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Photo of Dawn David (Corcoran) Background images of The Wales and rowhomes in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens Photo of Dawn David (Corcoran) Background images of The Wales and rowhomes in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
Dawn David is a born and bred New Yorker who knows Brooklyn like the back of her hand, and the new development market just as well. With over two decades of experience in New York City residential real estate, Dawn has brokered hundreds of deals across various property types. Currently a broker at Corcoran, she played a pivotal role in launching and leading sales at The Wales in Carnegie Hill. Given the complexity of the New York City market, we caught up with Dawn to glean her insights and learn which neighborhoods are on the rise.

In this article:

REED, 183 13th Street
REED, 183 13th Street Gowanus
The Parisa, 1712 10th Avenue
The Parisa, 1712 10th Avenue Windsor Terrace
27 East 79th Street
27 East 79th Street Carnegie Hill
110 North 1st Street
110 North 1st Street Williamsburg
232 South 2nd Street
232 South 2nd Street Williamsburg

Ondel: Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background, Dawn?

Dawn David: I've been in the business for 20 years, starting as a rental agent at Citi Habitats. There, I connected with a developer involved in approximately 50 buildings across the city, both acquisitions and ground-up builds. I then opened my own firm, Dawn David LLC. About three years ago, I joined Corcoran to lead sales at The Wales as one of two exclusive brokers.

I also worked with the same developer of The Wales, Matt Adell, at 27 East 79th Street. It's wonderful to work on new buildings that respect the area's history and character. This building was the first new construction on the block in decades, and the neighbors were very concerned. Alberto Pinto designed this warm limestone exterior that, while clean in terms of ornamentation, blended seamlessly with the surrounding buildings.

Michael Bloomberg lives on the same block. One day, he came in wanting to speak to the sponsor, and I happened to be in the sponsor’s office. He expressed the biggest love for the building, and everyone was relieved by how well it turned out.
Images of Wales, a newly-finished condo conversion in Carnegie Hill Images of Wales, a recently-finished condo conversion in Carnegie Hill

I know you work in both the Brooklyn and Manhattan residential markets. What are some of the main differences and similarities between the two?

Dawn: I have some biases when it comes to Brooklyn, as I’ve been living there again for a few years now. It’s funny—I grew up in Brooklyn and fought tooth and nail to get out. Now I own a house right in the same neighborhood where I grew up. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods have a vibe incomparable to Manhattan and other parts of the city. And in my perspective, there are still a lot of neighborhoods, that I would call a steal, not a deal.
View of northwest Brooklyn from lower Manhattan (Compass)

What’s your favorite neighborhood right now?

Dawn: In Manhattan. I love the Upper East Side. That’s where I lived when I escaped Brooklyn. In my opinion, the east side is better than the west side. It turned around once the Second Avenue Subway opened.

As for Brooklyn, Prospect Lefferts Gardens is my favorite neighborhood right now. They have the best restaurants and it’s close to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

In your view, what neighborhoods have the most potential for growth in value?

Dawn: Back in the day, it was almost a bad word to mention neighborhoods like East Flatbush, Bed-Stuy, East New York, and Brownsville (gasp). They were notorious for car break-ins, and I remember when taxis wouldn’t even go there. Today, these areas are much more revitalized and optimistic. Now, I’m seeing people from all parts of the city and country moving to Brooklyn. Folks are hopping from the Bronx to Brownsville, and I have people moving from New Jersey to Ocean Hill. These neighborhoods are up-and-coming and now thriving. They are finally enjoying many of the positive amenities and conveniences that come with city living.

Also, in Brooklyn, there is a larger sense of community compared to Manhattan. From my experience managing and developing buildings, it’s hard to know your neighbors in larger buildings. It’s different in Brooklyn, where neighborhoods are generally composed of smaller buildings.
Brownstones in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (CityRealty)

Is there a specific property type that you foresee having significant growth potential?

Dawn: I see significant growth in small townhouses and multi-family buildings, especially in neighborhoods like Flatbush and Prospect-Lefferts, where you can get better pricing and more space.

A few years ago, I was researching a new development near the subway in Flatbush. Before I set off, I noticed a small house for sale online. I took the train to Flatbush Avenue - Brooklyn College and walked 10 minutes to find the house. It was a complete disaster, located on a dead-end street but in a walkable area. Despite its condition, I bought the property and renovated it. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

If you're looking for a steal and real value, consider farther-flung Brooklyn neighborhoods such as East Flatbush, Brownsville, and Ocean Hill.

What are the main advantages of purchasing a new development property versus a renovated re-sale unit?

Dawn: For starters, the number one reason people opt for new construction is they don’t want to renovate — especially after the pandemic. Many buyers also appreciate the appeal of being the first to use everything in the apartment — from appliances to closets and baths; that’s a big thing for clients.
Another advantage is the potential for negotiation with the sponsor, particularly when there's ample inventory available early in the development process. For instance, at The Wales, half of the units were already spoken for during pre-construction.

Lastly, if you want custom alterations, such as a wall up or down, the sponsor is amenable to your changes.
The Wales' restored exterior (CityRealty)

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What types of new development buildings and layouts are performing the best?

Dawn: Primarily boutique properties. I also personally prefer smaller buildings since they have more charm and character. The Wales, in particular, has only 21 units, mostly half- and full-floor residences. Since it is a complete gut renovation, there is the benefit of brand-new finishes and modern mechanicals on the inside, while preserving some of its distinctive architectural elements.

The Wales, #2C (Corcoran Group)

What features resonate most with buyers in 2024?

Dawn: High ceilings, outdoor space, detailing, and room proportion.

It appears that new development inventory is gradually decreasing, with fewer projects in the pipeline compared to previous years. Is now a good time for buyers to commit?

Dawn: I would say yes, Inventory is limited, though It depends on where you are. There is probably more inventory in certain neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens than in Manhattan since developments are smaller and easier to finance and build.

We were spoiled by super-low interest rates, but buyers appear to be getting more comfortable with where they are now. At the Wales, we saw mostly all-cash deals for units priced $3 million and up. First-time homebuyers usually end up with a mortgage. My parents bought at double-digit interest rates. Nevertheless, buyers should remember that they will have the opportunity to refinance later. So yes, now is a good time to buy, since prices are down and there is elevated negotiability on the market.

One thing you love about NYC and one thing you would change if you had a magic wand?

Dawn: One thing I love about New York City is that while it is less 24/7 since the pandemic, it is still a city that never sleeps. It was during Passover, and I had dinner reservations in the West Village that night. The vibe was so wonderful and it went late into Monday evening. You won’t find this in D.C. or other cities across the country. This only happens in New York.

If I had a magic wand, one thing I would change would be for new developments to be more respectful of the neighborhood around them. My other gripes are the usual complaints about transportation infrastructure and sanitation.
545-Lexington Avneue A new condo conversion and addition at 545 Lexington Avenue in Bed-stuy that doesn't play nice with its neighbors

Select New Development Listings in Boutique Brooklyn Condos


The Rogers Residences, #3D (Corcoran Group)

406 Midwood Street, #PHC (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Four Fifty Grand, #7B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

REED, #2B (Serhant LLC)

110 North 1st Street, #1A (Nest Seekers LLC)

The Parisa, #1D (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty)

232 South 2nd Street, #PH (Corcoran Group)

58 Dupont Street, #PH (In House Group)
Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544
Would you like to tour any of these properties?