Sunset Park named one of the coolest nabes in North America

June 27, 2016 Anna Spivak
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What does a “cool neighborhood” look like? Just stroll over to Sunset Park and find out.

Named one of the top 15 “Cool Streets” by Cushman & Wakefield’s first-ever Cool Streets of North America report, Sunset Park – along with 14 other neighborhoods across the country and Canada – were ranked and chosen according to a number of different factors, including patterns of urban renewal, demographic diversity, potential for future growth and valuing experiences over material goods.

“Today’s marketplace is moving forward at an unprecedented pace, offering immense opportunity and presenting real challenges,” said Gene Spiegelman, vice chair and the firm’s head of North America Retail Services. “The creative and data-driven approach we deploy to our retail and investor clients is designed to help them navigate today’s changing landscape.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

According to the report, the data isn’t just about “identifying the next hipster residential enclaves.” It’s also about finding the emerging “Cool Streets” with the most retail growth potential.

“If retailers live and die by cool, the same also holds true of retail properties, shopping centers and entire neighborhoods,” said Garrick Brown, vice president of Retail Research at Cushman & Wakefield. “And in an age of frugality, e-commerce encroachment and vast gaps in shopping center performance, cool matters now more than ever.”

“Cool Streets” retailers often offer a mix of the new and the old, according to the report. The trend has also seen a preference for urban over suburban living and experiences over material goods.

Looking at Sunset Park in particular – an enclave bordered by Park Slope and Greenwood Heights to the north, Borough Park to the east and Bay Ridge to the south – the largely industrial neighborhood seems to be expanding infinitely along Brooklyn’s western waterfront.

With Industry City – a roughly six million square-foot formerly vacant industrial space – at the helm of the development, repurposed, creative, mixed-use office, retail and industrial spaces are flourishing.

According to the report, the retail component alone totals 500,000 square feet with big name retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, BuyBuy Baby, Cost Plus and Saks Off Fifth expected to open later this year. While the report claims that these retailers do not “usually appear on a roster of Cool Street tenants,” Industry City offers an “urban rarity: existing, large footprint availability in a desirable marketplace,” according to the report.

“Independent retailers remain the heart and soul of the Cool Street phenomenon,” added Brown. “Small chains, start-ups and little guys are those most thriving in those locations, and this is largely driven by rents, which stand at roughly 55 percent of the average asking rate of the nearest Class A mall or high street shopping district.”

Other “Cool Streets” that made the top 15 cut include Logan Square in Chicago; Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati; RiNo in Denver; Silver Lake in Los Angeles; Wynwood in Miami; North Loop in Minneapolis; Roosevelt Row in Phoenix; Carytown in Richmond, Va.; East Village in San Diego; Jackson Square in San Francisco; Delmar Loop in St. Louis; West Queen West in Toronto; Mount Pleasant/Main in Vancouver and Shaw in Washington, D.C.

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