Bushwick: America’s next cool office park

Some of Bushwick's famous street art beckons new office buildings to its garbage-y shores. via Flickr user Shawn Hoke

Some of Bushwick’s famous street art beckons new office buildings to its garbage-y shores. via Flickr user Shawn Hoke

It seems like eons ago, but was actually just a couple years ago, that Vogue sent a reporter to Bushwick to tell us how it was a bombed out wasteland that would never escape the shadow of Manhattan. It was the place where Hannah and the gang smoked crack at a party before another emotional epiphany. Then the SantaCon threats started coming and the same Vogue called Bushwick cool, actually. And now Bushwick is so cool that the coolest population of all has their eye on it: office developers who see it as the next hot neighborhood for white collar workers. Cool!

The story comes from the business-friendly people at Crain’s, who’ll probably just be able to rename themselves Bushwick Daily if the transformation of Bushwick they’re predicting comes to pass. That prediction is an addition of 750,000 square feet of office space spread primarily over 4 huge projects around the neighborhood, with co-working/co-living/maybe cult WeWork looking for an anchor there as well. Developers betting on Bushwick are pumping its tires as more than a place for beards and tattoos, with one developer telling the website that he’s predicting companies will pay DUMBO-like rents for the privilege of forcing their employees to deal with seemingly daily L train breakdowns.

“You’re getting some of the smartest and most creative kids coming to Brooklyn, and Bushwick is the spot where they’re all converging,” the developer, Joel Stein, told Crain’s.

And there of course, is the rub. As Bushwick gets more and more defined by its exciting (read: boring) real estate developments like hotels and a mall and hotels and 500% rent increases, fickle, stupid kids will go running to Port Morris or Ditmas Park or City Island, leaving the previously “cool” neighborhoods to their parents and disgraced foreign politicos. It doesn’t matter how many buildings come with a lobby decorated with 15,000 bottles of Schlitz, they just lead to cubicles and death by sitting. Or even worse, obnoxiously peppy new media and tech startup headquarters.