6 projects that are changing the face of Greenpoint

No longer in the shadow of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn nabe is seeing a rush of developments

TRD New York /
Aug.August 22, 2014 08:30 AM

A lack of service on the G train this summer has not slowed down development in the Greenpoint area. In August alone, two major developments — 145 and 161 West Street— were resuscitated after being stalled.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Andrew Barrocas, chief executive officer of residential brokerage firm MNS. Barrocas noted that there is high demand in the neighborhood, partially due to the rapid development of nearby Williamsburg and Long Island City. Barrocas said he is working on a couple of waterfront developments, but declined to say how many or specify locations.

“Nobody wanted to be the first to the dance floor,” he said.

That’s all changed. Rents in the neighborhood are now approaching $60 per square foot. And industry sources say that the lack of transportation to Manhattan is becoming less of an issue. Many of the buildings that are being built in the neighborhood are big enough to allow for shuttle service to the L-train in Williamsburg and 7 train in Long Island City, said David Maundrell, president of aptsandlofts.com. Beyond that, more people are beginning to work in other parts of Brooklyn, replacing the traditional commute to Midtown Manhattan.

Jeffrey Kaplan, a managing director at Meadow Partners, said the area will likely see between 3,000 and 5,000 new units over the coming five to ten years. Meadow bought 110 Green Street, an existing 130-unit rental building, in December 2013.

Maundrell, who said that aptsandlofts.com is involved in multiple projects in Greenpoint, also noted a development at 13 Greenpoint Avenue that will bring a mixed-use development to the area.

Here then, are six notable projects now reshaping the Greenpoint waterfront.

1. 145 West Street

Palin Enterprises and Mack Real Estate Group entered into a joint venture at this site to build an 800,000-square-foot project. The proposed $435 million, 39-story tower will add more than 600 residential units to the neighborhood. The building will include 23,000 square feet of retail space. Palin bought the property in 2006 for $84.57 million. Aptsandlofts.com’s Maundrell called this development a “complete game changer” for Greenpoint.

2. 161 West Street

Quadrum Globa, a private equity firm based in London, recently shelled out $45.5 million for this 179,000-square-foot development, close to Greenpoint Landing. Like 145 West Street, this project was stalled for a while. Quadrum bought the property from a group of owners lead by Brooklyn-based investor Miriam Chan. Chan paid $13 million for the site in 2004. With the addition of both 145 and 161 West Street, Maundrell said, Franklin Avenue – which has commercial space – will also see a revival. People who own property on Franklin Avenue, Maundrell said, are sitting on a “a goldmine.”

3. Greenpoint Landing

Greenpoint Landing is hardly news, but still worth mentioning as part of Greenpoint’s most noteworthy developments. Recently, L+M Development Partners revealed the full-building renderings for a 82,000-square-foot property at the megadevelopment site. A six-story building is in the works at the 21 Commercial Street location. The development will include 93 affordable units. The building’s ground floor is slated to have 2,500 square feet of commercial space.

4. Box Street Buildings

Three six-story residential buildings are coming to Box Street. Issac & Stern designed one of the buildings, which will boast 50 units. Two additional six-story buildings are rising at 56 Box Street (20 units) And 62 Box Street (five full-floor units).

5. 79 Quay Street

While living in warehouses is becoming increasingly difficult in the area as large-scale developments replace the old structures, this development retains enough of the existing structure to provide the feeling of warehouse living. Cayuga Development recently released its renderings for this 60,000-square-foot residential building on Quay Street.

6. Brooklyn Expo Center

Joshua Guttman’s Greenpoint convention center is scheduled to open next month for its inaugural event: the Brooklyn Antiques and Book Fair. With 28,000 square feet of exhibition space, Guttman calls the complex built at 79 Franklin Street a Brooklyn version of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The space includes a 2,200-seat banquet hall, offices and a cafeteria. Guttman bought the property in 2001. The original structure on the site, the Greenpoint Terminal Market, burned down about eight years ago.

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