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The days of a 9-to-5 Downtown Brooklyn are gone, with the market morphing into a 24/7 residential and visitor center. We dropped by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership president Joe Chan's officeto get a view from the top.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership president Joe Chan
Expect retail to diversify through ‘11 as residential emerges to the tune of 5k units, Joe says. These residents will demand a new type of neighborhood retail; additionally, we’ve seen a significant pickup in demand along the Fulton Street Mall—more national department stores are looking at space on the strip. The area’s hotel rooms will also double, with 1.1k keys in the pipeline for ’11 completion. Other Partnership initiatives include looking at ways to encourage the 58k-student college population to stay in Downtown Brooklyn longer. (We suggested flunking. We were ignored.) Also, look for vacant retail space to become short-term, pop-up art galleries, increasing visibility of both NYC artists and available storefronts.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership president Joe Chan
On the office side, Downtown has more availability due to financial companies either reducing or revising footprints. Despite competitive rental rates in the low $30s PSF, some Manhattan tenants considering the move to Brooklyn stayed in place because of the lucrative deals available. But there has been an influx of new tenants as smaller front users replace the big back-office users, particularly in the creative and media fields, Joe says. One noteworthy Manhattan move was renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to 12k SF at 16 Court Street. Also, El Diario, Incisive Media, and Newcorp’s Community Newspaper Group have relocated to the area in past year.