Brooklyn has a long history of being less desirable than Manhattan. For decades, Brooklyn saw very little development in the office market, with the majority of space in low slung and non-descript office buildings housing public sector employees and back-office workers.
When Etsy signed a lease for 200,000 square feet of space in Dumbo in 2014, many expected Brooklyn office space to take off. That did not happen. While there have been smaller TAMI tenants moving into Brooklyn, the big 100k+ square foot deals that many anticipated have not materialized.
However, as the desirability of Brooklyn increases with large high-quality residential developments attracting more affluent residents, the future of office space in Brooklyn looks extremely bright.
There has been a dearth great office space in Brooklyn, but that has changed in recent years. The redevelopment of both Industry City and the Brooklyn Navy Yards have created great, modern spaces that are attracting boutique manufacturing and tech firms.
And Brooklyn is finally starting to add modern, Class A office space that rivals any of the new construction in the Financial District, Hudson Yards, or Midtown.
25 Kent Street has brought over 500,000 square feet of new construction office space to Williamsburg, which has been at the forefront of the residential boom in Brooklyn. It is the first large building in decades to be built in Brooklyn without an anchor tenant and is attractive to tech and creative firms as Williamsburg is home to many of these types of employees.
Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard offers over 600,000 square feet and has already attracted WeWork which has taken over 200,000 square feet in the building.
Perhaps the area of Brooklyn that is seeing the greatest amount of new Class A office space in the pipeline is Downtown Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn has seen a residential construction boom in the last few years, and the office construction is starting to catch up.
Over 3 million square feet of new Class A office space is in the pipeline in Downtown Brooklyn, including a number of large scale projects.
One Willoughby Square is set to bring a 500,000 square foot 34 story office building to the neighborhood and is currently under construction, and The Wheeler is bringing an additional 600,000 which is also under construction.
There are also numerous other buildings in various stages of planning including more than 700,000 square feet at 625 Fulton Street and the massive multi-building complex planned at 80 Flatbush.
Even though the growth of Brooklyn’s office market has taken longer than some originally expected, there is a good reason to believe things are looking up: Brooklyn is now the place to live for young professionals.
Neighborhoods throughout the borough have attracted young professionals with lower housing costs, especially individuals working in TAMI industries. Patience with the deteriorating subway has grown thin, and more and more of these professionals are looking to work near where they live. People are able to–and want to–now live, play, and work in Brooklyn.
The new Class A office space, the relative affordability, and the close proximity to young, professional talent, all make Brooklyn a great place to locate look at for office space. While it is still overlooked by many, it likely won’t be long before the next lease is signed that opens the floodgates to the Brooklyn office market for good.
So whether you’ve looked at Brooklyn in the past and decided against it or never considered it in the first place, Brooklyn is changing fast and it’s probably worth a second look.