Dutch Kills, connected to the Newtown Creek Superfund site is the next “It Zone” (MTA)

Amazon’s plan to build half of its HQ2 at Anabel Basin in Long Island City,  just a brisk walk from Greenpoint over the Pulaski Bridge, is proving to be a Rorschch test. The homeownership rate in Brooklyn is around 30 percent, leaving the majority of residents in the area feeling the stress of a potential for increased rent, similar to Seatle where rent has risen 39.8 percent over the past fives years.

On the other hand, real estate speculators are salivating at the HQ2 news and see an opportunity for a quick return on investment; online searches for LIC real estate have jumped 300 percent since the HQ2 announcement less than a week ago.

To “help capitalize on local growth,” NYC-based Compound Asset Management, Inc. has launched an “NYC HQ2 Fund” offering an investment opportunity with a “diversified portfolio of properties in neighborhoods such as Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Greenpoint, Maspeth, and Long Island City itself.”

Yes, the speculators are coming (in even greater numbers) and are setting their fiesty eyes on the few neighborhoods with remaining charm in NYC. The highest accolades, according to Compound, are reserved for Dutch Kills, the next “It Zone,” a small waterway where raw sewage often overflows connected to the Newtown Creek Superfund. Compound cites in the fact that four luxury buildings are going up at Dutch Kills already.


“The neighborhood we’re watching most closely is Dutch Kills, a neighborhood on the edge of Sunnyside Yard in Queens. If you’re trying to figure out where the “next Hudson Yards” will be, it’s here. The city and Amtrak have already begun the master planning phase for the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard redevelopment, and early reports speculate that as many as 24,000 new apartments could be built upon the old rail yard along with schools, parks and other infrastructure—all a few subway stops from Manhattan.

Walking around the neighborhood leaves one with the feeling that it’s still largely industrial and mostly quiet at night, but upon closer inspection, it’s clear that a few glimmers of gentrification have already begun. New, trendy restaurants are starting to dot the area including Dutch Kills Centraal, Dutch Kills Bar, and Il Falco.”

A development in process at 37-14-34th-street (via CityRealty)

I joined a canoe trip on Dutch Kills with Newtown Creek Alliance’s Willis Elkins two summers ago and he explains that Dutch Kills’ combined sewage overflows are especially troublesome for the creek. Welcome to the next “It Zone.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *