to more than 1,400 affordable units, according to the study. Some of the notable developments yet to come include several mixed-use buildings with space for arts and cultural activities and events. “Before there were lingering questions about the area’s attractiveness after work and on weekends, but the successful opening of Barclays Center, the growing array of first-rate cultural institutions and more interesting retail options have driven up demand,” said David Lombino, director of special projects for Two Trees, the developer that rebuilt Dumbo, is remaking the Domino complex and also putting up BAM South, a 32-story tower with arts space. “More people want to live in downtown Brooklyn because it’s a diverse and vibrant New York neighborhood and the market is responding to that.” Do you like the changes in store for Downtown? What kind of development would you like to see?
A Wave of Development Looms in Downtown Brooklyn [Crain's]

15 Comment

  • What many Brownstoner fans don’t realize is that a dense, prosperous and populated Downtown benefits all the more historic neighborhoods that feed into Downtown and will probably allow for a greater extension of the upsides those areas enjoy as they extend further into Brooklyn. By Downtown, I mean the Flatbush, Fulton and even Park Avenue corridors (eventually) since all the transit is right there.

  • It would be great to see the restaurant row on Willoughby come to be, and NYU complete their space in the Jay Street building. Opening up those spaces on Fulton for small business too.

  • I’ve only been in Brooklyn since ’97, but I remember being in the situation where the trains would skip my stop after midnight sometimes when I’d take the subway home, which was just a mere 10 min walk from Jay Street, and I’d debate about whether or not I should just exit and walk home through desolate streets (a solo female.) Now, I would not have any issue doing so, as Downtown is becoming livelier, more residential, and filled with students. In general, I like the filling in of the previously empty holes with residential. Aesthetically, however, save for a few developments, I wish the aesthetic tastes of the developers could be tweaked to be less Scarano-leaning.

  • I am SO excited about a booming downtown Brooklyn, and I only hope that I can maybe afford to buy something in one of the new buildings! And maybe some companies that are hanging on in Manhattan will be open to being located in Brooklyn, too.

  • At the risk of sounding contrarian, I hope that there are plenty of new amenities to accompany all the new housing and the 12,000 new residents, including grocery stores, restaurants, schools, you name it, as all those in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and even where Pete lives in Boerum Hill are already way overcrowded. Now, if only there was some way to widen the sidewalks so that the rest of us can pass the stroller brigades, we’d be all set.

  • East New York

    “the successful opening of Barclay’s Center”

    Boy that arena project is sure destroying Brooklyn.

  • Arkady

    I agree, CG. And as w/ denser population around Atl Yds, beefed up infrastructure such as sewage.

  • This is the kind of development everyone ought to be able to get behind. Almost all upside to developing downtown, with few existing stakeholders who will be harmed. Cf. 4th Avenue, Williamsburg waterfront, Atlantic Yards…

  • Here is the beauty of revisionist history: if you repeat it often enough, it becomes true. The 2004 rezoning was never (fundametally) about creating new housing, affordable or otherwise. It was about making Downtown Brooklyn more competitive as a central business district. In the absence of any new office space, people talk over and over about the residential development until everyone forgets that fact. “The rezoning worked.” Ha!

  • Will brooklyn continue to suffer culturally as a result of these new building. Will there be a happy synergy of the existing locals and the new comers. What exactly is affordable housing? And who really benefits?

    I think brooklyn will continue to suffer culturally since there is nothing being done to promote the various cultures that populate the city in downtown brooklyn. Downtown brooklyn will become like manhattan and thats sad. What will distinguish us from Manhattan. What will restaurant row in downtown be like. More of the same… I hope not. And what about the existing locals and lower income individuals benefiting from such new happening(will they be able to attend the fancy schools). Will they be able to qualify for this “affordable housing” thing builders use to scam the city out of tax payer monies. I have never seen any of them live in these buildings..has anyone on here has and if so please tell me..not trying to be sarcastic but just curious. It would be nice if they could truly benefit from it

  • bryanx

    Calling all developers. Come and get it.

    get yer tax abatement (i.e. – profit) before the music stops.

  • There needs to be a development that caters to or mixes police offices, firefighters, city workers, service industry workers, artist etc in the mix. Most of these folks cannot afford to live in the city and could benefit as well as culturally to the new developments coming in. Immigrants moving to the city should also be able to live there as well…this will encourage a stronger and more diverse community instead of a homogenous one..like Manhattan. Brooklyn has flavor lets not lose it..or its too late

  • noodle3

    Does anyone have any information on when 388 Bridge will hit the market and who is running the sales?

  • Downtown brooklyn is definitely becoming a livelier place. there are a good deal of conversions going on there–like 910 union street: (http://newconstructionmanhattan.com/buildings/park-union) which is a beautiful building. would i say i like the changes? well the new apartment buildings going up are good to look at, but i’m looking with shallow pockets. i do hope it’s growth is prosperous.