Boerum Hill, Brooklyn: A ‘Village in the City’

Katie McShane and her husband, James O’Reilly, were hunting for an apartment in Brooklyn in 2017 when they noticed a “for sale” sign in front of a brick house in Boerum Hill. Ms. McShane, 36 years old, is very attractive. O’Reilly, 38, recalls thinking, “There’s no way we could afford a townhouse.”

Not their own, anyway. So they teamed up with Ms McShane’s brother and his wife to buy a four-story home for $3.3 million, converting it into two duplexes.

Life in Boerum Hill, with its 19th-century brownstone and brick houses, has allowed the couple “to take a little more breath in than in Manhattan, where we’ve been before,” said O’Reilly. , the president of a cooperative company said . The “old” neighborhood is also minutes from amenities including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. (Sure, there are more restaurants and bars on the Lower East Side, their old neighborhood, said McShane, an attorney, but they use very little.)

Residents praise the accessibility to transport, with 13 metro lines nearby – although only one, the F/G in Bergen Street, lies within the neighborhood’s boundaries. Howard Kolins, who bought a brick building circa 1899 with a college friend in 1987 for $415,000, said: “If you hop on train 2 or 3, it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to Wall Street.

Mr. Kolins, a live event producer, is president of the Boerum Hill Association, a civic group that has worked to preserve the neighborhood’s low-rise character. To that end, it was instrumental in the creation of the Boerum Hills Historic District, with nearly 250 buildings in 1973, and the Historic Extension District with an additional 288 buildings in 2018.

“Boerum Hill is, as we like to say, a village within the city,” said Sue Wolfe, a Corcoran dealer and one-time Boerum Hill resident. The neighborhood, Ms. Wolfe said, has long passed the time when “realtors had to say ‘Brooklyn Heights neighborhood’ to attract buyers.

Now, Mr. Kolins says, “We all say, ‘Gee, I can’t afford to live here if I buy today.'”

According to the map of Brooklyn Community District 2, Boerum Hill is adjacent to Schermerhorn Street to the North; Warren Street to the south (although some say Baltic Street); Court Street to the West; and Fourth Avenue and Flatbush to the east.

With many Greek Renaissance and Italianate restaurants, the neighborhood is part of what has come to be known as the “brownstone Brooklyn”. Tamir Shemesh, an agent for Douglas Elliman, said: “Potential buyers often think of it” is almost like going out of town, because you have beautiful rows of houses, very historic buildings, you see a lot of sky”. (Mr. Shemesh is currently selling an apartment at 561 Pacific Street, a 12-story building with a Japanese-inspired aesthetic.)

Thai, Japanese, Italian, French, Mexican, vegan and other cuisines abound at many restaurants nearby, many on Smith Street, a major street where “you can shop, you You can eat, you can buy shoes, you can get your nails done,” said Mr. Kolins.

Cultural offerings include Roulette, a performance venue on Atlantic Avenue, another bustling business corridor, and the Invisible Dog Art Center, housed in an 1863 factory building on Bergen Street.

The appeal of the area prompted Ryan Serhant, a real estate agent familiar with viewers of Bravo’s “New York Million Dollar Listing,” to purchase an 8,000-square-foot brownstone home on Thai Street. Binh Duong in 2018 for $7.6 million.

“It’s location, location, location,” Mr. Serhant said. “I can walk home from a Nets game at the Barclays Center,” and his trip to the SoHo office “takes 16 minutes by car.”

One neighborhood concern is the construction of 100 Flatbush Avenue, planned to be the city’s first all-electric tower and the first of two in the Alloy Development project. . The developers have scaled back the project, which includes affordable housing and two schools, and has been “very responsive,” said Mr. Kolins, but some residents are still concerned about a building. 44 stories facing low-rise houses on Government Road.

According to information provided by Ms. Wolfe and her daughter Lissa M. Wolfe, also of Corcoran. The median price of 36 townhouses sold in 2021 was $2,937,500, up 2% from the median price in 2020, when 19 townhouses were sold.

As of January 20, 61 homes in Boerum Hill are up for sale on StreetEasy. The most expensive is a 10-room townhouse at 75 Bond Street, listed for $5.75 million. The least expensive is a 453 square foot studio at 58 Saint Mark’s Place, listed for $595,000. (The highest-priced condo is an eight-bedroom, four-bedroom home on 265 State Street, listed for $4.85 million.)

Of the 18 available rentals, the highest priced one is a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment at 342 Bergen Street, for $6,500 a month; The lowest is the four-room unit at 376 Atlantic Avenue, listed for $3,400 a month.

Cosy and cosy, Boerum Hill offers a “sense of urban living” while “somehow feeling like a small village,” says Mr. Kolins.

The neighborhood – which borders other popular areas like Park Slope, Fort Greene, Gowanus and Downtown Brooklyn – is home to “a lot of lawyers and Wall Street people,” along with “a lot of people.” creative,” he said. Bringing the residents together is an annual crop sale, a potluck holiday party and a biennial home tour. (In 2020, the tour of the house was canceled because of Covid-19, but “we are thinking of doing it this year,” Mr. Kolins said.)

The Hoyt Street Association maintains the Hoyt Street Garden (one of three community gardens), which hosts art events and story hours. The garden is controlled, but the keys are given “to neighbors and those who work nearby,” according to the association’s website.

“Boerum Hill is more community-driven than we anticipated,” said the first Manhattanite, Mr. O’Reilly. “It’s nice to walk down the street and you get a nod from the neighbors.”

Elementary schools on Boerum Hill include PS 261 Philip Livingston, at 314 Pacific Street, and PS 038 The Pacific School, at 450 Pacific Street.

In the year 2020-21, PS 261 enrolls 691 students, kindergarten through fifth grade. In the 2018-19 school year, the most recent school year for which data are available, 58 percent met state standards in English, compared with 48 percent citywide; 53 percent met standards in math, compared with 50 percent citywide.

In the year 2020-21, PS 038 enrolls 547 students, kindergarten through fifth grade. In 2018-19, 63 percent met standard in English and 61 percent met standard in math.

MS 447 The School of Math and Science Discovery, at 345 Dean Street, enrolled 539 students in grades five through eight in 2020-21. In 2018-19, 83 percent met state standards in English, compared with 47 percent citywide; 85 percent met state standards in math, compared with 41 percent citywide.

While technically only F and G stop inside Boerum Hill’s borders (at Bergen Street), other accessible lines include train lines A, C, B, D, N, Q, R, 2,3, 4 and 5.

According to the Boerum Hills Association, modern Boerum Hills began in the 1960s when a new resident, Helen Buckler, purchased and renovated an old brownstone and searched for a charming name to attract others to the area. this. She found it on a 1775 map depicting Simon Boerum’s 80-acre ranch. Although there is no hill, the name Boerum Hill was born.

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, Register here. Follow them on Twitter: @nytrealestate. Boerum Hill, Brooklyn: A ‘Village in the City’

Fry Electronics Team

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