Is Brooklyn Leading New York City Out of Pandemic?
Brooklyn, meanwhile, was poised to take advantage of Manhattan’s office neighborhood closures. The borough, which has the largest proportion of university educated residents outside of Manhattan, has become a popular destination for Manhattan residents looking for larger apartments. Commuters to Manhattan were working and shopping closer to home, boosting local businesses.
Whether these changes will prove to be lasting and whether larger employers will start to relocate to Brooklyn is a key question. Manhattan is home to less than 20% of New Yorkers, but accounts for at least half of the city’s tax revenue, according to estimates provided by the New York State Comptroller’s Office. Even though Manhattan’s share of the city’s property and sales taxes declined during the pandemic, economists say business activity in other boroughs is unlikely to overtake Manhattan anytime soon.
But already, the new era of hybrid work has prompted some small employers to open offices in Brooklyn, which could have broad ripple effects for neighborhoods in the city’s most populous borough. Brooklyn has added more than 230,000 new residents over the past decade, according to 2020 census data released last month, the fastest growing population of any borough.
During the pandemic, Josh Miller hired more than a dozen new hires for his start-up, The Browser Company, which is looking to build a new web browser. He noticed that most of his New York employees lived in Brooklyn.
After interviewing his staff, Miller decided to move his NoLIta office to Lower Manhattan – which had made it easy for him to meet investors and other tech founders – to Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg neighborhood. . The company, which has 23 employees, moved in July, and office work will not be compulsory.
“Brooklyn has gone from being an option you wouldn’t consider due to its downside to being more practical,” Miller said.
Economists say the pandemic could accelerate a trend that began after the 2008 recession, when job growth in New York City began to be driven by boroughs outside of Manhattan. Over the past decade, according to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, Brooklyn has been the largest generator of new jobs in the city.