08/27/14 5:57pm


The NY Times takes a look at the former Jehovah’s Witness 5 inter-connected buildings to the Kushner Companies for $375 million that’s being redesigned for commercial and technology tenants. A sixth building, 90 Sands Street, the 30 story hotel building will close in 2017.

The most obvious use for the six brick behemoths, also known as Brooklyn Bethel and clustered around Pearl and Sands Streets, would have been loft apartments; Dumbo has quickly become one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in the borough. But the Bloomberg administration was desperate to keep the spaces commercially zoned, to provide homes for the city’s growing tech sector.

The name Dumbo Heights is meant to evoke the “gritty lofts of Dumbo and the lofty grandeur of Brooklyn Heights”. The strength and popularity of the startup scene in Dumbo is a blessing and a challenge for early stage businesses trying to upgrade their office space. This is where developers Jared Kushner, Aby Rosen, and Asher Abehsera see an opportunity for these startups to mature into growth firms:

“Two Trees has really mastered the 500- to 2,500-square-foot office suite for start-ups, but these companies need somewhere they can grow without having to leave the borough,” said Natalie Hurwitz, a broker at Sholom & Zuckerbrot and a former city planner. “People live in Brooklyn, they want to work in Brooklyn, but businesses are almost totally out of room. Dumbo Heights is just what the borough needs.”

Etsy leased 200,000 square feet of space in the 117 Adams Street building and WeWork, the Manhattan co-working company leased 90,000 square feet of office space at 81 Prospect Street. There will be local food and retail in the buildings. The NY Times writer, Matt A.V. Chaban writes “Expect gluten-free bakers, Edison-bulb-lighted bistros, maybe a beer hall and of course sushi, all run by some classically trained, tattoo-covered chefs. “It’s going to be like our little hipster kibbutz,” Mr. Abehsera said.” The article points out that there is a chance that part of the complex may become residential to help underwrite the purchase. “An obvious candidate is a 30-story hotel built in 1992 at 90 Sands Street where many of the Witnesses have stayed.”

{Etsy Leases 200,000 Square-foot of Dumbo Heights Starting in 2016, 14May2014}
{Former Watchtower Buildings, Now Called Dumbo Heights, Expected to Open First Quarter 2015, 01May2014}
{WSJ: Watchtower Building Sale Will Transform Dumbo, 08Oct2013}
{The Witnesses Remove Signs from Watchtower Buildings in Dumbo, 27Aug2013}
{Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Dumbo Properties for $375 Million, 08Jul2013}
{Brooklyn Tech Triangle Unveils Plans to Expand and Support Tech Ecosystem, 19Jun2013}
{Mayor Bloomberg Unveils the Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo, 01Oct2013}

08/15/14 10:25am

The DUMBO Improvement District is hosting a family-friendly dance party in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge this Saturday (8/16) from 3-7pm. From DUMBO Improvement District:

The DUMBO Improvement District, in partnership with BBOX Radio, is thrilled to announce the launch of TunnelVision:DUMBO, a seasonal series of community-centric dance events taking place in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. The inaugural event on Saturday, August 16 will feature a lineup of DJs spinning everything from world beat to soul to house music, plus public art and family-friendly fun, MC’d by Tony-nominated Broadway star Sahr Ngaujah. The event is free and open to all.


Date: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Time: 3 – 7pm
Location: Archway under the Manhattan Bridge (closest address 155 Water Street)

08/14/14 10:26am

MNS, the Brooklyn real estate firm published their July 2014 Brooklyn Rental Market Report today (along with their Manhattan Rental Market Report). Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS, notes that while month-to-month prices have fallen due to the maturation of inventory on the market in several neighborhoods, Brooklyn’s yearly progression continues its steady upwards pattern. He believes that this trend will continue as new developments and conversions enter the market at a relatively moderate pace in the near future.

The report reveals that in Brookln, rent prices in Brooklyn decreased by approximately 2.58% from $2,741 in June 2014 to $2,670 in July 2014. Rent prices increased 4.14% from $2,564 to $2,670 compared to July 2013.

Avg. Studios: $2,113 (Greatest change since June: -25.9%/$500 in Bed Stuy)
Avg. One-bedrooms: $2,597 (Greatest change since June: +14.4%/$411 in Cobble Hill)
Avg. Two-bedrooms: $3,301 (Greatest change since April: -11.3%/$436 in Cobble Hill)


Some other highlights of the report include the following:

  • Rent prices in Brooklyn decreased by approximately 2.58 percent from $2,741 in June to $2,670 in July
    • From July 2013 rent prices increased by 4.14 percent from $2,564 to $2,670
  • Listing inventory increased 2 percent from June 2014 from 2,271 units to 2,327 units
  • One bedroom units in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill witnessed the largest price increases
  • Studios in Bay Ridge and Bed Stuy witnessed the largest price decreases
  • The largest annual upward and downward shift in rent prices were seen in Crown Heights and Dumbo, respectively
    • Rents increased 17.5 percent in Crown Heights up from $1,796 in July 2013 to $2,110
    • In Dumbo, rents decreased only .3 percent from $4,083 in July 2103 to $4,071
  • A number of new luxury developments in Brooklyn Heights have caused a price surge in the neighborhood
  • Although monthly price averages have remained stable, Cobble Hill is amongst the highest in terms of increases in yearly price changes
  • Average studio pricing: $2,113
    • Greatest changes since June: Down 25.9 percent ($500) in Bed Stuy
  • Average one-bedroom pricing: $2,597
    • Greatest changes since June: Up 14.4 percent ($411) in Cobble Hill
  • Average two-bedroom pricing: $3,301
    • Greatest changes since June: Down 11.3 percent ($436) in Cobble Hill

In Dumbo, both monthly and yearly average overall rents remained relatively stable decreasing a minimal 1.95% and .3% respectively. In Dumbo for July 2014, studios were $3,004 (vs $3,095 in June 2014), one bedrooms $3,756 (vs $3,847 in June 2014), and two bedrooms $5,454 (vs $5,515 in June 2014). Here are the Dumbo price trends over 13 months for studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms:
BK_Market_Report_july_14_pdf 2

For full report, go to www.mns.com/brooklyn_rental_market_report

{May 2014 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{March 2014 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{January 2014 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{November 2013 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{October 2013 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{July 2013 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{May 2013 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{Brooklyn Rental Market Report (Year End 2012)}
{October 2012 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{September 2012 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{June 2012 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{May 2012 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}
{April 2012 Brooklyn Rental Market Report}

08/12/14 12:17pm

To celebrate their grand opening, Dumbo’s newest (and much needed) gastro-pub The Bridges is offering $5 premium drafts, day or night throughout the month of August. They are located at 66 Water Street in the former Water Street Cafe location. It’s a warm and welcoming space serving quality food, cocktails and beer. Owner Gina O’Keefe and Chef Carl Alioto have created a menu that infuses simple American cuisine into gastro-pub style dishes. The food is fresh, innovative and relevant. The Bridges has 14 flat screen TV’s installed in a non-intrusive way throughout the bar and dining area.

Located in a cozy section towards the back of the restaurant, you will find two new pool tables, which are complimentary for guests. The Bridges is redesigned to be a place for anyone interested in having a relaxed dinner or drinks while taking in sporting events from around the world.

They have daily food deals, so stop in today and enjoy Dumbo’s newest gastro-pub.

[Editor's Note: This is not a sponsored, paid, or native post. No money, goods, or services were exchanged by the author and The Bridges. Comment below with feedback if you've tried the food at The Bridges.]


The Bridges (www.thebridgesdumbo.com)
66 Water Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

08/07/14 4:01pm
Damon Dash in the kitchen, via First We Eat and Damon Dash's Instagram

Damon Dash in the kitchen, via First We Eat and Damon Dash’s Instagram

It seems all but official: Damon Dash, his son Boogie and rapper Cam’ron are taking over the failed Dish restaurant in DUMBO.

Speaking with First We Eat, Damon Dash confirmed the refocused restaurant will hopefully open sometime in August. “Really, when I looked at the restaurant, I was so excited,” Dash said. “I was like, ‘I’m doing it!’ and then I instagrammed it, and then I had to do it.”

A former Dish employee confirms he heard the same information from an ex-coworker. “They [heard] she [former Dish owner Samera Abed] was trying to sell the place to Damon Dash…but I hear she was asking too much for the place.”

Dash explained that he and his team are still finalizing the menu, but that it will potentially feature a range of dishes. The late-night arm of the restaurant, Dash Lounge – whose loud after-hours patrons ruffled some feathers in the neighborhood – is scheduled to reopen as well.

“I’m going to have a night menu, or at least I’d like to. It’ll be real selfish – stuff that I love,” Dash told First We Eat. “For me, I’ve got to have a cheeseburger, chicken fingers, and a cocktail. I like ghetto gourmet.”

We’ll keep you posted as we hear more updates. As always, feel free to leave questions or leads in the comments!

08/07/14 2:01pm
Tatyana Falalizadeh, http://stoptellingwomentosmile.com

Tatyana Falalizadeh, stoptellingwomentosmile.com

The August First Thursday Gallery Walk is tonight, and the DUMBO BID has your map and gallery listings ready to go. As part of the Gallery Walk, galleries and shops stay open late, and are free and accessible to the public.

Among the exhibits drawing a buzz leading up to tonight’s events is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s “Stop Telling Women to Smile.” Fazlalizadeh’s work has found acclaim in its powerful address of gender-based street harassment. Her work will be on display at the Made in NY Media Center at 30 John Street.

Don’t forget to stop in for a drink around the neighborhood while you’re visiting the exhibits. Find happy hour specials here, including a buy-one-get-one-free deal at Gran Electrica from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.