The dirtiest word in Brooklyn real estate? Luxury

Execs from Slate, Alloy and Forest City discuss state of borough's resi market

TRD New York /
Jun.June 02, 2016 07:00 AM

The dirtiest word in residential real estate is … luxury.

“Ninety-five percent of luxury is not luxury,” quipped Compass agent Christine Blackburn, who moderated a discussion Wednesday on what the term means in Brooklyn’s residential market. Panelists included Forest City Ratner’s Susi Yu, Alloy Development’s AJ Pires, Slate Property Group’s David Schwartz, Atelier New York Architecture’s Ken Hudes and Hamlin Ventures’ Abby Hamlin.

“It’s not [about] Gaggenau appliances; it’s not about brand and bling this, bling that,” said Yu, whose firm is partnering with Greenland Holdings to develop 550 Vanderbilt, a 278-unit condominium designed by COOKFOX Architects. “It’s about thoughtful design.”

Other attributes of luxury? Location, size and how unique a product is, panelists said during the discussion at TerraCRG’s “Only Brooklyn” summit.

In Dumbo, for example, Alloy Development built five townhouses at the corner of Pearl and Water streets that sold for north of $4 million each. “We delivered a product that wasn’t available,” Pires said.

Speaking about the townhouse market, Hamlin said “there’s never been a lot of product at any moment in time. You have one, you have two, you have five. But you don’t have 150 [townhomes] coming out.”

Hudes said that developers were being forced to think bigger.

“We thought in Brooklyn, people would be happy with a three- or three-and-a-half bedroom and they really want a four-bedroom,” he said. “Even my family.”

And there’s still a wide gulf between what buyers are willing to pay for luxury product in Brooklyn in comparison to Manhattan. In Brooklyn, Pires said, “there are lots of buyers up to $2.5 million. Once you get to $3 million, $4 million, $5 million, that’s a rare price point.”

According to Schwartz, however, though buyers in emerging neighborhoods such as Bushwick may be value-hunters, the “sky is the limit” in neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Dumbo and Park Slope.

At Alloy’s 1 John Street, where the average sale price topped $1,800 per foot, Pires said the site contained a “perfect storm” of attributes: A site in Dumbo that was within Brooklyn Bridge Park and boasted views of three bridges.

Half of the buyers at the project were Brooklynites, Pires said, while the rest came from Manhattan and Los Angeles.

“These were people coming to purchase $5 to $6 million homes who would only go to Brooklyn,” he said. “We thought we’d do a lot of ‘Oh, this is so much better than Tribeca or the West Village,’ but Brooklyn sold itself. It’s become Paris over the last several years [and] we can’t take credit for that.”

Schwartz said Slate saw a similar buyer pool at its condominium at 51 Jay Street in Dumbo. “People wanted to be in Dumbo; they wanted the authenticity that’s been lost in Tribeca,” he said.

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: G.H. Palmer's Geoffrey Palme, RFR Holdings' Aby Rosen, Macklowe Properties' Harry Macklowe, Thor Equities' Joseph Sitt and Ellicott Development's Carl Paladino (Getty, iStock)

Harry Macklowe, Aby Rosen and Joe Sitt among 6,500+ developers, landlords who got PPP bucks

Harry Macklowe, Aby Rosen and Joe Sitt among 6,500+ developers, landlords who got PPP bucks
Goldman CEO David Solomon and 1 Flatbush Avenue (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Hill West Architects)

Goldman reactivates real estate platform in NYC with big DoBro buy

Goldman reactivates real estate platform in NYC with big DoBro buy
A deserted Brooklyn retail corridor along 4th Avenue in Park Slope (Credit: Google Maps)

“Overwhelming majority” of Brooklyn retailers asking for rent relief: report

“Overwhelming majority” of Brooklyn retailers asking for rent relief: report
From left: David Lichtenstein, Nathan Berman and David Schwartz

Not so fast, vultures: Multifamily among better “food groups” poised to weather pandemic

Not so fast, vultures: Multifamily among better “food groups” poised to weather pandemic
Tonight on TRD Talks: Maintaining multifamily in a tumultuous time

Tonight on TRD Talks: Maintaining multifamily in a tumultuous time

Tonight on TRD Talks: Maintaining multifamily in a tumultuous time
Prince Realty Advisors founder David E. Ash and 123 Hope Street (Credit: Google Maps)

HUBBNYC buys Williamsburg mixed-use building for $84M

HUBBNYC buys Williamsburg mixed-use building for $84M
Former Forest City CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and P.C. Richard executive Thomas Pohmer with Site 5 at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues (Credit: Getty Images, IMA Long Island, and Google Maps)

Why nothing ever gets built on this Pacific Park site

Why nothing ever gets built on this Pacific Park site
22 Quincy Street in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps)

Salvation Army rings bell on Clinton Hill warehouse sale for $29M

Salvation Army rings bell on Clinton Hill warehouse sale for $29M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...