On Wednesday, there was a Community Engagement meeting with the NYC Department of Education to address the overcrowding of P.S. 8 school. The Department of Education cut a full kindergarten class from P.S. 8 to alleviate the overcrowding for the first time in its history. State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Steve Levin and Assembly person Jo Anne Simon with the school PTA called the meeting at the Library of P.S. 287, 50 Navy Street in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Bridge Parents provided a good recap of the meeting. According to the recap, DOE Chief Executive of Space Management Thomas Taratko “clarified that PS 8 never had the planning capacity for a 6th Kindergarten class and while the principal of the school had accommodated a 6th section during the last two years to allow all in-zone children to attend PS 8 the school has no capacity to continue to do so.”
Thomas Taratko insisted that the zone of PS 8 is too large and rezoning should have happened two years ago. “Rezoning is on the table and we are working on a rezoning proposal for the school year 2016/2017. We have a couple hundred available seats at PS 307 and PS 287.” A task force of parents, PTA members, school officials, elect officials, the DOE and the CEC will work on a rezoning proposal and solutions beyond the immediate rezoning. By November the rezoning committee of the CEC 13 could make their decision for next school year leaving more time for parents to plan accordingly.
Brooklyn Bridge Parents points out that with 1,841 new residential units coming to the PS 8 school zone between 2015 and 2019, the community needs to expect over 500 additional elementary-school-aged children. Rezoning will alleviate some unfilled seats in local schools at P.S. 307 and P.S. 287. However other solutions to accommodate all kids in the area will be needed.
MNS, the Brooklyn real estate firm published their April 2015 Brooklyn Rental Market Report yesterday (along with their Manhattan Rental Market Report). The report notes that average rents across Brooklyn rose slightly this month. The average rent in Brooklyn increased to $2,714.14, up 0.48% from $2,711.22 in March 2015. Over the past 12 months, Brooklyn rents are up 2.26%, from $2,663.93 in April 2014.
Boerum Hill saw the greatest change in rent prices since last month, with average rents falling 7.72%. Clinton Hill saw the greatest increases of any neighborhood in the report, with prices growing an average of 4.53% since last month.
From a year-over-year perspective, the largest changes in average rent prices occurred in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn and Greenpoint. The average rent is up10.8% in Downtown Brooklyn over the last year, from an average of $3,114.00 in April 2014 to $3,451.00 in April 2015. Average rents are down 7.7% in Greenpoint over the last year, from $2,896.00 in April 2014 to $2,673.00 in April 2015.
Some other highlights of the report include the following:
Average rents in Brooklyn increased to $2,724.14 in April 2015. Monthly growth was 0.48% from March 2015
Year-over-year increases were 2.26% from April 2014
Listing inventory grew by 1.17% in April—up to 3,019 from 2,984 units in March
Williamsburg comprised the largest amount inventory in April, accounting for nearly 24% of all listings
The largest monthly increase
Studios in Dumbo rose by 7.75%, from $3,004 in March 2015 to $3,236 in April 2015
Studios in Crown Heights rose by 7.11%, from $1,428 in March 2015 to $1,529 in April 2015
One bedroom units in Clinton Hill rose by 7.65%, from $2,421 in March 2015 to $2,606 in April 2015
The largest monthly decrease
Studios Cobble Hill decreased by 15.29%, from $2,019 in March 2015 to $1,968 in April 2015
Studios in Brooklyn Heights decreased by 12.22%, from $2,539 in March 2015 to $2,229 in April 2015
Two bedroom units in Bay Ridge decreased by 9.42%, from $2,248 in March 2015 to $2,037 in April 2015
Dumbo: April’s most expensive rental properties are in Dumbo, with studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms at prices up to $3,236, $3,976 and $5,701 respectively
Bay Ridge: April’s least expensive studios and one bedrooms are in Bay Ridge, at $1,343 and $1,633 respectively
Average studio pricing: $2,116, down from $2,139 in March 2015
Average one-bedroom pricing: $2,640, up from $2,608 in March 2015
Average two-bedroom pricing: $3,417, up from $3,386 in March 2015
In Dumbo for April 2015, the average neighborhood rent increased 3.86% since March. The average price for studio and two bedroom units increased 7.75% and 4.59%, respectively, since last month. One bedrooms in the neighborhood saw prices fall slightly, dropping by an average of .08%.
Studios were $3,236 (vs $3,004 in March 2015), one bedrooms $3,976 (vs $3,979 in March 2015), and two bedrooms $5,701 (vs $5,451 in March 2015). Here are the Dumbo price trends over 13 months for studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms:
The proposed Wegmans store, set to open in 2017, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Credit Greenberg Farrow (Image from NY Times)
Wegmans, the the Rochester-based grocery store is planning on opening their first New York City location at Brooklyn Navy Yard, which borders Vinegar Hill (and 5 minute walk from the York Street F station in Dumbo). The 74,000-square-foot market will anchor a new shopping complex along Admiral’s Row, which is set to open in 2017, according to NY Times.
Grocery stores in New York City have been going through a transformation, going upscale with stores such as Trader Joe’s Brooklyn (opened in September 2008), Whole Foods Brooklyn (opened in December 2013), and Fairway in Red Hook Brooklyn (which re-opened in March 2013 after extensive renovation post-Hurricane Sandy). Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have been very well received by New York shoppers, according to The Real Deal, and can withstand New York’s high retail rents because of their substantial sales volumes. Anecdotally, we’ve heard from Trader Joe’s employees that the Brooklyn store is the highest grossing location per square feet.
Across Sands Street, a four-story parking garage will be built, for use by Wegmans and other Navy Yard tenants, with a floor or two of industrial space above it.
Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn (on Court St and Atlantic Ave) is 14,000 square feet, Whole Foods in Gowanus/Park Slope Brooklyn is 56,000 square feet and Fairway in Red Hook is 52,000 square feet. At 74,000 square feet, the Wegman’s Brooklyn store will be the by far the largest among the big 4 grocery stores. Can Wegmans, with its cult following appeal to Brooklynites? We think so.