Professionals Call Greenpoint, “The Dubai Of The East River” In Light Of Rapid Development

Greenpoint is earmarked by developers as being the next big neighborhood.

By Jeff Vasishta October 20, 2016
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Jokingly referred to as “the Dubai of the East River” by City Realty chief exec Daniel Levy (in the NY Times), Greenpoint has gone from a dark and dreary industrial wasteland to something light, bright and shimmering. It’s enough to make you want to smoke a hookah and listen for the muezzin’s call five times a day.

Related: Brooklynites Beware – You Could Be Living on a Toxic Waste Dump

If Williamsburg is gentrification on steroids, then Greenpoint has taken a fair dose of protein powder to pump up its housing stock. It was given an almighty booster shot by the Bloomberg administration in 2005 when 175 blocks of the area along with Williamsburg were rezoned from industrial to residential adding 16,700 new residents by 2013. Parks, baby carriages and pedal power are all part of the new Greenpoint and a slew of new developments aims to capitalize on the demand for housing. What, with neighbor Williamsburg now officially too fabulous for any self-respecting adult with an average paying job and no trust fund.

Photo courtesy of Fresh NYC
Photo courtesy of Fresh NYC

The influx of new buyers, happy to take the often maligned G-train in lieu of an 18-month suspension of the “Hipster Highway” L Train, into the city may also have something to do with the flurry of activity. 50 Greenpoint is a 44-unit condo development with prices ranging from $699,000 for a one-bedroom to $1.9 million for a three-bedroom penthouse. With an eye on a tech future, four out of 23 parking spots will come with charging station for Tesla (or whatever other car manufacturer) electric vehicle. Halstead Property Development marketing are handling sales while the Pine Builders Corporation are the developers.

According to Agorafy data, a median rental price for a Greenpoint one-bedroom is $2,650 per month and a two-bedroom is $3500 per month compared to Williamsburg which is $3395 per month for a one-bedroom and $4000 per month for a two-bedroom. Condos for sale are $1,066 per square foot) in Greenpoint compared to $1291 per square foot in Williamsburg.

Middle eastern opulence it may not yet be, but the names of some of Greenpoint’s new buildings belie its gritty past. The Gibraltar at 160 West Street is 14-unit condo building due to welcome its occupants early next year. Prices range from $795,000 for a one-bedroom to $2,250,000 for a three-bedroom, two-bath penthouse, the latter being the only unit still available. The emphatically named The Greenpoint, a 39-story tower at 21 India Street is erupting out of the ground like a rocket ship, with its sleek upper floors condos and broader rentals beneath. Ismael Leyva Architects is behind the design, while Mack Real Estate Group and Palin Enterprises, alongside Urban Development Partners, are developing the project.

The new buildings aren’t all about rooftop gardens, yoga studios and underground parking with million dollar plus price tags. There is an affordable housing component (gotta love those to tax breaks) to the rental project  Greenpoint Landing being developed by Brookfield Property Partners and Park Tower Group. The gargantuan project comprises two mighty 30 and 40 foot towers amongst a ten building complex. In total covering 22 acres with 5,500 housing units. Of the 5,500 units, 1,400 will be “affordable” housing, or 25.45% of the total number of units, comprising three of buildings out of ten. Not a poor door then but rather “poor floors”.

All of which may startle long term residents who will soon no longer recognize their old neighborhood.  Greenpoint needs to slow down. Williamsburg might get jealous.


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.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
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