Buy Curious

What you need to know about living in Canarsie, Brooklyn, a far-flung area where you can stretch your dollars

By Nancy A. Ruhling | June 15, 2022 - 9:30AM

This 2,300-square-foot, four-bedroom house at 10551 Flatlands 10th Street is now asking $895,000 after a price cut.

Bedford Brownstone Realty/StreetEasy

The southeastern Brooklyn neighborhood of Canarsie, where Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa, TV weather presenter Al Roker, and Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz grew up, is a middle-class neighborhood that fuses a suburban setting and a big-city vibe.

It’s largely residential and most of the houses come with driveways—a car is necessary to get around this far-flung neighborhood that is accessed by only one subway line.

In this week’s Buy Curious, broker Conrad W. Higgins, founder and owner of Higgins Realty Group, and Doron Berenholtz, a Realtor with The Corcoran Group, give us the inside story on Canarsie.

The question: I’m thinking of moving to Canarsie, but I’ve heard that you really need a car to make living here convenient. What can you tell me about it?

The reality:

“It has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants and shopping areas and connectivity with other neighborhoods like East Flatbush as well as East New York that have more amenities,” Higgins says, adding: “I highly recommend a car.”

Where is it?

Canarsie is bounded on the west by East Flatbush, by Flatlands and Bergen Beach on the southwest, by Starrett City on the east, East New York on the northeast and Brownsville on the north.

Why would NYers want to move to Canarsie?

“It’s a vibrant, upbeat, diverse community,” Higgins says. “It has a very suburban feel, yet it’s still in the city.”

Berenholtz adds, “It’s a very warm, welcoming community, and you get more for your money compared with other Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights and even neighboring communities like Midwood and Bergen Beach.”

Where in Canarsie should you live?

Higgins divides the neighborhood into three informal areas.

Paerdegat, which is closest to Bergen Beach and Canarsie Park, is primarily residential—there are single-family houses as well as small multi-family houses.

The center section of the community, which runs from East 80th Street to Rockaway Parkway and from Foster Avenue to the Belt Parkway, is the main hub. Its single- and multi-family houses are augmented by stores and restaurants.

Flatlands, which runs from Rockaway Parkway to East 108th Street, features detached one- and two-family 1960s-era houses called Waxman split-levels.

“It’s the most secluded section of Canarsie,” Higgins says. “And it’s very family-centric.”

 What are housing and pricing like?

The housing stock, which dates from around the 1940s to the present, is comprised of single- and multi-family houses and condos. There are no co-ops.

“Canarsie is known for its multi-families,” Higgins says.

There are only 25 condos and single-family houses on the market in Canarsie, according to StreetEasy.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” Higgins says. “But that may change as mortgage interest rates rise. It’s not like it was before March 1st, before the rate increases when we had long lines at open houses.”

Although bidding wars are not typical, Higgins says they have occasionally occurred with prime properties.

One families, in move-in condition, generally are priced at $600,000 to $699,000, although Higgins adds that a few, small two-bedroom houses may be found for $580,000 to $599,000.

Two and three families generally command $750,000 to $1 million, with the price difference depending upon size, condition, and location.

“Multi-families are selling like hotcakes,” Berenholtz says. “People are willing to buy them even when they are fully occupied with tenants because they get them for a discount.”

He notes that a semi-attached multi-family he recently listed got nine offers at the first open house. “We held a second open house only because the seller wanted to give more people the opportunity to see it,” he says. “We got an accepted offer that was over the asking price.”

Condos are generally in three-story buildings and priced at $299,000 for one bedrooms, $375,000 for two bedrooms, and $450,000 for three bedrooms. Recently renovated units bring the highest prices, Higgins says.

Rentals typically are $1,800 to $1,900 for a one bedroom, $2,000 to $2,200 for a two bedroom and $2,500 to $3,000 for a three bedroom, he says.

Is there a lot of new development? 

Noting that zoning prohibits the building of tall residential developments, Higgins says that although some multi-families and some condos are being built, “there aren’t any major developments as there are in neighboring areas like East New York and East Flatbush.”

What’s the transportation situation?

The L train runs through the community; so do the bus lines B6, B17, B42, B60, B82, B82, SBS, B103, and BM2. For drivers, there is the Canarsie Pier exit on the Belt Parkway.

What is there to do?

Canarsie Park, a 132-acre green space that runs along Seaview Avenue, offers space for soccer, cricket, basketball, baseball, nature walks, and a skate park.

Brooklyn Lifestyle Athletic Club has swimming, basketball, group exercise classes, after-school programs for children, and athletics for seniors.

Canarsie Pier, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area of New York and New Jersey, is a magnet for fishermen. It has picnic areas, a playground, and a kayak launch.

For shopping, residents head to Canarsie Plaza, which has several big-box stores, including Planet Fitness.

What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?

There are several dining options in Canarsie, many of which serve Caribbean and Jamaican dishes. In addition, there is a variety of selections in the surrounding neighborhoods.

One popular eatery in Canarsie is Bamboo Garden, which is known for its Caribbean and Chinese fusion cuisine.

The Gateway Center, a 10- to 12-minute drive away in East New York, has more than 45 shops and restaurants, including Target, Home Depot, Dave & Busters, Olive Garden, and Outback Steakhouse.

How about grocery stores?

There are several supermarkets, including Key Food, Food Bazaar, and CTown.

Brooklyn Terminal Market, which was established in 1942, features 33 vendors that sell everything from produce, groceries and dairy products to spices, exotic flowers, and holiday merchandise.

There is a BJ’s Wholesale Club and a ShopRite in the Gateway Center in East New York.

Check out these listings in Canarsie.

9401 Farragut Rd.

This two-story, single-family house, built in 1940, is on a 25-by-96-foot corner lot across from a church. In addition to three bedrooms, one full bath and one half bath, the 1,240-square-foot, wood-frame house has hardwood floors, a large basement, and two-car garage. Originally listed in 2021 for $725,000, its price has been reduced to $679,000.

9224 Glenwood Rd.

This 2,500-square-foot, detached ranch house, built in 1950 and recently renovated, has two bedrooms, one full bath and one half bath. It has an eat-in-kitchen with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops, and a renovated basement with a new summer kitchen and bath. In addition to a private side entrance, there is a large yard. Originally listed in February 2022 for $749,000, the price has been reduced four times and now is $659,000.

10551 Flatlands 10th St.

Listed on May 4th for $949,000, this 2,300-square-foot house, built in 1960, is now priced at $895,000. The detached single-family house, which has four bedrooms and three baths and is on a 40-by-100-foot lot, has high ceilings, custom windows, hardwood floors, sliding glass doors in the living room that lead to a deck, an electric fireplace, primary suite with a Jacuzzi, finished basement, and backyard with a storage shed.

1324 East 101st St.

Built in 1955, this single-family, detached split-level house, listed for $780,000, has three bedrooms, two baths, and a formal living room and dining room. Other features include a primary suite with a balcony, enclosed backyard, private driveway for four to five cars, hardwood floors, a deck, a family room, and a private side entrance.

10527 Flatlands 8th St., #1

This detached 2,030-square-foot split-level single-family house, built in 1960, is listed for $625,000. It “needs work,” according to the listing. In addition to a large family room, it has a finished walk-in basement with a side entrance. The 40-by-100-foot lot has a backyard, side yard, and front yard as well as a private drive and garage.

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

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