It’s Tough to Live Large in Williamsburg

The Journal has a story today about how there aren’t enough family-size apartments to go around in Williamsburg, in part because developers didn’t anticipate the neighborhood becoming a destination for families during the building boom. Edge developer Jeffrey Levine, for example, says that “years turned hipsters into parents” since he started developing in the neighborhood. While only 5 percent of the Edge’s units are three-bedrooms, Levine intends to make 10 percent of the units in his project on the Northside Piers 3 site three-beds. The article also has quotes from some would-be buyers with babies who live in the neighborhood about how it’s very difficult to find spaces that are big enough for their families: One woman who has been looking to upgrade from a two-bedroom for three years says her hunt has been fruitless because the few three-bedrooms that do exist “tend to go quickly.” Here’s a stat to back up the anecdotal evidence: According to the brokerage MNS, only 13 percent of for-sale apartments in Williamsburg are 1,500 square feet or larger, while on the Upper West Side, “two-thirds of the inventory is larger than 1,500 square feet.”
Brooklyn Feels a Pinch [WSJ]
Photo by barek176

16 Comment

  • Well maybe if when the builders design these new buildings they will stop making studio apartments and make apartments bigger where a real family can actually live.

    Maybe a big living room, maybe a real full size kitchen that is not included in a corner of the Living Room space and that a decent size table and 4 chairs can fit.

    Maybe 3 real size bedroom’s, not 8 x 10 closets…

    gee ya think this could ever happen.

    I never understood all these buildings with like 20 studios???, makes no sense

    • i think developers totally misjudged how the demographics in williamsburg would shift. i don’t think anyone would have guessed it would turn into a Park Slope v 2.0.

      but it’s not like those buildings with 20 studios didn’t rent them out.

      and once again, no one cares about having a formal dining room with a table and chairs.

      • I don’t have a dining room but a dining area that seats 6 and I use it almost every day to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

        I too never understood these small apts that developers built. There’s no room for furniture and not enough closets for stuff.

  • Well maybe if when the builders design these new buildings they will stop making studio apartments and make apartments bigger where a real family can actually live.

    Maybe a big living room, maybe a real full size kitchen that is not included in a corner of the Living Room space and that a decent size table and 4 chairs can fit.

    Maybe 3 real size bedroom’s, not 8 x 10 closets…

    gee ya think this could ever happen.

    I never understood all these buildings with like 20 studios???, makes no sense

  • There are plenty of 3 and 4 bedroom apartments on the south side, you just need to sacrifice a living room.

  • There are plenty of 3 and 4 bedroom apartments on the south side, you just need to sacrifice a living room.

  • I prefer a formal dining room (and luckily, in Crown Heights, I can afford one) and enjoy having 10 or 12 people over for dinner. What I can’t abide is those cooking or sink islands with three stools along one side. There is something to be said for trying to have the family sit around a table together for many of its meals. The type of conversation and unity that can be fostered there will never be duplicated when people graze as they pass by an island. I know that times change, but change is not always for the better.

    • 7.15pm every weekday in our dining room eating and talking!
      My wife wants to knock down the wall between the dining room and the kitchen but I’m holding out.
      I think those islands are just for a quick snack, breakfast etc.

      • I agree with you, dittoburg; that’s what islands are supposed to be for. But, lacking a real dining room or a table and chairs in the kitchen, I doubt these families ever actually eat a meal at the same table unless they are at a restaurant.

      • I agree with you, dittoburg; that’s what islands are supposed to be for. But, lacking a real dining room or a table and chairs in the kitchen, I doubt these families ever actually eat a meal at the same table unless they are at a restaurant.

  • Burg residents are sounding like city dwellers who won’t live outside of manhattan because they can’t. Ridiculous! There is plenty of wonderful housing stock in brooklynand queens and if the would consider home ownership they may find 3/4&5 bedrooms with a yard. To me it is foolish to be so narrow minded.

  • I’ve heard of people who routinely have huge families in Williamsburg and house them somehow–they’re called Hasidim. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, what a bloody tone-deaf bit of journalistic stupidity to do a story about “Williamsburg” and not even acknowledge that these folks, whose core values include (1) staying put and (2) having huge families, share the same geographic community. If nothing else, the paradox is worth examination. (How the hell do they house those huge families?) Instead, we learn that a 30-something Pilates teacher and mother of 2 can’t bear to look for an apartment anywhere but Williamsburg because of the…restaurants. (Oh, and the “sense of place.”) I’ve heard there are also Latino people in Williamsburg and that they, too, have been known to procreate and seek housing. The reporter could have gone totally hog-wild and added them to the mix. Guess they don’t call it the “Wall Street” Journal for nuthin’…

  • It wasn’t a mistake. The developers wanted to maximize their return on investment.

  • It wasn’t a mistake. The developers wanted to maximize their return on investment.