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Old October 21st, 2004, 10:52 PM   #1
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Brooklyn tops in walk-ups


Brooklyn tops in walk-ups

September/October 2004

By Carl Unegbu

If Manhattan is the borough of concrete canyons, Brooklyn is the borough of stoops and walk-ups. Brooklyn dominates all other boroughs with 43 percent of all walk-up buildings in the city.

Market tracking company First American Corporation says there are 40,388 walk-up apartment buildings in New York, with 17,665 in Brooklyn, 10,834 in Manhattan, 6,410 in Queens, 5,119 in the Bronx and 360 in Staten Island.

The sheer size of Brooklyn – the most populous borough with 2.4 million residents, versus 2.2 million in Queens and 1.5 million in Manhattan— is one reason why Brooklyn leads the pack.

Rents are the other reason. Georgia Malone, president of commercial brokerage Georgia Malone & Co., says high Manhattan rents gave developers economic incentive to build more high-rise elevator residential buildings in Manhattan than in Brooklyn, which has seen proportionally less redevelopment along its tree-lined streets.

Brooklyn beats out Queens because Brooklyn is an older, more densely settled borough. Much of Queens’ modern urban development happened in the 1950s, and most new construction was and remains elevator buildings rather than walk-ups, says Malone.

When it comes to walk-up revenues, though, an investor probably would fare better with a building in Manhattan compared to Brooklyn, says Eric Roth, president of Friedman-Roth Realty. This is partly because maintenance costs are higher in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan, because of the higher turnover of tenants which require more expenses when preparing units for new tenants. Insurance premiums are higher in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan as well, he says.

More fundamental is the fact that rents are lower in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan, making it more worthwhile to spend money on improvements in Manhattan when a vacancy occurs, in order to maximize return on investment.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 06:55 AM   #2
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Sounds like good news for Manhattan.
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