The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2 Pie Face NYC locations in Coney

Just saw that Pie Face NYC is not only in Steeplechase Plaza but also has a spot inside Luna Park's main amusement area. Also inside Luna Park are Maui Wowi, Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices and a Nathan's kiosk. The chains have invaded Luna Park. Very promising sign.

In order for Coney to become the next Times Square it is very necessary to have a mix of successful chains and local businesses. That looks very much like it is happening at a rapid pace.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Best answer to the Toronto Raptors GM cursing Brooklyn

Nets Win! Barclays was electric tonight!                                                                                                                                                                     

Thursday, April 24, 2014

50-story tower could sprout on Junior's site

Crains excerpts-

JPMorgan Chase is weighing the sale of air rights on its landmarked branch in downtown Brooklyn to the developers of a site next door. The sale could pave the way for the rise of one of the tallest towers in the booming neighborhood.

The bank, which declined to comment on its plans, owns the turn-of-the-century, neoclassical building at 9 Dekalb Ave., a two-story property with hundreds of thousands of square feet of untapped development rights above it. Those rights could come in handy for whomever ends up buying the site next door, the longtime home of one of Brooklyn’s most famous eateries, Junior’s.

“Every developer in New York City is looking at this,” said Stephen Palmese, partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services, the firm selling the Junior’s site at the corner of Dekalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension.

The purchase of JPMorgan Chase’s air rights could pave the way for a roughly 385,000-square-foot tower on the Junior’s site, with as many as 50 stories. That would be just three stories shorter than the borough’s current record holder, the 53-story tower at 388 Bridge St., and one below the 51-story Brooklyner at 111 Lawrence St. The new building would likely house residential units and/or a hotel.

Junior’s owners, meanwhile, have vowed to continue operating their restaurant in whatever building replaces its current digs.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No Seaside Concerts this year

Horrible news

Brooklyn Paper -

Coney Island will go silent this summer.

Ex-Borough President Marty Markowitz’s Seaside Concert series will not rock the People’s Playground for the first time in 35 years, sources say.

“So far as I know, there are no plans to do it this summer at all,” said Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of the neighborhood’s Community Board 13.

Borough President Adams’s office confirmed that the music series would be taking this summer off, due to construction at the venue site — which will create an amphitheater adjacent to the landmarked Childs restaurant building to provide a permanent home to the concerts.

Reichenthal wondered if perhaps the shows — which last year featured acts like Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Smokey Robinson — might lack the necessary funding and organization to continue after Markowitz’s departure from elected office in January.

“They were Marty’s baby,” said Reichenthal.

Markowitz started the free concert series in Coney Island’s Asser Levy Park in 1978, while he was serving in the state Senate, and ran them through a private organization. They received both public funding and corporate sponsorship, and were attended by thousands each year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

64 Percent of New Renters in Bklyn Make over $75,000 Annually

Brooklyn Reader excerpt -

Brownstone Brooklyn’s popularity among those living outside of New York State is on the rise and those who are coming have heavy pockets, according to a recent report by Ideal Properties Group, a leading real estate firm.

The report, entitled, “Profile of Tenants in Brownstone Brooklyn,” is the latest in a quarterly report of demographic and rental behaviors of renters in North and Central Brooklyn.

As rents skyrocket to insane prices across Brooklyn, more and more New Yorkers are left scratching their heads wondering, who are all these people that can afford these rents in this struggling economy?

The report may provide at least one answer: the rich from out of town!

According the report, of Brooklyn’s new renters in the first quarter of 2014— 33 percent— made an average income of between $75,000 – $99,000.

Furthermore, a whopping 64 percent made between $75,000 – $300,000+.

Pie Face NYC comes to Coney

and joins Maui Wowi as another chain infiltrating into Luna Park. This time in Steeplechase Plaza. As I stated the fact that franchises are not only surrounding Luna Park, but now inside of it is a very positive sign for future Coney Island business success. Very good news!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One pride. One goal. One dream. One reason. ‪#‎FORBROOKLYN‬

Who's Buying Brooklyn Real Estate? People Earning More Than $300K

DNAinfoNY excerpt

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn's becoming home to the wealthy.

All signs point to a rise in people earning $300,000 a year or more flooding brownstone enclaves like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens and hot communities like Williamsburg and Greenpoint, according to Ideal Properties' inaugural "profile of home buyers in Brownstone Brooklyn" quarterly report released Tuesday.

The number of these high-income earners who bought homes in these areas shot up more than 316 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year.

They accounted for 30 percent of the buyers, the report found.

"The reality is that people with deeper pockets and a lot more cash available are buying in the area," said Aleksandra Scepanovic, managing director of Ideal Properties, who has been working in Prospect Heights for more than a decade.

Her office decided to sort through buyer data after a client, "who in any other circumstance or country would be considered wealthy," was considering selling a Prospect Heights townhouse because "the filthy-rich people were moving into the neighborhood," Scepanovic recounted.
She wanted to find out what was going on beyond that person's block.

"A lot of our agents are working with buyers who, even if they have $500,000 in savings and $200,000 available to put down, [agents] are shopping them around with hundreds like them or better qualified," she said.

Is Bay Ridge Becoming the New Williamsburg?

Excerpt -

BROOKLYN — Will Bay Ridge become the borough's next "it" neighborhood?

The working-class area immortalized on the silver screen by Saturday Night Fever's disco-dancing Tony Manero represented 20 percent of Brooklyn's new development sales in the first quarter of 2014, according to a report released by real estate company MNS on Thursday.

But the company's CEO Andrew Barrocas isn't ready to anoint the South Brooklyn neighborhood just yet, noting that while it saw the lion's share of the borough's new development purchases, there were only 14 such transactions in Bay Ridge.

"I think it shows the lack of inventory in these other neighborhoods," Barrocas said of hot Brooklyn areas like Williamsburg.

The median price-per-square-foot of new development in Bay Ridge jumped 7.4 percent over the past year, to $558 from $517, with the median home price jumping 14.5 percent to $655,498 from $560,037, the report found.

That price may seems like a relative bargain compared to the $1.41 million median price for new condos in Williamsburg, where 450 units are in the pipeline. That neighborhood's median price per square foot for the first quarter of 2014 was $829, the report said.

The north Brooklyn waterfront is getting so pricey that re-sales are also hitting records, Barrocas said. An apartment in the Edge, for instance, is in contract for $1,800 a square foot, he said.

South Brooklyn may be a beneficiary of North Brooklyn’s skyrocketing prices.

In fact, among the buyers at 185 Battery Ave. — one of the new projects along with 9917 Shore Rd. that helped push Bay Ridge’s new development sales in first place — were Williamsburg transplants, according to Renee Dorsa of Dorsa Group Realty.

Other buyers in the eight-unit building, where prices started at $740,000, came from Brooklyn Heights and within Bay Ridge, she noted.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian coming to Coney proves

that established franchises are now not only surrounding Luna Park in Coney, but they are infiltrating into the amusement park as well. A great move by Luna Park and a great sign that Coney is on its way to being extremely successful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New in Marine Park - Wheel Fun Rentals

Welcome to the premier bike and boat rentals destination in Brooklyn; featuring the largest selection of custom cycles, bicycles, boats, and more - guaranteed fun for the whole family! Wheel Fun Rentals at Marine Park enables adventurers to explore this wildlife preserve in a fun, new, and exciting way.

Enjoy this peaceful and serene environment as you glide across the mirror-like water on a stand up paddle board. Or hop into a single or double kayak to investigate Gerritsen Creek as you paddle around White Island.

If you prefer to stay on land, you can still enjoy the green marsh grasses as they wave in the briny breeze from one of our many bikes available. Choose from our signature four-wheel Surrey or enjoy low to the ground glory on a Chopper. With so many options, there is something for everyone!

Maui Wowi comes to Coney!

Maui Wowi Hawaiian Sets Up Shop in Coney Island

The fruit smoothie retailer opens its newest location at Luna Park, a New York amusement park in historic Coney Island.

Greenwood Village, CO (PRWEB) April 16, 2014
Maui Wowi Hawaiian, the popular fresh fruit smoothie and Hawaiian coffee company, announced the opening of its newest location at Luna Park in Coney Island. The seasonal tiki hut opened this week to greet the visitors that waited anxiously for the amusement park fun to begin.

The famous New York City attraction and home to The Cyclone, a historic Coney Island roller coaster, Luna Park is a perfect fit for the fun Hawaiian themed Maui Wowi concept. The company’s cool treats blend well with the outdoor, family friendly destination where franchise owner, Mitch York, is excited to draw in new customers.

“The park offers great visibility for the brand and is just steps from the Coney Island boardwalk and the beach,” says York. “It’s a major draw for New Yorkers and we look forward to serving them our one-of-a-kind Maui Wowi smoothies all summer long.”

York got his start with Maui Wowi in 2002 and has since built a very successful business. He focuses on catering private parties and corporate events, as well as serving at universities. York says he also continues to expand and look for new opportunities such as Luna Park, which is operated by Central Amusement International.

“As we continue to expand our food and beverage offerings here at Luna Park in Coney Island, we are thrilled to be able to offer Maui Wowi’s fresh fruit smoothies, which are refreshing, all-natural and gluten free,” said Brian Williams, General Manager of CAI Foods at Luna Park. “Summers are relatively warm in New York, so guests can now cool down with Maui Wowi’s fresh fruit smoothies, available in a variety of tropical flavors.”

Some of the flavors that will be available include Mango Orange, PiƱa Colada, and Strawberry; all of which are made with fresh fruit purees and probiotic fat free yogurt.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian first introduced its better for you smoothies over three decades ago at festivals and fairs similar to the fun amusement park atmosphere of Coney Island. As a healthier alternative and fun tropical drink, Maui Wowi smoothies bring a taste of the Hawaiian Islands to Coney Island.
Maui Wowi will be open during park hours now through the end of the 2014 season. For more information and hours of operation, please visit

About Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies:

Since 1982, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has embraced the Hawaiian culture and has been serving paradise in a cup since the day it began, 30 years ago. From event carts, mall kiosks and stand-alone retail locations Maui Wowi Hawaiian offers premium, all-natural, gluten-free, fresh-fruit smoothies, as well as gourmet Hawaiian coffees and espresso beverages. With over 450 operating units in seven countries, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has truly gone “Global” by adding an online store, Now customers from anywhere in the world can experience the prized-gourmet Hawaiian coffees and taste the ‘Aloha Spirit’ with a ‘Click-of-a button!’ To learn more information about Maui Wowi Hawaiian’s, products, locations, or flexible, low cost franchising opportunities, visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hale & Hearty, Chipotle, Au Bon Pain Take Space in MetroTech Center

Commercial Observer excerpt-

Hale & Hearty Soups will be opening at 2 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn this fall after signing a 10-year lease for 1,760 square feet, MetroTech Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies announced.

New York-based Hale & Hearty, which has 30 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island, sells sandwiches made with artisanal breads, salads and 15 to 20 different soups per day. All soups are made from scratch in Hale & Hearty’s Brooklyn kitchens.

The fast-casual eatery joins Chipotle, which opened at 1 MetroTech last month, and Au Bon Pain, which will have a grand reopening this Friday.

“Downtown Brooklyn is fast becoming proof positive that healthy, delicious and affordable dining is what customers want,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City, in a prepared statement. “With 100,000 office workers and 15,000 residents in the neighborhood, MetroTech is an ideal location for new restaurants. As the Downtown Brooklyn business hub continues to transform, we expect even more great food options to open in the area.”

Sunset Park Development Sells for Nearly $20M

Commercial Observer excerpt -

Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of a 123,785-square-foot, two-story industrial building at 150 52nd Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for $19.5 million.

The lot currently holds an industrial building with seven commercial tenants and a 30,631-square-foot open parking lot, but it carries with it 201,930 square feet of total buildable air rights. The demand for development opportunities in the area led to a sale price that came in $2.7 million over the asking price, brokers said.

“The high demand for commercial space in Brooklyn is keeping rents on an upward trajectory and investors keen on capitalizing on this trend are driving prices and pushing past the usual geographical boundaries,” said Jakub Nowak of Marcus & Millichap, who represented the seller, a private equity partnership, with Hemal Patel, in a statement.

“[It] gives the new owner the opportunity to add significant value over time by increasing the rent roll and capitalizing on the strong and steady growth in local commercial rents.”

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Alliance is taking over management of the Coney Parking Lot

The Alliance also announced its management of Coney Island Parking – Coney Island’s Official
Parking Lot, located at 1904 Surf Avenue – which will debut on May 1st and will offer special deals and discounts to the amusements for all beachgoers and visitors using the lot.

From the Coney Alliance press release

Excerpt -

In 2014, Coney Island is poised for an exhilarating summer season, with an ever-
expanding index of eateries and attractions that are sure to delight visitors of all
ages. Kicking off with Rita’s Italian Ices on Sunday April 13th which is celebrating
its grand opening by offering free regular ices given all day on Sunday (4/13) and
Monday (4/14), then 50% off on Tuesday (4/15). The much anticipated
Thunderbolt Rollercoaster, which will be located in the site of the original.

Thunderbolt made famous in the 1977 Annie Hall movie, Red Mango, BurgerFi and
Johnny Rockets, the 1950’s themed restaurant, will all open their doors to the
millions of Coney Island visitors this summer. Additionally, on May 26, Coney
Island USA will reopen the doors to the Coney Island Museum, which has been
rebuilt after Sandy and will feature highlights including a 3-D printed scale of Luna

MCU Park will host over 100 youth, high school and college baseball games before
the Brooklyn Cyclones even throw their first pitch of the 2014 season on June 14th.
The ballpark will also host the Big East Tournament, for the first time since 2006,from May 21-25. Later this summer, the best and brightest stars in the New York-Penn League will descend on Coney Island for the 10th Annual NYPL All-Star Game on August 14th. Single game tickets for the 2014 Cyclones season will go on sale Saturday, May 10th at 10am.

Coney Applebee's opens new sidewalk seating

Coney Island Facebook -

Beautiful addition to Coney Island for 2014! Sidewalk seating at Applebee’s Coney Island!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rita's Italian Ices Grand Opening

 9 hrs

What's new on Coney Island? Be sure to check out the new Ritas Coney Island on Surf Avenue between 11 am and 11 pm today and receive a cup of Italian Ice for FREE. That's a nice little perk on this perfect spring day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony at Barclays Center last night

Billboard excerpt -

The 2014 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held Thursday night at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, honored Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam), Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, KISS and Hall and Oates. It would be an evening of debts repaid, honor restored, tributes paid and stories told, accompanied by worthy performances of the music that landed the honorees in the Hall in the first place.

Nights like these make me so happy the Barclays Center anti-development Nimbys didn't win. Just as the Coney Island anti-development faction didn't win. Brooklyn changing before our eyes. Good to see!

Brooklyn rents hit record in March

Bloomberg excerpt -

Brooklyn apartment rents rose to a record in March and new leases more than doubled, extending a surge in housing demand in the New York borough that was once seen as a refuge from Manhattan’s high costs. 

The median monthly rent was $2,900, up 13 percent from a year earlier and the highest since appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate began tracking the market in January 2008. The number of new leases surged to 854 from 311 in March 2013, the firms said in a report today. 

Brooklyn, the most populous of New York’s five boroughs, has become a magnet for the young and affluent, who are drawn to its gentrifying neighborhoods. Last month’s median rent was $300 cheaper than Manhattan’s, compared with an average spread of about $1,100 in 2008, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. Rental demand is also surging as the number of homes for sale in the borough tumbled to a six-year low. 

“Brooklyn is on everybody’s radar, and whatever type of housing you’re in the market for, there isn’t enough of it,” Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “Both the for-sale and rental markets are at or near record levels, and there’s a chronic lack of supply.” 

Rental prices were up across all size categories in March. Apartments with three or more bedrooms had the biggest increase, rising 27 percent from a year earlier to a median of $4,450, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. The median rent for one-bedroom units was $2,747, up 16 percent.

Manhattan Rents

Across the East River in Manhattan, the median monthly apartment rent was $3,200 in March, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. It was the first month without a year-over-year decline since August. 

Brooklyn is adding residents and jobs at a faster pace than any other New York borough, sparking a boom in commercial development. Private-sector jobs in Brooklyn jumped 26 percent in the decade through 2013, Labor Department data show. In Manhattan, the increase was 13 percent for the period. 

“Brooklyn is standing on its own and isn’t overshadowed by Manhattan as a destination,” Miller said.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Surf Avenue Assemblage

From the Ariel Pa website -

Investment highlights: 
Ariel Property Advisors presents one of the largest, most exciting development opportunities in Brooklyn: The Surf Avenue Assemblage in Coney Island. The Offering consists of various vacant parcels of land located along Surf Avenue between West 16th and West 20th Streets. Situated across the street from MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, and steps away from the famous Luna Park, The Surf Avenue Assemblage lies at the epicenter of the historic Coney Island community. R7-X and C2-4 zoning allows for approximately 380,426 buildable square feet, as-of-right or up to 507,235 buildable square feet with inclusionary housing. Buyers can also explore a larger assemblage opportunity by incorporating adjacent sites currently owned by HPD – please contact us for more information on this potential opportunity. Developers will also be able to take advantage of the property’s significant retail frontage. With few assemblages of this scale ever coming to market, the Surf Avenue Assemblage represents a unique opportunity to develop a project in one of New York City’s most dynamic submarkets.

Builders talk Brooklyn

Real Estate Weekly excerpt -

James Nelson of Massey Knakal sat down with David Von Spreckelsen of Toll Brothers, Ken Horn of Alchemy Properties and Michael Stern of JDS Development to discuss their current projects and the real estate landscape in New York City.

James Nelson: Please tell us about your recent projects and what you are currently working on.  

Ken Horn: I’m currently working on three projects. In Brooklyn, we developed 32 residential condos and 11 townhouses on Sackett and Union Streets, off of Court Street. We’re completing the 35XV Condominium on West 15th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, which has Xavier High School on the bottom and 16 floors of residential on top. We’re also converting the upper 30 floors of the Woolworth Building, where we hope to start selling at the end of May.

David Von Spreckelsen: We are working on about eight projects now. We’re finishing sales at the Touraine at 65th Street and Lexington Avenue. On 22nd Street and Third Avenue we have sold 71 of the 81 units. We are about to open 400 Park Avenue South for sale, a joint development with Equity Residential, who will have the first 22 stories as rental and we’ll have the top 18 as condo. We just opened our Brooklyn Bridge Park project for sale, called Pierhouse. It’s a joint venture with Starwood Capital Group, with a 200 room hotel and 108 condos.

Michael Stern: We are finishing up at Walker Tower. There is one unit left, a penthouse. We are working on another conversion on West 50th and 9th Avenue called Stella Tower, a 51-unit, 120,000 square foot project. We just broke ground on a condo conversion and a new tower at 111 West 57th Street at 6th Avenue, the former Steinway Building. In Brooklyn, we are starting a new job on Baltic and 4th Avenues which will be about 65 units on the Park Slope side of 4th Avenue. Our big rental project on 1st Avenue and 35th Street is 800 units and just under one million square feet.

James Nelson: You have all been active in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Are you shifting more of your focus to Brooklyn?

Ken Horn: The Brooklyn market is a very strong market. The building we just finished averaged around to $1,100 a foot, which is a real big number for Brooklyn, especially for large units. The idea that the Brooklyn market is propelled by people moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn is not necessarily true. Of our buyers, 55% were from Brooklyn. I’m very, very bullish on Brooklyn. It’s expanding, it’s moving, it’s not just Park Slope and Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens and Williamsburg – it’s got wings.

James Nelson: The average price for a building in Manhattan last year was $1,000 a square foot versus Brooklyn’s $350 a square foot. Brooklyn rents are not 35 cents on the dollar, so there is definitely opportunity. David are you looking to do a lot more in Brooklyn? How about Queens?

David Von Sprekelsen: We started in Brooklyn. Our early projects were in Williamsburg and DUMBO. What we’re achieving now at Brooklyn Bridge Park just blows my mind. It has a relatively high carry cost because there is no tax abatement, yet we’re still averaging more than $1,500 a foot, which I never thought I would see this soon. We like Brooklyn a lot, but we like better neighborhoods, and we also want to have some economies of scale, some size. Therefore our choices in Brooklyn are really limited. I still think the Gowanus area is fantastic. At the right size and the right price, I would do something at Greenpoint and Williamsburg. We have done a project in Queens, in Hunter’s Point right after the district was rezoned. Clubs, restaurants – there’s stuff there, there’s just a limit because you start to get very close to the Queens Bridge, which is the largest housing project in the country. You also have a bunch of industrial zone areas over there, but just like with Greenpoint and Williamsburg, at the right size and the right price I’d probably do something in Long Island City.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Welcome Back Marty!!!!!

NY Observer excerpt -

Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who last year told the Observer that he wanted to be involved in “advocating for greater tourism outside of Manhattan” after leaving office has landed a new gig doing exactly that.

NYC & Company, the city’s tourism office, today announced that Mr. Markowitz has been named vice president of borough promotion and engagement, tasked with drawing visitors to the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and yes, Brooklyn.

“Marty is a tireless champion for Brooklyn and all of New York City, bringing a wealth of public sector experience to NYC & Company,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “He will be an outstanding asset as NYC & Company looks to further build on its efforts to expand five-borough tourism and encourage more travel to every corner of our City.”

For his part Mr. Markowitz said he was excited to start the gig.

“NYC & Company is one of the world’s leading municipal marketing and tourism organizations, and I am honored and humbled to join their talented team to build on the excellent work they have done to position New York City as a vibrant and welcoming five-borough destination,” said Mr. Markowitz.  “New York is America’s national city and our country’s top international travel destination, and in my new role, I look forward to helping NYC & Company keep it that way.”

Businessweek - Brooklyn’s Hipster Economy Challenges Manhattan Supremacy

Excerpt - 

Marty Markowitz was strolling in Vienna when he noticed mannequins in a shop window wearing hats emblazoned with Paris, London and Brooklyn. The store had plenty of London and Paris models. Brooklyn was sold out. 

“They said they couldn’t restock the Brooklyn hats fast enough,” said Markowitz, 69, who spent 12 years as president of New York City’s most populous borough before retiring in January. 

Brooklyn’s cachet as a global brand and epitome of urban hipsterdom is shifting New York City’s center of gravity, reducing the supremacy of Manhattan across the East River and exerting more influence on New York’s political, economic and cultural life. It’s creating jobs and adding residents at a faster pace than any other borough, sparking a boom in commercial development to supply the new masses.
“When we started the Zagat Guide in 1982, we listed about 25 Brooklyn restaurants, and now we list 261,” said Tim Zagat, co-founder of the survey. “Brooklyn was scary 20 years ago. Now it’s the hottest part of the city.” 

In the second half of the 20th century, Brooklyn was a symbol of urban decay from which middle-class taxpayers fled for the suburbs, escaping a downward spiral symbolized by the 1957 move of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team to Los Angeles.

JPMorgan Move

Today’s Brooklyn presents a different story. The borough that recorded 158,000 major crimes in 1990 had fewer than 36,000 last year, an 80 percent drop. The Barclays Center, a 19,000-seat arena that opened in 2012 near the Brooklyn Academy of Music, is home to the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, the first major sports franchise in the borough since the Dodgers left. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. lender, said in February it would move 2,000 employees nearby. 

“Brooklyn has been the leader in job creation, and it’s been widespread across the sectors -- education, health, business services, media and technology,” said James Brown, principal economist for the state Labor Department. 

Private-sector jobs in Brooklyn increased 26 percent between 2003 and last year, to 503,572 from 401,071, the biggest percentage gain among the five boroughs in the past decade, according to Labor Department data. By comparison, Manhattan jobs rose 13 percent in the same period, to almost 2 million from 1.75 million.

Brooklynite Mayor

As Brooklyn neighborhoods became more secure, property values rose. In the past decade, the average residential sales price more than doubled to $688,334 from $336,238, according to Miller Samuel Inc., a real-estate appraiser. In Manhattan, average prices rose 92 percent, to $1.5 million from $800,967. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 52, a Democrat who assumed office Jan. 1, is bringing a Brooklyn flavor to a City Hall run by Manhattan residents since the 1970s. The previous Brooklynite to serve, Abraham Beame, was in charge when the city teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. 

“It’s pretty remarkable,” de Blasio said in an e-mail when asked to reflect on the turnaround he’s seen in the 22 years since he and his wife, Chirlane McCray, bought a house and raised two children in an interracial marriage in Park Slope, a tree-lined neighborhood of townhouses. 

“The borough is as diverse and full of energy as our family is,” the mayor said. “Whether you enjoy walks in Prospect Park, a Nets game, a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, art exhibits or great dining, it’s happening in Brooklyn.”

Political Power

Brooklyn’s political power derives from its size. At 2.6 million residents, it’s the largest borough, holding almost a third of the 8.3 million who inhabit the most populous U.S. metropolis. Brooklyn’s 3.5 percent population growth between 2010 and 2013 made it the city’s fastest-growing area, and its 16-member delegation is the largest in the 51-seat city council. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scarano Building in Brighton Beach

Daily News excerpts -

Robert Scarano, green guru?

The rogue visionary of Brooklyn’s early-2000s condo boom, whose brash architectural empire crashed and burned amid a censure by the city, is now back as a self-styled king of sustainability.

He wants to save the planet — and quite possibly his reputation, too.

Front and center is Bright ’n Green, Scarano’s slogan-named apartment building at 67 Brighton 1st Lane that he says — in his inimitable brash style — will be nothing short of revolutionary.

“The air in this building is better than the air in a Columbia-Presbyterian surgical suite,” Scarano boasted on a recent tour. “The water is like if you put a spoon in the Catskill reserves.”

The six-unit Bright ’n Green will have net-zero water and energy consumption thanks to solar panels above every window, turbines on the roof, rainwater collection and filtration systems to slash the building’s water use, and induction cooktops, which rely on electromagnetic heat. And there’ll be plenty of foliage.

“It’ll look like that National Geographic documentary about what would happen if the people left and all the plants took over,” Scarano joked. “It’s totally different than the projects I used to do.”

Scarano plans to debut the nearly-completed project to the larger public in April. Pricing would range from the $325,000 for the smallest studio to $850,000 for the largest two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, a little higher than the neighborhood average, though residents will be able to recoup significant savings in being essentially spared a utility bill.

In fact, the building is meant to be “net positive” — meaning that it will sell energy back to the grid.
Scarano claims he’s not sure how the public will receive it, but initial reviews have been positive.

“It’s wonderful!” gushed Pat Singer, the founder of the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association. “I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it works. It’s the wave of the future; we don’t want to be sitting like stagnant water.”

Brighton Beach is not known for its avant-garde architecture, but Scarano says it will.

“Brighton is going to be put on the map because of this job,” he says. “It has everything you need even if it’s not hot like Williamsburg, Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights.”

So he’s going to put Brighton Beach on the map? With his bluster — and his talent — Robert Scarano is clearly back.