Downtown Brooklyn Development: Residents are Getting New High-End and High-Tech Neighbors

Published on May 24, 2012


There's been an explosion of Downtown Brooklyn rental apartments coming to the market these past few years, and the neighborhood--once a rather depressing district in the great County of Kings, dominated by grim government buildings and cheesy retail, now changing almost daily--is about to get even hotter. As if anyone who's been in the area hasn't noticed, Downtown Brooklyn development is heating up, and not just with new apartments.

Updated reports came recently about three huge projects that are guaranteed to continue the transformation of the neighborhood that already offers its residents excellent public transportation options to and from Manhattan, as well as easy access to all of the cultural and culinary delights of nearby the Brooklyn communities of Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and the BAM/Fort Greene area.

And with the arrival of, in likely order of completion, the Barclays Center, City Point, and the just-announced NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, all three in or near Downtown Brooklyn, it's pretty much a lock that the neighborhood will undergo a retail and restaurant renaissance in the coming years.


First, the Barclays Center, getting ready for its inaugural NBA season next fall as the home of Brooklyn Nets. Located in the Atlantic Yards just up the road a bit from the rest of the Downtown Brooklyn development that's been going on, the Barclays Center easily cleared its final regulatory hurdle last month with the granting of a liquor license to vendors within the venue, thus assuring the NBA stadium will attract plenty of lively customers as well as concert tours and other special events.

Expect the planned bars and restaurants of the sort likely to open near a 19,000-plus-seat arena, as well as plenty of new high-end retail stores, which both the Barclays Center as well as the next-door industrial-building-potentially-turned-"retail-center"" at 400 Atlantic Avenue are actively wooing. There's even talk of Paris boutique hotel Mama Shelter opening up nearby.


Meanwhile in Downtown Brooklyn proper, phase one of the huge City Point project, the four-story mid- to -high-end retail center on Brooklyn’s Fulton Street Mall on Albee Square, is gearing up to open its doors sooner rather than later... and, so, apparently it's time to start dreaming about Phase Two, which basically involves Downtown Brooklyn apartment residents getting a whole lot of new neighbors.

Designed by Cook+Fox with Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture, City Point's Phase Two is ready to move forward and will, according to the architects, include "two residential towers—standing 19 and 30 stories and holding a combined 650 units—sitting atop a 500,000-square-foot retail podium."

Our final bit of news today on Downtown Brooklyn development, New York University announced recently that they've completed a deal with the city to go ahead with their plan to transform the eyesore-ish former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street, long sitting mostly vacant, into a spanking-new applied-sciences institute. Called the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, the school will accomodate 530 graduate students and 50 full-time faculty members. Expect plenty of changes in the immediate vicinity between now and 2017, when the project is expected to be completed.

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