Luxury Towers Landing in Greenpoint

Greenpoint Waterfront

New York City is changing. Greenpoint, Brooklyn isn’t immune to this change. Large sections of Brooklyn—particularly Williamsburg and Park Slope—have gentrified rapidly in the last ten years. Formerly boarded up buildings are now bustling coffee shops and restaurants; formally abandoned warehouses are now nightclubs and theaters. Large, modern, apartment buildings—capable of housing thousands of residents—are springing up among the old and decrepit brick rowhouses. 

Although Greenpoint has unquestionably changed in the last several years, it has been more resistant than adjacent neighborhoods. Greenpoint was rarely described as trendy or vibrant (unlike its cousin, Williamsburg) until recently.

With changing perceptions comes development. A massive real estate project, approved by mayor Bloomberg in 2005, will begin construction in a few months. The sheer size of the project—which is called Greenpoint Landing—is somewhat mind-boggling. It will ultimately cover over 175 blocks between Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and includes a 1.3 mile esplanade and a 50 acre waterfront park. A 210 unit building adjacent to the park is scheduled to open in 2014, and eventually 10 new residential towers will be built along the waterfront. The development is estimated to bring in over 40,000 new residents.

The vast majority of these properties will be renter occupied. Many of the units (over 200) are classified as “affordable housing.” Ideally, the project will attract businesses and lower rents. Because, according to the developers, there will be additional places to live and thus additional customers to support local businesses. They claim it will also provide much needed green space along the river, which is currently composed of crumbling concrete piers, broken beer bottles, and sewage.

Like every major real estate project in New York City, there is opposition. Greenpointers argue that the projects are “not Brooklyn, that's not what Brooklyn looks like, and I don't think people in Greenpoint want that." Members of Save Greenpoint—a community activist and awareness group—even went so far as to redesign a rendering of the project. According to Save Greenpoint, the original rendering was bubbly, dishonest, and misleading. Save Greenpoint says that their rendering (composed of monstrous, blood red buildings that tower over a tiny Manhattan) is far more realistic.

The Green Point Landing project will undoubtedly change the rental scape of Brooklyn. Although it won’t be completed for several years, many new apartments have already been built in Greenpoint, such as the Viridian at 110 Green Street.