Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy, is one of Brooklyn’s largest neighborhoods (it spans from Flushing Avenue to the west, Classon Avenue to the south, Atlantic Avenue to the east and Broadway to the north), and it’s filled with block after block of some of the city’s most beautiful brownstones and pre-war apartment buildings.
There are a few new development projects along Myrtle and Dekalb avenues and north of Bedford Avenue, but much of the available rental inventory in the heart of Bed-Stuy is in its brownstones and older apartment buildings. As rents in adjacent neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and Bushwick have risen in recent years, Bed-Stuy has absorbed the overflow of renters looking for spacious, share-able apartments — renters who are attracted by the area’s affordable rents.
Located within its borders are four neighborhoods, Bedford, Ocean Hill, Weeksville and Stuyvesant Heights, designated a national historic district in 1975 and bounded by Macon Avenue, Tompkins Avenue, Decatur Street, Lewis Avenue and Chauncey Street. Currently there is a movement to create a second landmarked district within the neighborhood, bounded by Bedford Avenue, Fulton, Tompkins and Monroe streets. Some hail it as a step to preserving the 19th century architecture, while others claim it would make property renovations too costly.
Within the neighborhood, a core of great restaurants along Lewis Avenue — Peaches, Saraghina, Therapy Wine Bar, Little Brother and Beso — form the backbone of the area’s dining and bar scene, with other notable hot spots like Beast of Bourbon, Brooklyn Stoop and Project Parlor down on Myrtle Avenue, and Peaches Hot House and Bed-Vyne, a recently opened beer and wine specialty shop and bar, on Tompkins Avenue.
One of the challenges to living in Bed-Stuy is access to subways. Three lines service the area — the G along Myrtle and Bedford avenues; the A/C on Fulton Street; and the J/Z up and down Broadway. A large swath of the neighborhood, however, lies in a dead zone, at least a 15-minute walk from any of these lines. Those looking to move to the neighborhood will inevitably start using the cross-neighborhood buses, many of which provide service directly to one or another of the subway lines. The area is also great for biking, as the streets are tree-lined and full of gorgeous and unique brownstones to take in as you ride.
Rents in Bed-Stuy will be on the rise this spring and summer, with landlords counting on the influx of recent college graduates and summer interns that traditionally floods the city in May. One bedroom apartments are currently renting for between $1,200 and $1,800 a month, often offering full floors of a brownstone or exclusive access to a backyard or garden at the top of that spectrum.
Two bedroom apartments are available as low as $1,500 a month and can run as high as $2,300 a month for a fully renovated brownstone unit with condo-quality amenities. At that price point, expect some outdoor space as well.
Three bedroom apartments in Bed-Stuy are starting as low as $1,600 a month, with a lot of availability between $2,000 and $2,400 a month. Developers with an eye on renting to roommates are renovating brownstones and offering floor-through three bedroom apartments with high-end amenities, including dishwashers and shared laundry, plus, often, outdoor space (roof decks, balconies and yards) for between $2,400 and $2,800 a month.
Bed-Stuy is the new buzz neighborhood in Brooklyn real estate, and, as such, it’s set to experience the type of development and increase in visibility and popularity seen in Williamsburg and Fort Greene over the last 10 years. Now is a great time to get into what promises to be an exciting neighborhood for what remains a reasonable cost.