Gowanus is seeing a spike in rents and real estate investment as the city considers rezoning the neighborhood for more residential development, according to a new study.
Speculative investments rose 47 percent in 2015 from the year earlier, and during the same time the average price rose from $223 to $262 per buildable square foot, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The study, conducted by GFI Realty Services , found that there’s been less development in the neighborhood because of the polluted Gowanus Canal. But that’s changing after the Environmental Protection Agency kicked off a $500 million cleanup of the canal earlier this year and the Department of City Planning announced a rezoning study that could allow for more residential development.
“The neighborhood hasn’t popped yet,” GFI president Michael Weiser said. “But it’s not a question of if it will happen, it’s a matter of when.”
The median monthly rent at the end of 2015 was just under $3,000, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. GFI forecasts another jump in the median rent at the end of the year due to the opening of the Lightstone Group’s 430-unit luxury rental at 365 Bond Street.
There are plans for four boutique hotels in the neighborhood, which already has nationwide chains such as a Holiday Inn Express and a Super 8.
“The arrival of boutique hotels speaks volumes that the neighborhood is shifting,” said GFI’s Justin Fitzsimmons, who led the study. [WSJ, 2nd item] – Rich Bockmann