Gonna Take You Higher: Skyscrapers are getting taller and spreading to Brooklyn. Why they are still a good investment
To look at the number of cranes rising into the New York skyline line you would find it hard to believe the talk of a slowing market. Now they are matching Manhattan for height. The first Brooklyn building to break the 1000 ft mark is at 9 Dekalb Avenue. The building, designed by SHoP Architects, will hold 500 residential units at market value. It begs the question, what it the enduring attraction to live in New York City when a short commute via bridge or tunnel to New Jersey and beyond could save residents a small fortune?
As with all real estate it’s a question of supply and demand. Manhattan is an island that can only accommodate a certain amount of construction. With so much business being located there, real estate is at a premium and so there’s bound to be a spill over. Brooklyn has enjoyed over a decade’s worth of gentrification. It’s been the obvious next best place to live. Gorgeous brownstones, parks, culture and a short commute into the city. The fact is, despite being named the most unaffordable city in America last year Bloomberg, there are still many people who can afford to live in the borough. It takes less time to commute to Wall St from Brooklyn than much of Manhattan, and is largely still more affordable.
As prime Brooklyn, too, becomes crowded it’s inevitable that the borough would take a leaf out of Manhattan’s book and reach for the sky. It still has a way to go. There are currently over 20 super tall buildings either proposed, completed or under constructions in Manhattan. These include One World Trade Center (1776 ft), Extell’s Central Park Tower (1550 ft) on 57th St and nearby SHoP’s 111 W. 57th St (1428), which will not only be tall but like a construction supermodel, extremely skinny. Further south, 30 Hudson Yards (1287ft) will house the city’s tallest observation deck located on the building’s 75th Floor, over 1000 feet over the Gotham. As the Manhattan skyline morphs in front of our eyes, Brooklyn development will continue unabated. That is bound to anger some who reveled in the borough’s reputation for being the anti-Manhattan at one point.
“To me this project is enlightened urbanism at its best, where old and new are combined, where short and tall are combined in juxtaposition,” said Frederick Bland, a landmarks commissioner of of 9 Dekalb Avenue.
Another attraction for sky-high living is the high end amenities than come with it. They are almost a city within a city. For investors, or buyers simply wishing to park their cash somewhere safe, comps are abundant and the other well heeled residents ensures that the value of their property will never drop. Let’s not kid ourselves that owners of these apartments are calculating how much they would save by commuting or sending their kids to well performing state schools in the suburbs. A 1000ft plus luxury building with condo selling for $5 million and above appeals to a different type of buyer. There’s a price, which many are willing to pay, for the convenience of being in the center of the action with everything you could possibly wish for at your disposal. Only now that price looks set to extend across the East River.