Pricey Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood well positioned recovery

Dumbo, a stylish sweep of converted warehouses along Brooklyn's waterfront, appears to be having a so-so year.

After consistently ranking as the borough's priciest neighborhood, its fortunes slipped in 2019 as high-end real estate struggled. The median sale price on its cobblestone streets was a little more than $1.6 million last year, down 20% from 2018, according to PropertyShark. That dropped Dumbo behind Cobble Hill and placed it 10th on the city's overall list.

Oversupply is a concern, as new condo projects go head to head. Several are on Front Street, a nine-block span that dips into Vinegar Hill. It is where Dumbo's past and future mix.

Of the big, new for-sale projects battling for dominance, the farthest along is 98 Front St., a 165-unit offering from Hope Street Capital that will "soon" be 50% sold, sid Sha Dinour, president of Triumph Property Group, Hope Street's marketing division.

The condominium, which was supposed to start closings this spring until the pandemic hit, was the third-best-selling development in Brooklyn in the rst quarter, with 13 signed contracts, Halstead Development Marketing said. (Topping the list, with 47 contracts, was 11 Hoyt, a

481-unit Downtown Brooklyn building.)
Units at 98 Front, which has raised prices three times since January 2019, are trading for about $1,800 per square foot.

"The velocity has been terri c," Dinour said, adding that he won't lower prices for the post-pandemic market.

Hope Street bought its site from the Jehovah's Witnesses church, which for decades controlled much of Dumbo. After a selling spree during the past few years, the church has no foothold left.

In 2018 Fortis Property Group grabbed one of the Witnesses' last sites, 60 Front St., where foundations have been poured for a 26-story condo-and-school spire.

The 78-unit tower, which has lined up $92 million, is expected to have tennis courts, swimming pools and expansive Manhattan views, though no offering plan has been led.

Also competing is Front and York, a full-block condo-and-rental complex that is about a dozen stories out of the ground this spring.

Sales of its 408 condos began last summer, with prices for a one-bedroom starting at $975,000. The amenity-rich building, from a team that includes CIM Group, is marketing $450,000 worth of wine lockers, its offering plan shows.

"We're a small area, so a lot of inventory means downward pressure on prices," said Charles Homet, a Compass agent and longtime neighborhood resident. "But Dumbo is well positioned, so there's a lot of upside.