If you’re planning to start a business in New York City or planning to move your business there, you might want to consider setting up shop in Brooklyn. The borough has become an enticing frontier for companies seeking rental office space in New York City. While it may not have as many skyscrapers or iconic landmarks as Manhattan, its neighborhoods are brimming with character, atmosphere, and a range of conveniences.
Brooklyn is not only home to powerhouses like HUGE, Livestream, Etsy, and VICE, but also provides access to excellent incubators for startups. The borough’s impressive prices, startup culture, access to company funding, networking opportunities, and unique neighborhoods all make it an ideal place for a business to thrive. Almost any company, from a startup to a well-established firm, can find a Brooklyn office to suit their culture and business needs.
An Exciting Office Rental Destination
Situated east of Manhattan, Brooklyn touches the Atlantic Ocean, the East River, Long Island City (LIC), and the Upper New York Bay. Brooklyn is one of the nation’s most culturally diverse counties, which makes it both interesting and economically successful. In 2016 alone, Brooklyn had more than 1 million immigrants. Until 1975, Brooklyn’s economy was mostly focused on industrial business and manufacturing, but after 1975 it began changing to a service-based economy.
With a steadily growing population and features the highest density of young adults in the city, it makes the borough especially appealing to firms looking to hire young, talented employees. Brooklyn also offers plenty of work-life balance amenities, including a more bike-friendly and car-friendly landscape, and lower housing costs compared to Manhattan.
Additionally, there are endless, unique networking opportunities in Brooklyn. Networking in Brooklyn tends to be characterized by smaller Meetups and workshops interspersed with bigger outposts like Northside, an annual five-day meetup for creative and cultural trendsetters, and Digital DUMBO, a collective that plans events for digital and creative communities in NYC and around the world.
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce regularly sponsors many of the borough’s small meetups designed to combine business and fun so like-minded professionals can get to know each other. For example, the monthly meetup Business Before Hours divides attendees into small groups so people can dialogue and create meaningful connections. Those new to the area can participate in Chamber Visits, the Chamber of Commerce’s event that provides a tour of lesser-known areas of Brooklyn.
Rent In An Innovation Hub
While also seeing an increase in innovation jobs on an industrial scale, Brooklyn is becoming “the innovation capital of New York,” according to Crain’s NY Business. Brooklyn is already home to an array of venture-backed startups in fields such as mobile gaming, comparison shopping, shoelace technology, biotech tools, and anything else you can think of. Lower Manhattan’s Silicon Alley has stretched to Brooklyn, which now houses a large number of household name startups such as Kickstarter, Etsy, Vice Media, and mindbodygreen. From 2009 to 2018, data shows the number of businesses with office space increased by 32 percent, which is nearly double the rate of business growth across the city. Additionally, from 2010 to 2015, Brooklyn attracted upwards of $890 million in venture funding.
Startups have endless potential for variety and revenue, but let’s not forget their potential to change the world for the better. Moving to Brooklyn doesn’t just mean becoming part of NYC’s bohemian backbone; it means being part of a global innovation hub.
Flexible Office Space Rental Brooklyn
Many different kinds of flexible office rentals are also available in the form of coworking spaces. The increase in demand for flexible leases has led to coworking property cropping up in neighborhoods such as Flatbush, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and more.
Coworking spaces typically offer an array of arrangements to fit your business’s particular needs, whether that’s hourly rental options, full-time access to shared office space, or even suites for larger companies that might also include private space.
Commercial Brooklyn Office Space & Lease Trends
Brooklyn, NY rents are significantly cheaper than lease averages in Manhattan and afford a variety of commercial rental options to meet the needs of any budget. Office space rents for an average of $41.35 per square foot, and businesses can find sublease space for an average of $38.72/sqft. Overall vacancy is 17 percent, with an overall inventory of more than 43 million square feet. Certain neighborhoods in the borough offer particularly affordable spaces, such as DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn.
In addition to the attractive price tag on commercial space for rent, a fast-growing inventory of repurposed buildings and new constructions can accommodate businesses of all industries and sizes that are looking to rent space for their business.
This borough is now seen as “the roomier, cheaper, less chaotic alternative [to Manhattan], with a more stable population, and a reputation for creativity that draws artists developers, and investors from across the world,” Tim Donnelly writes for Inc. Increasingly, many companies consider opening a Brooklyn office not to be a compromise to make, but a goal to pursue.
Neighborhoods with Brooklyn Office Space for Lease
For the uninitiated, Brooklyn is not a neighborhood in New York, it’s a borough—and a very large one at that, boasting more than 2.6 million residents. It has numerous individual neighborhoods, each with its unique flair; as a whole, Brooklyn is renowned for its music, art, culture, cinema, and style. Some neighborhoods—because of their transit options, their attraction for particular industries, their amenities, or various other factors—are especially intriguing to office space seekers. If you’re on a search for a space for rent, be sure to consider these areas:
DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city for both businesses in search of commercial real estate and residents looking for property. Local warehouses and factories have been converted into luxury condos, art galleries, restaurants, and spacious, well-lit offices. DUMBO is known as the center of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and is a booming center for technology startups.
DUMBO is home to numerous technology startups, ad agencies, financial services firms, and creative agencies, putting Brooklyn on the map for notable tenants including Big Spaceship, Amplify, Etsy, West Elm, and Red Antler.
Downtown Brooklyn is the city’s third-largest business district and is part of the Tech Triangle there. Its office landscape is driven by three main factors: proximity to DUMBO, plentiful public transit options, and the Borough Hall. Between Borough Hall Station, Jay Street Metrotech, and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, commuters have more than a dozen MTA subway trains to choose from, as well as transit options on the LIRR. This area houses more than 14.1 million square feet of commercial real estate, most of which are Class B properties. Expect to find flexible office spaces, open areas, and private options available here.
Williamsburg, located in the North of BK, is one of the most in-demand, luxury-driven markets in the borough. Characterized by hipster culture and the contemporary art scene, this neighborhood has earned the nickname “Little Berlin.” Williamsburg is home to startups and creative agencies that prefer loft-style brick and beam structures. Attracting creative minds and recent college graduates, Williamsburg is also a local hub for agriculture technology and biofabrication startups. The neighborhood contains at least a million square feet of space, with hundreds of thousands of square feet more of property under construction.
The neighborhood is easily accessible from Manhattan, LIC, Greenpoint, and many more. The residential attraction of the area means that retail property is big. Many buildings lend themselves to popular retail stores for clothing, music, design, and more. Vice Media has an office in Williamsburg.
Sunset Park / Industry City
Despite its distance from Manhattan and any major transit hub, Sunset Park’s waterfront views and classic industrial architecture make it one of the fastest growing submarkets in Brooklyn. Its popularity is in part due to Industry City (formerly known as Bush Terminal), a 35-acre space along the waterfront. Industry City is known for its shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing. In fact, Industry City helped Brooklyn become a major international seaport. It is being renovated to both preserve its historic nature and equip it to meet the needs of locals and small businesses. Today, it’s home to mixed-use work, innovation, and retail space ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 square feet with more than a dozen ISP options for high-speed internet. The average SP rent is among the lowest of New York City’s top submarkets, making the search here well worth it.
Bordering Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope, three of the most popular residential neighborhoods, Gowanus is no longer just an industrial corridor. Many warehouses in Brooklyn and former factories under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and along the Gowanus Canal are being transformed into mixed-use retail and office spaces.
Gowanus has numerous private and coworking options, and many notable technology firms, high-end retailers, and creative agencies are set up in properties here.
Located on a peninsula in the Upper New York Harbor, Red Hook comprises the area formerly called South Brooklyn. Primarily a shipping hub, the Red Hook corporate real estate market is only beginning to match the upward trend of properties in the neighborhood’s residential market. Today, the area’s “industrial funk” is beginning to attract creative types who enjoy the small-town feel and are interested in its untapped potential. Red Hook is an ideal location for businesses that require lots of space for machinery—or simply those that want to find a place to stretch out and take advantage of cheaper than average rents.
The Navy Yard and Flushing Avenue corridor borders DUMBO and Williamsburg and offers office space at lower prices. The neighborhood has a tremendous number of new office construction and redevelopment projects underway — more than $900 million dollars have been invested into the neighborhood’s revitalization, and it’s growing in popularity as a place to live and work.
A former Navy base, shipbuilding and repairs stopped decades ago, but the Navy Yard has since become a private area for manufacturing and retail, with more than 200 businesses calling the area their office home.
Securing office space for rent Brooklyn
Brooklyn has a lot to offer companies searching for rental properties. An office can provide that rare combination of affordability and a desirable location. Whether on the hunt for a small office space in a trendy locale served by multiple subway lines, or a large industrial office with an incredible view, there is sure to be a property for lease that will give you your ideal space. Contact us and we can help determine the best options for you and your company.