I am asked weekly why Brooklyn is so hot.
The majority of investors, small office tenants, townhouse buyers and people seeking to start restaurants can’t find space now for love or money or both. Residential tenants are paying record rents, some office deals are hitting $50 per square foot, and land prices are skyrocketing.
There are four clear reasons, and one not so obvious reason, why Brooklyn is the bomb right now.
First, the borough is next to America’s real estate “sun,” Manhattan. Just as our planet Earth is warmed by our sun, Brooklyn benefits from its intimate connection with Manhattan’s commercial real estate, an office market 10 or more times its market size. If just 1 percent of the office tenants in Manhattan wanted to move to Brooklyn and Queens, they couldn’t fit right now. Williamsburg is an extension of the Lower East Side, thanks to the L train.
Second, Manhattan has gotten very crowded in the last 20 years, much more expensive and overrun by tourists. I have observed bridge-and-tunnel people try to find parking below 14th Street on the east side at night, give up as it’s almost impossible to do so and then drive down Bowery and over the Williamsburg Bridge for their night out.
Third, Brooklyn is Brooklyn. The borough offers an amazing residential housing stock, a powerful self-identity and sense of place, an interconnectedness not found in the other boroughs, an explosion of things to do, a chill identity thanks to the folks who live and create there, and the essential element to many folks: great food.
Fourth, young people seem to prefer to hang out in Brooklyn.
Fifth, and most important, Brooklyn offers people what they want now. However you define that, and it is much debated, the borough is giving the public what it wants.