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Your guide to Williamsburg NYC


Your Guide To Williamsburg NYC

When you think of cool, trendy neighborhoods scattered across New York City, you might picture hole-in-the-wall restaurants and dive bars scattered among clubs, fancy high rises, and a bustling nightlife. If you could easily see yourself living in a locale like this, you need to keep Williamsburg on your radar during your next home hunt.

This Brooklyn neighborhood rose to prominence over the past two decades and has since become eponymous with the coolest part of Brooklyn and an ideal area to take in everything the city has to offer. While many folks associate this part of town with great food and a fun bar scene, Williamsburg offers way more than you might expect just below its surface. In order to truly understand everything this hot area of NYC has in store for those looking for a new home, you need to understand how this part of Brooklyn evolved.

The Origins of Williamsburg

Williamsburg may have emerged as one of the trendiest parts of NYC in recent years, but this area didn’t start off as one of the most desirable places to live. According to CUNY, the Dutch East India Company first laid the groundwork for the modern neighborhood when they purchased the land from Native Americans in 1638 and set up the town of Boswijik by 1661. The settlement, which later took the name Bushwick, included a neighborhood called Williamsburgh. This part of Bushwick drew its name from Colonel Jonathan Williams, the individual who first surveyed the land.

The small town had its fair share of growing pains. Abode reports that the area struggled until it had a functioning system of roads that connected it together and to other parts of Brooklyn. The area additionally faced a small real estate crash in 1832, but everything changed when a handful of wealthy European captains of labor identified the land as prime real estate to build factories on. Williamsburgh kept steadily growing and became a city in 1852. Just three years later, the area dropped the “h” in its name and incorporated into Brooklyn.

This small city adjacent to Manhattan quickly garnered attention from industrialists and soon, a ton of factories started opening their doors in the area. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Astral Oil, and Brooklyn Flint Glass set up shop in the area and joined a number of shipping wharfs, mills, and refineries that transformed the bustling area into an industrial megacenter. Thanks to the quick influx of business, Williamsburg once controlled 10% of wealth in America and figures like Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jim Fiske built mansions along Williamsburg’s waterfront.

20th-Century Williamsburg

By the 20th century, Williamsburg served as a popular destination for immigrants fleeing persecution and harsh living conditions in Europe and the neighborhood had some of the densest concentrations of residents in the entire NYC area. By the 1960s, a number of highways and roads rose up throughout Williamsburg, but a wide swathe of housing had to get leveled in order to accommodate the new roads. Many residents ended up losing their homes due to the infrastructure development and conditions only got harder — industrial jobs in Williamsburg slowly dried up, and by the 1990’s, over 70,000 factory jobs left the area.

The low rents of the 1990’s attracted artists and writers to Williamsburg NYC, and the neighborhood began its transformation into a hipster paradise. The neighborhood continues to evolve and shift as the area gets rezoned and redistricted, making it an incredibly fluid place to call home.

What Makes Williamsburg Stand Out?

New York City hosts some very cool neighborhoods, but few hip locales match Williamsburg NYC. Condé Nast Traveler points out that this area continues to make waves thanks to the Bohemian image projected by the abundant cafes, galleries, and bars that line the streets. The L train cuts through Williamsburg, making it easily accessible by public transportation and anyone who loves a good brunch should have no problem finding a restaurant in the vicinity that offers up something unique.

The walkability of Williamsburg NYC easily allows folks to access some incredible beer halls, record stores, vintage shops, and wineries. NYC Go also found that Williamsburg hosts a solid handful of boutique hotels that can give tourists a trendy spot to spend a few days, especially if they start to get bored of Manhattan. The proximity to Manhattan also allows anyone the chance to enjoy the iconic NYC skyline any time of day, making it an excellent destination to stroll through on a pleasant day.

What are the Most Scenic Parts of Williamsburg?

Williamsburg NYC may have made its way into the public consciousness thanks to its cool and artsy image, but the area also lays claim to a ton of parks and outdoor activities. According to Loving New York, locals and tourists alike shouldn’t miss strolling across the Williamsburg Bridge. This very-bikeable bridge offers a gorgeous view of Manhattan and Domino Park, and is equally fun to cross on-foot.

Once you cross the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, you shouldn’t miss Domino Park. The green space ranks as one of the newest parks in NYC, but it draws its name from the Domino sugar factory, which continues to sit dormant next to the park as a reminder of Williamsburg’s industrial past.

If you find yourself on the north end of the neighborhood, you can’t miss McCarren Park. While this park doesn’t rack up a reputation like Central Park or Prospect Park, McCarren Park helps connect Williamsburg NYC to Greenpoint and offers a bridge between neighborhoods in Brooklyn. On a nice day, you can expect this green space to feel just as alive as any other park in NYC and gives locals a respite from the factories and old industrial centers that continue to define the architecture of the neighborhood. These iconic green spaces have helped define the neighborhood and have lent a distinct character to the ever-evolving area.

What is the Price of a Home in Williamsburg?

If you want to move to your ideal home in Williamsburg NYC, make sure you know what parts of the neighborhood work best for you. Best Neighborhood found that on average, an apartment rental should set you back about $1,892 per month. This amount finds itself slightly above the average NYC rent of $1,670, making the neighborhood more expensive than most parts of the city.

If you do decide to rent, you can find cheaper prices in the southeast parts of the neighborhood. The northwestern sections of Williamsburg still garner a higher price, especially in the areas that touch Greenpoint.

Buying up a house in Williamsburg NYC proves even more daunting, as the average price hovers around $1,176,506. Despite higher-than-average prices, a wide variety of condos and buildings are up for sale in the area. You could potentially snatch up a trendy studio for $650,000 or a sleek condo for $925,000.

Anyone who does feel tempted by these price tags should get a move on and find their new home soon — a ton of attractive changes are in store for Williamsburg and these home prices might continue to creep higher as the neighborhood gets even better.

The Future of Williamsburg

For years, local New Yorkers had to make the trek out to Far Rockaway or Coney Island if they wanted to soak up some rays at the beach. Time Out found that locals will no longer have to endure commutes that could stretch several hours if they want to enjoy some time at the beach, thanks to a new development project springing up in Williamsburg NYC. Officials plan to transform a 2.9 acre waterfront stretch of land into a functional beach starting in 2024, and the new outdoor space should also feature an amphitheater and YMCA. The proposed area is just north of Domino Park, making the outdoor accommodations of Williamsburg that much more appealing.

Developers also have big plans for the other end of Williamsburg. The Real Deal reports that several real estate firms intend to start building luxury units on the east end of the neighborhood amid factories and former industrial sites. As the area continues to attract more residents, a swathe of potential buyers have sought out more luxury options in the area. If you love the idea of moving into a sparkling new unit in Williamsburg NYC, this news couldn’t come at a better time. The new developments continue to spring up, making this the perfect time to start looking at new properties.

Don’t let the pressure of a housing hunt turn you off from finding your dream home. If you can easily imagine yourself in the middle of the hip Williamsburg scene, NewDevRev has real estate experts ready to assist anyone who is ready to start looking for a new condo, apartment, or house. These real estate experts have the know-how to get you on the path to a new home.

Start your Brooklyn apartment search today!