A lot with a $17M view

The Brooklyn Paper
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How hot is the Brooklyn real-estate market? Somebody just bought a parking lot Downtown for $17.6 million.

And people are calling it a bargain.

The lot, at the corner of Jay and Concord streets (circled right), is zoned for residential use — and existing regulations would allow a 20-story tower with commanding views of the East River bridges and Lower Manhattan.

“It’s a great location for residential — that’s how come they were able to pay this price,” said Alan Miller, who brokered the deal for Edison Properties, which mostly owns parking lots in Manhattan.

“Edison owned it for a few decades, but certainly took advantage of a robust market [to sell now],” Miller added.

Miller described the real-estate market Downtown as “feverish,” but admitted that fevers do eventually break.

“That’s why this was a great time to sell,” he said. “But it’s also a great time to buy. The residential market is still booming.”

That much was clear to the mere mortals on the ground.

“Yowzer!” said David Smith, who works at nearby City Tech, when told about the sale price.

“It will be great if they put shops downstairs and liven up the neighborho­od,” he added.

Many complained that paving over the parking lot to put up a luxury paradise would only speed gentrification.

“It’s unfair,” said Johaelle Lee, who works nearby. “People are struggling to find moderate-income housing and they’re building luxury apartments.”

Another area worker, Garey Ellis, agreed: “I won’t miss the parking lot, but it could’ve been used for affordable housing.”

Affordable housing is not a part of any of the luxury coop and condo buildings rising on the edges of Downtown. Near the parking lot are the Beacon Tower and the J, two tall buildings that are nearing completion in white-hot DUMBO.

Twin luxury towers are also under construction on Gold Street just on the other side of Flatbush Avenue Extension.

The parking lot’s new owner, Amtrust Realty Corp., did not return a call for comment on its acquisition.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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