DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, has come a long way since its start as a ferry landing and industrial and manufacturing hub. Today, it is Brooklyn’s most expensive residential and commercial real estate neighborhood. DUMBO’s brick & beam industrial, loft-style warehouses have evolved into much more than low-cost alternatives to Manhattan office space, and are now home to a large number of tech companies, startups, ad agencies, art galleries, coworking stations, and startup incubators.
Office Space | DUMBO Lease Data & Trends
There is more than 3 million square feet of office space in DUMBO, with an additional 13 million square feet in nearby Downtown Brooklyn and that number is expected to grow with several new construction projects totaling more than 1 million square feet already underway. Based on 2018 office space lease data, DUMBO office space rents for around $65 per square foot on average. The sublease market offers more favorable prices, with an average asking rent of $41 per square foot. Despite the lower price, subleases can present challenges and aren’t for every business. It’s important to consider your options before making any financial commitments.
At $65 per square foot, DUMBO office space rents are on average higher than those in Lower Manhattan and the Financial District, and the area near Grand Central Station. Businesses looking for lower rates may want to look in Long Island City, the Brooklyn Navy Yard/Flushing Avenue Corridor, Downtown Brooklyn, or Sunset Park/South Brooklyn.
Some of the most popular buildings for leasing DUMBO office space include 45 Main Street (spaces ranging from 200 to 10,000+ square feet), 81 Prospect Street, 68 Jay Street, and 55 Prospect Street (spaces ranging from 1,000 to 26,000 square feet).
DUMBO Office Space | Ideal for Creatives, Marketers, Startups, and More
Though no longer a warehouse neighborhood, DUMBO’s large, open floor plans made it a hotbed for tech startups. One of the neighborhood’s first tenants was Huge Inc., a creative ad agency, which moved in 1999. Now, DUMBO is considered the center of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, and is also home to Etsy, West Elm, Amplify, Big Spaceship, Red Antler, Gothamist, and many other fast-growing companies. DUMBO’s vibrant tech community also includes startup incubators such as the DUMBO Startup Lab, Green Desk, and the NYU-Poly DUMBO incubator.
DUMBO is also a short walk from Downtown Brooklyn, the King’s County Supreme Court, Surrogate’s Court, and Family Court, as well as the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
What Our Brokers Say About Office Space in DUMBO
DUMBO is an ideal location for technology startups, marketing, advertising, and creative agencies, and any law firm or advocacy group that wants to be near the Brooklyn courthouses. The borough is home to 800,000 people ages 25-44, representing a massive young talent pool for employers to recruit from. DUMBO office spaces come in all shapes and sizes, from short-term flexible leases to technology firm 2U’s signing of a 79,000 square foot space in early 2017 and Brooklyn Lab Charter School signing a five-year lease at 77 Sands Street to occupy 75,228 square feet of space.
The neighborhood is easily accessible by train, bus, bike, or ferry, and a move from Manhattan can save your Brooklyn-based employees significant time on their commute. Once in the neighborhood, you’re in a safe, walkable area full of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, which is perfect for lunch, happy hour, meetings, client meetings, networking, or socializing. Our team loves the Brooklyn Roasting Company, FEED, Design Cafe Usagi, Olympia Wine Bar, 68 Jay Street, Randolph Beer, and SUGARCANE.
DUMBO Neighborhood History
DUMBO was originally known as Fulton Landing, and was a popular ferry stop before the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The neighborhood’s warehouses and factories made machinery, cardboard boxes, paint, sugar, coffee, and scrubbing pads. As the area became deindustrialized, DUMBO was primarily residential, and its cheap rent and loft-style buildings were popular among artists.
In the 1980s, much of DUMBO was purchased by David Walentas and his company Two Trees Management, which drove the shift toward an upscale residential and commercial neighborhood, full of art galleries, restaurants, and high-growth businesses. DUMBO was marked a historic district in 2007, with 95 buildings receiving similar designation.
Getting Around DUMBO
DUMBO is incredibly walkable, and has several nearby public transit options. Commuters can take the A, C, or F trains, B25, B67, or B69 buses. The 2, 3, 4, 5, and R trains also stop within walking distance.
While biking along the Brooklyn Promenade or Brooklyn Bridge Park can be delightful, DUMBO’s numerous cobblestone streets make for a bouncy ride. Those who can tolerate it do have access to nearly a dozen CitiBike docs. If you ride your own bike to work, we do not recommend leaving it locked outside.
Car commuters can reach DUMBO by crossing the Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridges, or taking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (278). Parking is limited, and lots are comparable in price to Manhattan. We recommend public transit or bicycle when possible.
Outdoor Space and Greenery
One of the best parts about opening a new office in DUMBO is the access to the nearby green spaces. Between Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street Park, and Cadman Plaza, there’s dozens of quiet space to unwind, take in views, or work while outside the office.