Brooklyn’s Golden Hour

New condos loaded with amenities sell for Manhattan-style high prices

1 John Street took the top spot for priciest building.
1 John Street took the top spot for priciest building.

Brooklyn developers are increasingly achieving prices previously seen only in Manhattan.

The trend, which involves prices hitting $2,000 per square foot and higher, reflects the booming popularity of Manhattan’s neighbor and the move toward developments aimed only at the über-wealthy.

These price increases are being egged on by the fact that Brooklyn builders are able to offer impressive amenities, higher-end finishes and top-notch views at prices that rival far more ordinary options on the other side of the East River.

“You can get the best apartment in Brooklyn and feel amazing about the purchase, or you can get an average apartment in Manhattan,” said Jared Della Valle, president of Alloy Development, the developer of 1 John Street in Dumbo. “I think that’s a psychological opportunity.”

Last month, Luxury Listings NYC’s sister publication The Real Deal ranked newly built or recently converted Brooklyn residential projects by average asking price per square foot, excluding buildings with too few active listings and those where square footage information was unavailable.

The survey found nine condo units asking over $2,000 per square foot and two units — one at Pierhouse and the other at 388 Bridge Street — exceeding $2,500.

Meanwhile, on the closed-sale front, the borough has already seen the $2,000-per-foot line crossed.

In March, a 700-square-foot condo at the Bennett House in Park Slope, a conversion of a 1920s building, sold for $1.4 million, or $2,029 a foot.

Alloy’s 1 John Street, where the average listing price is now $1,983 per foot, took the top spot for priciest building.

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The most expensive listing there, one of six penthouses, is on the market for $2,408 per foot. The 42-unit building sits at the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park and features kitchens with double islands and bathrooms with stone mosaic floors and freestanding soaking tubs. Every apartment has oversized windows with Manhattan views.

Della Valle said the quality of the units at 1 John Street, his fourth Dumbo project, is higher than those he built at 459 West 18th Street along the High Line in 2010.


Pierhouse — which is being built by Toll Brothers City Living and Starwood Capital Group — has the second highest average listing prices per square foot in the borough, according to TRD’s analysis.

The building provides a clear example of the differences between Brooklyn and Manhattan. For an average $1,965 a foot, Pierhouse buyers get a waterfront location in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with head-on views of Lower Manhattan, 18-foot-high living room ceilings and access to a rooftop swimming pool and bar. For the same price in Manhattan, a buyer can still get high-end finishes but would get ordinary ceiling heights, second-rate views, standard layouts, and only obligatory amenities crammed into smaller spaces, sources said.

Sources also said since many of today’s projects were penciled out a few years back when Brooklyn land costs were a bit lower, developers have more financial flexibility to go over the top with designs and finishes — and then ramp up prices.

Like Della Valle, Brooklyn developers are often guided by new development marketing firms that convince them that Brooklyn buyers are also willing to spend more than they have in the past.

“The housing stock that was being built seven years ago was for the first-time homebuyer,” said Stephen Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing, which is selling several Brooklyn projects including 388 Bridge and 51 Jay. “Now the housing stock that’s being built is for folks who might be on their second or third purchase.”