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Franklin Street Rents Surge 42 Percent With New Development, Report Finds

By Gwynne Hogan | April 3, 2017 8:10am | Updated on April 3, 2017 9:49am
 Commercial rents have grown quicker than any other North Brooklyn corridor this year, according to a recent report.
Commercial rents have grown quicker than any other North Brooklyn corridor this year, according to a recent report.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

GREENPOINT — Commercial rents along Franklin Street have climbed at a faster rate in the past year than any other North Brooklyn street, while rents on nearby avenues either remained stagnant, or decreased, according to a recent report.

Along Franklin Street, known for its quaint French bistros, restaurants and the Brooklyn Expo center, average asking prices for commercial rents have climbed 42 percent in the past year, from $63 to $90 per square foot a month.

Prices on Franklin Street have even surpassed nearby the bustling Manhattan Avenue, where they've have hovered around $65 in the past year, according to the Real Estate Board of New York's analysis.

REBNY attributes the increase to new residential projects coming to the Greenpoint waterfront and quaint architecture along the block that are working together to propel prices skyward.

"Rents have been very undervalued for quite some time," said Peter Levitan of Lee & Associates, brokers who helped prepare the report. "The esthetic of the buildings is exactly what tenants ar looking for."

Pinio Almonte, 60, who's run P.A. Grocery, a bodega on the corner of Java Street and Franklin, since the late 1980's, suspects landlords are increasing rents in preparation for the well-heeled tenants soon to move into mega-projects along the waterfront like Greenpoint Landing, which will have 5,500 apartments.

"They're foreseeing the future that the huge towers are coming," he said.

Almonte owns his building so he has been spared the rent hike.

"The area has always been tranquil to live, but it's not going to be the tranquil Greenpoint anymore when those towers come."

Meanwhile on the commercial avenues in nearby Williamsburg like Bedford Avenue, Grand Street, North 6th and North 4th Street, asking rents have dipped slightly since last year, according the report.

Levitan attributes the dip to a surplus of retail space coming online, but also to the fact that some of the priciest and most desirable retail spaces were snatched up by companies such as Lululemon and Space NK in late 2015 and early 2016, before the year time period the report measures.