New York City is one of the most favorable cities in the United States. When you think of New York City, it’s likely you’ll immediately picture Manhattan – tall skyscrapers, busy streets and gridlock, and big businesses. That’s because Manhattan has a lot of historical purposes, current enterprise, and financial backing. What many people who aren’t from New York might not understand, though, is not all of New York City has this composition. In fact, there are four other boroughs other than Manhattan. These are Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Each of them has its own characteristics, but it’s clear to say that Manhattan has the most notoriety. Because of that, Manhattan is often viewed as a very ideal place to open a company office.
One of the most underrated neighborhoods within the borough of Manhattan is Harlem. Harlem is a large section of Manhattan, and it’s widely known for its strong and apparent African American heritage. In the past, parts of Harlem used to have a negative connotation associated with it, but now, the culture here is embraced. Harlem’s boundary is relatively jagged, but the main perimeter is distinguished as the Hudson River, 5th Avenue and the Harlem River, West 155th Street, and Central Park North. Within the borders of Harlem, it’s split up between East and West Harlem. Similar to how boroughs each have separate characteristics associated with them, so do East and West Harlem, though they may not seem as recognizable.
Before Harlem was viewed as industrialized as it is today, it was largely undeveloped. In the early 1600’s, this land was claimed by Native Americans. They respected and cared for the grassland and forests that were once here. Following the Native Americans were the Dutch. They arrived and settled in this area in the mid 1600’s, but they still kept the land relatively undeveloped. Instead, they continued the use of farmland and small settlements. After the Dutch were European. Here, those from Europe traveled to modern day America in order to colonize and set up permanent settlements. After colonization and secession from the British, true development began.
During the 1800’s the industrial revolution came to play. In this period of time, buildings, railroads, and office workshops formed in Harlem. These places allowed for an increased number of jobs for the population. With more jobs comes a larger demand for residential
space. Because of that, Harlem soon became a residential area as well. This, combined with the development of the elevated rail lines along Eighth and Ninth Avenues, made Harlem a widely desired area to live in. Apartment buildings and fine-row houses were common here.
Unfortunately, during the recession of 1893, fewer jobs became available. The economy fell for about two years where both company and real estate sales plummeted. In 1895, though, development continued. The common development in Harlem in this time were beautiful high-rise apartment complexes. Eventually, more apartments than people were available, so real estate brokers took things into their own hands. They recruited African American families into these buildings. As time passed, African Americans continued to gravitate towards Harlem in search of opportunity and increased salaries.
Soon enough, Harlem became known as a place of cultural and artistic expression. The term “Harlem Renaissance” came from here, as figures like Alain Locke and Langston Hughes fostered their creativity in Harlem. Though the Great Depression came and rocked the community here, it was soon rebuilt.
Harlem is a great area for businesses who desire to appeal to the wide range of cultures that exist here.
Because New York City is such a large and diverse city, there are some neighborhoods within it that offer you different things than another. Whether that be culture, transportation, or even tourist sites, each area’s benefits can differ significantly. Harlem is a unique area that gives companies unique access to a mix of both cultural diversity and tourist attractions. These can allow growth and recognition from both locals and visitors. When first considering the option to open your business’ office space in Harlem, you should first understand the benefits of the area in order to ensure that your company would fit in and profit from the neighborhood.
Because of Harlem’s significant history, it happens to be considered one of the most culturally rich areas of New York City. This initially stemmed from the Harlem Renaissance, and since then the artistic and enlightening growth has continued. From music and dance to literature and art, there is always something to see and experience in this neighborhood. For example, there are a variety of art galleries located throughout this area, including the Aloft Harlem Art Gallery and Essie Green Gallery. These both highlight art made by Harlem residents. In addition to art galleries, theaters like the Apollo Theatre are here. If your office is related to the arts or focuses on a cultural aspect, especially surrounding African American culture, your business could significantly benefit from being in such a distinct area like Harlem.
Another benefit of opening your office in Harlem is being surrounded by various tourist attractions. Some of these places include the iconic Rucker Park where basketball legends have played, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, the Langston Hughes House, and the First Corinthian Baptist Church. All of these places have historical significance, and people want to visit them. When a neighborhood has a lot of places or monuments that visitors want to
explore, there tends to be a lot more traffic than in other locations. Because Harlem has so many attractions, you can expect there to be a lot of people visiting the neighborhood. This means that if your company is there, it can gain a lot of recognition from both tourists and locals. The more people that pass by your business, the better!
Clearly, there are some amazing benefits to opening a business office in Harlem. Not only will you be surrounded by a rich and historical culture, but your company can become more known by a wide range of people.
Compared to other neighborhoods within Manhattan, Harlem is seen as one of the more desirable places to open a business in. The area itself is quite large, but there isn’t an extensive amount of rentable buildings in the neighborhood. This means that there aren’t as many units available, thus increasing both competition and value. In total, there are approximately 218 rentable buildings in Harlem. Split between all of these, there are about 7 million square feet of building space. Though this number may seem large at first, it’s only worth about 0.8 percent of the total building space in all of New York City. These numbers rank Harlem at 35th out of 69, making it one of the areas with little building space. In the coming years, though, the market is expected to jump in percentage due to the construction of two Harlem buildings. In total, these two buildings should equal over 500,000 square feet which are worth about 7 percent of the square footage under construction in NYC today.
Because of Harlem’s lack of available office space, thus causing demand, it is ranked relatively high in cost per square foot compared to other New York City neighborhoods. On average, it costs about $46 per square foot of Harlem office space for lease. This is considered the 21st of 69 New York City neighborhoods analyzed. This falls directly under Downtown Brooklyn at $48 per square foot, the Insurance District at $54 per square foot, and the Financial District at $58 per square foot. You can tell a lot about Harlem’s demand based on these competing neighborhoods. The three competing NYC neighborhoods are popular, well-known, and profitable. With this, we can infer that Harlem is around the same level as them.
Based on the data highlighted above, you can see that Harlem is a desirable, yet relatively affordable, option for office space in Manhattan.
When considering opening an office anywhere, you must be concerned with how accessible the location is to either your employees or your customers. If the office space is difficult to get to, this may hinder your ability to gain clients. It could also affect your retention rate of both clients and the turnover rate of employees. With this in mind, consider Harlem – there is plenty of transportation available. Whether that be by public transportation, foot, or bike, there is always an option to get around.
Starting with public transportation, plenty of trains and buses run directly through Harlem. The 1, 2, 3, A, B, C, and D trains are available in incremental locations around Harlem. Because Harlem is such a large area of land, there are many different train stops between that contribute to each area’s accessibility. Ultimately, there is no spot in Harlem where a train stop isn’t available within a radius of 5 blocks. And where there may not be a train available, there is surely a bus accessible. Some of the most commonly seen buses throughout Harlem include the M2, M3, M4, M7, M10, M11, M100, M102, and M116. Now, these are not all of the available buses, but they are some of the most commonly available options. Because there are so many forms of public transportation that run throughout Harlem, your employees and customers shouldn’t have too difficult of a time getting to the office you open there.
Other than public transportation, another common way of getting around Harlem is on foot. It’s rated as a 96 on Walk Score, meaning that you don’t need a vehicle or form of transportation to get everywhere you need to be. Most errands can be completed on foot here. This means that once your employees or customers are in the neighborhood of Harlem, they don’t have to find a way to get around in order to access the places that they need.
A final form of common transportation in Harlem is by bicycle. For most trips, bicycling can be convenient, but it’s not the best option for travelers. There are not fully accessible bicycle lanes in all parts of this neighborhood, but it’s not the worst. This means you can surely get places on your bike, but you may not desire it over either foot or public transportation travel.
Due to the vast accessibility of Harlem, NYC, office spaces are ideal here. Your clients and employees will be able to easily access your prospective office and get around simply once in the area. This is an important factor to consider before opening office space, and thankfully Harlem has prime transportation.
When looking for Harlem commercial real estate locations in New York City, you may find it difficult. That’s because there are so many options, and you can easily become bombarded with information that may or may not be useful. This is especially true for Harlem locations, as there are a wide variety of places available. When beginning your search, remember to ask yourself whether or not the prospective rental can benefit you in any way. How close is public transportation? Is the site aesthetically pleasing? Can you see yourself expanding or growing here? Because there are so many things to consider, we’ve outlined some of the top Harlem leasing offices in Manhattan for you below.
Located on the northern tip of Harlem, 2916 Fredrick Douglas Boulevard is a hidden gem in New York City. The building itself was constructed in 2001, thus making it one of the relatively newer buildings in New York City. There is a total of about 7,500 square feet spread across 3 different floors here. This office is relatively small, but it can suit any small to mid-sized company. High ceilings and tons of natural light make the rooms feel bigger than it actually is. Regarding the Harlem office space, this furnished option has two separate offices and one
separate conference room. These are great for people who want those with higher stature to have their own space, as well as providing room for staff meetings. Your employees are sure to enjoy this office space, as it was recently renovated and is aesthetically pleasing. There is a full kitchen and two restrooms in the space which makes for great convenience while working. Regarding accessibility, the B and D trains are a block away. In addition to these, though, the M10 bus stops right outside the office, and the M2 and Bx6 are within walking distance. Having transportation options in such close vicinity is a great asset. If you’re looking for a mid-sized unit in Harlem, 2916 Fredrick Douglas Boulevard will not disappoint.
For a smaller or developing company, 2027 1st Avenue is a top choice. Built in 2005, this modernized building is beautiful and has a lot to offer renters. With a total of 9 floors and nearly 14,000 square feet, there is a lot of space to choose from at this location. Regarding the interior, it’s a mixed-use condominium building. This means that both renters and office space can be found within this space. There are two office rooms in each available office space rental unit, and there are two restrooms as well. These are great assets for a company office. In terms of aesthetics, there are large windows that allow copious amounts of light in. This way, you’ll always have a well-lit office. One great offering about this location is they have basement space available, and you can build or convert this however you please. Transportation shouldn’t be an issue either, as the 6 and Q trains are close by, as is the M15 bus. 2027 1st Avenue is a great rental option for small and growing businesses.
If you’re ready to take the step and open office space in Manhattan, consider opening your doors in Harlem. With a rich cultural diversity and plenty of traffic in the area, your business is sure to thrive.
When looking for the best place for you, stay focused and be sure to act quick, as not many spaces are often available at once in Harlem. If you find your dream rental, be confident and ready to move. Soon enough, you’ll have the office space of your dreams in Harlem!
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