Downtown Brooklyn is NYC’s third-largest business district, and it is well known for its government and office buildings, such as the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower and MetroTech Center. The neighborhood was rezoned in 2004, and since then, more than $9 billion in updates have been in progress.
Downtown Brooklyn is part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle that houses more than 1,300 innovation companies, many of them tech-focused. The following businesses have office space in Downtown Brooklyn: Brooklyn Magazine, Brooklyn Nets, Gimlet Media, JP Morgan Chase & Co., MakerBot, Ronik Design, Slate, Tough Mudder, and Urban Future Lab. The neighborhood also has a healthy startup community and includes more than 3,752 small businesses and more than 2,000 entrepreneurs.
What Our Brokers Say About Downtown Brooklyn Office Space for Lease
Downtown Brooklyn is only getting better for business and growing startup companies. The neighborhood houses half of the bureau’s office space, including 152,000 square feet of coworking space. Downtown Brooklyn provides more than 74,000 jobs, generates $3.9 billion per year in retail and dining sales, has 11 colleges and universities, and has 27-plus industry and research labs.
Leasing Downtown Brooklyn office space is a particularly excellent option for advocacy groups, nonprofits, and law firms that are regularly at court. U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, King’s County Supreme Court, King’s County Surrogate Court, King’s County Family Court, and King’s County District Attorney are all located near Cadman Plaza and Columbus Park.
Downtown Brooklyn is also a hub for education. Local businesses looking for interns or new hires can find candidates from the following locally-based institutions: St. Francis College, Brooklyn Law School, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, New York City College of Technology, and Long Island University.
Along with DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn is part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which has earned a reputation as NYC’s largest hub of tech activity outside Manhattan. “The impact of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Innovation economy is expected to . . . [reach] $15.5 billion by 2025 and [create] more than 53,000 jobs,” according to brooklyntechtriangle.com. The wages for people working in this sector are, on average, nearly 18 percent higher than that of those working in other sectors.
The MetroTech Center, a center designated for business and education located between Flatbush Avenue and Jay Street, was established in 1992. MakerBot Industries, ImpreMedia, and TransCare Corporation, among others, rent portions of the pedestrian zone’s millions of square feet of office space. MetroTech Commons is a 3.5-acre area in the center of the MetroTech complex where residents and visitors gather to eat lunch, attend an outdoor fair, or admire temporary and permanent works of art. MetroTech Commons tends to host a variety of events—everything from chess tournaments to health fairs.
Looking for an excuse to get out of the office? Try one of many local dining options such as Bijan’s, Bacchu Bistro & Wine Bar, Forno Rosso, or Black Walnut. Downtown Brooklyn has more than 14 parks and open spaces, so those who need some fresh air and a place to stroll won’t be disappointed. Visit Walt Whitman Park, McLaughlin Park, or The Plaza at 300 Ashland. Employees looking for somewhere to work out after work can choose from one of these fitness centers: Planet Fitness, Manhattan Athletic Club – Brooklyn, or DUMBO Boulders outdoors climbing.
Downtown Brooklyn Commercial Space For Lease | By the numbers
|Office Space for Rent||Price per square foot|
Downtown Brooklyn Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Downtown Brooklyn office space rents for an average of just over $60 per square foot, above the Brooklyn average of just under $53 per square foot. It’s a popular area thanks to the significant commercial real estate inventory (more than 14 million square feet of office space); accessibility by car, bike or public transit; green space; and an abundance of restaurants and bars.
The vacancy rate for Downtown Brooklyn office space is just over 6 percent, which is much lower than the average Brooklyn vacancy of 12 percent. The area continues to be a significant discount from many popular Manhattan submarkets such as Midtown, Chelsea, Plaza District, and Times Square.
Most of Downtown Brooklyn’s office space is Class A and rents for an average of just under $63 per square foot. There is some Class B space available, too. Rent it for just over $50 per square foot. Contact one of our experienced brokers to learn more about vacancies in Downtown Brooklyn that suit your business needs.
Getting Around: Transportation in Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn is in the northwestern area of the borough and covers about 277 acres. It is bordered by DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, and Fort Greene.
Vehicular traffic is usually congested in Downtown Brooklyn, so public transportation is a better option for getting around. After all, the neighborhood has earned a Transit Score of 100. Almost every line that runs through the bureau runs through Downtown. The MTA has seven stations in the Downtown Brooklyn area: Jay Street—MetroTech (A, C, F, N, R, and W trains), Clark Street, Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5, N, R, and W trains), DeKalb Avenue (B, D, N, Q, R, and W trains), Hoyt—Schermerhorn Streets (A, C, and G trains), Nevins Street (2, 3, 4, and 5 trains), and Atlantic Avenue—Barclays Center (2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q, D, N, R, and W trains). Atlantic Avenue also offers access to the Long Island Rail Road.
Downtown Brooklyn has a Walk Score of 97. Locals can easily get to Manhattan using the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, which are open to both pedestrians and bicyclists.
Locals have several options for flying in and out of Downtown Brooklyn. Travel Tips notes that though Long Island’s MacArthur Airport isn’t the closest option, it may be most convenient because one of the Long Island Railroad’s main hubs—the Ronkonkoma Station—is so close to the airport. Passengers can take the LIRR to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal, Nostrand Avenue, or East New York station in less than an hour. JFK is only 11 miles from Downtown Brooklyn; it’s a very busy airport, but travelers will be able to find public transportation from the airport to Brooklyn. LaGuardia Airport is only 16 miles away from Downtown Brooklyn, but it doesn’t have easily accessible public transportation between the airport and Downtown.
Top Commercial Properties For Lease In Downtown Brooklyn
Individuals considering starting a business or expanding a current business in Downtown Brooklyn should check out our brokers’ top real estate picks in the neighborhood: 325 Gold Street, 16 Court Street, and 55 Prospect Street.
325 Gold Street: 325 Gold Street, also called the Clocktower Building, is a seven-story, Class B office building comprised of 19 units. The Clocktower Building was first constructed in 1920 then renovated in 2017. 325 Gold Street now attracts tenants who are graphic designers, film producers, architects, animators, and engineers. The building has 12-foot ceilings, on-site management, 24/7 access, and a shared kitchen. Right now five units are available for rent in the Clock Tower Building ranging from 650 to 1,650 square feet in size. Contact us for pricing or a tour. Dine at Shake Shack, Pedro’s, and Forno Rosso, all of which are within walking distance of the building. Get to this location using trains 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, B, Q, or R.
16 Court Street: 16 Court Street, the Montague-Court Building, overlooks Borough Hall and enjoys lovely views of Downtown Brooklyn. Built in 1927, this 37-story building has 317,600 square feet of Class A, rentable office space. Fourteen units ranging from 650 to 5,738 square feet in size are available to new renters. Contact us for pricing, more information, or a tour. Get here using trains 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, or R. The Montague-Court Building has a Walk Score of 99, so those working there will have no problem navigating the streets on foot to find nearby coffee and lunch. Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, Brooklyn Bridge Cafe, Panera, and Hill Country Barbecue Market are all within .2 mile of this property.
55 Prospect Street: This 10-story property was built in 1967 and offers 265,846 square feet of Class B rentable space, a gym, on-site security, and common bike storage. Etsy, Floral Design Studio, 2U, Renaissance Learning, and Kushner Companies are all current tenants at 55 Prospect Street. Eleven units ranging from 936 to 26,326 square feet are open and available to new tenants. Contact us to inquire about pricing or request a tour. Commuters have several private parking lots to choose from in the area. Close public transit includes trains A, C, F, N, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Just steps from the office, workers can get lunch at Front Street Pizza, Dumbo Kitchen, Pedro’s, Henry’s End, or Miso Sushi. 55 Prospect Street has a Walk Score of 99.
Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood History
Until the 17th century, the Lenape Native Americans lived in the area that is now Downtown Brooklyn. One of the earliest iterations of the bureau’s present-day name came from the Dutch, who arrived in the 17th century, took over the land, and named it “Breuckelen.”
Up until this point, the area wasn’t very populated. Around 1814, Robert Fulton’s steam ferry began providing residents with quick access to Lower Manhattan, which began the neighborhood’s journey to becoming a commercial center. The construction of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges brought even more activity to the area, especially manufacturing. Buildings in the area had to be repurposed for use as warehouses and factories.
Major renovations to the neighborhood’s structure and streets took place after World War II when the City Planning Commission and the Borough President’s Office put together a master plan. The Borough implemented several more plans in the coming years to boost Downtown Brooklyn’s economy. In 2004, the area was rezoned to make space for more residential areas and pave the way for a population increase. Previously, the neighborhood had been a commercial and civic center without much housing save for a few apartment buildings and a village development. The efforts in 2004, however, led to an increase in affordable housing and the gentrification of several adjacent neighborhoods. In addition, the New York City Department of City Planning spearheaded another rezoning effort to increase office and retail space. Their efforts were rewarded, considering that today, Downtown Brooklyn is home to about half the bureau’s office space.
Those interested in the history of Brooklyn might want to visit Downtown’s Brooklyn Historical Society, which is a museum and library dedicated to preserving the rich 400-year history of the borough. The society presents exhibits showcasing aspects of Brooklyn’s history, such as Waterfront, which, as the name suggests, details the history of the borough’s waterfront. The society also offers events, dinners, and classes.