Mostly Rentals, Growing Williamsburg Condo Market Is Largely Untapped

Williamsburg is continuing a run of totally new constructions, particularly in condos and hotels, which may ultimately be attributed to the neighborhood’s individual branding over the past years and its consequently shifting demographics.

As an off-beat cultural hub, it attracted young creatives as renters, and to be sure, the bulk of housing inventory in the area still consists largely of rental properties — but a palpable shift has developers constructing more totally new condos in the trendy neighborhood.  One example is the 13-unit 538 Union Avenue in Williamsburg by the border of Greenpoint.  In South Williamsburg, the full-block Oosten sits on the waterfront at 429 Kent Avenue, channeling the area’s past while still keeping contemporary.

Hotels, too, are beginning to crop up at a faster rate in an area that had been previously lacking.  The Wythe, now fairly iconic to the neighborhood, is a boutique hotel with a tailored interior design to match the neighborhood’s aesthetic mix of old industrial and clean-cut modern; boutique hotels were largely absent in the borough up until its opening — at the outset of its development, hotelier Richard Born of BD Hotels commented to the New York Observer, “I said, ‘It’s too early and you’re developing too nice a hotel for the local market, and there’s not enough demand here.’”  Clearly, that changed as it became apparent that Williamsburg had become a tourist destination.  He is now involved in the borough’s new Pod Hotel location, informed by data collected from the Manhattan location that showed its guests were looking for routes to Brooklyn.  Pod Hotels cut in the direction opposite of the Wythe, electing for entirely modern design elements and small quarters.

Elsewhere, construction at the long-stalled B2 BKLYN is starting back up, with Forest City apparently taking full control of production of the Pacific Park tower.