Dumbo—the quasi-acronym for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass”—is the former manufacturing neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s recently taken on the nickname “Silicon Beach,” and it continues to rack up digital cred. Despite slim pickings for good restaurants and coffee shops, the sleepy neighborhood is looking more and more like a sliver of the Bay Area nestled within the better borough. Trailblazers Etsy, Huge LLC and Wireless Generation have expanded their leases and new tenants are signing on, including Armchair Studio, LLC, a graphic design, communications and computer programming company and Type/Code LLC, an interaction design and development company.
The Flatiron District is popular with VC firms and web 2.0 startups, Madison Ave. is popular with the older startups like Facebook and Twitter that need to interface with advertisers, Soho is popular with content-based startups and Chelsea is popular with … Google. But design, branding and development consulting seems to be where Dumbo’s carving its niche.
Two Trees Management, the father-son group that holds the leases for all the above companies, is playing this up to its advantage. The management company also recently signed leases for Plausible Labs Cooperative, Inc., a mobile software consultancy company, Lovaro LLC, a product design and branding company, and Tippr, LLC, an e-commerce site.
“I’ve been with the company for eight years and the past year has been one of the busiest years,” said Caroline Pardo, director of leasing for Two Trees. “The interest is coming from Manhattan, it’s coming from companies all over, from new startups outside of even New York.”
“Tech and creative types” want to be around other tech and creative types, she said. Most referrals are from current tenants, she said, and a majority of prospective tenants don’t have broker representation.
Two Trees has been targeting startup tenants, even though such companies can be difficult tenants—just because they occasionally explode and grow so fast that they need to constantly be signing new leases. Namely, Etsy and the agency Huge—Two Tress’ anchor tenants in the 2.0 district.
It certainly seems as if tech could begin to dominate the up and coming neighborhood—but a look at the list of tenants shows a good mix. The neighborhood was able to establish free wireless internet for all. Now, if there were only a great deli… and perhaps another subway line. Or more Taxis.