Although Mayor de Blasio’s proposed BQX project, which would connect the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts via streetcar, received praise from many, finding money to fund it may be tougher than expected. Earlier this month, a leaked memo obtained by the Daily News laid out a tough assessment of the construction logistics and financial problems facing the project. And while the mayor admitted last week that his plan for the BQX to be self-funded through tax revenue from higher real estate values may not pan out, an article in Crain’s laid out an idea for the city to sell air rights in the Brooklyn Navy Yard neighborhood to raise money for the project.
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Like most things in New York, creative communities come and ago as new development and rising rents force artists to move on to the next best, or cheaper neighborhood. While 6sqft found ‘hoods like the Upper East Side, Harlem and Long Island City to be the best places for artists a few years back, we’ve updated our top-10 list to reflect the changing times. Ahead you’ll find some areas you may expect–Sunset Park and Bushwick, for example, along with more up-and-coming artsy enclaves like Newark, Washington Heights, and the South Bronx.
Though we can see how the otherwise potential-filled historic–and allegedly haunted–Lefferts-Laidlaw mansion at 136 Clinton Avenue in the Clinton Hill/Navy Yard/Wallabout neighborhood may terrify prospective buyers with an ask of $4.499 million, an 1878 New York Times account describes the persistent and mysterious ring-and-run situation that apparently plagued the home’s then-resident, Edward F. Smith. Neither crafty attempts to discover who was responsible for “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis and a brick hurled through a window, nor police intervention could produce a culprit. The house became a fixture on the map of spiritualists who held seances on the sidewalk. Locals suggested the pesky poltergeist might be either a lawyer who had committed suicide on the premises, or, as Mr. Smith suggested (possibly with some sarcasm attached as it was, after all, Brooklyn), Satan.
Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we turn to Brooklyn.
The culturally rich, architecturally stunning Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill need little introduction. The Brooklyn Navy Yard to the north is busily growing as a start-up business incubator and creative and commercial hub. An “in-between” zone—the sort of area that engenders a question mark and a furrowed brow when perusing neighborhood maps—lies just north of Myrtle Avenue and south of the Navy Yard.
Known as Wallabout, the area was named for Wallabout Bay to the north, much of which was filled in to create the Navy Yard in the 19th century. Unique among its neighbors, a block-long stretch of this border district feels more like a small-town side street than a growing urban crossroads.