When Compass Real Estate’s Barak/Blackburn team took over sales and marketing for the Williamsberry, a 60-unit converted condo in south Williamsburg, Christine Blackburn wasted no time starting on a rebrand.
First on the agenda: changing the building’s name.
“Putting ‘william’ in front of a building’s name had been exhausted,” says Blackburn, licensed associate real estate broker. “And the buyers coming to Williamsburg already know the area. We don’t need to sell them on it.”
Besides, she says, “The name was the antithesis of what’s interesting about that neighborhood — being creative, doing something unique. ‘Williamsberry’ was neither creative nor unique.”
About the name, continues Blackburn, “it was trying too hard. It didn’t need to be anything other than straight and to the point. Everybody knows where Berry Street is. It has cachet.” Thus, 338 Berry.
With their marketing, Blackburn emphasized the building’s south Williamsburg location, and its proximity to the J/M/Z lines and the East River Ferry. “We certainly played that up, against north Williamsburg,” she says about the transportation options. “Residents needn’t worry when the L train shuts down in 18 months.”
For the restaging, they brought in New Design Project, residents of Williamsburg who instilled an appropriate sensibility, selecting furniture specifically for the building, as well as artwork. “We wanted it to reflect the neighborhood’s cast-iron, arty aesthetic,” she says, comparing the neighborhood to Tribeca and parts of SoHo.
She adds about the staging, “It was also about having colors that pop — and staying away from too much beige.”
Converted from an early 20th century noodle factory, 338 Berry, located at the corner of South 5th Street, features 12-foot ceilings, exposed beams, Liebherr and Bertazzoni appliances, Italian cabinetry, slab countertops and backsplashes, and 7-inch-wide white oak flooring.
In addition to a doorman, there’s a private gym with a Peloton bike, garden with fire pit, bicycle storage, rooftop lounge and roof terrace.
The rebranding clicked — helped by instituting regular sales-office hours on-site four days a week to capture foot traffic. In the first few months, Blackburn and team put nearly a dozen deals in contract — with designers, fashion industry types, and other creatives. So far, more than 50 percent of the units are sold and already occupied.
“I got a note from a neighbor who owned a townhouse a few doors down,” says Blackburn, “saying ‘thank you so much for rebranding this building, and doing it justice, it looks beautiful and we’re so happy to have these new neighbors.'”
Says Blackburn, “That’s the first time in my 16 years in real estate that has happened.”
Studios start at $650,000, two-bedrooms at $1.6 million, three-bedrooms at $2.6 million and four-bedrooms at $4.3 million.
For more information, visit the 338 Berry website.