A New Soho?
Much like once-obscure Soho in the 1980s, Bushwick is a magnet for today’s artists and hipsters. And real estate players are now hoping to get in on the action.
Developers are salivating over sites in Bushwick, industry experts said, especially as nearby Williamsburg has transitioned from a gritty industrial area to an expensive residential neighborhood. Bushwick is still relatively affordable in comparison, but is seeing strong demand for rental housing.
But Bushwick’s longtime identity as an industrial area presents obstacles to development, especially when it comes to zoning. Unlike Williamsburg, the city seems committed to maintaining Bushwick’s industrial zoning, experts say, which could prevent the building of large-scale housing developments in the prime northwest corner of the neighborhood.
And for right now at least, Bushwick is significantly “rawer” than Williamsburg, which sometimes comes as a surprise to developers, said David Behin, president of investment sales at brokerage MNS.
“A lot of developers want to put money out in these [North Brooklyn] neighborhoods,” Behin said. “I can see the reaction when we get to Bushwick, though. For a lot of them, it is too pioneering.”Magazine · Newspaper