Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Review - Brooklyn Moving Guide

Learn about entertainment, restaurant, housing, transportation, schools, and the general vibe of this thriving Brooklyn neighborhood from this complete guide.
Downtown Brooklyn
Editors Rating (3 stars out of 5)
6.4 Overall
Average Rent Prices 3
Public transportation 9
Schools 8
Lifestyle 9
Crime 3

Downtown Brooklyn is truly the center of it all. Bordered by Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, and Boerum Hill, the area is a central hub for businesses, retail, and a spectacular art and culture scene.

In this Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood review, we'll look into public transportation, restaurants, average apartment rent, and home sale prices.

Historic brownstones, attractive new residential buildings, corner stores, coffee shops, and discount stores fill the area, along with many brand-name outlet stores such as Banana Republic, Gap, Macy's, and Century 21.

Although Downtown Brooklyn is not a huge neighborhood, over 150 retailers operate on the eight blocks of Fulton Street, appropriately named Fulton Mall.

The cultural district is a major hub for artists, housing The Theater for a New Audience, the BRIC Arts Media House, and the New York Transit Museum.

The City Point mall houses New York's only Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which features in-theater dining and premium seating.

Many top institutions are located in Downtown Brooklyn, like NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, NYC College of Technology, Pratt Institute, and Long Island University.

Once, the Downtown area was seen as a center for offices, government buildings, and courthouses.

Today, the neighborhood is a scurry of urban bustle and activity, full of entertainment, good eats, a growing skyline, and luxury housing and hotels.

The last decade has seen a major boom in construction, particularly in the retail and luxury housing sector, with an unofficial highest-skyscraper-in-Brooklyn contest going on.

One of the features of this neighborhood that makes it truly attractive to many is it's close proximity to Manhattan and the convenience of the many ways you can get to and from the city.

Fun Fact: Downtown Brooklyn is the third largest central business district in NYC, following Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan


Subway Stairs

Conveniently located near all major subway lines, the Fulton Mall is an ideal meet-up spot for some shopping or to enjoy an upscale, dine-in movie experience at The Alamo movie theater.

Literally, almost any subway line can be reached at this major hub and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is just a short walk to Atlantic Barclays Center.

Downtown Brooklyn is served by trains at the following stations:

  • Jay St MetroTech
  • Dekalb Ave
  • Fulton Street
  • Hoyt-Schermerhorn
  • Atlantic Av-Barclays Center
  • Borough Hall
Bus Lines in Downtown Brooklyn
BusB3, B25, B44, B57

Subway lines in neighborhood

  • 2 3

    IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line

  • 4 5

    IRT Lexington Avenue Line

  • A C

    IND Eighth Avenue Line

  • B D F

    IND Sixth Avenue Line

  • N Q R

    BMT Broadway Line

One of the area's best features is its bikability and walkability.

There are lots of bike lanes and Citi-bike stations, and because the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges lie at the edge, walking across and biking across the East River are pleasant options.

Real Estate in Downtown Brooklyn

The Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City is ideal for those looking for a great place to rent or buy an apartment.

This area has a lot to offer, from its proximity to all the best attractions, restaurants, and shopping places in the city, to its vibrant culture and unique character.

For those looking for apartments in Downtown Brooklyn, plenty of options are available that cater to different needs and budgets.

From luxury studio apartments to larger multi-bedroom units, you can find something that will fit your lifestyle perfectly. Most neighborhoods have a mix of rental units and units that are for sale, so it's easy to find something that meets your budget and preferences.

One of the great things about living in Downtown Brooklyn is that you don't have to worry about being too far away from the action. It's close enough to Manhattan and other boroughs like Queens and Staten Island that you can easily make short trips or take public transportation whenever necessary.

The area also has several parks, such as Prospect Park, which provide plenty of recreational activities for residents to enjoy.

Plus, there are plenty of stores selling local products such as produce and apparel, making shopping easy without traveling far away.

Average Rental Prices in Cobble Hill

1 Bed$2,800
2 Beds$3,700
3 Beds$4,500
4 Beds$13,000
PropertyNest Real Estate Data As of May 2023

Average Rent Price History by Neighborhood

Apartments in Downtown Brooklyn also tend to be very affordable compared with other neighborhoods throughout New York City; most studios cost anywhere between $1,500 - $2,500 per month, while larger units can go up into the $4K range depending on size and amenities included (elevator building vs. walk up).

The best way to ensure you get the best deal possible is by doing your research ahead of time by checking online listings or asking friends/family who lives in the area if they know of any good deals available on apartments in town.

Average Sales Prices in Cobble Hill

1 Bed$539,000
2 Beds$1,500,000
3 Beds$1,975,000
4 Beds$3,995,000
PropertyNest Real Estate Data As of May 2023

All in all, renting or buying an apartment in Downtown Brooklyn is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an urban experience with plenty of amenities nearby. With its close proximity to Manhattan and vibrant atmosphere full of interesting shops, restaurants, and galleries – downtown Brooklyn has much more than just convenience going for it.

Apartments Available for Sale & Rent in Downtown Brooklyn

Restaurants & Dining in Downtown Brooklyn

With a large population coming into the Downtown Brooklyn area every day, there have to be choices that cater to every taste.

The Dekalb Market Hall at City Point allows visitors to get a sampling of nearly every cuisine, from Jamaican jerk to Vietnamese, from Polish to Middle Eastern.

Shake Shack and Five Guys are local favorites for burgers and fries.

Nearby is Hill Country BBQ Market for authentic Texas-style barbecue.

Save room for dessert, and you'll enjoy what many people hail as home to the best cheesecake in New York City - Junior's Cheesecake. Located at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues since the 1950s, this landmark restaurant has been a favorite for celebrities, singers, presidents, and hall-of-fame athletes alike.

Public & Charter Schools

Downtown Brooklyn is a highly sought-after neighborhood for parents, mainly due to the wide variety of quality public, private and charter schools that are accessible via short commute distances.

Due to the high international population in Downtown Brooklyn, many of the schools have ethnically diverse student bodies and staff.

The schools in downtown Brooklyn are zoned for District #13.

Local Schools in Downtown Brooklyn
Explore Charter SchoolPublic Charter, K-8, 521 studentsCommunity feel, diverse staff in a low-key and warm atmosphere.
Science, Language & Arts International SchoolPrivate - PK-5 - 105 studentsMath and art-based language immersion school, individualized stimulating curriculum.
Fusion Academy BrooklynPrivate - 6-12 - 55 studentsPersonalized curriculum, all courses are one-to-one: one student and one teacher per classroom
City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and TechnologyPublic - 9-12 - 458 studentsStimulating curriculum, opportunity to earn two college credits, specialized training
George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High SchoolPublic - 9-12 - 609 studentsStudents may learn to wire electrical circuits, repair computers or prepare food along with regular academic classes. They may receive industry certifications and CTE diplomas.
Brooklyn Prospect Charter School ElementaryPublic Charter - K-1 & 6-11 - 769 studentsIB program begins in kindergarten. Multiracial student body and staff. Highly sought-after school.
St. Joseph High SchoolPrivate Catholic All-Girls - 9-12 - 276 studentsStudent-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. Offers many co-curricular activities. Award-winning Speech Team, School Newspaper, STEP Team and Fine Arts Program.
International Charter School of New YorkPublic Charter - K-2 - 300 studentsNew charter school with global outlook. Outdoor space for play, surrounded by public art.
The Brooklyn International High SchoolPublic - 9-12 - 340 studentsBlend of academics and arts education. All students complete a 12-week internship in a field in which they are interested.

How Safe is the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood?

The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood is known for its vibrant culture and diverse community.

Located in the heart of New York City, it has become an attractive place to live and work over the years. Despite being a densely populated area, the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood remains an incredibly safe place to live.

The neighborhood is served by the New York City Police Department's 84th Precinct, which boasts one of the highest clearance rates in the city and continues to maintain low crime rates despite its size.

The area also features a variety of safety measures, including 24-hour surveillance cameras, increased police patrols, and a 311 system to report any suspicious activities or crimes that occur in the area.

Crime statistics

Crime rate: 7 out of 10
Approximately 31.9933 crimes (felony) per 1000 residents
Low Medium High

In addition to police presence, multiple private security companies operate throughout Downtown Brooklyn and provide additional security for businesses and residences.

These services include onsite guards, alarm systems, video surveillance systems, access control systems, and remote monitoring capabilities.

Moreover, Downtown Brooklyn has implemented various public safety initiatives such as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), which local police officers train in first aid and disaster preparedness; this allows residents to respond quickly during emergencies without relying on law enforcement alone.

Additionally, many neighbors participate in programs like “Neighbors United,” encouraging individuals living in Downtown Brooklyn to look out for each other’s safety by creating a unified front against crime.

There is also an active crime prevention program that provides tips on staying safe while walking around or going about their daily routines within the neighborhood.

Overall, Downtown Brooklyn is a remarkably safe neighborhood with various measures taken by law enforcement agencies and citizens who want their community to be secure from any harm or danger.

With strong efforts from all involved parties combined with ongoing public safety initiatives and education campaigns, residents can rest assured knowing that they can enjoy all the benefits of living within this urban paradise without having to worry about their personal safety or security at any time of day or night.

Rachel McCray
About the author

Originally from Florida, Rachel McCray, a writer and content producer, is now based in New York. Rachel offers expertise in New York City neighborhoods relating to real estate and history. Rachel McCray graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media Studies.