Much attention was paid in the industry press to the three districts mentioned above, and they did generate news for sure. However, slowly and steadily, Brooklyn has been growing to become New York’s largest district, from a province just a few years ago. The graph below shows Brooklyn’s rise from 2011, passing both the Upper East Sides and all other Manhattan districts in numbers of galleries as early as 2012 and West Chelsea as king-of-the-heap last year, containing about 20% of all the galleries open now in the Metropolitan New York Area.
Seen as percentages of all galleries, Brooklyn has traded places with three districts. The big loser is the UES which has been in a bit of a decline for a few years. You can read about that here.
This may not seem like a reasonable metric because Brooklyn is a very large borough, and like Manhattan, is comprised of several smaller sub-districts, apples to oranges. Yet it has never had as many galleries as do the majority of Manhattan sub-districts until after 2005, and really began to grow after the Great Recession ended. Even when we compare Manhattan and Brooklyn as boroughs, apples to apples, this growth is significant. This should come as no surprise, since rents have been traditionally lower in Brooklyn and only recently began approaching, even exceeding in some cases, Manhattan rents in Williamsburg and Greenpoint in the last few years.
This graph shows how the sub-districts of Brooklyn have done over the past five years (click to enlarge). as you can see, with the exception of Williamsburg, Brooklyn has been on a steady course upward in almost all areas.
Brooklyn’s sub-districts as a percentage of all galleries there.
The take-away from this is that Brooklyn as a whole, and many of its sub-districts as well, is an ascending star, and should be taken more seriously by buyers, collectors and the general art-public than it has in the past. It is after all just a few subway stops from Manhattan, and Uber has no problem crossing the East River bridges. For galleries, it is a viable place to set up shop, with lower rents than in Manhattan and a growing audience. I have spaces available in Brooklyn, contact me or go here.