Brooklyn Heights, a Historic Residential Enclave With Coveted Townhouses and Enviable Manhattan Views

Brooklyn Heights has long been considered one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the borough. With its historic townhouses, tree-lined blocks, and waterfront views overlooking Manhattan, it’s no wonder the neighborhood’s appeal has only grown over time. Its high concentration of antebellum homes and historic institutions made it the first neighborhood to receive protection under New York’s Landmarks Preservation Act of 1965 and in 1966 Brooklyn Heights was added to the National Register of Historic Places to preserve its uniqueness. while carefully welcoming new developments.

“Not only is it an incredibly beautiful neighborhood, but it’s also very historic, so some of Brooklyn’s oldest homes, if not the oldest, are in Brooklyn Heights,” said Lindsey Barton Barrett, associate realtor at Douglas. Elliman.

Because the neighborhood was developed quite early compared to some of its neighbors, such as Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo, there is not much room left for new buildings to rise, however, a handful have slipped over some of the last remaining vacant plots. ground.

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Brooklyn Heights is one of the first neighborhoods encountered when crossing the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan. Its position along the East River gives way to direct views of lower Manhattan and is bounded by Old Fulton Street and the Brooklyn Bridge to the north, Cadman Plaza and Court Street to the east, Atlantic Avenue to the south and Furman Street, as well as the Brooklyn-Queens Freeway (BQE) to the west. Neighboring areas include Cobble Hill, Dumbo, Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn.

Price scale

Prices here run the gamut, but it’s generally recognized as one of Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods. The neighborhood’s median sale price is currently around $1.3 million, while the median monthly rent is $3,850, according to data from StreetEasy.

Brooklyn Heights is no stranger to record sales and rental prices. In May, a penthouse at 67 Livingston Street rented for a record $40,000 per month, just two days after hitting the market with a listing price of $30,000 per month. A five-story, $25.5 million brownstone at 8 Montague Terrace, sold in late 2020, set a new record for the most expensive home ever sold in the borough. A famous five-bedroom Brooklyn Heights brownstone at 19 Cranberry St., featured in the 1987 film “Moonstruck,” sold in May for a whopping $11 million.

Interior view of a five-story, four-bedroom Anglo-Italian townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. The property is currently listed for $6.59 million.


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Housing stock

Low-rise cooperative buildings and townhouses make up the main composition of Brooklyn Heights, although several of the neighborhood’s historic high-rise buildings, such as 360 Furman St. (now known as One Brooklyn Bridge Park ) and the former Standish Arms Hotel, have been converted into luxury condo buildings over the past 10-15 years. In 2019, developers RAL Companies tapped architectural firm ODA New York to design Quay Tower, a 30-story residential tower along the waterfront at 50 Bridge Park Drive, bringing 126 condos to the neighborhood. Despite the increase in condo development, the townhouse market remains the area’s main attraction and continues to record high transaction volumes.

The growing demand and low supply of available housing ensures that available properties are quickly bought or rented, creating a certain level of difficulty for potential buyers and tenants.

“When things hit the market, they go very fast,” says real estate attorney Shaun Pappas, partner at Starr Associates. “This is a highly sought after area, so as lawyers we need to act extremely quickly on these transactions. You don’t get a two week contract negotiation when you negotiate something in Brooklyn Heights.

This six-bedroom, 6,200 square foot townhouse in Brooklyn Height features a modern interior and private parking. The house is currently asking for $10.5 million.


What makes it unique

Homes and institutions evoking architectural styles such as Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Victorian Gothic, Renaissance Revival, and Queen Anne are all found in the neighborhood.

“It seems like one of the most coveted things in all of New York City is a Brooklyn brownstone, and Brooklyn Heights is filled with stately homes that are taller, on average, than homes in every other neighborhood in Brooklyn. and still offer stunning views,” explained Barton Barret.

Although the neighborhood is quiet and residential, it’s only a few minutes from Manhattan by subway, providing a small neighborhood feel with easy access to the city as a whole. Additionally, Brooklyn Heights is home to the Center for Brooklyn History, a nationally recognized urban history center in an iconic building designed by George Post, dedicated to preserving the borough’s history.

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Luxury amenities

Brooklyn Heights offers the luxury of enviable views of Manhattan from several hotspots, with the Brooklyn Heights Promenade – an 1,826-foot-long platform and cantilevered pedestrian walkway over the BQE – being the one of the most popular. There’s also Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is ambiguously considered part of Brooklyn Heights and offers 85 acres of waterfront outdoor space with six piers and a host of activity spaces ranging from a roller skating, pickleball and kayaking. ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina at Brooklyn Bridge Park offers anyone with a boat the ability to reserve any of its 102 berths for a fee.

New condo developments like Quay Tower offer a wide range of exclusive amenities that include fitness centers, children’s playrooms, concierge services and private rooftop spaces with pristine skyline views, among other benefits reserved for residents.

This five-bedroom townhouse in Brooklyn Heights features a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Lower Manhattan Skyline, East River, and Brooklyn Heights.


Who lives here

Over the years, the neighborhood has attracted more and more residents exploring their options outside of Manhattan. Many younger families have embraced the neighborhood, attracted by factors such as the wide selection of reputable private schools to choose from and the amount of space provided at its prices, compared to locations in Manhattan.

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Notable residents

Being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city, it’s no surprise that many celebrities call Brooklyn Heights home. One building in particular – The Standish, an early 1900s Beaux-Arts building converted into 29 luxury condos in 2016 – is home to a plethora of celebrities, including Matt Damon, who bought the 12th-floor penthouse for 16.75 million in late 2018. Actress Emily Blunt and her husband, John Krasinski, also own condos at the Standish, paying $11 million to combine two eighth-floor residences in 2018. Recently, famed architect Bjark Ingels purchased a penthouse in the historic St. George Tower Cooperative Building for $2.1 million.

In 2019, actress Michelle Williams bought a $10.8 million townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, and actor Adam Driver also owns a townhouse in the neighborhood. Other notable residents include singer Björk, actress Zendaya and actor Paul Giamatti.

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“Whether it’s older townhouses or newer condominiums, the supply of both is limited, so they will continue to appreciate over time,” said developer Robert Levine, Founder and CEO of RAL Companies. “Brooklyn Heights’ architecture isn’t going to change much either, as many of these historic buildings are iconic to ensure they stay true to their character and have strict guidelines in place for any potential restorations.”

With little room for new development and the timelessness of Brooklyn townhouses, prices are likely to continue to rise in Brooklyn Heights, attracting high net worth individuals and families looking to own or rent a piece of land. history while enjoying modern comfort. and those coveted views. New condominiums with top-notch amenities and services also help ensure that demand does not dry up for the foreseeable future.

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