Rezoning laws passed in May 2005 are turning manufacturing and shipbuilding center Greenpoint into a hotbed of development and luxury living. Nestled in the northernmost section of Brooklyn and surrounded by waterways on three borders, Williamsburg’s neighbor to the north lies only a short distance from both Manhattan and Queens.
Greenpoint’s rezoning permits luxury highrises on both its East River and Newtown Creek borders. Multiple developers have jumped at the opportunity to build hi-end condos and retail spaces. To restructure the vast tracts of land filled with vacant manufacturing buildings, a waterfront park and riverfront promenades have also been proposed. With these improvements, the projected increase in the area’s population is estimated to be 40,000 in the next few years with an expected correlated increase in property values and real estate tax revenue.
A multi-ethnic neighborhood that includes Polish, Puerto Rican, Russian, Dominicans, the community has seen a recent influx of artists and bohemians who have flocked to the area’s low rents and proximity to hipster central — Williamsburg. The G subway line connects Greenpoint to Queens and Brooklyn and the L train into Union Square may be a 15 minute walk from certain parts. Historic structures include the Russian Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, a Byzantine style structure with onion-shaped towers and The Brooklyn Pratt Works of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company built in 1867.
Long-time Greenpoint residents have worked over the years to clean up the waterways alongside the Riverkeeper conservation group. Its efforts are paying off and the area is primed for its current revitalization.
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