lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2014

City Living: Greenpoint has charm and neighborliness

While some say Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood as up-and-coming, others insist Greenpoint has already arrived.
Historically a home to a large community of Polish families and industrial warehouses, its proximity to Manhattan and the trendy neighborhoods of Long Island City and Williamsburg of which it borders have made Greenpoint a desirable place for an increasing number of businesses to set up shop.
“Twelve years ago I used to describe this as New York City’s best-kept secret. The rent used to be low – but when you create a great neighborhood the demand to live here goes up,” said Joe Haines, 36, who works at Coco 66, a music venue on Greenpoint Avenue.
He also previously lived in Greenpoint for more than 10 years.
A great bar scene and international cuisines are what Haines attributes to the noticeable increase in “foot traffic” on the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares, such as Greenpoint and Manhattan avenues.
The quiet waterfront blocks in the west end of the neighborhood are increasingly coveted by real estate developers. Stunning views of the city’s skyline are offered from places like Transmitter Park at West and Kent streets.
Palin Enterprises, for example, recently announced plans to construct a 39-story tower at 145-155 West Street. A nearby development site was purchased by UK-based private equity firm Quandram Global for $45.5 million with plans to build at 161 West Street.
Other locals, like Andrew Orlowicz, 28, a writer, appreciate Greenpoint for its integrity and the charm it retained despite changes in the neighborhood over the last few years.
“I still love the feeling of transportation I get when I walk down Manhattan Avenue and don’t hear a word of English,” said Orlowicz, who moved onto a block “inhabited almost exclusively by Polish families” two years ago by chance.
“Of course I also love all of the great restaurants and bars which don’t get quite as mobbed as the ones just a few blocks south in Williamsburg,” he said. Trendy new bars, like Ramona at 113 Franklin St., have opened in parts of the neighborhood removed from the Williamsburg border.
Haines also describes Greenpoint as being less “saturated” with people than other parts of Brooklyn. “Here there is still breathing room.”
According to Citi Habitats real estate broker Eugene Litvak, who sells frequently in both Williamsburg and Greenpoint, that concept of “breathing room” makes the neighborhood increasingly desirable.
“There aren’t a ton of high rises,” Litvak said, adding that an abundance of privately owned shops and an absence of franchises like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts helps Greenpoint retain “a very nice neighborhood feel.”
To partake in it, renters are looking at about $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom walk-up, and double that for a two-bedroom, according to Litvak. He advised that those interested in purchasing real estate to act quickly: Last month two apartments on Kingsland Avenue sold for 33% higher than what they were purchased for two years ago.
Though locals expect the neighborhood to endure further changes as its potential is fully realized, they say today it is comprised of a happy mix of new-comers and old-timers.

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