Real-estate developer Jamestown has perfected the art of creating the Next Hot Neighborhood. This is its formula—and where you fit in.
It is Sunday in Brooklyn, the July air oppressive. You get on the subway, heading for the depths of the borough, someplace no one you know lives—yet.
Off the train, phone and maps app in hand, you walk toward the pedestrian underpass of the noisy Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, meandering through a mix of residential buildings, bodegas, factories, and abandoned buildings. And then you find it: a huge, shady courtyard between two towering manufacturing buildings, strung with twinkling lights and tricked out with bars serving sangria, a taco stand, a dance floor, and most importantly, a DJ table.
You’ve arrived at Mister Sunday, one of the best daytime dance parties in New York. A sweaty, multi-ethnic tangle of scantily clad twenty- and thirtysomethings in barely-there rompers and jorts rub shoulders and butts on the dance floor with young parents with babies on their hips and aging disco-era veterans.
This throbbing, vibrant scene will play out each Sunday afternoon through the fall at a place called Industry City, a hulking 16-building industrial complex that had fallen on hard times since peaking in the mid-1900s manufacturing boom.
The hundreds of people who show up each week to party at Mister Sunday are out for a good time. What the carefree fun-seekers likely do not realize is that they are also a part of a powerful real-estate developer’s plan to remake Industry City—and the Sunset Park community in which it sits—into the Next Hot Property (with rents, of course, to match).