Harlem is a large neighborhood in Upper Manhattan comprised of multiple submarkets. Often divided by West, Central, and East Harlem (also known as Spanish Harlem), other neighborhoods within Harlem include Mount Morris Historic District, the Factory District, Sugar Hill, Strivers’ Row Area, Astors Row, Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and Morningside Heights.
Recognized for the cultural and historical significance of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s, Harlem’s food, jazz, and art scene thrives among historic brownstones and green parks. Over the last decade, the area has become increasingly attractive for commercial tenants — including a rising number of startups — seeking low prices among a well-established and culturally diverse community. With recent rezoning efforts and plans for more than 100,000 square feet of new office space in development, Harlem’s latest transformation even landed West Harlem the top spot of StreetEasy’s 2018 list of Neighborhoods to Watch.
Harlem Office Space | Lease & Data Trends
Commercial tenants are renting Harlem office space for an average of $45 per square foot. Harlem office space is ideal for those trying to avoid high Manhattan and Brooklyn prices. A variety of office space is available, from single-desk offices in co-working spaces to entire floors of renovated buildings.
Residential data shows increasing rent trends. At the current rate, Harlem could catch up to Midtown and Lower Manhattan’s prices in the next ten to twenty years, with commercial real estate prices likely to follow.
What Our Brokers Say
Development potential is exceptionally high in the Factory District of West Harlem, where Janus Property Company is working on redeveloping vacant industrial buildings and constructing new mixed-use commercial spaces.
The presence of nearby Columbia University and City College provides a cost-effective and steady hiring pool of new talent. Both Columbia and City College have dedicated funds and resources to developing Harlem as a new hub of tech and biotech startups. Columbia’s Harem Biospace Incubator provides affordable shared lab space for up to 20 biotech startups, such as SinSa Labs, HYPOTHEkids, and Ardent Cell Technologies. City College incubates hardware, software, and social enterprise startups at the Zahn Innovation Center. The mission to advance the presence of technology and innovation within Harlem is also shared by Cofound Harlem, Silicon Harlem, and Harlem Garage.
Some notable companies with headquarters in Harlem include Infrastructure Engineering Inc., FreshDirect, Lumiode, CO-Office, Harlem Properties, Admit.me, and SoHarlem.
Getting Around Harlem
Commuters can reach Harlem via the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, and D trains, as well as 18 Manhattan bus lines and 5 Bronx bus lines. The Metro-North commuter rail connects Westchester County with Manhattan at its 125th Street stop. Seven bridges connect Harlem to the eastern boroughs of New York City. Commuters from Queens can take the M60 express bus, which starts at LaGuardia Airport and cuts through Astoria, crosses the Triboro Bridge, and runs from 125th street to the Upper West Side.
The continued extension of the 2nd Avenue Q train is expected to create more convenient transportation options, as is the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal.
Walkers will find their daily commute enhanced by the abundance of murals and park space in the neighborhoods, including Riverside, Morningside, St. Nicholas, Marcus Garvey, and Jackie Robinson Parks.
Harlem Neighborhood & History
The Harlem Renaissance is a celebrated era of African-American culture, defined by the artistic work of Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Josephine Baker, among others. Two of the most famous performance venues during this time, the Apollo Theater and the Savoy Ballroom, are still in operation. Harlem remains a significant hub of African-American businesses and is also the location of the largest African American Day Parade.
Many consider Harlem to be experiencing a second renaissance, this time with food at the center. Red Rooster Harlem and Harlem Shake are two newer standouts among the dining scene. Our team also recommends Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken, Lennox Coffee, Buerre & Sel, Melba’s, and Sylvia’s.