This has been brewing for a while now, with longtime businesses like the Downtown Bar & Grill closing and making way for newcomers like Rag & Bone, and a recent Daily News article blared, “Court St. is turning into Madison Ave.” A little hyperbolic, but it seems like there’s some truth to it, too: a new report shows that retail rents on the stretch of Court St. in Cobble Hill have more than tripled since Trader Joe’s moved to the neighborhood five years back.
“What was once a fringe market is now becoming primary,” said a broker for leasing firm CPEX, which recently rented out a 16,000-square-foot building to a private school for $500,000 a year. Five years ago, the average price per square foot was between $35 and $50, and now they’re more like $180, comparable to a lot of Manhattan neighborhoods, according to Crain’s. Things have escalated even further since J. Crew came to the neighborhood last year. And we can safely assume the effect will bleed out into neighboring ‘hoods:
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Demand is only expected to increase and push the corridor farther south into Cobble Hill towards Carroll Gardens, especially since a surge in high-rise residential construction is transforming nearby downtown Brooklyn and adding to demand for retail space on nearby streets.
Another broker told Crain’s, “This is not New Jersey.There is a finite amount of space.” You can say that again.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.