Dumbo Top Ten in 2007

18 Adams Street

2007 continued to be a year of change in Dumbo Brooklyn, and with change comes residents who welcome it and others who are bitter. The days of cheap artist lofts are gone; Dumbo is now known for million dollar luxury condos which has affected rents in surrounding lofts. The ones who can afford those new condos are mostly new residents, who are attracted by Dumbo’s charm, convenience, and now-luxury industrial buildings. Long time residents see building construction and new businesses overwhelming infrastructure and miss the gritty streets of old Dumbo that inspired their creativity. Coincidentally, those old-timers coined the name DUMBO to keep the area’s charm a secret from developers. New and old residents now coexist in what is now the Dumbo Historic District. Let’s take a look back at 2007 and see how old and new made Dumbo a year of change.

  1. New Residents Moved Into New Buildings
    Real estate stayed strong in Dumbo (and Brooklyn in general) despite the country’s downturn overall. Residents moved into new condos at Beacon Tower (79 units), J Condo (267 units), and Vinegar Hill’s 206 Front Street (31 units).
  2. …But Some Dumbo Real Estate Was Affected by the 2007 Credit Crunch
    Previously offered as condos but due to cooling real estate for developers, 99 Gold Street (88 units) and 133 Water Street (52 units) withdrew their plans and offered the apartments as rental units.
  3. New Retailers Opened in Dumbo in 2007
    ModernTots, Stewart Stand, Pretty Inside Spa, Neighborhoodies, Aswoon/Susan Woods, Cheeky Dog, Zakka, GallyQB, and PowerHouse Arena’s Boiler Room. Two pharmacies finally open in Dumbo: Nate’s Pharmacy and Bridge Apothecary. Others retailers are sure to open soon, but will Apple take a risk in Dumbo in 2008?
  4. Panhandlers in Dumbo
    Some feared for their safety as others were annoyed by constant panhandling. The Brooklyn Paper even covered the issue and the Dumbo Improvement District held a Crime Prevention and Safety Seminar.
  5. Once Again, Dumbo (and Brooklyn) Named Top Destination
    Both Lonely Planet and the NY Times declared Dumbo as a destination in the US in 2007. Some Japanese press also got in on the action. Also despite some artists being pushed out due to high real estate prices, there are still many events and galleries for artists: BklynDesigns, Art Under The Bridge Festival, Shepard Fairey Exhibition, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition show.
  6. Dumbo Improvement District Continued Moving
    The Dumbo BID announces their aggressive 2007 plans in March, and hosts a fundraiser to Save Dumbo. Now that Dumbo has been given landmark status, can we get the much needed Belgian Blocks repaired?
  7. Speaking of BID, Have You Been Enjoying the Pearl Street Triangle?
    The ‘pocket park’ at the Pearl Street Triangle that began in June was built in record time by July. Not without its controversies, residents are hoping for the triangular park to become more ‘park-like’ with in-ground trees and some curbs in the future.
  8. 39 Front Street Demolished and Dock Street Building Plans Revealed
    The Zerega building, the first American pasta factory built in 1848 on 39 Front Street was torn down to make way for a temporary parking lot before the Dock Street project is approved and built. Two Trees Management proposed a 15-20 story building which is opposed by many in the neighborhood (including Councilman Yassky).
  9. DOB Woes
    Old buildings were torn down, some with Dept of Building violations. After the 205 Water Street building demolition story was posted on DumboNYC, Brooklyn Paper wrote about it and Councilman Yassky was forced to put a stop work order on the property. Other buildings, such as 215 Plymouth, Guttman properties 50 Bridge and 53 Bridge Street were put on alert by the Dumbo Neighborhood Association.
  10. The old loosely defined Dumbo is now the Dumbo Historic District
    On December 18, Dumbo was designated landmark status by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The borders of the Dumbo Historic District are defined by the street scapes and landmark buildings on it. (Click for PDF map of the boundaries.) This is the most significant event for Dumbo in 2007, which protects the industrial heritage and distinct historic character.

Of course there were many more changes and events in Dumbo. There will be much more to come in 2008. Feel free to comment below on other items of significance in Dumbo in 2007. Have a happy new year!

Previously: {Dumbo Top Ten in 2006}

8 Comment