The Search

NYC outpaces other U.S. cities for new rental developments where the focus is live, work, play

  • 46 rental buildings with office and retail space have been built in NYC in the last decade
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By Emily Myers  |
December 14, 2022 - 12:30PM

At The Ashland at 250 Ashland Pl. in Brooklyn, renters get use of a work space with free wifi. A studio is currently available for $3,074.

The Ashland

If you want co-working space in your apartment building or are looking for a rental where you can also work and find entertainment under one roof, New York City has by far the most new developments where this is possible. 

An analysis by Coworking Cafe finds 46 multi-use buildings were constructed in NYC in the past decade, making the city number one in the U.S. with new buildings that have apartments as well as retail, co-working or office space. That’s more than double the number in Philadelphia, which ranks second for these types of new buildings.

The study looks at how the pandemic and the increase in remote work has made a difference to the types of developments being built—in NYC another four multi-use buildings will open next year, taking the total number built since 2012 to 50. Miami, which ranks third for mixed-use buildings, is also set to build four more next year, taking its total to 17.

What are rents like for units in mixed-use developments?

Remote and hybrid work has led many New Yorkers to search for common work-space as an amenity. It was a priority for Heather Gordon (a pseudonym) who shared the experience of her crazy hunt for an apartment amid bidding wars and sight-unseen offers from competitors earlier this year. In the end, she signed a lease for $7,250 a month at Plank Road, a luxury building with a residents lounge to accommodate people working from home.

The NYC borough where the most apartment buildings with office space and retail have been recently built is Brooklyn, with 22 of these types of buildings built in the past 10 years. The developments stretch from Coney Island to Greenpoint, with at least three each in Fort Greene and East New York, according to the data. In Brooklyn, the most affordable rental in a building with office space and retail is a studio for $3,074 a month at 250 Ashland Pl. in Fort Greene. 

In Harlem and East Harlem, six buildings have been built since 2012 where you can find residential, office, and commercial space under one roof. That’s more than double the number anywhere elsewhere in Manhattan. Tower 119, an apartment building in East Harlem, currently has the most affordable listing available in a mixed-use building identified in the data—there's a rent-stabilized studio you can rent for $2,328 a month.

One of the next most affordable apartments in a mixed-use building is a studio offered for $2,500 per month at The Urban, a seven-story building not far from Downtown Flushing in Queens. Five other multi-use buildings in Queens are identified by the data including Q-East, Jamaica where a one-bedroom rental is offered for $2,725 a month.

In a review of the apartments available in buildings identified as offering live, work, play opportunities, the most expensive is a three-bedroom penthouse at 1214 Fifth Ave. in Upper Carnegie Hill listed for $12,995. The building is steps from Central Park and has a residents lounge, as well as a media room, dining area, and a pool. 

Diversifying the income from buildings clearly makes sense for developers. Nationally the average amount of space used for apartments in mixed-use building is 47 percent but in NYC, very often it's the office space that's prioritized, with only 20 percent dedicated to residential and 58 percent to office space. On average in NYC, 22 percent is allocated for commercial use.


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Emily Myers

Senior Writer/Podcast Producer

Emily Myers is a senior writer, podcast host, and producer at Brick Underground. She writes about issues ranging from market analysis and tenants' rights to the intricacies of buying and selling condos and co-ops. As host of the Brick Underground podcast, she has earned four silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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