GOWANUS — The neighborhood's potential for residential development helped drive the recent record-setting sale of an empty lot steps from the Gowanus Canal, according to the real estate broker who handled the deal.
DUMBO-based developer Alloy Development paid $2,775,000 for 431 Carroll St., which translates to $338 per buildable square foot, a rarity for land in manufacturing zones, said Winfield Clifford, director of investment sales at Cushman & Wakefield.
A comparable property near the canal on Butler Street is currently on the market for $320 per buildable square foot, a Cushman & Wakefield spokeswoman said.
"431 Carroll St. tells a great story about the trend in the Gowanus relative to its transformation from warehouse and industrial use to a neighborhood that's becoming an office hub," Clifford said.
Alloy plans to build its new headquarters on the land, which is now a parking lot. The new building, as first reported by Crain's, will include Alloy's offices and a retail space on the ground floor.
Potential buyers for 431 Carroll St. included a boutique hospitality firm and others attracted by the possibility of residential development in the immediate area, Clifford said. "Some parties had a two-story retail development in mind because there's anticipated development all around the property," Clifford said.
New residential development is currently prohibited in most parts of Gowanus, but the neighborhood is considered to be poised for rezoning that could bring in new housing.
The low brick building to the right, 318 Nevins St., was purchased by residential developer Property Markets Group in 2012 for $14 million. The same company also bought 420 Carroll St. (home of Alex Figliolia Plumbing,) to the left, for $9 million. In the background is The Lightstone Group’s new luxury rental building across the Gowanus Canal.
431 Carroll St. is just across the canal from the Lightstone Group's recently completed 430-unit luxury rental building at 365 Bond St. It's also surrounded by three buildings that were all purchased by luxury residential developer Property Markets Group in 2012, Clifford noted. Two of those buildings are perched on the canal, a Superfund site that's about to get a $506 million cleanup.
"We're thrilled to be moving to Gowanus," said Jared Della Valle, President of Alloy Development. "This is a vibrant neighborhood with an engaged and passionate community. We're excited to design and construct a building that reflects the neighborhood's dynamic character."