It's hard to know what to make of all the new rental buildings populating Brooklyn these days, which offer somewhat similar pricing and amenities options. Luckily for us, there are real live renters out there visiting open houses and making decisions. One new Brooklynite sent along the following dispatch from a recent Dumbo/DoBro housing hunt:
Dearest Curbed, I recently visited and seriously considered three of the larger new Brooklyn rental buildings that are currently in "lease-up" mode: Brooklyn Gold, The Addison and Gair2. They were all rather lovely! I focused on these because of a fairly strict checklist of criteria: two bedrooms (or 1BR with "home office"), elevator building, no fee, washing machine/dryer inside the apartment, convenient commutes to various places of employment and maybe even on-site parking. You know, the new shit. Budget of around $3,000 per month, knowing full well that would most likely be exceeded. I snooped around new-ish buildings like The Brooklyner, 80 Dekalb and Avalon Fort Greene but what they had available at the time was way out of my range.
Gair2 (aka 25 Washington Street) in Dumbo: Another Two Trees conversion of an old commercial building with some cool old elements (exposed beams, etc.) preserved. Some really nice views of the river and Manhattan Bridge, even from lower floors. A little too expensive for the wife and I (the nicer "1BR + home office" units were around $3500). No doorman either, not that it's a big deal, but for that price range it seemed weird. Felt like kind of a no-frills building for the rents being charged, especially because the apartments are pretty small. Parking in Dumbo is a mess, which was another reason we didn't do it. But obviously Dumbo is charming as heck, and it's a nice building with some character. Brooklyn Gold in Downtown Brooklyn: Nice apartments with big windows and quality finishes (laundry in every unit) and a shitload of amenities that are included in the rent, including an indoor pool. They were offering 2 months free of rent?who says incentives are dead??putting the net effective of many 2BRs (which have two full bathrooms, by the way) below $3000. The problem is it's probably the worst location in Downtown Brooklyn. Far from the subway, in between the BQE and Manhattan Bridge on-ramps, with nothing really around it (bad signs: the local taco place closed, and the local McDonald's, well, here you go). Guess that's why they made it such a self-contained resort vibe, but even crossing the street to get into the place is scary. Dealbreaker. The garage, however, is a reasonable-by-NYC-standards $200 per month.
The Addison in Downtown Brooklyn: This is the building we went with, and I'm surprised there hasn't been much said about it on StreetEasy or the blogs given its size (270 apartments in two towers linked by a shared lobby) and the fact that everyone loves to dump on Downtown Brooklyn. So far so good. They gave us 1 free month, and we went with a 1BR + home office. The "office" has a window and closet and in fact probably should be considered a bedroom, though it is a tad bit smaller. The slightly-more-expensive 2BRs all have 2 full bathrooms and a balcony, which is nice. Parking garage isn't open yet and will cost $250 a month. Doesn't out-amenity Brooklyn Gold?though there is a big gym and under-construction residents' courtyard?but it does out-location it. This is the other end of the Downtown Brooklyn world: By Atlantic Ave., near Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill (SoDoBro?), with 10 subway lines within a 5 minute walk. 9 if you don't count the G, which I don't. This side of Schermerhorn Street is nothing to write home about (except for Brooklyn Fare being right across the street), but hey, at least the local brunch options include both Mile End and IHOP. Talk about diversity!