On the Market: De Blasio Administration Deems Downtown Brooklyn in Need of a Makeover

Payton Chung/flickr.

Downtown Brooklyn. (Payton Chung/flickr)

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has released a report bragging about how great Downtown Brooklyn is, what a success 2004 rezoning was, how it’s only problem is that it’s so popular with residential developers that it can’t get enough commercial development: “We are a shining of example of how careful planning and meaningful investment can re-energize and rebuild a strong urban core,” partnership president Tucker Reed told Crain’s.

De Blasio, however, thinks it needs a makeover, according to The Wall Street Journal, which more aptly describes the neighborhood as “a once-neglected area [that] has grown over the past decade with an influx of residents, restaurants and cultural institutions,” but “still lacks the appeal of many of Brooklyn’s brownstone neighborhoods.”

A neighborhood that’s indisputably hot? West Chelsea. Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group and Largo Investments have paid $34.75 million for a development site on 510-514 West 24th Street, according toThe Real Deal. “Stern said he will be looking to develop the site in a manner that contributes to the quickly changing neighborhood’s character, but declined to comment further at this stage of the project.” So, condos?

Speaking of condos: people are only just now realizing that the Pierhouse condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park are going to block the view of the bridge. Brooklyn Heights Blog rounds up a few of the outraged tweets, i.e.: “I can’t wait until the new residents complain about the footbridge.”

And yet more condos, which will probably be replacing a rare clapboard farmhouse at 121 Charles Street. Curbed recounts the history of the delightful little house, which was once located on the Upper East Side, and was briefly a home to Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, but is now a “blank canvas for a developer,” according to ERG Property Advisors.

Investors are funneling money into Harlem’s multi-family market, betting that they can raise rents as wealthier residents move north, according to The Wall Street Journal. Signs of gentrification are all present, says the principal of a company who nearly doubled their money on two West Harlem apartment buildings purchased in 2012 (though the fact that they bought 59 apartments and seven retail spaces for $8.8 million in Harlem says something): “It used to be … mom-and-pop-type stores. We’re now seeing more chain-type restaurants like Chipotle but also boutiques, trendier ones.”

Gentrification! A Gothamist writer is all riled up about the fact that Brokelyn has dubbed his pals and fellow-patrons of Gotscheer Hall “hipsters”: “Those people actually happen to be my non-hipster friends, longtime patrons of this bar, and Queens natives who have been living in Ridgewood since the mid-aughts.” The mid-aughts! Well, then …

Know what else hipsters/totally-not-hipsters love? Fancy coffee! DNAInfo reports that the men behind Astoria’s Bagel & Coffee Company plan to open a coffee and tea house in Ditmas, to be named 60 Beans after Beethoven’s alleged habit of making a cup with precisely that number. “He was obsessed with his music, but he was also obsessed with his coffee,” one explained. “We share the same obsession,” another said.

And, last of all, the latest sharing economy brouhaha: A judge has given ride-sharing start-up Lyft until Friday to work out its differences with the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Attorney General, Crain’s reports. Somehow we don’t think that’s going to happen, and we’re not sure exactly what the plan to “begin operation in New York City with TLC licensed drivers as a first step forward, while vigorously pushing for a peer-to-peer model through the proper channels” means.