It boasts spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. It features original Civil War-era wood beams and natural oak flooring. But the best attribute of the two-and-a-half bedroom apartment available to rent at 275 Conover Street might very well be the Fairway Market located on the ground floor of the building. Found in the historic Red Hook Stores building, a 1860s-era warehouse with renovated loft apartments, the pad is asking $7,000 per month (grocery bill not included). As Brick Underground learned, that’s roughly two and a half times the median rent for a two-bedroom in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
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6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites artists to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Janice McDonnell shares some of her paintings of the Brooklyn waterfront. Are you an artist who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
In a city as bustling and overbuilt as New York, it’s easy to forget this metropolis’ roots as a port city, and that all boroughs but the Bronx are islands. The timeless beauty of NYC’s watery surroundings are not lost on artist Janice McDonnell, who has produced a series of paintings of the Brooklyn waterfront. “It started out as just documenting to enjoy myself,” McDonell said. That’s how it started, but the more she got into it from her Dumbo studio, the more the combination of buildings near the broad harbor and their contrast to the sky began to resonate with her. Ahead, see Janice’s paintings and hear all about her inspiration and process.
Red Hook waterfront; photo courtesy of Sunghwan Yoon’s Flickr
Like many waterfront communities in New York City, Red Hook is posed for a major redevelopment, with officials itching to bring new housing, commercial space and even mass transit to the industry-heavy Brooklyn neighborhood. In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address this month, he said the neighborhood is “full of untapped potential” and called on the Port Authority to “accelerate consideration of relocating its Red Hook maritime activities to free up this waterfront for more productive community use.” While almost all of the area is zoned for manufacturing purposes, there’s been a significant reduction of industrial space in Red Hook, concerning its long-time residents as retail space has started displacing manufacturing, according to Crain’s.
Photo of Fairway on the Red Hook waterfront, via CityRealty
The story of Red Hook is ripe for a movie-rights bidding war. In the past, there were mobsters and maritime ports, hurricanes and housing developments. Now there are politicians and developers fighting to rebuild and locals fighting back. In the end, what will happen to Red Hook is unknown but none of the massive proposals will happen in the near future. It is a small community in a big city that is tackling the issue many neighborhoods have dealt with in the past – how to grow.
After the massive Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort, there is a very solid and passionate local population and a growing cluster of cool restaurants, retailers, and artists attracted to the area. That coupled with the recent political attention by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio and the developers drooling over the possibilities of the 130 acres of land ripe for redevelopment (that’s six times the size of the $25 billion Hudson Yards development) make Red Hook very newsworthy.
Red Hook waterfront, photo via Sunghwan Yoon on Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday to study a possible extension of subway service from Lower Manhattan to a new station in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. In addition to expanding transit options, the governor is also asking the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to consolidate maritime operations by relocating them to Sunset Park, as a way to free up space for community activities. The revitalization of Red Hook is Cuomo’s 21st proposal expected to be delivered in his 2018 State of the State address on Wednesday.
All concept renderings via Albo Liberis
Unusual and flashy aren’t words that come to mind when describing the industrial architecture of Red Hook, but a new proposal from the architects at Albo Liberis wants to infuse some colorful personality into the relatively sleepy waterfront ‘hood. First spotted by CityRealty, the firm published renderings for a kaleidescope-looking, glassy office building at 150 Mill Street, right next to the BQE and less than a five-minute walk from Ikea and the NYC Ferry stop. And though the renderings are merely conceptual at this point (no permits have been filed), they certainly think outside the box, complete with a festive roof deck, their signature diaganal angles, and ground-floor retail.
What Red Hook lacks in accessibility it certainly makes up for in charm, and this lovely two-family rowhouse at 168 Coffey Street is definitely worth some extra travel time. Built in 1867 as one of seven similar houses on the cobblestone block, it boasts a brick facade, quaint front garden, and a large backyard. Plus, if you don’t mind commuting on the open seas, the $2.5 million home is just five blocks from the NYC Ferry stop.
Topanga Canyon retreat? Stinson Beach surf shack? If you guessed either you’d be wrong, but this fully-detached single-family home at 71 Dikeman Street in Red Hook, asking $2.5 million, definitely has a California bohemian vibe that’s perfect for the laid-back waterfront neighborhood. In addition to a well-executed renovation, the two-story house has a 50-foot landscaped garden with an outdoor kitchen that’s the picture of summer leisure living.
Flooding during Hurricane Sandy left many residents of Red Hook without basic services for weeks. While many had hoped the city’s $100 million initiative would help protect the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood from a 100-year flood event, a new feasibility study shows the plan would actually only protect it from a 10-year flood event. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city plans on scaling back the flood-protection system in Red Hook because of its high costs, and the study revealed a larger project could cost about $300 to $500 million more.
While we’re used to seeing headline-stealing buildings from innovative design firm SHoP Architects–Barclays Center, the American Copper Buildings, and what will be Brooklyn’s tallest tower, to name a modest few–we don’t see SHoP-designed townhouses every day. This particular two-family home at 87 Dikeman Street in the heart of creative and laid-back Red Hook has at least four bedrooms and consists of an owners’ triplex and a rental unit plus a garden and off-street parking. But it’s the home’s design that will likely attract the most attention, with an exterior comprised of zinc panels juxtaposed with polar white concrete planks and accented by a hardwood slat screen and full-height peerless windows. This 3,080-square-foot home, its innovative design–and design pedigree–can be yours for $3.15 million.