Williamsburg, Where North Is Up and South Is Coming

A one-bedroom condo at 60 Broadway offered by the Corcoran Group. | THE CORCORAN GROUP

A one-bedroom condo at 60 Broadway offered by the Corcoran Group. | THE CORCORAN GROUP

Williamsburg, in two decades of dramatic change, has evolved well beyond its reputation as a magnet for artists and young adventurers drawn by low rents and large lofts converted from old, often abandoned factories. With customary New York speed, a booming nightlife and eating scene spawned a proliferation of trendy shops, especially along Bedford Avenue, and then ambitious new residential development.

Geographically large — running roughly from the East River to Flushing Avenue between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and, on the north, Bushwick Avenue and McCarren Park — and home to about 125,000 people, the neighborhood long had something of an invisible line between a more gentrified north and a grittier south.

But recently, South Williamsburg — in particular the area bounded by Grand Street and Division Avenue, from Union Avenue to the East River — has changed as well. According to recent Census data and industry experts, the area remains dominated by rental units and its demographic mix is not unfamiliar from a decade ago or more, but new buildings — including condominiums such as the Oosten on Kent Avenue and the nearby 15 Dunham Place — have attracted newer residents, many of them young, with values favorable when compared to North Williamsburg.

In hipster haven, industrial space repurposing, new development crosses Grand Street

Like nearly every New York neighborhood, inventory levels remain low and so value is a relative term. In fact, according to Streeteasy.com, averages sale prices hover just below $1.8 million. For renters interested in new developments, brokers indicate one-bedroom units generally average about $3,000 per month.

Still, with new units coming on line, the face of South Williamsburg is being reshaped — at a good clip.

“The growth of new developments in South Williamsburg is exponential due to quick access to Manhattan, the proximity to the waterfront, excellent restaurants, and retail locations,” said Jacqueline Urgo, the president of the Marketing Directors. “And as we go forward, the borders between North and South Williamsburg will be even more blurred because people are expanding boundaries to live in amenity-filled developments offering good value.”

In early 2015, the Marketing Directors will welcome residents to a new rental development at 282 South Fifth Street, near Marcy Avenue, designed by notable architect Morris Adjmi. From studios to two-bedroom apartments, square footage will likely range from about 450 to 1,000 square feet, with some units offering outdoor space. The project’s communal amenities will include a lounge with a billiard table, a gym with a yoga studio, a dog spa, a roof deck with grill areas, a playroom, and a half-acre landscaped terrace. An attended lobby and on-site parking are also planned.

Though monthly rentals are not yet announced, they will likely start at about $2,400. (themarketingdirectorsinc.com)

The Corcoran Group currently lists an 1,140-square-foot, one-bedroom condominium inside the Gretsch Building, a former musical instrument factory at 60 Broadway near Wythe Avenue. An extra large south-facing loft, the residence’s up-market features include 12-foot beamed ceilings, windows eight feet in height, Australian jarrah hardwood floors, and a washer and dryer. A striking open kitchen boasts appliances by Wolf, Asko, and SubZero, with countertops covered in granite. Building amenities include a roof deck, a playroom, and round-the-clock doorman service.

Priced at $1.05 million with a J-51 tax abatement until 2020, the unit has a monthly assessment to fund building façade work of $659 through February 2015. (corcoran.com/nyc/listings/display/3287614)

A 550-square-foot loft at 100 South Fourth Street, between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue, is available for rent. Its standouts include an updated kitchen, oversized windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, and loads of closet space. The building has laundry rooms on each floor, and, for cityscape viewing, its own roof deck.

Monthly rent is $3,150. (idealpropertiesgroup.com/listing/155577/100_South_4th_Street)

On the South Williamsburg waterfront, the Oosten at 429 Kent Avenue, near South Eighth Street, is a new development selling one- to three-bedroom units, including duplexes with double-height ceilings. The Oosten also includes four penthouses, with a choice of five or six bedrooms, and 15 three- and four-bedroom townhouses. The penthouses and townhouses offer private garage space.

Square footage ranges from 801 to approximately 5,093 square feet for the penthouses and 4,075 square feet in the townhouses. The communal amenities list is long — indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam rooms, library, landscaped courtyard, and rooftop terrace with a reflecting pool.

Occupancy is set for late 2015. Exclusively marketed by Halstead Property Group Development, prices start under $700,000. (theoosten.com)

A 2,600-square-foot duplex loft is for sale at 154 Broadway, right around the corner from Peter Luger’s Steakhouse on Driggs Avenue. In addition to an open-plan living space, there are two levels of private outdoor space.

A factory conversion, the unit features 12-foot-high ceilings, hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and custom millwork built-ins. The kitchen is outfitted with KitchenAid appliances, including a wine fridge and bar, along with tons of cabinetry and red Corian countertops. A large dining area has a built-in banquette as well as a built-in day bed and lounging couch. A step up from the kitchen is an enormous living area with beamed ceilings, custom lighting, a built-in queen-sized day bed, and a built-in projector and screen. Glass doors lead to a deck. A full bath with a Jacuzzi and separate shower are also on this level.

The lower level, which opens onto a patio, is customized as a sleeping area and could also serve as a media room. There are a full bath and a walk-in closet there as well.

Priced at $2.5 million. (halstead.com/sale/ny/brooklyn/williamsburg/154-broadway/condo/9419196)

At 390 Lorimer Street, near Scholes Street, Nest Seekers International is now selling a convertible two-bedroom duplex loft with a mezzanine and private rooftop deck. With about 790 square feet of living space, the unit’s in-home amenities include floor-to-ceiling-windows, hardwood floors, some double-height ceilings, and a kitchen with high-gloss dark gray custom cabinetry, Samsung appliances, and CaesarStone countertops. The master bedroom, with an en suite bathroom, has spacious closets. Storage space elsewhere in the unit includes a washer as well as a dryer hook-up.

Recently reduced, the price is $775,000. (nestseekers.com/73427/390-lorimer-street-hot-deal-of-duplex-2-bedroom-condo-in)

Renters who have their hearts set on North Williamsburg have interesting new opportunities, as well. 250N10 — a mid-rise residential building with a glass-wall façade located on North Tenth Street between Roebling and Union Avenues close to McCarren Park — offers a mix that runs from studios to two bedrooms, ranging from 483 to 1,047 square feet. Some of the residences include private terraces, and all come with hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and washers and dryers. Open kitchens feature GE appliances, CaeserStone countertops, and white cabinetry. Bathrooms are dressed in colorful glass tile accents.

A full-service building, 250N10’s residential extras include a fitness center, a Wi-Fi café lounge with a coffee bar right off the lobby and an adjacent landscaped courtyard, another Wi-Fi lounge outfitted with a fireplace, a pool table, and a flat screen TV, a roof deck with a barbecue area, on-site parking and storage areas (for rent), and a round-the-clock doorman.

Exclusively marketed through the Marketing Directors, no-fee monthly rentals begin at $2,590. (250N10.com)

The Printhouse Lofts at 139 North Tenth Street, also in North Williamsburg, between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue, will soon begin renting one- and two-bedroom units. One fifth-floor unit has a 225-square-foot private terrace, and two ground-level units offer 50-foot-long solariums.

A factory conversion, the building has luxury finishes including the latest in stainless steel kitchen appliances, farmhouse sinks, natural stone countertops, exposed beams, and brick walls. Communal amenities include a video intercom system, laundry machines on all floors, and 2,500 square feet of roof deck with panoramic views.

No-fee monthly rents will start at about $2,600. (printhouselofts.com)

A comparison of average condominium sales prices in South Williamsburg, all of Brooklyn, and Manhattan from early 2011 through early 2014. | CITYREALTY

A comparison of average condominium sales prices in South Williamsburg, all of Brooklyn, and Manhattan from early 2011 through early 2014. | CITYREALTY

Williamsburg Intel

The 35-acre McCarren Park has completed a grand renovation of its famous swimming pool and play center, and is home to ball fields and bocce, basketball, handball and tennis courts, a new 7,200-square-foot ice-skating rink, running tracks, a picnic area, playground and fitness facility. SummerScreen outdoor movies happen on Wednesdays in July and August. (nycgovparks.org/parks/mccarrenpark)

Member galleries of the Williamsburg Gallery Association keep their doors open later than usual — generally until 9 or 10 p.m. — on the second Friday of each month, often hosting special events and performances. (wburgga.tumblr.com)

Brooklyn Navy Yard Center’s BLDG 92 celebrates its past present and future inside the former Marine Commandant’s residence, now a museum. Long a major military shipbuilding facility, the Navy Yard had a tragic role in the Revolutionary War, when an estimated 11,000 colonial patriots died under dire conditions on British prison ships docked there. (bldg92.org)

Long touted as one of our nation’s best marketplaces, Brooklyn Flea operates every weekend at 50 Kent Avenue at North 12th Street, with some 150 vendors hawking everything from antiques and vintage clothing to curated jewelry and crafts by local artisans. (brooklynflea.com)

Brooklyn Bowl, at 61 Wythe Avenue and North 12 Street, is an amalgam of bowling lanes, food from Blue Ribbon, bars serving local craft beers, and live performances. (brooklynbowl.com)

Williamsburg is a quick subway, bus, cab, or bike ride to Manhattan, but ferries are also an option. Ferries run from North Sixth Street and from Schaefer Landing, at 440 Kent Avenue near South 11th Street, to locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Governor’s Island. Fares range from $4 to $6 each way, with all-day and monthly passes available. A $1 surcharge is added for bicycles. (eastriverferry.com)

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