The modern renaissance of Dumbo in the 1970s came from the all-too-familiar artistic surge that seeks out cheap rent and so has now moved on elsewhere in Brooklyn and beyond.
But that doesn’t mean Dumbo, now home to startup and design culture, has lost its creative feel, as highlighted in a New York Times trend piece.
Residents say few artists live here now, but the area continues to attract a creative, if more entrepreneurial, class. And a concentration of Internet and technology firms has led the city to designate the area as one leg of a Brooklyn “Tech Triangle.”
That creative energy lends vibrancy to a neighborhood that now has enough of its own amenities to rival neighboring Brooklyn Heights. Dumbo is smaller and has the feel of a village, where people get to know one another, residents say.
There’s going to be many more entrepreneurs to get to know there soon. Midtown Equities has been given a 99 year lease to redevelop the massive Empire Stores building, which sits between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The building is owned by New York City and gives its developers 327,000 square feet to work with. According to The New York Daily News:
Demand is so high for tech tenants, many of whom got their start in the neighborhood, that they are willing to pay twice as much to get into the Empire Stores. Office rents are said to be asking $60 per square foot, compared with a neighborhood average of $34 a square foot, according to brokerage aptsandlofts.com.
Even so, Midtown Equities already has secured commitments for as much as 80% of the three-story complex.