It’s not your imagination: The birthrate is soaring in affluent areas of Brooklyn — the brownstone belt — and decreasing in less well-off areas of the City, according to recently released statistics from the City’s Health Department analyzed by The New York Times. As New York City becomes increasingly expensive and inhospitable to the middle class — another twist on de Blasio’s tale of two cities — the birth rate is highest among the well-to-do and the very poor, with middle-class areas registering the lowest birth rates. As the Times put it:

New York has turned into a playground of the more literal kind, with a child-centric ethos bearing well-established variants of urban nuisance: stroller gridlock in gentrifying areas, car services that cater to five-year-olds, sidewalk whining that in some cases becomes its own source of noise pollution.

Brownstone Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and the South Bronx have the highest birth rates in the city. Brooklyn Heights and the Upper East Side lead the city in multiple births. Bayside Queens has the lowest birthrate. (more…)


The number of Manhattanites moving to Brooklyn has dropped dramatically, with only 13 percent signing new leases in North and Northwest Brooklyn in the first quarter, vs. 53 percent back in 2006, according to a report out from Ideal Properties. The number of renters coming in from out of state rose to 22 percent in Q1, vs. 18 percent in the same period last year. Connecticut (21 percent) accounted for the majority, California for 17 percent and New Jersey for 10 percent; 10 percent were from out of the country. People who were already living in Brooklyn made up 40 percent of new leases.

Park Slope was the area’s most popular destination, “with 28 percent of all rented units in Brownstone and North Brooklyn last quarter concentrated” there, said the report. The majority of renters analyzed in the report, 33 percent, had average incomes ranging from $75,000 to $99,000. Most of them, 15 percent, worked in media, and 13 percent worked in design and architecture, the report found. More than half, 59 percent, of tenants in North and Northwest Brooklyn are between 21 and 30 years old.

The report was based on tenant profile data on close to 4,300 forms collected by Ideal Properties.


Brooklyn’s population has grown 3.5 percent in just three years, according to new census data, The New York Daily News reported. That makes Brooklyn the fastest growing of any of the boroughs.

It is also one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. We added 87,400 people, for a total of 2,568,435.

The growth is mostly due to immigrants, who settle mostly in Brooklyn and Queens, plus a slowdown of people moving out of New York City, according to a story in The New York Times. The city-wide growth is the first since the mid-20th century, when people started leaving for the suburbs and the Sun Belt. Building more housing is crucial, said Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod.

Brooklyn’s Population Is up 3.5 Percent Over Three Years: Census [NY Daily News]

A story in the Times today has some data to back up what we’ve been seeing and experiencing anecdotally. As rents and home prices rise in Brooklyn, the well-to-do are moving into the city and the poor are fleeing to the suburbs, reversing a trend that has held since the mid-20th century. The number of poor people declined by 11 percent in Brooklyn and 10 percent in Manhattan, and increased 14 percent in the suburbs, or 100,000, from 2000 through 2010. “Poor” is defined as a family of four making less than $23,350 a year. The analysis is from the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. The first ten years of the 21st century were the tipping point, according to the study. The reasons? Higher housing costs, which “pushed poorer people out of Manhattan and Brooklyn, in particular,” said the story. Also, immigrants are now settling in the suburbs, where costs are lower and jobs pay less. Meanwhile, the number of poor households in Staten Island rose 18 percent.
Suburbs’ Share of Poor Has Grown Since 2000 [NY Times]

Now there is no money in the state budget for SUNY Downstate, the Central Brooklyn parent of Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital, which SUNY Downstate officials just last week voted to shutter. “The state’s new budget — which the Senate began adopting Sunday — contains no new funds for the ailing Brooklyn hospital…SUNY officials…must submit a restructuring plan for the hospital by June,” said The New York Daily News. SUNY Downstate, located in East Flatbush, is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn and the borough’s fourth largest employer. SUNY Downstate is just the latest of Brooklyn medical centers to experience financial difficulties recently: Also troubled are Interfaith Medical Center in Bed Stuy and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick. Meanwhile, the Daily News reports, developers are salivating to get their hands on the prime Cobble Hill waterfront site currently occupied by SUNY Downstate’s Long Island College Hospital, and SUNY officials admitted real estate played a role in their decision to sell off the property. What do you think is ailing Brooklyn’s hospitals, and will we have enough to support the growing number of Brooklyn residents?
State Nixes Bailout for Ailing SUNY Brooklyn Hospital [NY Daily News]
Developers Licking Chop Over Cobble Hill’s LICH Site [NY Daily News]
Photo by Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons

Brooklyn is now so popular that its population is growing at a rate of 2.4 percent, more than any other New York City borough, according to Real Estate Weekly. If the growth continues at that pace, Brooklyn will overtake Chicago as the third largest city (if it were a separate city) sometime in the next 12 years. Then again, Chicago is growing at the slowest rate of all the large metro areas in the U.S., according to the Census. “For the first time since before 1950, more people are coming to New York City than leaving,” said Mayor Bloomberg. Demand is causing real estate prices to boom, and in turn, new construction may be helping to draw new residents into the borough. “In 2012, investment sales were $4 billion, a 106 percent jump over the year prior…The dollar value for commercial transactional jumped 383 percent from 2011, while office product rose 314 percent,” said the story. Meanwhile, as readers of this blog already know, “apartment prices in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods are now fast approaching $1,000 per square foot, comparable in cost to Manhattan.”  (more…)

A new report ranks Bay Ridge as the best Brooklyn neighborhood in which to raise children, said The New York Daily News. Bay Ridge scored high, coming in fourth citywide, because of its high rate of home ownership, good schools, and parents with stable jobs. Park Slope, meanwhile, was ranked 15th citywide because of its mixed community of poor residents living side by side with wealthy ones, according to the paper. The group that authored the report, the Citizens’ Committee for Children, evaluated neighborhoods based on four factors: Economic, Health, Youth and Housing. Bay Ridge scored high on key youth factors such as the percentage of high school dropouts, employment, birth rate, and arrest rate among teens. Click here for more info about the report findings (the full report costs $50).  Unfortunately, recent improvements in education may be mostly a factor of more wealthy people moving into Brooklyn, and applicable mostly to them, if we read the Committee’s comments correctly. “For example, while the city has seen improvements in education trends in recent years, such as increased reading and math scores, higher graduation rates, and fewer dropouts, the results are not as positive among racial/ethnic groups and across neighborhood school districts,” the group said. Do you agree with the report’s findings? Where would you rather live?
Report: Bay Ridge Best Nabe to Bring up Children [NY Daily News]

A new report out digs not only into rental trends in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, but also looks at employment trends as well. Since the kinds of jobs and the level of compensation employees receive is fundamental to how much people can afford to pay for rent, this analysis may provide a bit more insight than the simple rents are up or rents are down number crunching. The Mid-Year Triboro Rental Report from StreetEasy and leasing and tenant screening firm, authored by real estate consultant Nancy Packes, finds that some of the larger employment trends favor the outer boroughs’ more economical rents. The share of financial services employees in the city has been falling for years. In 2006, 58 percent of new renters worked in financial services, according to the report, but that fell to 44 percent in 2012. At the same time, the number of new renters employed by tech firms and the broad category of creative jobs has grown from 16 percent to 26 percent. And these people earn less than those in financial services. With less money to spend, these people are looking away from Manhattan in ever greater numbers. As a result, Manhattan rents have seen sluggish growth. Rents in Brooklyn, on the other hand, have been on the rise (though other reports have found slow growth here in recent quarters too). This report, which only examines rents through the first half of 2012, found that rents on studios in buildings with a doorman were up 16 percent over the previous year. Two-bedrooms in doorman buildings were up 22 percent in the year. And, the report concludes, there is plenty of room for rents to go even higher. “Looking at a renter’s ability to spend, there appears to be further capacity to push rents. Why? Over the last five years, salaries have not decreased, yet today’s income spent toward rent rests at its five-year average, having dropped 20% perent from its 2007 peak.” And it’s the creatives who spend the highest proportion of their incomes on rent.
Creative Workers Drive Down Rents [WSJ]

City Tech’s brand-new build is actually happening! The old Klitgord Building at 285 Jay Street, on the corner of Tillary Street, is closed and construction crews have started up with interior demolition. The school also filed an application with the Department of Buildings for a new eight-story build, although it looks like the DOB disapproved the plans this month. The architect on record is Perkins Eastman, an international planning, design and consulting firm that has worked on many campuses before. The rendering above comes from this Brooklyn Eagle article published this fall. Back then, they reported that the eight-story build would be 149 feet tall with 356,389 square feet of academic, community and facility space. The building will hold new facilities for the science and clinical health programs, a new theater, a wellness center and athletic facilities. The long-ago plans for a huge residential/educational tower built at the site by Forest City Ratner and City Tech never came through.
Construction to Begin Soon on City Tech’s New Klitgord Building [BK Eagle] GMAP

The latest proposed redistricting plan for the Brooklyn City Council reflects increased populations in Park Slope and Williamsburg, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The process, with public input, has been ongoing since September; the latest map was given the thumbs-up by the council’s redistricting commission last week. The City Council will vote on the revised plan today. To even up the number of people voting in each district, under the proposal, parts of Park Slope will switch from the 33rd district represented by Councilman Steve Levin to the 39th, represented by Brad Lander. This will help make up for population increases in both Park Slope and Williamsburg. Meanwhile, the 43rd district, which includes parts of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, will expand to include a section of Bath Beach, formerly represented by Staten Island Councilman James Oddo.
New Council Map Reflects Population Changes [Brooklyn Eagle]
Map via Brooklyn Eagle

The Real Deal closely examined the factors promoting and retarding the expansion of national chains into Williamsburg in its September print issue, although it didn’t dig up any definite new names. “Pricey condos and rentals are now filling up with wealthy families, who in turn are attracting high-end retailers,” said the article. Increasing density, which is bringing more foot traffic to stores, and skyrocketing residential rents also appeal to national retailers. As has already been reported, Midtown Equities and other investors are developing the $40 million, 150,000-square foot complex at 242 Bedford Avenue between North 3rd and North 4th streets, which will open in 2014 with a Whole Foods, Citibank, New York Sports Club and luxury apartments. That deal, signed in March, has prompted other big retailers to eye Williamsburg, according to brokers. As has already been rumored, J.Crew and, now, “notable restaurants” are reportedly considering 247 Bedford Avenue, across the street. Williamsburg Cinema, the new movie theater going up at Driggs and Grand, will show mainstream films on its seven screens with 1,000 stadium seats, according to The Real Deal. Furniture stores are also looking into the area, claimed one broker, since all the new arrivals need to kit out their pads. But, a serious drawback is the lack of large spaces for big-box stores. Most retail footprints in the area measure 20 by 100 feet. Nonetheless, retail rents are rising on Bedford Avenue, from about $100 a square foot 18 months ago to $150 a square foot. Retail hotness is also drifting southward. “The South side is now starting to see the rapid restaurant and bar growth that first characterized North Williamsburg’s rise,” concluded The Real Deal.
Mainstream Brands Look for Foothold in Brooklyn’s Hippest Neighborhood [TRD]
Photo by nrvlowdown