Real estate in the historic New York City neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is so hot you could warm up from the bitter cold weather just by reading about it.
Among the celebrities to take notice of the charming riverfront enclave are Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who earlier this month bought two apartments for $11 million in The Standish, a redeveloped, 12-story Beaux Arts hotel originally built in 1903. The star couple reportedly plan to combine two eighth-floor condos into one massive home fit for Hollywood royalty.
Their interest in The Standish was perhaps sparked by fellow actor Matt Damon, who last year closed on a penthouse in the building for a whopping $16.7 million. This was the highest residential price tag ever recorded in Brooklyn, unless you count a $20 million deal in October for two apartments, slated to be combined into one home, in the new 30-story Quay Tower, also in Brooklyn Heights.
This is all just some of the news coming out of the area, which has become one of the most expensive places to live in New York City thanks to its charming cobblestone streets, riverfront promenade and block after block of landmarked architecture. The median sales price in Brooklyn Heights was $955,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $770,000 in the borough overall, according to StreetEasy. The median income is about $106,000.
Meanwhile, the number of available apartments was up 21% in Brooklyn Heights in the final quarter of last year, the listings site found. The inventory spike is partially due to these new developments coming to the market, along with others such as One Clinton, a 36-story luxury condo that launched sales this week and is slated to open in 2020.
Originally established in the 1830s and once home to a large Jehovah’s Witness population, who housed their world headquarters there, the area is often compared to the likes of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. It boasts rows of beautiful brownstones and is home to the mom-and-pop-style shops that have become scarce in Manhattan.
“There are a lot of people that feel Manhattan has lost some of the soul that existed for so long,” explained Andrew Anderson, the Douglas Elliman broker who handled the massive Quay Tower sale last fall. “There are a lot of people that crave that, and now those people are more open to Brooklyn than they were in the past.”
He added that celebrities are attracted to Brooklyn, particularly its coveted Heights, because the borough offers more privacy than Manhattan, which is packed with tourists even in the coldest of winters. However, unlike other outer boroughs like Queens and the Bronx, Brooklyn has an array of luxury new developments to choose from in numerous neighborhoods.
“Far and wide, it is a more laid back place,” Anderson said of the borough. “Celebrities can walk into a local coffee shop and not be bothered. People let them live.”