Dumbo's Commercial Retail/Real Estate Holding Strong

Main and Water

Julia Vitullo-Martin, of the Gotham Gazette, has an article out today on Brooklyn’s booming retail market. She points to Dumbo being a model of integrating commerce and residences for neighborhoods that are transforming to attract businesses and retail markets. Dumbo has attracted small, independent businesses which has attracted visitors to the small neighborhood. The article mentions David Walentas and his real estate company, Two Trees Management, has improved the neighborhood while keeping the industrial feel of the neighborhood in tact. They offered the owners or entrepreneurs bargain rent to make the streets attractive for the condo market (which is now considered Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood). Walentas is quoted:

“There wasn’t anything in this neighborhood when we bought in but a little tertiary manufacturing that was going out of business. We needed to make the streets attractive for condos. My wife went to a gym in the Heights, where she spotted Peas & Pickles Grocery, an excellent market. We offered them two years free rent to open here and a very low rent after that. We made them money and they made my neighborhood.”

Walentas relates a series of anecdotes about daring, young entrepreneurs with a vision – Jacques Torres Chocolates, Mikey’s Hookup – and his willingness to subsidize them, at least in the short run. (“It’s not forever,” he adds, just in case there’s any misunderstanding.)

Even with the softening of the residential market and the credit crisis in progress, Dumbo continues to attract commercial tenants in many industries. When we posted a call for Dumbo-based IT and tech related businesses, we didn’t expect so many entrepreneurs and IT/media companies. (Thank you for all who emailed us! We may post a directory for other businesses to connect at some point.) We were able to fill some work for local businesses.

Related: {Brooklyn’s Retail Boom, 14Oct2008, Gotham Gazette}
{Good News for Commercial Real Estate in Dumbo, 08Oct2008, Brownstoner}
{Dumbo Based Waterfront Media Merge with Revolution Health, 03Oct2008}
{Dumbo Retail, 26Sept2008}

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