Brooklyn, NY Economic Overview
Brooklyn is the most populous and ethnically diverse borough of New York City, with a population of over 2.6 million residents from over 150 countries. Brooklyn borders the borough of Queens at the southwestern end of Long Island and has several bridge connections to the nearby boroughs of Staten Island and Manhattan. Brooklyn is located in Kings County, New York’s fourth-smallest county, spanning a land area of 71 square miles. Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city in the 1800s until 1898 when Brooklyn was consolidated with the other cities, boroughs, and counties, to form the modern City of New York. The borough continues to maintain a distinct culture, with many Brooklyn neighborhoods as ethnic enclaves. Particularly over the last decade, the borough has become host to a thriving cultural scene and growing innovation economy. The Brooklyn commercial real estate market has seen a recent spur of activity with several completed developments targeted towards fostering the growing technology industry hub, including One Willoughby Square, Brooklyn Food Works, The Urban Future Lab, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Brooklyn’s resurgence following Superstorm Sandy was made possible with $30 million in funding that has now positioned Brooklyn for exciting economic development and growth. In 2014, the total private sector employment in Brooklyn was 531,800, which was the highest level outside of Manhattan and represents 15.5% of the City’s total private employment. Since the late 20th century, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO (short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and robust growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms. Economic activity in the borough have traditionally been concentrated in manufacturing, but since 1975, Brooklyn has shifted from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. Pfizer was famously founded in Brooklyn in 1869 and had a manufacturing plant in the borough, which has now transformed into new light-manufacturing packaging operations of organic and high-end food. Brooklyn’s economy is increasingly driven by innovation, with 20.1% of the City’s patents granted to Brooklyn-based inventors in 2015. Brooklyn also has the largest share of establishments in the creative economy outside of Manhattan, with 13.4% of the City’s total.
Brooklyn, NY Commercial Real Estate Market
Brooklyn is home to prominent neighborhoods and tourist attractions such as Coney Island, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. It is also home to a thriving art and cultural scene. The Barclays Center, which opened in 2012, is a part of the $4.9 billion business and residential complex known as Pacific Park. The arena is home to the New York Islanders, the Brooklyn Nets, large concerts, conventions, and other events. Since opening, the center has consistently landed in the top 10 grossing concert venues in the world. It generated $14 million in tax revenues and $251 million in overall economic impact in its first year alone. Brooklyn has the lowest percentage of green space out of the five boroughs, with only 9.8% of its 71 square miles designated as parkland. However, it has some of the most visited parks in the City, with Coney Island and Prospect Park each drawing over 10 million annual visitors.
Former military bases serve as budding hubs of advanced manufacturing that are transforming the sector in New York City. Already home to 300 businesses, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is undergoing massive expansions, including the 250,000-square-foot Green Manufacturing Center completed in 2016. Presently, Brooklyn is regarded as having the strongest rental market in all of New York City, resulting in a current price spike. Office space for rent in Brooklyn begins with prices as low as about $15 per square foot and reach heights of approximately $70. Square footage for each particular office ranges from 600 to 10,000 square feet.
Downtown Brooklyn features traditional office space shaped and driven by the public transportation corridor running from the Brooklyn Bridge to Atlantic Terminal. The Downtown Brooklyn office market offers a total office inventory of 12.45 million square feet with a 6.4% vacancy rate.
DUMBO is an amenity-driven location and features the DUMBO Heights office complex and offers the market’s leading Brick & Beam inventory. The Brooklyn DUMBO office market includes 3.24 million square feet of office space, at a vacancy rate of 28.8%.
Williamsburg is surrounded by a large residential area with expanding commercial inventory and is a significant forthcoming ground-up development geared towards the combination of live/work/play potential.
Brooklyn, NY Office Sales Volume
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Brooklyn, NY Office Transactions
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Brooklyn, NY Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 44,451,519 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 3,708,190 SF / 8.34% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 14,590,286 SF / 32.82% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 13,695,980 SF / 30.81% of total office
- > 1M SF: 12,457,063 SF / 28.02% of total office
- Class A: 21,702,519 SF / 48.82% of total office
- Class B: 13,871,268 SF / 31.21% of total office
- Class C: 1,844,473 SF / 4.15% of total office
Employment in Brooklyn, NY
The current unemployment rate in Brooklyn is 4.0%, comparable with New York City at 3.9% and neighboring Queens at 3.8%. The largest employment sectors are Health Care and Social Assistance, accounting for 171,510 jobs or 32.3% of private sector employment in the borough. Four out of Brooklyn’s five largest employers are hospitals. The fastest growing sectoral employment from 2004 has been in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (116.6%) and Accommodation and Food Services (115.1%).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the New York statistical area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Education and Health Services– currently employs 2,000,000 workers, growing at a rate of 3.4%/year
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities– currently employs 1,566,000 people, decreasing at a rate of 0.3%/year
- Professional & Business Services– currently employs 1,342,000 professionals, growing at a rate of 3.5%/year
Education in Louis
Education in Brooklyn is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public-school system. Brooklyn Technical High School (commonly called Brooklyn Tech), a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, mathematics, and technology in the United States.
For higher education, Brooklyn is home to many public and private colleges. Public options include Brooklyn College, which ranked in the top 10 nationally for the second consecutive year in Princeton Review’s 2006 guidebook, America’s Best Value Colleges. Founded in 1970, Medgar Evers College is a senior college of the City University of New York. CUNY's New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) (Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights) is the largest public college of technology in New York State and a national model for technological education. Private colleges include the Brooklyn Law School, Long Island University, Pratt Institute, and the New York University of Tandon School of Engineering.
Commuting Time in Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn features extensive public transit. Nineteen New York City Subway services, including the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, traverse the borough. Approximately 92.8% of Brooklyn residents traveling to Manhattan use the subway, even though some neighborhoods like Flatlands and Marine Park are poorly served by subway service.
- Major stations, out of the 170 currently in Brooklyn, include the Atlantic Avenue—Barclays Center, Broadway Junction, DeKalb Avenue, Jay Street—MetroTech, Coney Island—Stillwell Avenue
- There are three commuter rail stations in Brooklyn: East New York, Nostrand Avenue, and Atlantic Terminal, the terminus of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The terminal is located near the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, with ten connecting subway services.
- The great majority of limited-access expressways and parkways are located in the western and southern sections of Brooklyn. These include the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Gowanus Expressway (which is part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the Prospect Expressway (New York State Route 27), the Belt Parkway, and the Jackie Robinson Parkway (formerly the Interborough Parkway).
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by three bridges, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges; a vehicular tunnel, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel); and several subway tunnels. Employees in Brooklyn have a much longer commute time of 42.2 minutes than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers uses transit, followed by those who drive alone and carpool.
- Total Population2,551,564
- Male Population(47.4 %) 1,208,242
- Female Population(52.6 %) 1,343,322
- Median Age34.60
- Average Household Income$72,054
- Median Household Income$45,936
- Median Income Under 25$35,942
- Median Income 25-44$54,606
- Median Income 45-64$51,633
- Median Income Over 65$24,383
- Bath Beach Demographics
- Bay Ridge Demographics
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Demographics
- Bensonhurst Demographics
- Boerum Hill Demographics
- Borough Park Demographics
- Brooklyn Heights Demographics
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Demographics
- Brownsville Demographics
- Bushwick Demographics
- Clinton Hill Demographics
- Coney Island Demographics
- Crown Heights Demographics
- Downtown Brooklyn Demographics
- DUMBO Demographics
- East New York Demographics
- Fort Greene Demographics
- Gowanus Demographics
- Greenpoint Demographics
- Greenwood Heights Demographics
- Midwood Demographics
- Ocean Hill Demographics
- Park Slope Demographics
- Prospect Heights Demographics
- Red Hook Demographics
- Sheepshead Bay Demographics
- Sunset Park Demographics
- Williamsburg Demographics
Residential Rents in Brooklyn, NY
The average rent for an apartment in Brooklyn is $2,671/month. The most affordable neighborhoods in Brooklyn are Fiske Terrace and Midwood, where the average rent goes for $1,600/month, and Homecrest, where the monthly rent averages at $1,675. The most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn are Prospect Heights ($3,439/month), Park Slope ($3,511/month) and Gowanus ($3,642/month).
Brooklyn, NY Average Rental Price, January 2019
- $ 2,665/mo
- Studio: $ 2,190
- 1 Bedroom: $ 2,513
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 3,221
Brooklyn, NY Rent Trends
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