Tag Archives: Downtown Brooklyn

Chris Havens delivers the lowdown on Brooklyn commercial real estate, over lunch this Thursday

Chris Havens, who knows his way around Downtown Brooklyn’s commercial real estate scene as well as anyone, will put his knowledge on the table this Thursday at the weekly lunch meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club.

Rotarians who work or live Downtown are anxious to hear Havens’ take on recent developments — and his predictions for the future.

Here’s a link to a recent article Havens wrote for the Brooklyn Eagle, describing substantial changes in the market. Link here for a report in Real Estate Weekly on the designation of Havens’ Creative Real Estate Group as exclusive leasing agent for 32 Court Street.

Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club, Thursday, March 1, 12:15-1:30 pm, Archives Restaurant, NY Marriott Brooklyn Bridge. Guests invited.


Chris Havens has a 31-year background in real estate, housing and land use. His career began at City Hall, managing legislative and land use affairs for a prominent City Council member.  Subsequently, he spent 9 years renovating 1000 housing units in Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights with the City of New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and then directing a private company, BEC New Communities HDFC.


Havens became a residential real estate broker 19 years ago, working for 5 years selling apartments in Manhattan.


He spent 4.5 years with Insignia/ESG, one of the largest commercial real estate service companies in the world, specializing in office leasing in Downtown Brooklyn and Western Queens and the conversion of industrial properties to office space.


In 2002 he joined Two Trees Management Co. in DUMBO as Director of Leasing for their 2 million square foot commercial portfolio, starting with Jed Walentas their modern office marketing and leasing operation from scratch, creating the current office market in DUMBO.


He founded Creative Real Estate Group in 2007, to market and lease creative work and office space in emerging Brooklyn markets. He was a consultant to Industry City Associates, the largest owners of multi-story warehouse properties in the USA, helping to start their current creative leasing program, and a co-agent with CBRE for SLGreen’s 16 Court Street and GFI Development’s 470 Vanderbilt Avenue. Havens and CBRE leased 183,013 RSF in fifty-four leases and 532,000 RSF in three leases at 16 Court and 470 Vanderbilt, respectively.


Havens’s company now represents 32 Court Street, the premier prewar boutique office property in Brooklyn, where his office is located. Active in tenant representation, he leases space throughout the Downtown Brooklyn (DTB) region. With his associate Francis DeCarlo, CREG represents 231 Front Street, the newest office property in the DUMBO area.


He holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College, graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota, is a Board Member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Chamber’s Real Estate and Development Committee, an Advisory Board Member of the Association of African-American Real Estate Professionals, a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and a Trustee of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. He moved to Brooklyn in 2003 from Manhattan, returning his family to the borough in which his father and grandfather were raised.

Breaking News: Rotary’s alive in Downtown Brooklyn

The new Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club is just four weeks old — and already it’s in the news.

“A staple of small-town America is coming to the nation’s first suburb, and, no, it’s not Walmart,” The Brooklyn Paper‘s Laura Gottesdiener reported this morning. “Those old values that we all grew up with have never disappeared,” said the club’s president, Vivian Hardison.

Pres. Vivian Hardison. BP photo by Laura Gottesdiener

Gottesdiener, who attended yesterday’s luncheon and spoke with several members, related that “Hardison is betting that Rotary’s small-town traditions still have a place, even in a cutting-edge, self-obsessed borough.”

Club-member Ed Weintrob, the former publisher of the Brooklyn Paper, said in Gottesdiener’s report that “people in the city think of Rotary as a small-town affair, but there are a lot of Rotary clubs in large cities.”

A big-city example cited by Gottesdiener is the 102-year-old Rotary Club of New York that meets every Monday for $55 lunches at the Harvard Club.

And what did the new Brooklyn Bridge Rotarians talk about during their meeting on Thursday? Gottesdiener reports:

Charity is the cornerstone of Rotary, and Rotarians at the fourth meeting this week discussed combating underage prostitution while enjoying smoked salmon and baby leek tarts. Over the main course, the conversation focused on organizing a bone marrow testing event, and the already-begun initiative of sending cellphones to soldiers overseas.

Link here to the full story at BrooklynPaper.com.