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Living in Mill Basin

One of Brooklyn's tucked-away secrets, Mill Basin is a suburban-style idyll surrounded by the lush wetlands of Jamaica Bay. This tranquil residential neighborhood sits on a peninsula jutting out into the Mill Basin Inlet. Here, residents enjoy a peaceful lifestyle with a strong sense of local community. Extravagant waterfront mansions have their own docks for easy access to the water, while more modest detached homes dot the neighborhood's well-tended inland streets.

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Nicknamed the ‘Brooklyn Riviera,’ properties here rival those of Fifth Avenue with their opulent glass-laden architecture. Sunlight sparkles on the water and residents enjoy access to local recreational facilities like a marina, golf course and shopping mall. The neighborhood feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, yet it’s just 45 minutes away via the BM1 express bus.

Mill Basin real estate

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The housing stock in Mill Basin is relatively new in comparison to other areas of Brooklyn. Mill Basin real estate features a wealth of charming brick bungalows constructed in the post-war boom of the 1940s and 1950s. Detached split-level Mill Basin houses come with garages and cellar space, and dogwood trees line the broad residential streets. Homeowners on the gently curving interior streets of Mill Basin are house-proud, adding details like elaborate stonework and new skylights. Mill Basin apartments and new condos also feature manicured front lawns and driveways.

Waterfront properties come fully equipped with docks for boat access. Many of these magnificent mansions are new to the market, custom designed for their owners in an array of fanciful styles. Classical columns, swimming pools and elevators are typical amenities in these light-strewn contemporary homes.

Mill Basin history

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Named after a tide-powered grist mill set up by Dutch pioneers in the 1600s, Mill Basin is a cozy residential pocket of Brooklyn. It was originally inhabited by the Canarsie Indians, who sold their lands in 1664. The Mill Basin land incorporated into the Flatlands Township at this time, though it remained rural until the end of the 1800s. At the turn of the 20th century, Robert L. Cooke expanded his industrial lead-smelting empire into the area, leading to a period of heavy manufacturing. By mid-century, Mill Basin enjoyed connections to the rest of Brooklyn via the Brooklyn highway system, and a construction boom transformed the area into a quiet residential pocket. Many of the attractive two-story co-ops and brick-clad bungalows stem from this time period. The waterfront was then built up with custom ranch and colonial mansions, creating a desirable community on Brooklyn’s edge.

Mill Basin restaurants

There’s a row of restaurants on Avenue U to tempt hungry Mill Basin residents. This includes cuisine from all corners of the globe. Italian aficionados head to Pizza D’Amore for pasta Pomodoro and garlic knots in a casual trattoria setting. La Villa draws a crowd for its wood-fired pizzas, including a thick-crusted Sicilian-style pie. For Peruvian food, Lima Mill Basin dishes up authentic empanadas and chicken dishes seasoned with peppery Aji Amarillo, while Main House BBQ serves fiery brisket and baked beans with global influences.

Its waterfront location is one of Mill Basin’s biggest pulls, which makes seafood a natural fit for its dining scene. Nick’s Lobster House has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1955, when fisherman Nick sold fresh lobsters from his docked boat. This family-run business works with local suppliers, serving lobster bisque and baked clams to happy diners.

Mill Basin attractions

Lindower Park is an elegantly landscaped park in the heart of Mill Basin. Acquired by the city in 1959, it got a makeover in 1991 with the addition of basketball courts, play equipment and game tables. Animal art and handball courts round out the amenities. There are plenty of lovely shaded spots provided by local oak and London plane trees. to enjoy the fresh air and bucolic scenery. It’s bordered by the Funfest entertainment center, a family-operated bowling alley and arcade.

Mill Basin’s waterways flow out into the wetlands and wildlife refuge of Jamaica Bay. This 18,000-acre sanctuary is part of the larger Gateway National Recreation Area, stretching to the Rockaways. It offers a diverse network of natural landscapes ideal for boating, hiking and cycling. Four Sparrow Marsh is an unspoiled nature reserve sitting across the water from Mill Basin’s stately homes. Its isolated location allows wildlife to flourish in this wetland ecosystem. Birders venture to its marshy expanses and meadows to spot little blue herons, bobolinks and other rarities.

Mill Basin shopping

The Kings Plaza Mall is home to a number of big brand-name retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and Lowes. This modern shopping center includes a bustling food court and 1.1 million square feet of retail therapy. Avenue U is the other major shopping destination in Mill Basin. This prime thoroughfare’s range of services includes plentiful supermarkets and independent specialist shops. The Duet Bakery Boutique sits at the corner of Lindower Park. Chef Diana Rodova perfects her tantalizing baked goods here, including multi-tiered masterpieces like custom-made wedding cakes and flaky almond croissants.

Mill Basin events

There’s a tight-knit community in Mill Basin, its residents often gathering in a variety of local venues. The Kings Plaza Mall hosts college fairs and other community events, while Lindower Park is a popular gathering place in warm weather to enjoy open-air film screenings. Nature enthusiasts can get outdoors and learn more about local wildlife at Jamaica Bay’s guided walks and lecture series.

What's In The Area: Mill Basin

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Mill Basin from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Mill Basin tips




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