Touted as a neighborhood “on the verge,” Red Hook is a growing Brooklyn enclave that borders Carroll Gardens and is part of the collection of communities called South Brooklyn. Townhouses, large warehouse spaces and one-and two-bedroom apartments punctuate Red Hook and its affordability has made it a welcome home for many artists, small businesses and industries. It is named for the red clay soil and the point of land projecting into the East River.
New construction abounds in the area: such as the planned massive waterfront Fairway shopping-and-condominiums complex on Van Brunt Street that was recently approved. Both appealing and reviled is IKEA, the furniture superstore slated to open on the waterfront. This will be its largest store in the U.S. — and to challenge the uninspired “big box” architecture of most mega-stores, many have been challenged to envision innovative designs for the building: these ideas include rooftop meeting areas open for community activities and a waterfront esplanade. IKEA will also provide ferry service to and from Manhattan.
The blocks south of Commerce Street and east of Van Brunt, as well as Coffey Street between Conover and Ferris with their cobblestone streets and views of the waterfront are prime areas for revitalizations. Breweries and creative offshoots of five-star Manhattan restaurants abound — including Six Point Craft Ales, which sports funky monikers such as Sweet Action and Abigail for its beers; Hope & Anchor — catered to neighborhood dwellers with its punchy menu; and Alma — a Mexican restaurant known for its views of lower Manhattan and Carroll Gardens.
Since there is no subway to Red Hook, the New York Water Taxi and driving are the best choices for commuters.