Sunset Park is having a moment.
Earlier this year, Lonely Planet revealed its list of the coolest neighbourhoods to visit in the world, and Sunset Park, a formerly industrial neighbourhood in South Brooklyn, made the cut.
Recent property developments in the neighbourhood — including a $A173 million city investment toward a Made In NY Campus, and warehouses that have been repurposed into what is now called Industry City — are eerily similar to what you’ll see in Sunset Park’s better-known neighbours to the north, like the once-industrial but now-gentrified Williamsburg.
In March, a home in Sunset Park sold for a record-breaking $A2.6 million, and brokers are predicting that more luxury properties will be built. According to StreetEasy’s August rent report, the median asking price for homes in Sunset Park has gone up 22.9% year over year — and still, buyers being pushed out of nearby neighbourhoods like Park Slope are looking to Sunset Park for homes within their price range.
We ventured into Sunset Park to see how the neighbourhood is changing and what it has to offer.
You can access the neighbourhood via public transportation using the N, R, and D subway lines. It takes about 35 minutes to get to the southern tip of Manhattan by subway, and it's a roughly 20-minute drive via the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.
Sunset Park is a diverse neighbourhood. According to census data, 39% of Sunset Park is Hispanic, and 33% is Asian.
As you venture towards the more developed waterfront, you first walk through the factory district, where outgoing shipments of various products line the street.
Just on the other side of the Gowanus Expressway, however, is the newly developed Industry City complex. Within the six million square feet of renovated warehouse space, you'll find the recently opened ABC Carpet and Home furniture store and many other retailers.
Aside from shopping, there are also outdoor film screenings, sunset yoga classes, and co-working spaces.
Restaurants and coffee shops are also popping up in Industry City, including Avocaderia, which serves avocado on everything from toast to smoothies.
Across the street, in a stark contrast, is a row of the neighbourhood's longer-standing businesses, including auto body shops and factory warehouses.
The event space Brooklyn Hangar, which hosts various nightlife events and shows with well-known DJs like Tiesto, is on 52nd Street near the waterfront.
One of the neighbourhood's most popular eateries is the Tacos El Bronco truck, which also has a brick-and-mortar location with a more complete menu on 4th Avenue and 44th Street.
Another neighbourhood staple is the Melody Lanes bowling alley. If you're up for it, you can have a drink and a philosophical talk with their famed bartender Peter Napolitano.
Costco -- whose parking lot was completely full when we passed by on a Wednesday afternoon -- is also in the neighbourhood.
Sunset Park has two major parks, one of which shares a name with the neighbourhood. The other is Bush Terminal Piers Park, which opened in 2014. The city is also investing $A173 million in the nearby area for a brand-new Made in NY Campus, which will include 100,000 square feet dedicated to a film and television production facility.
As you walk around Sunset Park, it's hard not to notice all the schools. There are a total of 18 throughout the neighbourhood.
Many people who live in Sunset Park have been here a while. According to a StreetEasy analysis reported by The New York Times, Sunset Park's residential sales turnover rate is just 8% since 2010.
Real estate experts say that the market could be heating up. A townhouse in Sunset Park sold for $A2.6 million in March -- a record for the neighbourhood.
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