Brace yourselves. Greenpoint is getting more towers.

161 West Street. Photo courtesy of Google Street View.

Believe it or not, it’s true. Developers think Greenpoint is the capital of cool. So cool in fact, even a London-based private equity firm called Quandrum Global, is the latest real estate developer to pony up on our waterfront action.  

161 West Street is the latest waterfront property to be sold for development. Currently the plot of land, now a two-story warehouse, recently sold to Quandrum for $45.5 million dollars. Back in 2004 that same lot was bought for $14 million. Just goes to show how far-reaching real estate speculation can stretch.

As it stands, the 179,000 sqft warehouse is ripe for the plucking. Add on the inclusionary housing for affordable housing coupled with the flawed 2005 waterfront rezoning and we’re looking at a property with approximately 430,000 sq ft of development space.

When asked why Quandrum set its sights on Greenpoint’s shores, Seth Shumer the company’s director, had this to say, “Given the success of Williamsburg and Long Island City we see Greenpoint as an area in between great transportation.” Key words here: In between transportation.

No one knows if Quandrum Global intends on installing an extra turnstyle at the India St subway entrance to accommodate the additional influx of residents like Greenpoint Landing, or whether they’re going the private shuttle route. But given all the new residents that are about to descend in the hood, they better come up with something fast.

And just when you thought the glass tower invasion was too much, I’ve got more unsettling news for you. The stalled development at 145-155 West Street is now prepping its blueprints for construction. The site, bought by developer Palin Enterprises in 2006 for $85 million, is giving Greenpoint yet another tower. This one will be 39 stories high, filled with 600 units—roughly 20% to be affordable—and will contain 23,000 sq ft of retail space. Geoffrey Bailey, retail specialist and the man who touts Greenpoint as the ‘new Williamsburg’, says the development will be aimed at millennials and have “an affordable luxury feel.”  If someone can explain what ‘affordable luxury’ feels like, I’m all ears.

Give these developers enough time, money, free inkpads and City Planning rubberstamps, and in no time Greenpoint will be more crowded than Williamsburg and LIC, and far more disturbing—completely unrecognizable, devoid of character, and utterly boring.

Maybe in the next 10 years developers might be calling Greenpoint the ‘new Miami’. Stranger things have happened.

About Kim M

Kim is a native New Yorker, local activist and writer. When she's not writing books or playing Erin Brockovich with her Save Greenpoint peeps, you will see her whipping around Greenpoint on her bike, chatting it up with folks, and sharing stories about what it is about her hometown that makes life worth living. Follow her on twitter @kimasson or www.kimmassonwrites.com