Over the past decade, Brooklyn has gone from playing second fiddle to its shinier, busier neighbor Manhattan to becoming a star of New York City in its own right. With residential, retail, lodging, and entertainment space in a state of constant growth, the borough is set to drive high demand for years to come.
Until recently, Brooklyn was often considered a place for overflow from Manhattan to go as barriers of entry in that borough were on the rise. Today, it is a destination for everyone from hip tourists to sports fans to residents looking to get away from the bustle of Manhattan. Hosting 11 educational institutions and 60 cultural organizations, Brooklyn has made a name for itself all on its own.
The Barclays Center, the $1 billion sports arena opened in 2012, is home to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders. The stadium was constructed as part of a $4.9 billion mixed-use development project called Pacific Park, which is still in progress. Other developing areas include the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, the former of which is undergoing a megaproject that will add 5,500 units to its waterfront area.
The rising borough is the third largest central business district in New York City. Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle, located in the neighborhoods of Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Navy Yard, has attracted a number of innovative companies, such as e-commerce website Etsy and startups such as goTenna and Honeybee. The region now employs 17,300 people—a growth of 45 percent between 2012 and 2015.
On the hotel development front, there are 32 projects in the pipeline—a mix of chain and independent hotels—that will add nearly 4,000 rooms.
“The Brooklyn market has been validated. Now as we’re seeing a drop-off that’s been experienced in Manhattan year-to-date with the supply coming in and the challenge of raising ADRs, we’re not seeing those same drop-offs in some of these supporting markets, like Brooklyn,” says Mark VanStekelenburg, managing director of CBRE Hotels, PKF Consulting USA. “You’re getting new brands that are not necessarily looking at Manhattan as the first stop anymore. That’s a game changer.”
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Straight Talk on Brooklyn
Slated for a spring 2016 debut, The William Vale will be the latest addition to Brooklyn’s coveted North Williamsburg neighborhood. Offering 183 guestrooms, commercial space, and 20,000 square feet of public green space, the ultra-modern property fits into its progressive setting. General Manager Sébastien Maingourd took a moment to speak with LODGING about the guests he expects and the appeal of this slice of Brooklyn.
» “We estimate that around 25 percent of our business will be groups attending social events. It would be an extremely recognized venue for weddings because of the mix of indoor and outdoor space. That’s going to be an important part of who we reach.”
» “There is just a great mix in Williamsburg, when you come to see what is up in terms of the art scene, the food and beverage scene, and the real estate scene. These key points have completely changed the neighborhood.”
» “Brooklyn is a destination now. People want to spend their entire vacation here now. That’s why there are so many different projects and all the change.”