BOERUM HILL & CARROLL GARDENS
THE BASICS: It’s a standard Brooklyn demographic: “Italians who’ve been here for years, Hispanics toward the Gowanus, yuppie families in the really nice brownstones, and twentysomethings renting from the yuppie families,” says resident Adam Green. The average townhouse now sells for over a million, but, Chris Thomas of William B. May points out, “There’s a great deal of variation.”
WHAT'S NEW: “The trend has been to take three- and four-family houses and turn them back into one or two-family houses,” says William Ross, president of William S. Ross Real Estate. But there are also a few conversions of industrial spaces, like the 48 rental units in the Lili Rose, a former furniture warehouse at Warren and Smith. Brand-new condos on Degraw Street between Court and Smith, going for around half a million, sold out last year, as did those in the more affordable Martin on Sackett Street—two-bedroom, skyline-view apartments went for $325,000.
BARGAIN HUNTING: Try “Carroll Gardens West”—the Red Hook border zone on the far side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. “Sales run 10 to 15 percent below the equivalent amount of space on the other side of the divide,” says Thomas. The Gowanus Canal cleanup has revitalized the southeastern edge of Carroll Gardens—look for “sweet little three-story townhouses that you can still buy for what you’d pay for a two-bedroom condo,” says Thomas. In Boerum Hill, prices drop the closer you get to the projects.
HOT SPOTS: French bistros—Bar Tabac, Patois, Banania Cafe—abound on white-hot Smith Street. You’ll find plenty of bars on and around the strip, too, including Boat, Roxy, Brooklyn Inn, and—come summer—the outdoor Gowanus Yacht Club. Try the Red Rail on Henry Street for brunch, and get your java at Halcyon or the Flying Saucer.
PREDICTION: Gentrification fueled the price increases of the past several years, but demand is finally coolingÂ—instead of twenty buyers for every property, there are five. Look for sale prices to hold for houses and larger apartments in Carroll Gardens and the prime section of Boerum Hill (closer to Cobble Hill), but to soften for less desirable units. In the long run? “The very last buildable lots have been developed or are being developed,” says Bill Ross. “Within two years, nothing new will be built, and prices should go up a lot.”