When New Yorkers think about $4 million Brooklyn homes, their first thoughts are probably about brownstones in South Brooklyn and Park Slope. But when photo equipment prince Solomon Mosseri, of Beach Camera, and wife Tamar were in the market for a $4 million home in Brooklyn, they looked way south: Gravesend.
The detached single-family home they picked up at 2029 East 3rd Street from the Franco family might not look like much—its red brick façade wouldn’t be out of place in any number of cheaper Brooklyn neighborhoods, and its Mission-style ceramic roof tiles look straight out of fill-in the blank Los Angeles suburb—but the price and the location, if not the house, were exceptional—the Mosseris paid $4.35 million, according to city records. For some buyers, East 3rd Street in Gravesend is as good as it gets.
That’s because the house sits just west of Ocean Parkway, which, as broker Jesse Temple of Temple Morrow Group put it, “is the equivalent of Central Park or Riverside Drive” to Gravesend’s burgeoning Syrian Jewish community. The homes on the west side of Ocean Parkway are some of the most expensive in Brooklyn, with a 9,200-square foot single-family home at 2134 Ocean Parkway listing for $14 million last May.
Mr. Temple, whose brokerage is listing a pair of two 1960s attached homes nearby at 2238-40 Ocean Parkway for nearly $2.8 million, says that Gravesend has been transitioning from a predominantly working-class Italian neighborhood to a much more expensive Syrian Jewish neighborhood, and that the longtime residents seem very excited to cash out. (The twin properties that Mr. Temple is listing are in a row of three attached homes, and he believes any future buyer will be willing to wait patiently for the third to come onto the market.)
Many of the newcomers appear to be looking for homes they can tear down and rebuild, Mr. Temple told The Observer. But in contrast to the sometimes-rocky relations between some of the older residents of Kew Gardens in Queens and the wealthy Bukharian Jews who are buying up homes in that neighborhood and razing them to make room for newer, larger ones, Mr. Temple said that the older Italian residents in Gravesend seem more welcoming towards their new neighbors.
“I don’t see tensions,” he told The Observer. “I see opportunity and people taking advantage of the opportunity. I see a lot of excitement, actually. Our clients are in their 80s, and they’ve very excited about everything that’s going on in the neighborhood.”
The $4.35 million Gravesend home, like many of the most expensive properties in the Syrian Jewish section of Gravesend, was not publicly listed.