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Pacific Street Is Brooklyn’s New Gold Coast Where Houses Are Selling For Dizzying Numbers

Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights have had to take a backseat to Pacific Street in Boerum and Cobble Hill.

By Jeff Vasishta March 8, 2017
Pacific Park residential tower. Photo courtesy of Max Touhey / AM New York

When the gentrifiers have been gentrified, that’s when you know an area is expensive. On Pacific Street in Brooklyn—a strip that runs from the Barclays Center through leafy Cobble Hill and Boerum Hil—gentrification has been doing multiple laps around the track. The latest sales are boasting truly dizzying numbers.

“Quietly, Pacific St. has emerged as the most exciting strip of real estate in Brooklyn,” broker Alex Maroni of Douglas Elliman, who recently sold a $15.5-million mansion on the street, told the NY Daily News. “No one expected that we would ever see the prices we’re seeing along this corridor.”

When Maroni sold the six-bedroom carriage house at 177 Pacific Street, between Clinton and Court Streets, to famous photographer Jay Maisel, it broke the record for the most expensive house ever sold in Brooklyn. Brokerages were shocked on two fronts. Firstly, photographers were one profession they’d tended to give a wide berth when it came to buying high-end real estate. Secondly, it wasn’t a park-facing mansion in Park Slope or a waterfront property in Brooklyn Heights that had nabbed the “most expensive” moniker—but a property on Pacific Street. Its ultra wide footprint allowed the installation of a  20-seat movie theater, a gym, a children’s playroom, a bar and wine cellar, a massive roof deck and a parking facility. Not bad.

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Celeb stardust is sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. “Come Away With Me” singer Norah Jones who already owned a home around the corner on Amity St., purchased a $6.25 million house just blocks away, at 172 Pacific St. The home itself has A-List connections as it was featured in the film “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts and James Franco. The star power ball first started gaining momentum in the neighborhood over a decade ago when actors Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger bought a home on the corner of Hoyt and Dean Streets in 2005.

Amenity laden homes have sprung because of the housing stock — generally wider than the conventional brownstone of 18-20 feet — and patches of available land for building have allowed buyers the chance to wallow in urban luxury. It’s not unheard for properties to go for $2000 a square foot.

Condos too are scaling the higher reaches of conceivable Brooklyn pricing—$1,400 a foot, or about 40% more than the neighborhood average, for apartments at a new 30-unit condo development at 465 Pacific St., designed by architect Morris Adjmi.

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A 6,000-square-foot 25-foot mansion carriage house—one of four—at 323 Pacific Street, also brokered by Maroni, is hitting the market this month at the heart racing price of $12.5 million.

“Brownstones are lovely but this is a little bit cooler. You look at buildings that used to be old textile mills and you can still see signs of industry here,” said Jill Bouratoglou, a Brooklyn architect who lives with her husband on Pacific Street and is building several homes along the strip.

Despite opulence on Pacific Street’s gold coast, a 15-minute bike ride through Park Slope, Prospect Heights and into Crown Heights on the same street, will take you past the gargantuan Pacific Park project, through leafy brownstones and then sparse industrial strips known for auto shops and bus depots. Pacific St in Crown Heights off Nostrand Avenue was notoriously known for gang violence and drugs and even with gentrification swooping down from Prospect Heights and the “gold coast” beyond, remains problematic. Brownstones here still go for over $1.5 million, which is a fraction of the price a short M65 bus ride away. All of which goes to show just what a bizarre and rapidly changing borough Brooklyn is.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.
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