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Top Six Reasons Downtown Brooklyn Is Still Hot


At Bisnow’s annual Brooklyn’s Hot Projects and Neighborhoods event, Downtown Brooklyn was, as always, a major topic of conversation.

This year’s panel—featuring JEMB Realty principal Morris Jerome, Industrious co-CEO Jamie Hodari (far left), Rose Associates CDO James Hedden (far right) Washington Square Partners managing partner Paul Travis (second from left) and CPEX Real Estate’s development and conversion guru Sean R. Kelly (second from right)—gave in-depth insights on the developments behind the neighborhood’s (ongoing) growth, such as Paul’s City Point project. After so many years, how could the area still be a development hot spot and hot topic?

In case you missed it, here are six reasons why Downtown Brooklyn is (still) hot, based on two reports from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Generation X, as in Population Multiplication

Downtown Brooklyn’s population has grown by 17% since 2004, including a 29% rise in young adults (age 18-44).

Gobs of Jobs

Over 17,000 new private sector employment opportunities have come to Downtown Brooklyn from 2002 to 2013 and that number has sharply risen since then. Meanwhile, the Tech Triangle saw “innovation employment” grow 87% between 2009 and 2015.

Residential Potential

Nearly 7,000 residential units have already been built since 2004, but why stop there? 19 development projects will be bringing an additional 5,843 new apartments to Downtown Brooklyn over the next year and a half.

The Real Key

Four hotels in the pipeline will add over 700 keys to the Downtown Brooklyn hospitality sector by 2017, keeping the tourism industry alive and humming.

A Real “JEMB”

JEMB Realty is preparing to build a 400k SF office building at 420 Albee Square West, a site sold by CPEX for $38.5M. This will be the first commercial office building constructed from the ground up since Downtown Brooklyn was rezoned in 2004, and well overdue with the office vacancy rate at just 1.6%. That’s lower than Lower Manhattan (9.4%), Midtown South (6.2%), and Midtown Manhattan (8.8%)–and it has been that low for quite some time.

On Point

You can’t talk about Albee Square without mentioning City Point directly across the street, so this is a bonus reason. The 1.8M SF mixed-use building will reshape Downtown Brooklyn, adding 675M SF of new retail space with Century 21, CityTarget and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema already in place.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder over $10B has been or will be invested in private real estate in Downtown Brooklyn, and why the downtown area remains the epicenter of any real estate conversation.

To hear more from CPEX’s Sean Kelly on Downtown Brooklyn’s developments, click here.