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Newcomers keep Bklyn realty mkt solid

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The Brooklyn real estate market, in-part, remains solid thanks to immigration turnover. Such was the thinking of Joseph Salvo, director of the population division of the Department of City Planning. Salvo was the first speaker at the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable kickoff luncheon event for 2008 held at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepoint Street. Salvo said that while Queens leads the city with new immigrant population growth follows closely. There has been big turnover with 600,000-700,000 immigrants leaving the city in the last decade, but at the same time the city has picked up as many new immigrants, Salvo said. Salvo pointed out it is immigration that is mainly responsible for Brooklyn’s projected population growth from its current 2.5 million that is expected to be 2.5 or 2.6 million by 2030. Salvo then went over a Brooklyn “horseshoe” map explaining how the immigration trend plays out in the borough. Starting in Sunset Park in southwest Brooklyn, the trend is for Mexican immigrants moving into the downhill part of the neighborhood and the Asian immigrant moving into the uphill part, he said. Salvo said this Asian immigrant trend is also spilling over into borough Park, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, where old Italian families are moving out. Moving south in a horseshoe shape to Bath Beach and Gravesend there is a large portion of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, although this pattern is slowing, he said. However, going north up Coney Island Avenue is the growing Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrant group, and along Ocean Parkway is the growing Syrian Jewish population, he said. Salvo said while Midwood remains a strong Jewish population, Flatbush continues to have many West Indian immigrants, particularly Haitian. It is no surprise that the Canarsie area has the largest subprime mortgage crisis in the city because over the last decade the many white families that have raised their children in the neighborhood have sold properties to West Indian immigrants moving south from the Crown Heights area, he said. Salvo said on the whole, Brooklyn is losing its European immigrant base while adding a large Latino – mainly Mexican – an Asian population. In regard to “hip” neighborhoods, Salvo said Park Slope remains strong and the Gowanus area shows signs of development. Also speaking at the luncheon was Chris Gulden, vice president of SL Green, which was introduced as the biggest commercial landlord in Manhattan. SL Green recently bought their first Brooklyn property, the 36-story, 300,000-square foot 16 Court Street, one of the prime commercial buildings in Downtown Brooklyn. Gulden said the property currently has attorneys and city agencies as its main tenants and is currently undergoing renovations. It is ideal office space for start-up businesses and business owners living in nearby Brooklyn Heights that want office space near where they live, he said. The quarterly Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable Forum began last year with each luncheon held at the BHS. Last year more than 100 real estate professionals attended the luncheon series including developers, architects, brokers, bankers, lawyers and retailers. Proceeds from the luncheon go to the BHS. This year the forum presented a check to the BHS for $90,000. “Whether it’s in residential, commercial, office or hotel development, there are innumerable exciting projects happening every day throughout the borough,” said David Kramer of Hudson Companies, Inc. and a Roundtable steering committee member. “We developed the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable because we thought there was enough critical mass to have a Brooklyn-based real estate conversation. And since the forums also benefit the Brooklyn Historical Society, it’s a win-win for everyone,” he added.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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