Brooklyn Bridge Park attracts new retailers, boosts property values

October 29, 2012 11:00AM

Brooklyn Bridge Park has helped take DUMBO from plain slice pizza to paninis, according to Crain’s. Family-run Front Street Pizza, which now caters to choosier clientele, is just one of the many businesses to benefit from the 1.3-mile stretch of green, sandwiched between the neighborhood and the shore.

The increased foot traffic created by the park — it sees some 90,000 visitors on a typical summer weekend — has fueled new restaurants, shops and residential developments. And as the park continues to stretch over half a dozen piers and upland areas to an eventual 85 acres, it will be a boon to even more local businesses and developers.

“Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of those once-in-a-century game changers that influence neighborhoods,” Timothy King, managing partner of CPEX Realty in Brooklyn Heights, said. “I think the impact of the park has barely been felt.”Another local business,  Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, at Pier 1 On Old Fulton Street, is seeing three or four times as many customers since the park opened, according to its owner Mark Thompson.

And what is good for small businesses can be good for residential developers, which have seen the park push prices up to $800 per square foot, said Philip Henn, a vice president at Corcoran Group.

At Pier 1, development will even give back to the park, as developers Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital team to build an approximately 200-room hotel and a 150-unit apartment building. The project is expected to generate $120 million in fees over the course of the 97-year lease—in $3.3 million chunks annually—that will help to pay for the maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park. [Crain’s]Christopher Cameron