27K per month lease in Downtown BK is the most expensive for an apartment in Brooklyn history

A rendering of One Boerum Place
Williams New York

A wealthy Brooklynite has recently inked a $27,000 per-month lease for an apartment in Downtown Brooklyn, marking the most expensive apartment in the borough’s history. 

The unnamed renter signed the lease for the under-construction four-bedroom penthouse at One Boerum Place, a 96-apartment building just steps from Brooklyn Borough Hall. The eye-watering monthly rent falls just short of the most expensive lease overall, which belongs to a townhouse in Brooklyn Heights for $30,000 each month that was signed back in June. The mammoth lease was first reported by Crain’s New York Business on Thursday.

The One Boerum Place penthouse features 3,100 square feet of indoor space and 2,000 square feet of outdoor space, according to a rep for One Boerum developer Avery Hall. The building features an indoor pool, a sauna, a two-story gym, a “stargazing lounge,” a rooftop lounge, and a pet spa with a grooming station, among other luxury amenities. 

The building also features onsite “automated parking,” wherein robotics developed by German company Lödige Industries park residents’ cars for them, and also retrieve them from the parking lot (a video demonstration of the technology can be seen here).

Market rents in the 22-story building, which is approximately 40 percent leased as of now, start at around $4,800 for a one-bedroom. One and two-bedrooms are few and far between, however, because the developer is marketing towards families, and three-bedrooms available now start at $8,031.

In addition to the 96 market-rate units, there are also 42 subsidized units available through the city’s affordable housing program, for those making 130 percent of area median income, around $68,500 to $167,500. Studios can be rented for $2,000 or $2,100, one-bedrooms can be leased for $2,475, and 2-beds can be had for $3,120.

The average rent for a typical apartment in Brooklyn is $2,810, according to the data-tracking site RentCafe.

One Boerum, which began development in 2016 and cost $250 million, was originally supposed to be a condominium building, but Avery Hall switched course last year as the city’s condo market plummeted during the pandemic, a decision they believe will pay off in the long run.

“When COVID entered New York City in a major way and shut us down, the condominium market was basically nonexistent,” said Avi Fisher, founding partner at Avery Hall. “We definitely believe in the long-term value proposition of Brooklyn, and we knew it would come back, and I would say we thought the best way we could participate in New York City’s recovery in terms of a value proposition was to go rental.”

The emergence of the most expensive rental apartment in Brooklyn history comes as many renters in New York and nationwide are on the cusp of eviction; the federal eviction moratorium was extended earlier this week until October, but the state has been slow in distributing federal relief money to renters and landlords to cover up to a year of unpaid back rent and three months of future rent.

Michael Higgins, an organizer with the Brooklyn Movement Center, says that the record-breaking lease amid the national eviction crisis and long-term gentrification in the borough shows how the city’s housing policies, and the overall function of the housing market in general, is out of whack with people’s needs.

“There really needs to be a rethink for what is the ultimate purpose of housing,” Higgins told Brooklyn Paper. “Is it to actually keep people housed, keep people safe and secure, or is it to be used as a commodity? I think we as a society just haven’t really made a very clear decision of what we think the ultimate use of housing should be. There’s no shortage of people who will see this as just the market functioning, but ultimately, in this moment, the market doesn’t function for millions of people around the country and millions of people here in this city.”