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

Sunday, October 4, 2015

WSJ - A Sea Change for Brighton Beach

Thanks to a reader that sent this in 

Excerpt -

In fact, the most expensive known sale took place only eight months after Sandy, at 125 Oceana Dr. East, when a 2,800-square-foot, three-bedroom duplex penthouse traded for $3.5 million, or $1,250 a square foot, Mr. Miller said.

Today’s priciest offering: $10 million for a gated waterfront mansion. 

Owner Gary Vinbaytel, 46, a Ukraine-born builder of East Village condos, said he upped the tab $2 million last week after receiving multiple offers. “I rolled the dice,” he said. “It’s worth more.”

Those are dizzying prices even for Manhattan-fronting areas like Dumbo, Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights. But they represent a sea change in this one-square mile, historically middle-class enclave bounded by the boardwalk on the south, Shore Parkway on the north, Ocean Parkway on the west and West End Avenue on the east.

“The gap between southern Brooklyn and northern and middle Brooklyn has been steadily shrinking,” said Jason Muss, 44, a principal at Muss Development LLC, whose family constructed the 15-acre Oceana Condominium & Club fronting the Boardwalk.

It replaced the Brighton Beach Baths, a members-only pool club that opened in 1907 and was renowned for mah-jongg games, Yiddish-language gossip and performers like Milton Berle and Herman’s Hermits. In the 1960s, it had 13,000 members; there were 1,100 when it closed in 1997.

The Oceana, with 927 high-end units in 16 buildings, was built in phases over the past 14 years and quickly became a magnet for Jewish and other immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

“When we first told people in 2000 we were building condos in south Brooklyn, they looked at us as if we were crazy,” Mr. Muss recalls. “But it was a precursor to the overall boom in Brooklyn.”

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