Historically a commercial office district and civic center until a zoning change in 2004 allowed residential construction, Downtown Brooklyn is today one of the city’s newest and rapidly growing residential neighborhoods. In 2011 The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated a Skyscraper Historic District in the area surrounding Borough Hall. Although at 30 stories they are not exactly what we thing of as a Skyscraper today. Recently, gleaming mixed-use glass skyscrapers have risen even higher, and will continue to here. The recently developed Brooklyn Point/City Point Center includes major retailers like Century 21 Stores, Trader Joe’s, and Target, along with The Dekalb Market food hall which features the Brooklyn outpost of Katz’s Deli from the Lower East Side. The Fulton Street Mall been a shopping mainstay of Brooklyn life since before I was a kid, and after years of decline, is being revitalized with Macys (the original A&S) having undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, along with Century 21 Stores anchoring its main entrance on the street. One of Brooklyn’s heritage restaurants Gage & Tollner is back on the Fulton Mall’s east end, while my favorite Brooklyn classic, the original Junior’s, still anchors the strip closer to Flatbush Avenue with it’s hearty food, and world famous cheesecake since 1950. There is a bustling pace here that come along with good long-term appreciation potential on many real estate purchases in our opinion.
Adjacent Boerum Hill is bounded by Schermerhorn Street to the north and Fourth Avenue to the east. Depending on whom you talk to, the western border is variously given as either Smith or Court Streets, and Warren or Wyckoff Streets on the southern edge. In stark contrast to Downtown Brooklyn, and despite its name, the area is quite flat and low-rise with landmarked Brownstones in the Boreum Hill Historic District in styles ranging from Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, French Second Empire, Greek Revival and Queen Anne in the area. Great shopping on Atlantic Avenue and Smith Streets add to the livability of this wonderful Brooklyn neighborhood.