A developer that has long focused on emerging markets in Manhattan and the outer boroughs released renderings Tuesday of its latest endeavor—the largest residential project underway in Ridgewood, Queens. The project, being built by Essex Capital, will be tailored to creative-class New Yorkers priced out of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The firm has already begun construction on the 90-unit building at 16-14 and 16-26 Madison St., between Myrtle and Wyckoff avenues. Construction will run through summer of 2016.
The property will include a WeWork-style business center designed for renters who work from home (and are largely associated with trendy neighborhoods like Williamsburg), but Essex Capital founder Mitchell Rutter does not want to jump on the Queens-is-the-new-Brooklyn bandwagon.
"We view Ridgewood as having an separate identity and a separate desirability from whatever places like Bushwick are offering," said Mr. Rutter, a 1996 Crain’s 40 Under 40.
Though it is undeniably undergoing gentrification, Ridgewood has a more established working-class residential and retail community than do the gritty former industrial areas of Williamsburg and northern Bushwick that have seen a wave of new residential development. In addition, large swaths of Ridgewood are landmarked, meaning opportunities for new development are limited.
I guess we've given up on keeping artists in the neighborhoods they originally moved to and now have to build more affordable housing (which will be unaffordable as soon as it is completed) to attract them to other areas.