Tech firm space becoming scarce in Dumbo

TRD New York /
Dec.December 20, 2011 09:52 AM
From left: 55 Washington Street, home to Etsy, 45 Main Street, home to Huge, Inc., and 20 Jay Street the site of NYU-Polytechnic’s incubator (building credits: PropertyShark)

For the last decade tech firms and digital advertising companies have launched and expanded in Dumbo, but according to the Wall Street Journal the growth has finally hit a roadblock as space is becoming scarce.

Though the area was initially “sketchy” when tech firms began to arrive in 1999, the cheap commercial rents and loft space appealed to startup firms. Now, more than 100 such companies are based in Dumbo and the industry employs the most workers in the neighborhood. The leaders are Etsy, which added 100 employees in 2011 to bring its total to 250, and Huge, which has 400 employees. Both expect to expand in 2012.

Further growth comes from NYU-Polytechnic, which is set to open an incubator to house about 20 companies at 20 Jay Street.

“We are starting to have to think about where to put [new tech firms],” Alexandria Sica of the Dumbo Business Improvement District said, pointing to the tightening real estate market in the area.

That problem plagues the incubator, which was able to secure just 7,000 square feet and as a result will focus on growing companies and moving them out quickly, according to the school’s president. [WSJ]

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