In a very crowded field of new luxury rental buildings, The Brooklyner stands out—literally. The Clarett Group's 51-story tower at 111 Lawrence Street is not only the tallest thing to hit the Downtown Brooklyn skyline, but also the entire borough (edging out the iconic One Hanson Place/Williamsburgh Savings Bank by two feet). The Brooklyner added another 500 apartment to the Downtown Brooklyn/Ft. Greene rental scene that also includes fellow rookies 80 Dekalb, Avalon Fort Greene and Brooklyn Gold, but some aggressive pricing helped 90 units get leased its first month on the market. We've heard all about the amenities and seen the pictures, but how's the feedback? One Friend of Curbed and prospective renter recently checked the building out, and filed this take on the pluses and minuses:
The Good: - great views from the apts - Actual rooms with doors (instead of the usual converted-brownstone floorthru setup). Central A/C. Dishwasher - we liked the J+K line units, which had more of an open kitchen layout as well as washer+ dryer; (7J: $2240/mo -- 26J $2395/mo -- 8K $2245 -- 16K $2290). the other ones ($2190-$2250) all had galley kitchens and felt a bit cramped. bedrooms felt small in the A line. - the laundry room is set up to text you when your laundry is done - 2 mos free rent for lower flrs; 1 mo free for higher flrs - the gym is great - 100 feet from the R train
- the common lounge on the 4th floor felt like they were trying waaaaay too hard to recreate Camp + [insert name of random W'burg hipster bar]. Sure, I like Skee-ball as much as the next guy, but it seems a little unnecessary for it to take up space in the building. Seems like it would be full of 22 year olds all the time. (I should note that the other lounge + roof deck on the 51st flr isn't done yet, so we didn't see that). The whole 'Prefab Hipster Brooklyn' vibe felt a little weird.
- the doorman was a dick. We had an emergency meeting so we were about 30 minutes late for our appt, which we felt bad about. We would have understood perfectly if the realtor was pissy with us or told us to reschedule, but I don't see why the doorman was giving us 'tude when his only role was to call up for us and give us a waiver to sign. If you're going to have a doorman, I don't think it's too demanding to ask for someone nice (incidentally, when we went to see the 80 Dekalb building - yes, we were also late to that one - the doorman was really nice)
- while the amenities are free for the first year, after that the management will start charging $500/year extra for access to them. When you add that to the assumption that the recession rents are going to get jacked up later, it makes it pretty hard to see ourselves staying there more than a year. Also, we started to feel a bit wary of the whole Big Corporate Management Company thing -- good luck fighting them if you get no heat/gym equipment is broken/you need to break a lease.
- and, yes, the immediate neighborhood is split between sterile Metrotech and wig/hairweave retail capital of the world.
Any other folks who've recently braved the DoBro/Ft. Greene rental hunt wish to chime in?