QUEENS — New York City’s metro region is expected to see a whopping 27,000 new rental units hitting the market by the end of this year, up from the 16,000 units that opened in 2016, according to a report from search engine RentCafe.
Long Island City leads the pack with more than 3,700 units projected this year, according to an analysis RentCafe compiled for DNAinfo using data from Yardi Matrix, an asset management tool for brokers and banks.
Downtown Brooklyn came in second with more than 2,300 units expected to open, followed by Jersey City.
Several neighborhoods near Downtown Brooklyn were also in the top 10, including Fort Greene, Boerum Hill/Gowanus and Prospect Heights.
Overall, Manhattan was projected to have more than 7,000 units across Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, Murray Hill and the Financial District.
The report looked at data for apartment buildings with 50 or more units that had a completion date expected for 2017, according to RentCafe.
David Brause, of Brause Realty and chair of the board of the Long Island City Business Improvement District, was not surprised that the waterfront Queens neighborhood where his family has owned real estate since the 1980s — including JetBlue’s headquarters — is finally taking off.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time,” said Brause, whose firm is currently working with the Gotham Organization on The Forge, an eco-friendly, 38-story, 272-unit tower at 44-28 Purves St. expected to open in the next couple of weeks.
Monthly prices start at $2,485 for studios, $3,030 for one-bedrooms and $4,150 for two-bedrooms.
The building sits in a quiet area across the street from a former trolley factory that’s now the SculptureCenter and is three blocks from MoMA P.S. 1, where the popular summer "Warm-Up" series attracts weekend crowds.
"We're tapping into that youthful, artistic energy," Brause said.
The Forge — designed by renowned architecture firm FXFOWLE — “respects the history of Long Island City,” Brause said, noting its details of exposed concrete, copper and raw steel.
There will be “art all over the building,” including an artist-in-residence selected from a SculptureCenter competition. Amenities include a 50-foot outdoor pool with lap lanes, an outdoor movie screen, children’s playroom, a fitness center, and outdoor and indoor yoga.
It will also be the first city residential building to feature both wind turbines and solar panels, Brause said, adding that it is getting a “Feng Shui” certification, showing its bona fides in balancing the elements like greenery and water at the building.
“We’ve been working on this building since 2011. It’s been a six-year labor of love,” Brause said. “It doesn’t look like a lot of Long Island City.”
He is glad the project can differentiate itself from other new developments, considering that when he started working on the building, the rental landscape in the area was a lot less crowded.
The retail landscape is also changing, with a Starbucks coming to LIC, a new bookstore and more restaurants on the way. Brause is looking to fill one of The Forge’s retail spaces with a venue making fancy cocktails.
As more people are moving into areas like Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn, the demand for retail and commercial space will likely continue, noted Allen Shayanfekr, CEO and co-Founder of Sharestates, a crowd-funding real estate investment company that has 149 projects in Brooklyn.
But there may also be a spillover effect when it comes to real estate investment into other areas as these markets get pricier, he believes.
“With the real estate market currently booming in Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn, we can expect to see similar developments continue throughout the boroughs, including The Bronx,” he said.
Brause’s family-run firm is a case in point.
Because land prices have increased so much at this point in Long Island City, it's making it harder to do another project in the area, he noted. Many newer developments are going condo instead of rental to make the economics work for new construction.
Now, Brause's firm is setting its sights elsewhere, like nearby in Sunnyside or Woodside, but also in The Bronx, as well as new projects underway in Westchester’s New Rochelle, he said.