This former industrial area in the borough of Brooklyn in New York has long been known for its history as a centre for brewing — now defunct — and as an artistic community. In the past few years, however, Bushwick has become one of the most popular places to live on this side of the city, challenging nearby Williamsburg for the crown of Brooklyn’s — and perhaps even New York’s — coolest district.
House values in Bushwick are on the rise, with median prices up 12.1 per cent in the year to June 2018 and 9.9 per cent growth forecast for the next 12 months, according to Zillow. However, the area remains cheaper than other parts of Brooklyn: the average Bushwick home is worth $788,700 as of late May 2018, compared with $898,900 in Williamsburg. Bushwick’s rental market is also flattered by local comparisons, with a median rent of $2,450 per month, which is lower than the $2,900 average for New York City.
Fast track to Manhattan
Commuters from Bushwick have a choice of five subway lines to Manhattan. The L line from Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station takes 20 minutes to Union Square, and Midtown’s bustling Times Square is just over 30 minutes away (with a change of trains at Union Square). Unfortunately, the L line is due to close for 15 months from April 2019 for repairs, but the J, M, Z and G lines will remain open, albeit entailing slightly longer journey times.
Known since the early 2000s as a haven for artists seeking cheap studio space, Bushwick hasn’t lost its artistic vibe despite rising rents. From huge graffiti murals — created by the likes of British artist Banksy — to scores of galleries that have set up in the district, creativity still runs through the area’s veins. The Bushwick Collective has turned the district’s photogenic street art into an outdoor gallery project, constantly changing and developing the neighbourhood’s wall space.
Since 2014, when video-streaming platform Livestream moved its offices to a 30,000-square foot former warehouse there, business has started to boom in Bushwick. The opening is credited with kick-starting the arrival of the many start-ups and small businesses in the area’s former factories. Workers can rent desks at BKLYN Commons’ slick Bushwick space from $300 per month, but those looking to keep costs right down might favour Bat Haus, where rents start at $85 per month.
Despite having a name that comes from the Dutch “Boswijck”, meaning “little town in the woods”, Bushwick is not overwhelmingly leafy. There is, however, some green space. The area’s largest park is the seven-acre Maria Hernandez Park, which attracts weekday runners, families and those looking to shoot some hoops on its basketball courts. For those seeking more greenery, Bushwick adjoins the 141-acre Highland Park, which lies on the Brooklyn-Queens border. The park has a children’s farm and reservoir and, since a $6.92m redevelopment in 2013, accessible and cycle-friendly paths too.
Photographs: Alamy; Getty Images/iStockphoto; Getty Images/Age Fotostock RM