If You Build it, They Will Come…But How Will They Get To Red Hook?

If You Build it, They Will Come…But How Will They Get To Red Hook?

Red Hook, the sleepy enclave of large warehouses, industrial buildings and housing projects situated on the western side of the BQE, southwest of Brooklyn’s vibrant Carroll Gardens neighborhood, is back in the news this week as Estate Four, a Los Angeles-based developer, announced plans to transform a 12-acre expanse on the Red Hook waterfront into a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use project called the “Red Hook Innovation District.”

While the renderings are certainly impressive, and the idea of transforming under-improved land into a higher and more productive use through responsible real estate development is an admirable goal, to find success here, Estate Four is going to have to contend with the area’s isolation, relative to other more accessible commercial districts currently serving the fashion, music and tech tenants that it is looking to attract – like Midtown South, Hudson Square, Soho and Dumbo. Indeed, the location of the Red Hook Innovation District is an approximately 28-minute walk from the nearest subway station at Smith and 9th Streets at the southern end of Carroll Gardens (according to Google Maps).

However, what the $400MM project lacks in accessibility, it can perhaps make up for with services and affordability, given the recent uptick in commercial rental rates across the City as vacancy rates approach record lows. Additionally, Estate Four has had success with a high-end residential conversion nearby at the hulking 160 Imlay, where it has sold over 75% of the units in just 6 months at prices averaging $1,100/sf (while still being a more than 20-minute walk from the subway), well in excess of what other residential real estate goes for in the neighborhood, so they may have a crystal ball that we don’t.

The full article can be found here.

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