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Manhattan's Soaring Land Prices Boon for Brooklyn

New York Multifamily

Land prices for Manhattan development are out of control. That's why developers like Greystone have their eyes set on even more projects in Brooklyn. Monday, it launched sales of its Waterbridge 47 condo development, the latest in a slew of activity for the firm.

“It’s hard to find deals that pencil out in Manhattan,” says property development head Jeff Simpson, who’s building projects in neighborhoods that now have as much cachet as the West Village or Nolita—think DUMBO, Clinton Hill and Williamsburg. The borough’s not only attracting Manhattan developers, but residents too—many of the tenants that snagged units at its 36-unit Printhouse Lofts (which it sold to Clarion Partners last month) moved from there, attracted by Brooklyn’s transportation, amenities and proximity to Manhattan. The building sold out in two months, and all of the units were snapped up the same day they went to market, he says. Clarion wasn’t the only institutional investor in line for the project—others expressed interest in buying the building at 139 N 10th St, a 1900s warehouse conversion in Williamsburg.

Now Greystone is hoping to replicate that success at 47 Waterbridge (above, at 47 Bridge St), which Jeff reports is now vertical. Upon its fall 2015 completion, it will include 25 luxury condos, a private wine cellar and tasting room, off-site concierge services, a roof deck, fitness center, inner courtyard, children’s playroom, bicycle storage and private parking. Asking prices for the units, which range from 700 SF to 1,200 SF, go from $850k to $2.2M. And Manhattan residents thinking of moving there have an extra perk—the ability to buy a parking space, a hard thing to come by uptown, he says.

Jeff, joined by colleagues Kristen Resar, Elie Gabay, JP Rosenbaum, Sarah Wishnick and Jared Chassen, tells us that next up is the development of two Clinton Hill sites it purchased in October: 531 Myrtle Ave and 100-102 Steuben St, which'll each be transformed into luxury rental apartment buildings of about 30 to 40 units (the former will include ground-floor storefronts, latching on to Myrtle Avenue’s retail renaissance, and plans for both will be submitted to the Department of Buildings within the next month or so). Greystone will also continue to look at off-market deals to acquire or develop in western Brooklyn, he says; its sweet spot is 25 to 75 units. Five days a week, you can find Jeff (who lives on the Upper East Side with his wife and two boys) running in Central Park—he’s known to get up as early as 4am on weekdays.

In other Clinton Hill news, Madison Realty Capital (above, its co-founder Josh Zegen) and USAA Real Estate Co just announced that they're constructing a 171k SF, 80/20 multifamily building on the corner of Waverly and Atlantic avenues. MRC acquired four properties, plus additional development rights from neighboring properties, for $88.5M to build an eight-story, 191-unit residential apartment building, with retail on Atlantic. (MRC also has another mixed-use project under development in the neighborhood, 504 Myrtle, which The Real Deal reported on last week.)