Downtown Brooklyn's Upward Growth

Downtown Brooklyn is a newfound point of interest for residential developments.  Historically a base for office spaces, a rezoning spurred on a change in direction.  To be sure, the Wall Street Journal reported that the dozens of Downtown Brooklyn's projects that made their start eight years ago will have provided more than 8,000 residential units.  Indeed, there has been a marked increase in the median sale price for the area's condos, with StreetEasy noting a raise from $406,900 to $585,000 from 2009 to 2013.  Additionally, a comparison of median sale price for condos, co-ops, and houses are at $909,806 for new developments, and $545,000 for resales.  In particular, Flatbush Avenue Extension, Livingston Street, and Fulton Mall are all points of interest for developers.

Retail, too, is carving out its space, seeing an increase in available square footage to complement the housing growth.  For example, City Point is a mixed-use construction, containing retail, residential, and office, that expresses its commitment to a local, Brooklyn-centric approach with, "By Brooklyn, For Brooklyn".  The project was stalled in November last year.

Still, there are emerging constructions, such as that at 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension, a residential which underwent a design change in October, abandoning its previously futuristic form for a more conservative one.  At 53 stories and 595 feet, the recently completed 388 Bridge Street, another residential, is Brooklyn's tallest building.

Similarly, the residential towers in Atlantic Yards have been underway.  Planned to be the tallest of its kind, the modular residence, B2, it is slated for occupancy late this year.  The current Atlantic Yards project maintains the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, as its centerpiece.  Designed by SHoP Architects, the 32-story building is having its prefabricated residences made in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  B2's 363 units are the first of a planned 6,430 residential spaces.  Mid-last year, Greenland Holdings Group, a Shanghai-based, state-owned, developer was sold 70% of the project.  As reported in the Wall Street Journal late last year, Zhang Yuliang, chairman and president of the developer, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "Atlantic Yards is about more than Brooklyn and New York as important as this development is for the city.  It is about how we build sustainable, well-designed housing to meet the needs of diverse groups of people."

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