Known historically as an Italian neighborhood, in recent decades Bensonhurst has experienced waves of immigrants from China and Russia. Despite this, the neighborhood’s reputation for Italian culture persists, as the bustling Little Italy section of 18th Avenue hosts many popular Italian eateries and draws large crowds for its various festivals. In addition to Bensonhurst’s residential and commercial districts, the neighborhood offers some attractive outdoor spaces. Bordering the Lower New York Bay, is Bensonhurst Park, offering a promenade walkway and excellent water views. Drier Offerman Park, also along the bay and just outside the southern border of the neighborhood, plays host to the annual Great Irish Fair.
With easy access to the Belt Parkway, which also runs along the bay, car owners in Bensonhurst have it easy. Many subway lines also service the neighborhood, connecting it to Prospect Park, the Atlantic Ocean beaches, and many of Brooklyn’s other highlights. This excellent accessibility explains the draw for new immigrants, since Bensonhurst is a quick ride on the D, F, M, and N trains from Sunset Park’s Chinatown, Borough Park’s Orthodox Jewish community, and Brighton Beach’s Little Russia. Bensonhurst is especially ideal for residents who are Brooklyn-based, especially those who commute to jobs within the borough.
Though re-zoning efforts in the past couple of years have limited building heights in some parts of Bensonhurst, there were few prior restrictions and initial residential development proceeded in many directions, creating a large variety in house and building sizes. The general diversity of housing stock in Bensonhurst is evidenced in available sales listings that mostly include luxury condos, single/multi-family brick homes, and coops. In terms of apartment sales and rentals, both luxury and humble options are in evidence. The median rent for studios and 1Br’s is about the same, around $1000/mo. The median sales price for all real estate is $750K, though listings include many condos that are significantly less expensive.