Long identified as a place where immigrants carved a quiet life out of the bustling city, Sheepshead Bay is now where priced-out young professionals look for spacious rentals and foodies satisfy their appetites for diverse cuisines.
So far, the area has been spared the explosion in popularity that most of Brooklyn experienced in the last decade, according to local residents.
“It’s continued to stay mom-and-pop my whole life,” said lifelong resident Samantha Treiber, 31, who lives in a co-op on Brigham Street. “It’s still old Brooklyn.”
But the southern Brooklyn neighborhood is starting to get noticed. While there is still a prevalent Eastern European — mainly Russian — presence, Sheepshead Bay is becoming more diverse as young people move in.
“Because of the fact that they’re being priced out of other neighborhoods in the city and within the borough, [clients] are looking further south,” said Erin Keane, a realtor with Kings and Queens Leasing, which has an office on Sheepshead Bay Road.
“Clients are moving here for a better quality of life,” she added, though the trade-off is a 45-minute to an hour commute to midtown on the B or Q train.
According to real estate data from the listings site StreetEasy, the median rental price in 2015 in Sheepshead Bay was $1,650, and the median sales price was $270,000.
Housing stock in the area varies from low-rise apartment buildings to brick row houses and large, private homes.
New residential and commercial spaces are also under construction, such as a 30-story mixed-use tower slated for 1501 Voorhies Ave., which will reportedly be the tallest building constructed in southern Brooklyn since before World War II. More new developments are on the way, Keane predicted.
For now, though, the area is quiet, even along its main shopping strip on Avenue U, where residents casually browse locally-owned retail stores and markets.
It’s also peaceful at the neighborhood’s famous waterfront along Emmons Avenue, where there are several seafood and ethnic cuisine restaurants. Locals enjoy Greek food at Yiasou, Italian seafood at Randazzo’s Clam Bar and Turkish dishes at Liman, all on Emmons Avenue.
However, Theresa Scavo, chair of the local Community Board 15, said the bay area has more potential. The city could make it an attraction similar to Coney Island or Rockaway Beach, with paddle boats and canoe rentals, she said. Currently, the watercraft recreation there consists of fishing boats and party cruise yachts.
“Locals love being part of the waterfront community,” Scavo said. “The bay is a magnet.”
Sheepshead Bay is bordered by Kings Highway to the north, Ocean Parkway to the west, Gerritsen Avenue to the east and Emmons Avenue to the south, according to StreetEasy.