Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Brooklyn's Fourth Avenue Booming With Construction

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Two distinct Brooklyn neighborhoods are beginning to blend into each other thanks to a building boom along one stretch of Fourth Avenue. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

Years ago, the city rezoned part of Fourth Avenue to help spur residential growth and economic activity. Now, development is booming.

"Like many parts of New York City, construction on Fourth Avenue is booming," says David Maundrell, president of AptsandLofts.com. "There's about eight to 10 jobs right now from almost Atlantic Avenue down to the Prospect Expressway."

Back in 2008, a few new projects went up in the neighborhood, but everything came to a halt during the economic downturn. Now, it's back in full force.

Most of the new buildings lie along the border between Park Slope and Gowanus. Maundrell says the new development is helping to bring these two neighborhoods together.

"Fourth Avenue is a divider between established brownstone Park Slope and up-and-coming Gowanus," he says. "So you see people now crossing Fourth Avenue, going down to Gowanus, and people from Gowanus going up into Park Slope. So it's kind of going to blend this bit of Brooklyn a bit more."

Right now, most of the buildings coming to market are all rentals, but as the sales inventory continues to get squeezed, Maundrell says we could see more condos take shape in the area as well. Either way, the projects are commanding high prices.

"We're seeing condos trading in excess of $1,000 a square foot," he says. "On the rental side, you see the average studio price about $2,100, $2,200. A one-bedroom's about $3,000, two bedrooms about $4,200, give or take, and three bedrooms can be going up to $8,500 a month.

While the buildings are creating opportunities for new tenants, some long-term residents like Maria Mirabito are cautiously optimistic.

"I'm sure there are upsides," she says. "As long as they don't price people out that have been here a long time or that really cannot afford to live in a neighborhood that has increased so exponentially."

The zoning also allows for retail at the base of these new developments, which could increase foot traffic along Fourth Avenue and spur even more economic growth for the neighborhood.

All of the buildings are at different stages of development. Some are starting leasing, and others haven't yet broken ground. It will take a few more years before the full effect of the rezoning will be realized.

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