Manhattan Beach is located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn, at the eastern end of the Coney Island peninsula. The neighborhood’s only land border is Shore Boulevard (West End Avenue), with Brighton Beach on the other side. Across the water, the Emmons Avenue waterfront district is easily accessible by the Sheepshead Bay Footbridge.
Wealthy New Yorker Austin Corbin founded the resort of Manhattan Beach after buying 500 acres of property and building two elegant hotels, the Manhattan Beach Hotel, which opened in 1877, and Oriental Hotel, which opened in 1880. To make the trip to Manhattan Beach more appealing and convenient for Manhattanites, Corbin offered a ferry service from the East 23rd ferry slip in Manhattan to the 69th Street ferry slip in Brooklyn where vacationers would then board the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway, which Corbin built in 1876, and arrive at his resort within an hour. Corbin was later president of the Long Island Rail Road.
As the resort business declined, another entrepreneur, real estate developer Joseph P. Day, arrived on the scene. Day founded the Manhattan Beach Improvement Company, bought out Corbin’s son’s interest in the Manhattan Beach Hotel, and in 1908 began residential development on land north of the hotels. The Manhattan Beach Hotel was razed in 1911 and the Oriental demolished in 1916.
Single family homes now define the inland community, with some exceptional waterfront properties. The eastern end of the neighborhood is dominated by the 70-plus-acre campus of the Kingsborough Community College. Founded in 1963, the College serves about 30,000 students a year, offering a wide range of credit and non-credit courses in the liberal arts and career education, as well as a number of specialized programs. The Leon M. Goldstein High School opened on the campus in 2003. The facility offers breathtaking views overlooking three bodies of water: Sheepshead Bay, Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The neighborhood’s main green-space is the 40-acre Manhattan Beach Park. The park features baseball and softball fields, basketball and tennis courts, and picnic areas complete with barbeque pits. Breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean add to the appeal of this green-space, and remind visitors and residents alike that Manhattan Beach is one of the few places in New York City that offers a combination of spectacular ocean views and recreational options.
Public transportation in Manhattan Beach is provided by the B1 and B49 local buses. At the western end of the neighborhood, the Q/B subway line (“Brighton Beach” stop) offers local and express trains that run through the heart of Brooklyn, to the Atlantic-Pacific transportation hub (11 train lines, 12 bus lines, LIRR) and Manhattan. The “Brighton Beach” station is only 2 stops away from the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue depot, which provides a transfer to the D, F, and N train lines, as well as several additional bus lines, including the Manhattan-bound express X28 and X38. Auto-commuters will appreciate being next to the Shore Parkway (part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway network), as well as 3 major thoroughfares – Ocean and Coney Island Avenues, and the Ocean Parkway.