Your Next Move

What you can get for $1 million in Fort Greene, where brownstone-lined streets meet a cultural hub

  • 'Buyers love the small-town feel while still having access to all that big-city living has to offer'
  • Average entry price is $1 million, but you can find smaller one and two bedrooms for less
  • It is slightly more expensive than neighboring Clinton Hill, though that nabe is catching up
By Nancy A. Ruhling  |
October 11, 2023 - 10:00AM
Navy Green, a LEED-certified complex in Fort Greene

A one-bedroom, one-bath condo in Navy Green, a LEED-certified complex with a 30,000-square-foot common green, is listed for $750,000. 

Corcoran Group

Have you always wanted to live in Fort Greene but assumed you were priced out? In this new series, Brick looks at listings in New York City’s most in-demand neighborhoods for under $1 million—roughly the median sales price for Manhattan co-ops and condos—as well as higher-priced options below $2.5 million. 

If your goal is to live large, think small: Buying a studio or one bedroom is a way to net the nabe of your dreams. New to buying NYC real estate? Be sure to wrap your head around the difference between co-ops and condos. Co-ops are generally less expensive but also are older and have fewer bells and whistles than condos—plus more rules. With that in mind—happy hunting!

In this week’s Your Next Move, Rita van Straten, a broker at Douglas Elliman, and Suzanne DeBrango, an agent at Brown Harris Stevens, give us the inside story on Fort Greene, where brownstone-lined streets lead to several major cultural destinations.

What draws buyers to the neighborhood?

Many things, Van Straten says: the beautiful architecture, the green spaces and tree-lined streets, the dining spots, the farmer’s market, access to public transportation (multiple subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road), and the culture and sporting events (Fort Greene is home to BAM and right next door to the Barclays Center).

In addition to these attractions, “Buyers and renters love the small-town feel while still having access to all that big-city living has to offer,” DeBrango says.

What are housing and pricing like?

The neighborhood is defined by grand brownstones, some of which have been converted into one and two families or even condos.

“There are a few new developments, but they are not on the park block streets, which are historic areas,” Van Straten says. “The areas outside them offer the most opportunities to build, rebuild, or renovate.”

On average, property prices range from $1 million to $3.5 million, she says.

DeBrango notes that buyers moving from Manhattan “are happy to find that prices are considerably less; they get more for their money, and they look forward to what some would consider a better quality of life.”

What type of property can I get for under or around $1 million?

According to Van Straten, a starter one-bedroom co-op around Ashland Place in a prewar building would sell for around $1 million, though this would be the lower end of the price range. (That said, see below for a two-bedroom condo on Ashland Place that's listed for $799,000.)

She lists two other options: a one-bedroom co-op in Fort Greene proper on South Oxford Street that is renovated but could be in walkup or a townhouse, or a two-bedroom, one-bath co-op that needs work and “would not be on a trophy street or have high-end finishes.”

StreetEasy lists only six properties for sale in this price range.

I can stretch my budget. What can I get for $2.5 million?

This amount puts you in the price range for a two-bedroom, two-bath condo that’s nicely renovated but that’s not in a townhouse unless it’s on the edge of the neighborhood and needs work, Van Straten says. “Such townhouses,” she adds, “are rare.”

Are there any newer condo developments I should check out?

Newer condos typically offer the most luxurious amenities and finishes, features that attract many buyers.

Recent developments in Fort Greene are scarce.

The Commodore, at 31 North Elliott Pl., opened in 2021. The boutique condo has five units, each on one of five stories. The least expensive one on the market, a 1,058-square-foot two bedroom with two baths, is $1.5 million.

Which attractions do you show buyers who have never been to the area?

Van Straten takes clients to the year-round Fort Greene Park Greenmarket, the shops along Fulton Street, and to Barclays Center, on the neighborhood’s border.

“With Manhattan buyers, I liken Fort Greene to Manhattan neighborhoods so they can relate to it and know what to expect when they look,” she says. “I point out that there are parts of Fort Greene that are similar to Greenwich Village and to some areas of the Upper West Side.”

DeBrango runs through all the neighborhood’s amenities, pointing out BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and historic Fort Greene Park. “I tell them that Fort Greene Park Conservancy hosts wonderful music events, including a jazz festival, and that there are Halloween events and annual street events such as the Atlantic Antic Festival,” she says, adding that she also mentions the Mark Morris Dance Center, UrbanGlass, and MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts).

What are the nearby neighborhoods, and are they less expensive?

Fort Greene’s nearest neighbors include Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Prospect Heights, and Clinton Hill.

Although Clinton Hill used to be a little more affordable, Van Straten says its prices are catching up to those in Fort Greene. “You can get a little more elbow space there,” she says. “But if you need an extra room for the same price, you have to go all the way east to Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is what Fort Greene was culturally and amenity-wise 20 to 25 years ago.”

She adds that the pricing in Bed-Stuy, however, isn’t as low as it was during that time period.

Check out these listings that are around $1 million in Fort Greene.

your next move brick underground

135 Ashland Pl., #5A

Listed for $799,000, this two-bedroom, one-bath co-op has living and dining areas and a galley kitchen. The building, one of a cluster in the Kingsland Homes development, has a courtyard garden, full-time doorman, elevators, a laundry room, bike room, and garage.

your next move brick underground

8 Vanderbilt Ave., #7D

This one-bedroom, one-bath condo is located in Navy Green, a LEED-certified village of townhouses and condominiums overlooking a 30,000-square-foot common green, directly across the street from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. On the market for $750,000, the 738-square-foot unit has oak floors, picture windows, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinetry in the kitchen, and a spa-like bath. The building’s amenities include a 30,000-square-foot courtyard and garden, landscaped rooftop deck with barbecue grills, and panoramic views.

your next move brick underground

174 Vanderbilt Ave., #208

Originally listed for $949,000, this 747-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath condo is now asking $899,000. The unit has high ceilings, oversized windows, a balcony, washer and dryer, and central AC. The doorman building has two roof decks, a gym, an underground garage, elevators, a bike room, concierge services, and a fitness center.

your next move brick underground

1 Hanson Pl., #9D

This 934-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath condo is in the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank building, which has 24-hour doormen, concierge services, a fitness center, lounge, conference room, media room, games room, children’s playroom, bike storage, and four outdoor terraces. The unit includes a chef’s kitchen with custom cabinets, oversized windows, Brazilian chestnut flooring, 10.5-foot beamed ceilings, and a washer/dryer. It is listed for $1.08 million, reduced from $1.15 million.

your next move brick underground

137 Carlton Ave., #1B

One of six units in a five-story boutique condo that opened in 2022, this 1,301-square-foot, duplex condo has one bedroom, one full bath, one half bath, oak flooring, oversized windows, floating double bath vanities, a washer/dryer, and private backyard. The asking price is $1.8 million.

Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.



Nancy A. Ruhling

Freelance Journalist

Nancy A. Ruhling has written for over 50 digital and print publications, including The New York Times, HuffPost and Mansion Global. The Queens-based journalist frequently contributes articles to Brick Underground's Buy Curious column. 

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