High rents push furniture making company from Dumbo

TRD New York /
Jun.June 10, 2011 04:07 PM

City Joinery, a Dumbo-based furniture making company, is moving to Easthampton, Mass. after the landlord upped the rent by $3,000 on its 5,500-square-foot showroom and studio space at 20 Jay Street, bringing it to $8,000 a month, according to Crain’s.

Jonah Zuckerman, City Joinery’s founder and owner, said the rent hike made the space essentially unaffordable, especially since demand is lessening for wooden furniture since the recession.

“In the boom years, we would have a couple walk-ins and one or two appointments every day, so the showroom investment was totally worth it,” he said. “But in the past six months, we’d be lucky if we had one party a week.”

The landlord did not comment.

Zuckerman looked at more affordable sites in Brooklyn, such as the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Brooklyn Navy Yard, before ultimately deciding on the move to Easthampton.

Earlier this week, the Center for an Urban Future released a study documenting the city’s design firms. According to the report, the number of Brooklyn-based design companies increased to 433 in 2009 from 257 in 2001 — a jump of 70 percent.

Zuckerman, however, says that while the city itself is a draw for customers, the expense of being here is not worth it.

Yesterday, The Real Deal reported that Brooklyn-based real estate development firm Two-Trees Management had provided a 6,440-square-foot space at a highly subsidized rate for a new city-sponsored business incubator at the same 20 Jay Street address. [Crain’s]

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