In Downtown Brooklyn, new construction means condos, and new condos often come with tax abatements. Along with the lack of a co-op board to deal with, monthly charges and taxes here can come in at far less than similar properties elsewhere. The influx of new structures also means modern amenities: high ceilings, large windows, sleek appliances, and gyms are all easy to find in Downtown Brooklyn. While conveniently located and lively, Downtown Brooklyn doesn’t come with the same coolness surcharge as other neighborhoods (see: Williamsburg), meaning it offers some of the best values in the borough. Even full houses here, of which there are a historic handful, come at a relative bargain compared to many other parts of New York City.
One of the great conveniences of Downtown Brooklyn is its thicket of transit connections. Major neighborhood hubs include Jay Street-Metro Tech, with stops of the A, C, F, and R trains, and Borough Hall, where 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains stop. A, C, G trains rumble through the Hoyt Schermerhorn station, and B, Q, and R trains clatter into De Kalb Avenue. And that’s within Downtown Brooklyn itself. Just outside the neighborhood, the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center hub provides access to D, N, R, B, Q, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains, plus the Long Island Rail Road.
For what has long been a commercial neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights offers a decent array of schools, and surrounding neighborhoods further expand parents’ options. There are several good public schools, including PS 8 Robert Fulton, and Brooklyn Technical High School, both of which earn GreatSchools ratings of 9 out of 10. Nearby private schools include the Brooklyn Free School, St. Ann’s School, and the Packer Collegiate Institute.
Given its placement along some of the borough’s busiest streets, Downtown Brooklyn includes a surprising number of parks. Cadman Plaza Park makes up one long, north-south strip of green space near Borough Hall and hosts a farmer’s market on Saturdays. McLaughlin Park and Commodore Barry Park offer further respite from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Brooklyn. And while just outside the neighborhood, Fort Greene Park on the east and Brooklyn Bridge Park on the west offer even more space. The latter is also home to playgrounds, a roller rink, and sweeping views of Manhattan and the East River.
Restaurants and Bars
Though its dining options are not as widely heralded as those of some other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Downtown Brooklyn nonetheless offers almost anything the discerning New York eater could desire. Life essentials like Neopolitan pizza and Shanghainese dumplings are easily obtained at Forno Rosso and Yaso Tango, respectively, while Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare offers the neighborhood’s own take on super-high-end haute cuisine — and holds the borough’s only claim to that coveted three-Michelin-star status. (Oh, and there’s even a Shake Shack.) As for drinking, options run the gamut from casual pubs  to romantic cocktail bars, ensuring you never have to go far for a good nightspot.
Somewhat like midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn offers a higher concentration of chain stores than many other borough neighborhoods, which adds in convenience what it arguably saps in character. Some grouse that the neighborhood is turning into a shopping mall, and indeed there are nearby locations of H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic, T.J. Maxx, and other such suburban staples. Lucky for more discerning shoppers, though, nearby Atlantic and Flatbush avenues are lined with many quirky, locally owned retailers. That same spectrum is shown in nearby grocery stores, which run from unique and local (Brooklyn Fare, NYC Fresh Market) to large national chains like Trader Joe’s.
Landmarks and Culture
Downtown Brooklyn offers a high concentration of interesting landmarks and cultural institutions. The New York Transit Museum provides a look at the storied history of the city’s subways and streetcars, and the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music offers cutting edge music and arts performances. Neighborhood movie theaters come in two flavors: popcorn-standard (United Artists Court Street) and, at Alamo Drafthouse, contemporary hipster, with cocktails and chef-crafted bites served seatside. Of course, if you mange to exhaust all those immediate options, all the museums and attractions of Prospect Park and greater Brooklyn are not very far away.