With so many great neighborhoods in Brooklyn, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. But if you’re looking for a tree-filled residential area with a mix of historic homes and modern rentals, consider Brooklyn Heights. Its picturesque charm typically comes with a higher price tag. According to the StreetEasy Data Dashboard, the neighborhood’s median asking price for home sales is $1.5 million — the same as Manhattan, and more than $500,000 above Brooklyn’s overall median. The median asking rent for Brooklyn Heights is also a bit steep — $3,390 versus Manhattan’s $3,300 and Brooklyn’s $2,600. The extra cost comes with a lot of benefits. The locale has beautiful parks, direct access to Manhattan, and mom-and-pop shops that are a reminder of simpler times. But of course, you will find many homes for less. Here’s what you need to know about this desirable neighborhood.

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    Where Is Brooklyn Heights?

    It’s just a stone’s throw from Downtown Manhattan and smack dab in the middle of the borough’s waterfront neighborhoods. DUMBO is to the north, Downtown Brooklyn is to the east, and Cobble Hill is to the south. The area’s proximity to its lively Brooklyn neighbors is very appealing — not to mention its easy accessibility to Manhattan, which made the area attractive for more than a century. In fact, people who live in Brooklyn Heights and work in Manhattan have been commuting since the 1830s when steam-powered ferries transported workers to their livelihoods.

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    What Are the Housing Options?

    Housing options abound for both renters and home buyers. While typically characterized as a townhouse neighborhood (many stately residences date back to the Civil War), prewar buildings, converted industrial lofts, and newly constructed high-rise condos brimming with amenities can also be found here. 

    “With sweeping views of the East River, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline, on the blocks of Columbia Heights and Montague Terrace, you’ll find many huge, gorgeous, and pricey houses,” said Brooklyn broker, Lindsay Barton Barrett. “You can also find more modest houses in other parts of the Heights, including some dating back to the 1800s.”

    Meanwhile, prewar buildings — some of which had one or two apartments per floor — were divided into multiple units during the Depression and are still generously proportioned. The newest addition to the Heights — One Clinton Street — will include the Brooklyn Public Library’s largest branch, measuring 26,000 square feet, and will feature a double-height reading room, a children’s area, and a theater.

    “Brooklyn Heights has gorgeous housing for any style customer — a traditionalist would love the stunning brownstones on the quiet, tree-lined streets,” said Jenn Tanner, an agent for Warburg Realty. Whereas someone looking for pristine modern finishes and sweeping views of Manhattan can find fantastic options in condos like Quay Tower, or hotel-style living in the Pierhouse adjacent to the 1 Hotel.”

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    What Are the Commute Times to Midtown Manhattan ?

    The neighborhood is a perfect intersection of convenience and charm, with adjacency to several subway lines and proximity to Manhattan. It is one stop from Wall Street on the 2 or 3 trains and provides excellent access to the rest of Manhattan and South Brooklyn. Commuting to Midtown is about a 30-35 minute ride on the 2, 3, N, R, W, 4, or 5 trains. 

    An additional transit option for area residents is the ferry. The south side is served by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 / Atlantic Avenue Ferry, which travels to Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook, and DUMBO, as well as Pier 11 (Wall Street)  and Corlears Hook (Lower East Side) in Manhattan. 

    At the other end of the neighborhood, The East River Ferry in DUMBO will take you to Manhattan’s Pier 11 Wall Street (just a four-minute ride) and East 34th Street, and South and North Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and Hunters Point South in Queens. 

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    Parks and Green Spaces

    The stately and manicured neighborhood with beautiful tree-lined streets is only enhanced by the public parks and green spaces nearby. Popular neighborhood parks include Pierrepont Playground, Hillside Dog Park, and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the famous pedestrian walkway providing stellar views of Downtown Manhattan and New York Harbor. 

    The neighborhood offers direct access to the world-class Brooklyn Bridge Park, built on a series of piers and home to facilities including a skating rink, athletic fields and courts, outdoor gyms, Jane’s Carousel, grassy fields, engaging playgrounds, and even a small beach. The park hosts events, activities, and exhibits year-round.

    A great way to take it all in? “Visiting the promenade is one of the easiest and best ways to appreciate Brooklyn Heights, with its incredible skyline views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty,” said Tanner.

    Lastly, the car-free, offshore getaway of Governors Island is a quick ferry ride away.

    What To Do

    There is no shortage of activities for all ages and interests in this residential but busy part of Brooklyn. 

    Make your way across the Brooklyn Bridge or along the promenade and take in the view. From the promenade, you can cross Squibb Bridge into Brooklyn Bridge Park, and you can ride Jane’s Carousel or explore Empire Stores, a warehouse filled with beautifully curated shops.

    Spots for entertainment include St. Ann’s Warehouse, which was once in Brooklyn Heights but relocated to DUMBO. The performing arts center offers innovative theater and community programming. You will also find a multiplex movie theater in Downtown Brooklyn, the Alamo Drafthouse at City Point, and the Barclay’s Center. 

    A newer addition to the area is 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. It features views of lower Manhattan from most rooms and a rooftop bar that offers impressive city views and a pool in warmer months.

    Brooklyn Heights History

    And it’s impossible not to enjoy the history of the neighborhood. In 1965, it became a National Historic Landmark and the city’s first Historic District. As a result, you’ll find many houses and buildings in the area identified by plaques that explain their historical significance.

    “Plymouth Church was known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad,” said Gerard Splendore, a broker for Warburg Realty. “The Brooklyn Historical Society, founded in 1863, is dedicated to the study of Brooklyn’s 400-year-old history. Literary references are also a part of Brooklyn Heights, the home of writers such as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, and Walt Whitman.”

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