It’s been brewing for a while now, what with Williamsburg’s whole fleet of forthcoming hotels, and the fact that the Bushwick/Bed-Stuy border is now considered desirable enough for someone to turn a former auto shop in the neighborhood into a hotel. And a new story from The Real Deal confirms: Brooklyn is about to experience a major influx of hotels, to the tune of 25 percent more hotel rooms coming to the borough over the next five years.
And, as much as it’s easy to be skeptical of any and every kind of expensive development project, anyone who’s ever tried to track down a hotel that falls into a middle ground between “overpriced yuppie nonsense” and a “sinister, run-down Days Inn” can tell you that this is a much-needed change.
Data backs it up, too. Since the borough’s once-booming hotel industry crumbled (along with everything else) in the 70s, The Real Deal reports, there have been just 4,000 hotel rooms to serve Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents. Compare that to Manhattan, where there are more than 90,000 rooms for just (“just”) 1.6 million residents, and you can see how concretely supply and demand is coming into play here. “There is a lot more interest in Brooklyn than there has been historically,” Lodging Advisors founder Sean Hennessy told the site.
And, of course, the trend is also being pushed forward by the success of early adopters like the Wythe Hotel and King & Grove, and Hennessy said, “The Wythe and others have shown that [Brooklyn hotels] can command a presence.” As such, more than 60 new hotels are currently in the works, many of them with 200 rooms or more, much larger than the borough’s current average, and many of them are set to be built in upscale areas like Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Demand, occupancy rate, and average room prices are all on the rise, too, and really, the only thing that seems capable of slowing down this trend is the even higher demand for residential space. “The hotel pipeline is crimped because different uses might make more sense, and that’s usually residential,” one hotel executive said. Meaning, then, that if you’ve got a big plot of land to sell (or just parents who need a decent place to stay for the weekend), this is likely to be pretty win-win.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.