Aptsandlofts Says Bedford Stuyvesant Is the New Williamsburg

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“I’m seeing in Bed-Stuy what I saw happen in Williamsburg in 2002,” said David Maundrell, founder and president of Aptsandlofts. “We’ve been working out there for a very long time.”

The company has just rented its third Brooklyn office, which will be located in Bed Stuy at 308 Malcolm X Boulevard between MacDonough and Decatur streets, Crain’s reported. Maundrell, who grew up in Williamsburg, opened his first office there in 2002, and last year opened a second office in Cobble Hill. The firm was an early catalyst in Williamsburg’s growth, and often advised developers renovating old tenements about the kind of design its clients favored over the standard Home Depot approach. More recently, it has become known for marketing a high proportion of the neighborhood’s new luxury rentals, such as 53 Broadway and 50 North 5th.

The new office will focus on a “large collection of new condominium units, as well as commercial and retail spaces, that will soon be hitting the market in Bed Stuy and the surrounding neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Clinton Hill and Bushwick,” said Crain’s. Aptsandlofts plans to hire 45 more agents (bringing the total head count at the firm to 150) and open its doors in January.

The new offices are located in the same building as real estate developer Brookland Capital, which recently bought the building and opened its own offices there. Aptsandlofts joins many other medium-sized and neighborhood based real estate firms, including Evans & Nye, Flateau Realty Corp., and Stuyvesant Heights Brokerage.

“As low inventory and high costs push more prospective buyers and renters into Bed Stuy, sales transactions have been heating up,” said the story. Maundrell “has seen families move into the neighborhood and plunk down $1 million to convert a three-family home into one just for themselves, something that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.” The neighborhood’s blocks of brownstones “are more reminiscent of Cobble Hill” than Williamsburg, said Maundrell.

Do you agree Bed Stuy is the new Williamsburg? How do you think the area is changing?

Bed Stuy Eyed as Next Williamsburg [Crain's]

26 Comment

  • “Do you agree Bed Stuy is the new Williamsburg?”

    No; the neighborhoods are very different and IMO Bedford Stuyvesant is far more attractive. I suspect that anyone older than 22 is likely to agree.

    • when someone says something is “the new williamsburg” it has nothing to do with architecture

      • Maybe not, but the OP has a good point. Most of what attracted people to Williamsburg was the huge open spaces (back in the day) and the old industrial buildings. Bed Stuy’s architectural structure is radically different, and that is going to have an effect on how it changes.

      • DH, I never said or thought it did. Simply agreeing with Bob that it is a much more attractive nabe in terms of the architecture. Everyone is going to have a different opinion as to what they believe Bed Stuy, or any other up and coming neighborhood for that matter, is appearing to trend towards. All that really matters is that you are happy where you live and your surroundings embrace you just as you embrace your surroundings. In my limited time here, I see a very strong sense of community: more small-town than big city, a sense of pride towards the neighborhood from my neighbors who have been here for decades, and a respect and caring between neighbors that was lacking in other neighborhoods I have lived in. I just hope that quality is NEVER lost regardless of where people believe the essence of Bed Stuy is heading.

  • just maundrell trying to push up the market to make more money.

    where’s the “aptsandlofts is a brownstoner.com advertiser” disclaimer?

  • And so the juggernaut continues. As more buyers “plunk down” 1 million, what happens to the long term residents, or anyone with a limited amount of money who seeks to live in Bed-Stuy? And what happens to storefronts that are probably hungry for upscale businesses? This is one of DeBlasiio’s problems—how can he unite the “two New Yorks” , if gentrification keeps pushing hard in places like Bed-Stuy, Bushwick and Crown Heights.? It looks like he has his work cut out for him, if he truly believes in solving the problem.

  • NO NO NO NO ! We do not want WIlliamsburg part 2 here… We like a sense of community where people say hello, the parade of people going to Church on Sundays. kids playing on the streets, non crowed sidewalks etc. Bedford Stuyvesant has always and still dose have its own identity which is not Williamsburg.

  • I definitely don’t agree that Bed-Stuy is the new Williamsburg. God help me. If that’s the case then get me out of Bed-Stuy! My guess is that comment is designed to market the neighborhood to a certain wanna-be demographic that wants to be trendy but is not exactly informed. If there’s a “new Williamsburg” it’s Franklin Ave north of Eastern Pkwy.

  • Bed Stuy is the new Park Slope.

  • aptsandlofts, you have not been in Williamsburg for a long, long time. You have existed for a little more than a decade. It’s not that long.

  • If David Maundrell thinks that Bed Stuy is the next Williamsburg and not the ‘next Park Slope’, then this guy is not very intuitive. Doesn’t take a moron to see the housing similarities between Bed Stuy and Park Slope and that families (not young fresh out of college artists) are buying the townhouses.

  • I think we are all of the same mind on here re: Mr. Maundrell’s comments about Bed-Stuy being the next Williamsburg. I do hope, though, that they bring some vision to the “commercial and retail spaces” category, with particular attention paid to the spaces along Reid, Patchen, and Ralph Ave.’s, all of which have an amazing amount of potential to serve the local community. It is already beginning to happen on Reid where Maundrell’s company will be putting out its shingle, and on the other avenues to a certain extent.

  • Bed-Stuy is the current Bedford Stuyvesant. Oh wait that doesn’t serve anyone’s agenda. Nevermind!

  • I believe Maundrell is making the comparion only relating to how Williamsburg boomed since 2002; and I agree with him that Bed Stuy is now where Williamsburg was in 2002 and will experience the same boom that Williamsburg went through since. Overall I agree with Maudrell…and if he didn’t truly believe in what he is saying, then he would have not opened his 3rd location in Bed Stuy. He would have gone to Greenpoint or LIC.

    Need to keep in mind that many homes are selling at million plus bringing in more young professional and young families with higher incomes. This will will lead to having better facilities (higher end restaurants, stores, drycleaners, coffee shops etc….), improved schools etc…which will in turn bring more professionals and the cycle goes on..
    Just check the area around Hancock St/Jefferson Av. and Bedford Av. Brookland Capital already has a development in its final stage; then Bedford Hall just oppened across the street; a month later a sign came up for Coffee Grind.

  • @Brooklyn72, you hit the bullseye. I too believe that is what Mr. Maundrell meant with his comparison. Bed Stuy has a different dynamic so our hot will look different from Williamsburgs hot. Hot none the less.

  • North Crown heights is more like the early days of willamsburg than bed sty. Franklin ave is like Bedford back in the day when verb coffee was the only spot on the avenue and members of grizzly bears served you coffee. Crown heights also has the industrial and residential mix that bed sty lacks. Both neighborhoods are huge so it’s hard to label them. But as an old school wburg kid living in north crown heights it feels like south Wburg circa 2004 when Diner, Marlow and Pies and Thighs were making things happen. Things that can never happen in Brooklyn heights, ft Greene, Clinton hill and even prospect heights because the rents are too high.

  • Williamsburg was a majority industrial conversions so it didn’t take that much away from the existing community, the conversions created a new community. Bed Stuy is not a factory conversion neighborhood, these are homes in a “true” neighborhood that are being jacked up in price so rapidly that the Avg person can not achieve home ownership. Its unfair. But as my English teacher always said “fare is what you pay on a bus”…so I guess the Avg Brooklynite will have to move out of state or Long Island because theres no way a family of 2-4 making 100-150k a year (that # is generous) could afford a million dollar+ townhouse near a train in Bed Stuy…Crown Heights…Bushwick…Clinton Hill…Fort Greene…Carrol Gardens…Park Slope…Windsor Terrace…Ditmas Park…Sunset Park…Greenwood….Gowanus….Boerum Hill…Red Hook…Prospect Heights…did I miss any???, not counting any southern Brooklyn neighborhoods since they really haven’t been jacked up in price since the commute to work is an extra half hour each way (thank god) I guess the rest of Brooklyn is only for the 1% now…Sad considering Brooklyn has always been the blue collar working mans boro. Its gone white collar way to quick and its not fair to people who’ve invested their lives in this boro to buy a home who no longer can, forget buying lol how about renting???? $2400 for a 2BR in Bed Stuy, 3k for a 2BR in Bushwick close to Williamsburg!!! 6k a month for a 2BR in Ft Greene!!! Come on. What’s going to happen to the Avg Brooklynite??? Extinct, that’s what.

    Think about that for a second.

    • All of the neighborhoods that you mention have either beautiful housing stock, proximity to Manhattan, or both. As crime has fallen in those areas, it’s not surprising that demographic and socioeconomic changes have followed. Many of the people who moved to Brooklyn starting in the mid-late 1990s were priced out of neighborhoods in Manhattan. Many of the people moving out further East in Brooklyn were priced out of neighborhoods such as Cobble Hill, Park Slope, DUMBO or Fort Greene. Many of these people work hard, have families, and love living in Brooklyn. Where should they go?

      It is possible to buy a brownstone in BedStuy on an income of $100k — the banks count 70% of the rental income toward your income if there are existing tenants. In a city with a limited supply of brownstones and a growing population, it’s also true that not everyone who wants a brownstone will be able to afford one. At the same time, the market has created enormous wealth for owners of Brownstones in gentrifying areas. At least 35% of the brownstones in Bed Stuy were owned by long-time Bed Stuy residents. A brownstone that would have sold for $200,000 just a decade ago is now often worth well over $1 million. This market has dramatically improved the financial prospects of long time owners.

      Bed Stuy and Crown Heights brownstones were not astronomically priced just a few years ago. Even 18 months ago, there were brownstones priced in the $700-$800k range in the more desirable parts of Bed Stuy and Crown Heights. My friend bought her brownstone for $500k, just 3 years ago. Another friend’s mother bought a brownstone in Bed Stuy for $450k last year and it’s now worth nearly double. The Brooklyn of the past 15 years has provided incredible opportunities to create wealth in real estate by taking a chance on neighborhoods that are deemed too dangerous, or too lacking in amenities by “white collar” buyers. Those who took chances have been rewarded over and over again. Those who didn’t….

      The average person could have bought in Bed Stuy or Crown Heights for the price of a Brooklyn Heights studio apartment up until a few years ago, when everything changed. It’s unfortunate that long time residents cannot afford to live in their neighborhoods of choice — regardless of the color of their collar — but the displacers are also the displaced. The City should do more to make affordable housing available. In the mean time, if I was making $100k and wanted to buy a home, I’d be looking in Ridgewood, or somewhere else in Queens where prices haven’t gone through the roof yet.