The Real Deal New York

Outside brownstone belt, builder to put up townhouses in Red Hook

Sanba Partners will build 22 of the stately homes on King Street

August 29, 2014 02:55PM
By Rich Bockmann

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From left: Alessandro Zampedri, 115 King Street and Patty LaRocco

From left: Alessandro Zampedri, 115 King Street and Patty LaRocco

The latest addition to Brooklyn’s growing stock of 21st-century townhouses will rise in Red Hook, where a borough-based developer plans to build nearly two dozen homes in a still-evolving neighborhood that lies outside the traditional brownstone belt.

Williamsburg-based Sanba Partners plans to break ground at the end of the year on its block-through development site at 115 King Street between Van Brunt and Richards streets, where it aims to build 22 townhouses available for spring 2016.

“I think they’ll fit very well in the neighborhood. A lot of people are looking for larger spaces for families,” Sanba partner Alessandro Zampedri told The Real Deal via Skype earlier this week from Italy, where he was meeting with the project’s investors. “It’s hard to find large spaces for a reasonable price in the city. It’s a very nice, appealing market.”

Pricing information is not yet available, but Zampedri said the homes, 10 of which will front Sullivan Street while the remainder will face King, will be around 2,600 square feet each with a private back yard, rear roof deck and private parking.

Sanba has hired Douglas Elliman’s Patty LaRocco and her team to shop the homes. Zampedri said “the most interesting” aspect of the townhouses will be their design, which is being drawn up by the design firm AA Studio.

Across northwest Brooklyn, there are about a dozen new townhouse projects underway as developers respond to demand for larger, family-sized spaces.

Those new developments, however, have largely been concentrated in traditional Brownstone Brooklyn: neighborhoods like Fort Greene, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill that are largely defined by their rich stocks of stately homes. Red Hook, by comparison, has just a small number of townhouses mostly concentrated on a block of Coffey Street. There, the neighborhood market isn’t commanding the same prices as its neighbors.

In Cobble Hill, for example, JMH Development built nine townhouses, seven of which are in contract. The larger of the developer’s homes, which range from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, are listed for between $3.65 and $4.2 million — surpassing $1,000 per square foot. That last figure is on par with prices in Cobble Hill, according to TOWN Residential broker Josh Carney, who said it is “more of an established neighborhood” compared to Red Hook, where the price per square foot for a townhouse runs in the $575 to $600 range.

Aleksandra Scepanovic, managing director of Ideal Properties Group, said Red Hook was on the tip of everyone’s tongue several years ago, but then Superstorm Sandy had a chilling effect.

“A few years ago it was on par with the neighborhoods people talk about like Bed-Stuy and Bushwick. You don’t really hear about Red Hook much anymore. It has fallen off the map,” she said. “Clearly the main reason was Sandy. We’ve recently been showing properties there for sale. Every single townhouse you walk in has a brand new basement.”

“There was a relatively significant increase in the amount of properties listed right after Sandy,” she added. “Some couldn’t handle it any longer.”

As has always been the case with Red Hook, the neighborhood lacks transportation infrastructure, making it hard to get around. But neighborhood insiders say several new projects are in the works, and the Brooklyn cachet just can’t be beat.

“With all that said, I think there is going to be a lot of interest [for the new homes],” Scepanovic added. “Red Hook is part of the Brooklyn scene, which is very high in demand. People are waiting on the sidelines to buy.”

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the designer of Sanba Partners’ development.

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