Brighton Beach

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Three years into the recovery from superstorm Sandy, multimillion-dollar north Brooklyn prices are creeping down to southern Brooklyn.

Brighton Beach is known for being the oceanfront community bordering Coney Island, home to a large Russian Jewish immigrant population. The housing stock ranges from mansions to more classic New York apartment building fare to bungalows.

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Tucked away in an oft-forgotten corner of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay are the weathered remains of Brooklyn’s once prosperous summertime bungalow communities. Built in clusters near the coast, these low-lying colonies have fared poorly as both the seas and new development rise around them, casting shadows and bringing floodwater. Nathan Kensinger recently photographed the surviving Bungalows for Curbed.

Originally intended exclusively for warm-weather use, Brighton Beach’s surviving bungalows were built in the 1920s on the grounds of the former Brighton Beach Racetrack, Kensinger reported. The quaint, antiquated homes began falling on hard times beginning in the 90s, as neighborhood crime rates rose and squatters, drug dealers, and prostitutes took to utilizing the frequently abandoned abodes.

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A half-mile-long street festival is returning to Coney Island Avenue Sunday, August 30. This year marks the Brighton Jubilee’s 39th birthday, and more than 125,000 people are expected to come down to the boardwalk for the celebration.

The diverse festival will feature hundreds of food and craft vendors, kiddie rides and multiple stages for live performers. It’s hosted by the Brighton Neighborhood Association.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Even though winter has not even officially begun, already we are getting nostalgic over the thought of summer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a luxurious summer resort by the sea, where you could have accommodations worthy of your pocketbook and status? There you could be waited on hand and foot, enjoy fine dining, be entertained by the biggest stars of the day, and best of all, enjoy the cool, salty breezes and one of the finest beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Would you have journey to Palm Beach or some Caribbean Island? Nope, you could take the subway. Because the beach resorts of Gravesend, Brooklyn were the place to be back in the latter quarter of the 19th century.

It all started with a man named William A. Engelman, who had made a fortune during the Civil War selling horses to the Union Army. He took some of that money and bought several hundred acres of beachfront property in Gravesend for the princely sum of $20,000. This was in 1869. He had big dreams, and he named his beachfront property Brighton Beach, after the famous resort town in England, a popular summer destination for British royalty and the aristocracy.

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The environmentally friendly Bright ‘n Green condos designed by Robert Scarano in Brighton Beach hit the market last week, Sheepshead Bites reported. The 7,000-square-foot building at 67 Brighton 1st Lane has six units ranging from $295,000 for a studio to $795,000 for a two-bedroom loft with outdoor space.

The net-zero energy building will have solar panels, wind turbines and rainwater collection, and promises “urban farming” and a “migratory bird, bee and butterfly habitat,” according to its website. The apartments have “light-maximizing windows…composed of triple-glazed Krypton-filled solar thermal treated glass and installed inside double-sealed, air-tight insulated window frames,” as well as induction stoves, low-flow toilets and LED lighting.

There’s also a 1,000-square-foot commercial space on the ground floor that Scarano said he hopes to lease to a community-oriented tenant like a preschool or yoga studio, according to the press release sent out about the building. GMAP

Images via Bright n’ Green and Sheepshead Bites