A Slew Of $2 Million Townhouses Hit The Market In Sunset Park

Sunset Park is in the throes of development, gentrification and displacement with house prices hitting new highs.

By Jeff Vasishta March 27, 2017

Brooklyn’s Sunset Park will soon be giving Park Slope and other brownstone rich neighborhoods a run for their money. The most expensive townhouse sale in the region just closed at $2.05 million. And that’s just the start of what is expected to be a flood of high priced sales during the spring and summer months.

The 2,800-square-foot townhouse at 439 36th Street— located between Fourth and Fifth avenues steps from the 36th Street subway stop—was renovated with original details mixed with state-of-the art appliances.

“I think it’s going to start a new wave of luxury property in Sunset Park,” the listing’s broker, Abigail Palanca of Compass told DNA Info.

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With Industry City and Mayor de Blasio’s $136 million plans to renovate two buildings at the nearby Bush Terminal for a fashion, film and food manufacturing—dubbed Made in NY Campus—the area is buzzing. Bush Terminal, a family friendly shopping area currently has national chains such as Saks Off Fifth Ave and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The developer/architect team of Eli Fernald & Bretaigne Walliser of Fabr Studio + Workshop, behind the project behind the 439 36th Street townhouse has been quick to pounce on the real estate boom with four other townhouse remodels on Fifth Avenue, connected by a shared courtyard, between 33rd and 34th St on the slate. Palanca said she expects them all to be priced at around $2 million and is enthusiastic about market.

RelatedIt’s Official—Queens Is Now More Expensive Than Brooklyn

“Eighty percent of my buyers are looking in Sunset Park. I’ve been finding that a lot more people in Windsor Terrace and Park Slope are looking there,” she said. “In Windsor Terrace, for $1.5 million you’re getting a two-family fixer-upper. In Park Slope you’re getting a condo that’s maybe 1,000 square feet. There are some beautiful brownstones in Sunset Park for $1.5 million.”

The hive of creative energy that now pulses off Sunset Park, caused it to named one of America’s coolest neighborhoods last summer in a report by brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. The report noted that millennials make up about 27 percent of the population and the average household income here is $81,529. There’s a lot of potential for retail and commercial spaces in the neighborhood, and tenants such as the Brooklyn Nets and Time, Inc. has only added to the buzz. The escalating demand among prospective residents for row houses in the neighborhood is now being reflected in the $2 million price tags.

John Brennan of Marcus & Millichap, who specializes in investment real estate assets in Southern Brooklyn concurred:

“People in the 20 to 35 age range generally want to live close to where they work,” he said. “That in turn has added more demand for housing. I’ve already seen an increase in residential development slated along Fourth Avenue,” he said. “You’ll probably start seeing a lot of new projects in the next 12 to 24 months.”

There is a downside to rapid growth in an urban neighborhood — gentrification and displacement. Sunset Park has, for many decades been a staple of Brooklyn’s Latin community which is now threatened.

“I think what you are seeing in Sunset Park is that our traditional idea of the American Dream of upward social mobility, of hard work leading to success, of owning a home that you could afford is increasingly unobtainable to the new generations of immigrants who have arrived,” Columbia University sociologist Van Tran told “But also to the children of the older generation of Puerto Ricans that have lived here for the last 35 years.”

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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