Since the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York was rezoned in 2016, developers have filed applications for a total of 1,642 residential units, the majority of them constituting affordable housing projects (thanks to the availability of tax-exempt bonds and government subsidies). Investors have reportedly grown “super interested in the area,” partly because they anticipate that buyers and renters will increasingly get priced out of other areas of Brooklyn and migrate to East New York as a cheaper alternative. According to PropertyShark, residential prices in East New York increasing 45% since 2012 — on park with pricey Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Carroll Gardens and Park Slope.
East New York has excellent transit accessibility, served by 6 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) providing reasonable commuting to Metro New York -wide employment opportunities. Some firms have been reluctant to develop market-rate rental housing in East New York given the high cost of land, which in some cases has been listed for upwards of $70 to $80 per square foot, nearly double the average price of development sites reported to be $43 per square foot by the brokerage TerraCRG in 2014. According to Alan Bell, a principal at B&B Urban, the first wave of market-rate housing will likely get built on smaller plots, where sellers may be more willing to drop prices, while those who own large parcels are more likely to wait for the big money to arrive down the road.