The sheer size of the city can keep even the most seasoned New Yorker from discovering its furthest reaches. This goes double for those not familiar with the city and searching from overseas.
So while they may not be the first properties on the list, there is plenty of new construction to be had in sections of Brooklyn and Queens — the outer boroughs closest to Downtown and Midtown Manhattan respectively — that are poised to become hot properties in the next decade.
“I think foreign buyers are not interested in the outer boroughs because when people outside New York think of the city, they think of Midtown Manhattan and Rockefeller Center,” said John Pallante, associate analyst with real estate services firm Freeman Frazier. “They don’t talk about the beautiful neighborhoods like Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights or Forest Hills. These are not seen as communities where a second home purchase makes much sense.”
Queens’ Long Island City (or L.I.C. for those selling the neighborhood) is one subway stop from Manhattan, and is in the process of being transformed from an industrial wasteland to a sea of luxury condo and rental units. Trendy restaurants and bars have followed suit, lining both Vernon and Jackson Avenues, and it is getting to the point where one is spoiled for choice. There is also a waterfront that is already partially rebuilt, with parks and piers for outdoor space.
Less affordable and more established, Brooklyn’s Northern waterfront is getting a facelift as we speak. Rezoning has made way for a building explosion, and buildings are selling units on plans and scale models alone. Williamsburg, once edgy, is now in danger of becoming the Park Slope of the younger set, and in the grittier southern end, buildings such as Schafer Landing are commanding up to a million dollars and marketing themselves as family-friendly.
No, it’s not Manhattan. But it is worth thinking about what the boroughs offer — more space, a skyline view, considerably lower prices, and nearly always a convenient commute to Midtown or Downtown.
“Great neighborhoods in the outer boroughs are for people who live in New York but want a bigger home and a smaller neighborhood then the are going to find in Manhattan — at least below 96th Street.”
One thing to remember when looking to invest in an “up and coming” area is to make sure there will be life after the bubble bursts. Signs of an established neighborhood include good schools, a good transportation infrastructure, and cultural outlets. And just think how much closer you’ll be to the airport!