Prospect- Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn
Imagine having a 585--acre backyard filled with winding paths, large trees and a lake. Now imagine if that backyard also had a botanical garden, a zoo, an outdoor concert venue and a highly regarded museum. That's what it's like to live in the Prospect Park -- adjacent Prospect- Lefferts Gardens. The 'hood, bordered by Empire Boulevard and Clarkson Avenue to the north and south, and the park and New York Avenue to the west and east, is full of row houses and prewar buildings within walking distance of the park.
"[The cultural establishments] make the neighborhood attractive to young professionals and families alike," says Halstead Property real-estate broker and local resident Kirsten Syrett. In her experience, apartments in limestone, brick or brownstone houses are priced between "1,800 and $2,400 per month and are very spacious, at around 800 square feet for a one-bedroom and 900 square feet for a two-bedroom. Many of these quiet suburban apartments have original fixtures, and the nearby B, Q, 2 and 5 subway trains make for a 40-minute commute to midtown.
Syrett has owned a four-bedroom house in PLG for 10 years and rents it out for $4,200 -- again, that's for an entire house. but the best part isn't the cheap space. "What really makes the neighborhood special is the people -- they're extremely welcoming and friendly," says Syrett. "Having lived in Kew Gardens, the East Village and Boerum Hill, nowhere compares to the sense of community I've felt here." However, Syrett predicts prices will rise as old houses are bought by new owners: "Rental prices will align with Prospect Heights and Windsor Terrace in a few years." In just the past year, there's been a 7.2 percent increase in rent, according to a recent MNS study. As soon as it comes up with a catchy nickname better than ProCro or GoCaGa, it'll be the place to be.
Meet A Neighbor: Rachel Hills
The writer, 33, and her husband moved into their one-bedroom in April 2014, and prior to that, she admits, "I didn't even know the neighborhood existed!" Her dream location was the East Village, but since she couldn't afford it, she crossed the East River. Prospect Heights was a little pricey, but friends recommended PLG and she discovered her $2,100-a month prewar spot, which has a doorman and laundry. " I wanted a place where i could have people over for dinner -- large enough that they wouldn't be eating on our bed," she says.
It's a 30-minute commute to Union Square, and Hills likes to dine out at the Bluebird Food & Spirits. The one negative? "Friends in Manhattan or even north Brooklyn don't want to visit because it's 'too far.'" But the vibe makes up for it. " It's very laid-back. I hope it doesn't get too cool!'
Wednesday, June 24, 2015