Another Brooklyn Company Forced to Move to Manhattan For Cheaper Rent

Bargain basement.
Bargain basement.

Right on the heels of news that a Bushwick-based clothing company was forced to up and move to the Lower East Side for—of all things—the relatively cheap rent,  DNAinfo reports on Manufacture New York, a Brooklyn-based fashion startup that, after months of searching, had to set up camp in Manhattan’s Garment District in order to lock down an affordable space.

The company managed to find a Manhattan studio space to rent out for $2,500 a month with the understanding that they’d make improvements to it, and Bob Bland, the company’s founder, noted, “That sort of opportunity, even with those caveats — we weren’t finding them in Brooklyn.” It’s not exactly an open-and-shut case of Brooklyn becoming unilaterally too expensive for small businesses, or of Manhattan prices miraculously lowering, though. The company happened to be looking for space mainly along Atlantic Ave., and Bland notes that “There were plenty of open storefronts but they we’re still selling them at a premium in anticipation of Barclays.”

They’ve also got a massive, 160,000-square-foot headquarters in the works at Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, which is slated to include studios, a showroom, and even a factory that local designers will be able to access for a membership fee (they’re looking to complete fundraising and open up the space sometime this year). Definitely not the worst “getting priced out of Brooklyn” story by any stretch of the imagination, but still, one more of these will make three, which technically qualify the Brooklyn-to-Manhattan downsize as A Trend. “We are committed to Brooklyn, but it’s quite expensive,” Bland explained. “We’re not saying prices are out of control in Brooklyn, but maybe they are.”

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.