Brooklyn Is For Suckers: Seeking Cheaper Deals, Renters Move Back To Manhattan

manhattan1 Brooklyn Is For Suckers: Seeking Cheaper Deals, Renters Move Back To Manhattan

Not cheap, but it could be cheaper. (Flodigrip’s world, flickr)

While living in some rundown old industrial building in Williamsburg has a certain appeal, you might be better off renting in Soho if you want to save money, The Wall Street Journal reports.

An influx of new residents moving to the borough (and landlords eager to take advantage of them) has resulted in rapidly rising rents, such that the cost of a studio in Williamsburg or Park Slope is higher than it is in some of Manhattan’s more desirable neighborhoods. With prices for studios raising 10.4 percent in Brooklyn to Manhattan’s 8 percent, renters looking for a Williamsburg studio can expect to pay $2,700. Greenwich Village studios average a more palatable $2,500.

“I lived [in Williamsburg] for the postindustrial charm or the affordability and neither of those really exist anymore,” advertising executive Philip Bjerknes told The Journal. “I love Brooklyn. It’s adorable, with great places to eat, but they also have that in Manhattan.”

Mr. Bjerknes moved to Alphabet City to save money—the neighborhood where all the starving artists used to live before they moved to Williamsburg to save money.

Other ex-Brooklynites have ventured even further afield, landing on the Upper East Side, the most happening neighborhood that isn’t actually happening.

One new resident, who relocated in part because she could live in the brownstone apartment that she’d always wanted but could never afford in Park Slope, admitted that her new neighborhood was surprisingly kind of awesome.

Her neighborhood, she told The Journal “has the charm that you would want in Brooklyn that is quickly disappearing.”

Of course, rising Brooklyn rents don’t mean that Manhattan—where rents are hitting record highs never to recede—is affordable. Just that many areas of Brooklyn aren’t affordable either. For the rest of us, it’s time to look at Queens.

kvelsey@observer.com