4th Annual Massey Knakel Summit Covers The World That Is Brooklyn
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Anything but Williamsburg – please!
There are plenty of hot Brooklyn neighborhoods besides Billyburg in the borough of Kings, developers and money men told a crowd convened Tuesday at the Massey Knakal Real Estate Summit.
For Hudson Companies, Prospect Lefferts Gardens is The One.
“We’re really excited about this neighborhood,” said Alison Novak, vice president.
The firm is building a 23-story residential tower at 626 Flatbush Ave. with lots of amenities in an area where the tallest buildings are 16 floors high.
Another neighborhood pick of Hudson’s is Kensington, where it’s building a 73-unit apartment house. Both developments are rentals.
“We’re ringing the Park right now. Park Slope is too expensive for us,” she said.
Asked how the developer picks out Brooklyn sites, she said, “Our trick is that we’re really cheap.”
The fourth annual confab, held at Stage 6 at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, drew 650 attendees.
Other panels focused on tenants that are bringing money and jobs to the borough, from food entrepreneurs to Tech Triangle business owners, or dissected the challenges of multi-family construction.
For Eli Karp, president of Hello Living, would take Prospect Heights and Crown Heights over Williamsburg or Park Slope any day. And recently, he has moved into Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he’s constructing apartment buildings with elevators that open into the units and balconies.
Andrew Barrocas, chief executive of MNS, agreed there’s still “huge opportunity” in Bed-Stuy.
For Jonathan Butler, the founder of Brownstoner and Brooklyn Flea, Crown Heights is where he has made his development bet. He has leases out with six tenants at 1000 Dean St., which he is turning into hip office space for creative types who live in the vicinity.
A beer hall he’s building there will serve as a “dining hall” for workers during the day and, he hopes, will serve rivers of brewski by night.
Since 1000 Dean got underway, retail on nearby Franklin Avenue has really taken off, said moderator Dave Maundrell of aptsandlofts.com.
Maundrell – whose firm is going great guns with a rental apartment in Brighton Beach that was 50% leased in three weeks – took a contrarian stance about where real estate opportunity can still be found.
“Park Slope is underbuilt,” he said.