Two Bridges office space—located where Chinatown meets the Lower East Side in Lower Manhattan—is a working-class New York City neighborhood that extends from the eastern side of the Brooklyn Bridge and under the Manhattan Bridge. Two Bridges used to be part of the Lower East Side, that is, until around 1955 when it became a neighborhood all on its own.
Two Bridges flies “under the radar” considering its secluded location—and the fact that many people, New Yorkers included, haven’t heard of it. For the most part, gentrification hasn’t changed this old neighborhood yet. It is known as an affordable place to live with an excellent selection of restaurants.
What our brokers say about Two Bridges
Traditionally, Two Bridges is considered an immigrant neighborhood and houses mostly immigrants from Europe, Latin America, and China. The neighborhood includes a pretty balanced mix of high-rise buildings, walk-up buildings, and public housing. The Two Bridges Historic District joined the National Register of Historic Places in September 2003. East Broadway borders Two Bridges to the north; the East River, East River Greenway, FDR Drive, and South Street border it to the south; Montgomery Street borders it to the east; and St. James Place, Pearl Street, and Brooklyn Bridge border it to the west.
Though gentrification hasn’t hit Two Bridges yet, for the most part, the neighborhood has been chosen for some rezoning and development. “This was a sleepy little town for a while,” said Trever Holland, founder of Tenants United Fighting for Lower East Side (TUFF-LES). TUFF-LES has been lobbying to limit building height to 350 feet, around 35 floors. “What we’re trying to make sure of is not only that the area is properly zoned but properly planned.” Three main projects are currently underway. One Manhattan Square is adding a 205-unit rental building at 229 Cherry Street. JDS Development Group wants to build a 1,008-foot rental on 247 Cherry Street. Starrett Development built a 62-story tower at 259 Clinton Street. All of the developments will eventually include stores.
Two Bridges is part of Downtown (Lower) Manhattan, which comprises the southernmost part of the NYC Bureau of Manhattan. Other Downtown Manhattan neighborhoods include TriBeCa, World Trade Center, Battery Park, Water Street Corridor, and the Financial District. The Financial District encompasses a significant portion of Lower Manhattan, so it’s no surprise that many people equate Lower Manhattan to the financial capital of the world.
Lower Manhattan is also the fourth largest business district in the U.S., trailing only Midtown Manhattan, Chicago Loop, and Washington, D.C. Notable companies with headquarters or offices in Lower Manhattan include Investment Technology Group, Condé Nast, Goldman Sachs, Hudson’s Bay Company, Spotify, Verizon Communications, PR Newswire, AOL, Group M, and IBT Media.
Looking to get out of the office for a break? Two Bridges offers plenty of dining options. In addition, its home to several parks where one can take a stroll and catch some fresh air. Be sure to visit these City Guide recommended lunch destinations if you have a Two Bridges office space: Brigitte, 49 Monroe, Cervo’s, Dimes, and Haw Yuan.
Two Bridges office space for lease | By the numbers
|Office Space for Lease||Price per square foot|
Lease data & trends
Two Bridges office space is considered part of the Downtown (Lower) Manhattan market. As of Q3 of 2019, Downtown Manhattan housed more than 99 million square feet of office space, nearly 9 percent of which is currently vacant and available to new tenants. Developers are working on adding approximately 737,000 more square feet of office space to the region. Downtown Manhattan offers nearly twice as much Class A office space as Class B office space. Class A office space tends to lease for an average of $73.50 per square foot, while Class B office space rents for around $56.75 per square foot.
Overall, Downtown Manhattan office space is most ideal for commercial tenants in financial and government services because of unmatched proximity to New York City’s core infrastructure. For example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is located in Four World Trade Center. However, the slow downsizing of the financial services sector over the last ten years has opened up commercial real estate to the technology, advertising, media, and Information sectors as well.
Now is the time to secure office space in this growing market. A Downtown Alliance report has indicated that the overall vacancy rate for Lower Manhattan that decreased to 10.8 percent in 2019 represents the biggest quarterly dropoff since 2014. “It was an incredible year in Lower Manhattan,” Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin said in a statement. In addition, several key companies have recently moved to Downtown Manhattan, including McKinsey, Casper, and Nike. In fact, 26 businesses representing eight different industries have relocated to Lower Manhattan in the past year leasing more than 25,000 square feet of office space.
Getting around: Transportation
Naturally, transportation options are limited in Two Bridges, mostly because the neighborhood is so small. However, several subways and buses are available. Commuters can take the New York City Subway F train, which stops at East Broadway. Bus lines M9, M15, and M22 stop in Two Bridges as well.
Those working in or living in Two Bridges can reach Wall Street in 10 minutes by public transit or in 15 minutes on foot. They can get to Rockefeller Center in 30 minutes by transit or in 15-30 minutes by car, depending on traffic. They can reach Jersey City in 35 minutes via public transit or 35-30 minutes via car. Nearby main roads include East Broadway and Madison Street.
The two closest and most convenient airports for those traveling to and from Downtown Manhattan are LaGuardia Airport and JFK.
Top commercial real estate listings in Two Bridges
Two Bridges has access to the top-notch dining options of Chinatown, the financial and tech giants of the Financial District, the history and affordability of the Lower East Side, and the different flavors of right-next-door Brooklyn. Ready to find out what this tiny neighborhood is all about? Contact one of SquareFoot’s experienced brokers to learn about Two Bridges office space to suit your business needs. Or, begin your search with 211 Madison Street, 35-37 East Broadway, or 50 Eldridge Street, three SquareFoot-recommended properties in the neighborhood.
– 211 Madison Street: Built in 1985, 211 Madison Street is an apartment and office building technically located in the Lower East Side a few blocks down from the NYC Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics. 211 Madison Street is sometimes called “The Henrietta” after Henrietta Szold, who founded a Woman’s Zionist Organization. Right now the ground floor unit, which is 1,250 square feet in size, is available for rent. Contact SquareFoot to find out about pricing or to schedule a tour. Trains B, D, F, J, M and Z all stop near 211 Madison Street. Visit Cafe Grumpy for morning coffee, Forgetmenot or Sam’s Spring Roles for lunch, and 169 Bar or Beverly’s for a drink after work.
– 35-37 East Broadway: 35-37 East Broadway is an office building located in Chinatown. It was constructed in 1910 and renovated in 1985. It is six stories high with 24,157 square feet of space. Currently, nine units ranging from 1,350 to 5,000 square feet are available for rent. Ask SquareFoot about pricing and other building details. We also schedule tours. 35-37 East Broadway offers 24/7 access and has a Walk Score of 100. To get here, take trains B, D, F, J, Z, 4, 5, or 6. Plenty of restaurant options are available nearby. Grab lunch at Fuleen Seafood, Golden Unicorn, Dim Sum Go Go, or New Style Hand Pulled Noodles, all within .1 mile of the property.
– 50 Eldridge Street: Chinatown’s 50 Eldridge Street offers 32,800 square feet of rentable Class C office space. It was built in 1912. Currently, just one unit that is 4,800 square feet in size is available to rent. Contact us to inquire regarding pricing or to set up a tour of the building. 50 Eldridge Street has a Walk Score of 100 and some nearby public transportation. Take trains B, D, F, J, M Z, or 6 to get here. The Lower East Side is very residential and includes lots of parks and playgrounds. 50 Eldridge Street is close to Chatham Square and Saint James Square, so employees can easily step out of the office and get some fresh air when they need a change of scenery.
Two Bridges history
Back in the day, Two Bridges was just farmland outside New York City. Then, it became a home for some Irish immigrants. Later, New York Governor Alfred E. Smith lived there. Eventually, Two Bridges became the site of early public-housing experiments, which are still in motion today. In this day and age, Two Bridges is still known for its public and affordable housing. “Two Bridges arguably remains one of New York’s truly gritty, authentic neighborhoods,” Kelly McEvers writes for the Village Voice.
In 1954, Two Bridges got its name from the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, a social services organization. “For more than half a century, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council’s programs, projects, and activities have nurtured the unique character of the Lower East Side by building bridges among its diverse communities,” according to the council website. Two Bridges Neighborhood Council was officially founded in 1955 right amid high-stakes racial tensions and gang violence across the city. In Two Bridges, Irish, Italian, Greek, and Jewish immigrants were vying for power. However, Two Bridges gradually became one of the first successfully racially integrated neighborhoods, in part thanks to efforts from the council.
One of the main purposes of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council was to help bridge racial divides. One of the main strategies to do this came in the form of community planning. In the 1960s, AT&T wanted to destroy a large group of homes on Madison Street and replace them with a telephone switching station. All of the people living there would have had to leave. Two Bridges Neighborhood Council enlisted the help of a social worker, who came up with a strategy to save the homes by securing a new location for the telephone switching station.
This victory helped identify one of the council’s new focuses: preserving Two Bridge’s neighborhood character and establishing affordable housing for its residents. The council worked with Settlement Housing Fund to update the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area, turning a group of run-down commercial buildings near the waterfront into almost 1,500 units of affordable housing. The council continues to look for opportunities to create and upgrade affordable housing in the area, and it has also expanded its influence across Little Italy, Nolita, the East Village, the Bowery Corridor, and the East River Waterfront.