Once Scarce, Three-Bedrooms Are Now Available in Dumbo Thanks to Construction Boom

Construction in Dumbo. Photo by Field Condition


A Dumbo three-bedroom used to be the real estate equivalent of a total eclipse or Halley’s Comet: Rare.

But not any more. There are an unusually high number of three-bedroom listings in Dumbo at the moment. New construction is the likely reason, say veteran real estate agents with expertise in the area — or, possibly, concerns over a recent school rezoning in the area, the economy or the election.

“There has been a visible slow down with higher priced properties, both rental and sales, which includes two- and three-bedrooms,” Dumbo resident and Halstead agent Terrence LeRay told Brownstoner. “This slowdown may be economy related, election related, concerns over P.S. 8 or a combination thereof.”

That said, it does appear the new inventory is moving faster than resales, he added. “This may be as simple as buyers like more the brand new shiny stuff.”


70 Washington. Photo by Brownstoner

A recent count showed 44 three-bedroom units on the market in Dumbo. Twenty-nine of the 44 listings on Brownstoner’s site were new construction. Fifteen were resales.

Historically, three-bedroom apartments in Dumbo have been extremely rare, and even more rarely available for sale. Knowing this, some developers have recently moved to include three-bedrooms in their new buildings, which accounts for a portion of the listings.

Some of these include forthcoming developments 200 Water Street51 Jay Street, and 1 John Street.  Three-bedroom units currently on the market at 1 John Street range from $3,760,512 to $5,227,810.

As Dumbo has become more popular among families relocating from Manhattan the need for larger apartments to accommodate them has increased.

Dumbo Brooklyn - 51 Jay St Photos

Original brick detailing at 51 Jay, now under construction. Photo by Field Condition

The landmarked and formerly mostly industrial neighborhood is hopping with residents, new development, and new eateries, and the local school in Brooklyn Heights filled to capacity — an issue which recently caused the controversial rezoning of two elementary schools.

It turns out all the new construction going on in the neighborhood may also be playing a factor in the rising number of existing three-bedroom units (resales) available for sale on the market — but in a different way.

Both LeRay and Brown Harris Stevens agent Elizabeth Lind Johnson said they believe owners of existing units may have put them up for sale because of concerns over disruption from construction going on in the area.

LeRay noted that one neighborhood building, 100 Jay, currently has multiple three-bedrooms on the market, an unusual occurrence LeRay believes might be related to construction next door.


100 Jay Street. Photo by Brownstoner

The Sweeney Building at 30 Main Street is another building where units of any size were not often on the market; there are now five three-bedroom condos available in the building.

Lind Johnson expressed a similar reasoning for Dumbo’s current abundance of three-bedrooms, telling Brownstoner she believes, “there may be some concern about the future construction at 85 Jay Street…but I think any concern is misplaced.”

The huge empty lot at 85 Jay Street, arguably the biggest single development-ready site on the market in Brooklyn right now, takes up an entire block and is prominently placed next to the subway on a main artery. It was recently put on the market by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and is reportedly likely to sell to a group headed by developer Jared Kushner.

Lind Johnson herself owns an apartment overlooking the construction site and is excited about future development there, she told Brownstoner.

“Before buying my apartment in 2012, I did a lot of research about the scale of development permissible on the site and I think the future development will be a great plus for the neighborhood — not a negative.”


A condo for sale at 30 Main Street. Photo by Sotheby’s

The construction boom and increase in available units could represent a buying opportunity. “I would encourage buyers to take advantage of increased inventory now and buy before everyone else realizes how 85 Jay Street will complement and round out the burgeoning development in DUMBO/Vinegar Hill,” she said.

Dumbo is one of Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods, with the median sales price in the first quarter clocking in at $1.212 million, according to PropertyShark. The median price of closed sales of three-bedroom condos in the broader area (including Dumbo, the Heights, Downtown and Cobble Hill) in the same period reached $2.113 million, according to Corcoran.

Right now, three-bedroom units on the market are asking prices ranging from $1.895 million (100 Jay Street) to $18 million (1 Main Street), with the vast majority running about $3 million to $5 million. With the area’s population increasing dramatically in recent years, the current abundance of three-bedrooms may not last long.

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