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Top Four Reasons Everyone Wants To Live, Shop, Visit And Stay In Brooklyn


This week on The Stoler Report, Michael Stoler hosted his usual riveting roundtable to discuss why everyone wants to live, shop, visit, and stay in Brooklyn.

Here are the top four reasons, according to the panel, comprised of Acadia Realty Trust’s Christopher Conlon, JDS Development Group’s Michael Stern, Megalith Capital Management’s Philip Watkins and CPEX Real Estate's Brian Leary.


1) Downtown Brooklyn is still on the rise.

It seems as if Downtown Brooklyn never slips out of the real estate news cycle. Don’t expect that to change any time soon. The Fulton Street Mall, for instance, has come a long way from the cellphone stores that proliferated along the corridor just 10 years ago.

But as Chris put it, “Downtown Brooklyn has got a long way to go. The transformation of Fulton Street is in the third inning…There’s tremendous opportunity for that to fill in with better retail.”

Brian added, “I think, for the first time, Downtown Brooklyn has all the components: 1,500 hotel rooms, 60,000 college students within a one-mile radius, the central business district, the municipalities and the office market is just booming.”

2) The Gowanus is starting to clean up.

And we’re not just referring to the canal. The Gowanus area is starting to draw office tenants and retailers who are following in the footsteps of Whole Foods. The upscale grocery chain reinvigorated the area and now serves as an anchor for retail.

“The Gowanus, to me, seems like a place everybody wants to be,” Brian said. “It’s hip, even from an office perspective. It’s kind of like when the Meatpacking District, Soho and TriBeca evolved as the preference for office space…I think all of the retail and everything will follow. Because of developers like Michael, who have built a significant quantity of housing along 4th Avenue and that corridor, it’s all coming together.

3) The local economy continues to rule.

Areas like Bay Ridge and Kings Plaza may still seem relatively remote, but they’re rapidly growing and changing as more residents flock to and settle in Brooklyn.

“I think in a general sense, the economy is local, almost community-specific again,” Brian said. “There’s demand in each market for medical, for academic, for local ancillary services, for retail and particularly for office space.”

4) Really, it’s all about the opportunity.

Why is live/work/play the all-encompassing Brooklyn mantra?

“I think it’s the opportunity,” Brian said. “You can actually grow up there and go to school. You can actually be employed and launch a career now in Brooklyn. There are high-paying jobs, the whole tech sector is booming, there’s financial services, and there’s booming real estate. You almost don’t have to leave.”

Originally airing earlier this week on CUNY TV, the full episode is also available online. To learn more about the current state of the Brooklyn market or our sponsor, click here.