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DUMBO rents are higher than most of Manhattan

The Brooklyn Paper
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Rents are soaring in DUMBO — skyrocketing above even the lofty rents common in the overpriced borough across the river.

Rentals in the neighborhood under the Manhattan Bridge overpass are more expensive than the doorman-guarded buildings in the Upper East Side, the Financial District, and the Lower East Side, and costlier than rentals without doormen everywhere in the city except for TriBeCa and SoHo, according to a real estate study released last week.

The average price of a studio in DUMBO in March was $2,567 per month — $300 more than its list price a year ago and $458 more than the average studio price in the Lower East Side, according to the MNS data.

The average one-bedroom in the neighborhood of historic buildings and tech firms rents for $3,455 per month — $350 more than the average Chelsea one-bedroom. DUMBO’s two bedroom apartments cost $4,929 per month — $54 more than a doorman unit in the Lower East Side and $348 more than a non-doorman SoHo pad.

“DUMBO has surpassed certain parts of Manhattan in certain instances in the last year and a half,” said MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas. “People want to be part of a community and there’s a lot of that feeling in that neighborhood. It’s very much like how TriBeCa was just a couple years ago.”

And it’s not just the Manhattan real estate market that DUMBO is outpacing — the neighborhood remains far more expensive than other Brooklyn communities.

One-bedrooms in DUMBO cost $1,000 more than the most Brooklyn luxury rentals, and two-bedroom units cost almost $2,000 more than Brooklyn’s average rental apartments.

Developers say that DUMBO’s high-end residences are worth the price.

“If you look for value, in terms of apartment character and types of amenities, DUMBO still offers a lifestyle value that you can’t find in Manhattan,” said GDC Properties’s Adam Ginsburg, who manages 220 Water Street. “There’s a homogenization of neighborhoods in Manhattan, but DUMBO retains a real, New York genuine sense of place.”

His century-old former shoe factory on Water Street has attracted tenants from all over the world with features including a lobby with a cafe, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a pet-washing room, and a roof deck with a fireplace and an outdoor lounge.

Ginsburg credits other developers in the neighborhood, particularly the Walentas family and their firm Two Trees, for keeping manufacturing and small businesses in the neighborhood while attracting new tenants and independent retailers — a development strategy he claims has only made the community more appealing.

“We certainly aim to make decisions that reflect the character of the community we come into rather than change it,” said Ginsburg. “The Walentases and others have been very smart for not selling out to people who could pay top dollar in rent and we’re very appreciative of that.”

DUMBO has Brooklyn’s most expensive rental prices, but Brooklyn Heights regularly leads the borough’s sales market thanks to an impressive array of housing stock— including Truman Capote’s former mansion which sold for $12 million this year, the highest sale in the county’s history.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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