Neighborhood Profile: Red Hook

Nestled on the western shore of Brooklyn, Red Hook may not seem like an obvious choice to relocate a business at first. However, the neighborhood has been seeing a lot of new investment in recent years and has become a surprisingly trendy residential and commercial area with many manufacturing, tech and creative services companies setting up shop in this industrial-turned-hip enclave. But is this neighborhood right for your particular business?


Red Hook is located in Northwestern Brooklyn, bordering Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and New York Harbor. First settled by the Dutch in the 17th century, the neighborhood became a major industrial hub in the 19th century before falling into decline after World War II. In recent years, it has experienced a resurgence thanks to the opening of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in 2006 and the relocation of new manufacturing and technology firms to the area who’ve repurposed its aging industrial warehouses and breathed new life into the neighborhood.


Although it’s a far cry from Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, the neighborhood does in fact offer many advantages to doing business there, particularly for manufacturing and industrial firms. Its rents are far more economical than Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn while its abundance of warehouses and industrial buildings make it ideal for companies in sectors such as heavy and light manufacturing, technology and even creative services. It’s also convenient to popular Brooklyn neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Park Slope, making it an attractive place to do business for companies with many employees already living in Brooklyn. Although subway service is spotty, the community does offer several bus routes as well as New York Water Taxi and NYC Ferry service.


Given its industrial character and lack of Class A office space, the neighborhood is a nonstarter for financial firms, professional service companies and other major corporations that demand prestigious Manhattan office space. Red Hook’s biggest overall drawback is its rather isolated location and lack of convenient subway access nearby, making it hard to access for many residents.


Although the number of companies its attractive for its somewhat limited, Red Hook is still a great place for businesses in sectors like manufacturing, logistics and technology. It’s mix of affordable rents, close proximity to the Port of New York and New Jersey and abundance of manufacturing and commercial space make this boutique neighborhood a great deal for certain businesses overall.