What is it about The Brooklyner that inspires such epic correspondence with the Curbed inbox? A little while back we heard a pro/con Brooklyner breakdown from a prospective renter who ended up not signing a lease in Brooklyn's new tallest building, and now we've received the following dispatch from a couple that decided to actually take the plunge. What gives? Well, in this latest case our Brooklyner reviewers relocated from the Upper East Side, so clearly they felt the need to defend their shocking Manhattan-to-Downtown-Brooklyn move to a world that still frowns on such behaviour. Hear them out!
Background: On the Upper East Side (somewhere in the 60s) they were paying $1,800/month for a two-bedroom walk-up apartment on the fifth floor of a tenement. At The Brooklyner they're paying $1,900/month (without incentives the rent would be $2,300) for a one-bedroom apartment that is actually slightly bigger than their old place:
Here's our personal “pro and con” list on why we decided to ditch our UES digs for rough-around-the-edges Downtown Brooklyn. This is what you get for almost the same price and nearly the same commute time to work (about 30 minutes to Union Square). The apartments:
-UES: ultra narrow, railroad/subway car, shot-gun shack style layout. DoBro: spacious and comfortably roomy.
-UES: bargain basement fixtures and laminate flooring. DoBro: Moen faucets, stainless steel appliances, Italian tile and granite.
-UES: gas range had one working burner (that we often had to light with a match each time we used). DoBro: gas range is brand new and top of the line with vented hood, and state-of-the-art oven.
-UES: parties in our tiny space were cramped and uncomfortable, but we had year-round (though not building sanctioned) access to our roof. DoBro: plenty of room to party either in our apartment or in the building’s lounge, which has its own pool table, skee ball, Wii, iPod dock, flat screen TV’s, and mini-fridges.
-UES: Terrible radiator heating which we had very little ability to control (either totally off or blazing hot—and noisy). DoBro: digital heating unit, easily controlled at any time (also A/C unit is installed, and computerized as well).
-UES: view of a boring office building across street. DoBro: view of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, East River, and more boring office buildings.
-UES: spend an hour doing dishes after a party. DoBro: dishwasher.
-UES: late night construction noise, no problem as a call to 311 will take care of it. DoBro: drilling after-hours? You are out of luck, as this area is not zoned for residential use. And unfortunately there is often construction that goes on well into the evening that's audible even on some of the higher floors.
-UES: hurrying home to pick up laundry from the cleaners before they close. DoBro: many apartments have washers/dryers and, for those that don’t, the laundry room will text you when your load is done.
-UES: Walking up four flights of stairs each day gave us quite a daily workout. DoBro: Has a fully loaded fitness facility.
-UES: no doorman, so Fed-Ex/UPS packages could never be delivered at home. Always had them sent to work and then had to lug on them home on the subway and then up the stairs. DoBro: Concierge signs for everything and an LCD display at your mailbox lets you know when you have a package to pickup (and they email you).
-UES: rooftop outdoor space was covered in asphalt and the view was minimal. DoBro: 51st floor roof top deck and lounge (rumored to open in June) boasts views of the ocean (yes, the ocean), Coney Island, and the Manhattan skyline.
-UES: rushing home to make it back in time for Fresh Direct delivery time slot. DoBro: cold storage in Lobby (signed for by staff), and hotel carts are available when you are ready to take your groceries up, also porters are on hand to help.
-UES: in the morning, wait in line for Starbucks, DoBro: free Stumptown coffee each morning in building’s lobby.
-UES: if your internet is seriously down, you are out of luck, DoBro: free Wifi in common areas.
-UES: no charge for pets (landlord didn’t really care). DoBro: Unfortunately the building charges a $500 fee for our little dog.
-UES: hauling garbage down four flights. DoBro: just a quick walk few feet down the hall to the trash chute and recycling center.
-UES: Nearby is the East River promenade (great for Spring/Summer walks). Many great restaurants in the area, but most of the bars were too fratty/douchey. DoBro: Near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and BAM. Many great low-key bars and restaurants on Atlantic Ave and Smith Street. The big negative is the ugly Fulton Street strip of sneaker stores and phone purveyors, but you really can live at the Brooklyner and not walk by any of that stuff – we have ways of avoiding it.
We get it! New luxury rental high-rises are way more glam than shitty old Upper East Side tenements. But we'd still love to hear thoughts on how The Brooklyner stacks up against its neighborhood rivals like 80 Dekalb, Avalon Ft. Greene, etc.
· The Brooklyner [Official Site]
· The Brooklyner coverage [Curbed]
Photo via 'Stoner