City Living: East Williamsburg has a multi-layered history
East Williamsburg, often written off as nothing more than a hipster hood, is an up-and-coming Brooklyn nabe with a friendly community feel, a multi-layered history, and a thriving artistic scene.
The answer to the question, Where is East Williamsburg? is often vastly different, ranging from anywhere near the Grand L stop to it doesnt exist.
Though hotly debated, the nabe is transforming too quickly to have one unanimous definition of boundaries.
Real estate in the area has changed quite a bit, in part because there is more infrastructure than several years ago, especially around Meserole, Montrose, and Johnson streets, said Rolan Sereny, the principal broker at and founder of Brick and Mortar, a Williamsburg real estate company. Lofts are the norm here in terms of new real estate.
The McKibbin lofts, infamous for more than a decade for raucous parties, bed bug scares and its rep as an art school dorm, may have started the trend, but other properties, especially around Siegel and Grand streets, are continuing it.
There are a lot of loft spaces there that are still available to convert with better prices per square foot than Williamsburg proper, Sereny said. There are more opportunities than Williamsburg because it is less over-developed.
According to a report by MNS Real Estate from July, the Williamsburg market saw losses in the second quarter of 2013, with price-per-square-foot decreasing 19% and median sales dropping 22%.
However, the report highlights East Williamsburg as an increasingly popular place to live, stating a majority of the new development sales occurred within East and South Williamsburg.
Reports from the Department of City Planning show the population of Brooklyn Community District 1, which includes East Williamsburg, increased nearly 8% from 2000 to 2010, one of the highest rates in the borough.
--By KATHARINE ULRICH
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