There are many neighborhoods to consider when looking for a place to live in NYC. If Brooklyn is on your radar, you might want to consider the vibrant and picturesque Fort Greene. But, of course, that can come at a price. According to the StreetEasy Data Dashboard, the median sales asking price in the neighborhood is $1.6 million compared to $1.5 million in Manhattan and $949,000 in Brooklyn overall. The median rent in Fort Greene is $3,650, while it’s $3,475 in Manhattan and $2,600 in Brooklyn. However, it is still possible to find units to rent or buy for much less on StreetEasy. Are you interested in making a move? Here’s what you need to know about Fort Greene.
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Where Is Fort Greene?
Fort Greene is located in the northwest portion of Brooklyn, surrounded by several other popular neighborhoods in the borough. Brooklyn Navy Yard is to the north, Prospect Heights is to the south, and to the east is Clinton Hill. The neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and Bridge Plaza run along Fort Greene’s western border.
Brief History of Fort Greene
The area is named for Nathanael Greene, a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He played a significant role with George Washington at Valley Forge and led a campaign to end the British occupation of the south.
Its large green space, Fort Greene Park — originally called Washington Park — underwent a redesign in 1864 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the duo behind Central Park). By the end of the 19th century, the neighborhood was bustling with Italianate and Eastlake architecture-lined streets. One notable resident from the period is Walt Whitman.
Flash forward, Spike Lee famously opened his studio 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks in Fort Greene in 1986 establishing the neighborhood as a cultural hub.
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What Are the Housing Options in Fort Greene?
Given the rich history of the area and the continued present-day allure, the housing options are a mix of old and new apartments (although mostly historic).
Michael Arkin, an agent for Coldwell Banker Warburg says housing options in the neighborhood include gleaming high-rise condominium towers, townhouse condos, co-ops, and prewar apartments to rent.
Gerard Splendore, a broker for Coldwell Banker Warburg, agrees. “The housing stock in Fort Greene is primarily well-cared-for brownstones and row houses,” he says. “A few doormen, elevator-buildings exist, but most of the residents live in single-family houses or houses with two or three apartments.”
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What Are the Commute Times to Midtown Manhattan?
Atlantic Terminal is located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood. Several of the city’s major subway lines (2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, and R) run through the busy transit hub, as does the Long Island Railroad. Two more lines, the C and G, stop at nearby stations Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street. In general, it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get to Midtown Manhattan from Fort Greene.
Parks and Green Spaces
While Fort Greene is not too far from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the neighborhood has a park all its own: Fort Greene Park. The 30-acre green space is a destination for residents to relax with nature in the middle of the city, complete with sports facilities and playgrounds. Additionally, the neighborhood includes several smaller parks such as Cuyler Gore, Albert J. Parham Playground, and Commodore Barry Park, the last of which has a swimming pool. The park hosts a large farmer’s market every Saturday, year-round.
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Destinations in Fort Greene
Culture plays a huge role in the neighborhood. Major arts institutions are located here, including the performing arts organization the Brooklyn Academy of Art (BAM), its movie theater BAM Rose Cinemas, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. The Theatre for a New Audience, Polansky Shakespeare Center, and The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art also call Fort Greene home. Additionally, Barclays Center hosts major league sports (the Brooklyn Nets call it home), music performances, and live televised events such as MTV Video Music Awards.
The neighborhood also features a major retail center. “Atlantic Terminal Mall is the name of the shopping mall, with a total of five floors, including Target, Old Navy, and Victoria’s Secret,” says Splendore.
Arkin adds that in addition to bigger attractions, Fort Greene offers residents “delightful cafes and eateries of many cuisines.”