Late last year, John Hermanowski’s six-story, 14-unit mixed-use building topped out at 263 Bedford Avenue, in northwestern Williamsburg, and now the building has landed a retail tenant, according to Commercial Observer. Martha’s Country Bakery will take 3,300 square feet of space on the ground floor, and an additional 4,000 square feet in the cellar. The residential units above will spread across 18,265 square feet of space, for average units of 1,305 square feet. The bakery will open in early 2016 once the building finishes, and Jung Wor Chin is the architect of record.
Sanjana Shiraz, operating under an anonymous LLC, has filed applications for a three-story, six-unit residential building at 438 Humboldt Street, in northern Williamsburg, four blocks from the L train at Graham and Metropolitan avenues. The building will total 9,936 square feet, and units will be split up two per floor, except the top-floor units, which will also share a mezzanine level. Condominiums are likely planned, as units will average a relatively spacious 1,656 square feet apiece. New Jersey-based Schneider Associates is the applicant of record, and a three-story townhouse must first be demolished.
Williamsburg has developed a reputation for unattractive modern architecture, but some architects are pursuing more traditional, factory-inspired designs. Today YIMBY can reveal a simple brick look for 535 Lorimer Street, a five-story apartment building planned between Ainslie and Devoe Streets, near the L and G trains at Metropolitan Avenue.
Earlier this spring, glass installation began at the two-story, 50,000 square-foot Whole Foods building at 242 Bedford Avenue, in northwestern Williamsburg, and now the building’s exterior appears to be nearing completion, Brownstoner reports. At the end of Berry Street, the building takes on a more industrial look, clad in brick rather than Bedford Avenue’s glassy envelope. Aurora Capital Associates and Midtown Equities are developing, and opening is expected in the spring of 2016.
Blesso Properties has acquired the former Lincoln Savings Bank building and the 13,000 square-foot parking lot at 525-545 Broadway, in southern Williamsburg, for $32.8 million; the site was placed on the market a year ago. According to Curbed, the assemblage includes 190,000 square feet of development rights, and a mixed-use building, with 100 rental units and a 15,000 square-foot roof deck is planned for the vacant lot. The existing 60,300 square-foot bank building will also be redeveloped, and the project is located right beneath the J and M trains’ Lorimer Street stop.
As the Rabsky Group plans to rezone an industrial swath of Williamsburg’s Broadway Triangle for a huge residential development, other landlords are converting the area’s commercial buildings to apartments and retail. Schlomo Landau has filed alteration applications to expand a two-story storefront at 687 Flushing Avenue to a nine-story apartment building.
In October of 2014, YIMBY revealed renderings of the six-story, 23-unit mixed-use building planned at 95 South 5th Street, in western Williamsburg, and now the building is topped out, according to Curbed. Horrigan Development and Pilot Real Estate Group are developing the project, while Standard Architects is designing. A 675 square-foot dining establishment is planned on the ground floor, and units will average 790 square feet in the 18,575 square-foot structure.
As property values skyrocket in the low-slung eastern edges of Williamsburg, small developers are searching for ways to boost a site’s density without spending exorbitant amounts of money on construction. Increasingly, they file their developments as alterations, rather than new buildings, which allows them to avoid building expensive underground parking. And the J-51 abatement gives landlords a break on their property taxes, in exchange for preserving at least 50% of the old building and keeping the new units rent-stabilized for up to 20 years. One of these enterprising developers has filed alteration applications to expand a little three-story brick apartment building at 196 Montrose Avenue, on the corner of Humboldt Street.
Work has begun on a seven-story, 17-unit mixed-use building at 49 Broadway, in Williamsburg, two blocks in from the East River, according to DNAinfo. Hess Management is developing the 17,207 square-foot building, which will feature 5,293 of commercial-retail space on the ground and second levels. A 352 square-foot doctors office is planned on the ground floor, and starting on the third floor, residential units averaging 680 square feet begin. Jeffrey Kamen is designing.
Developer Moishe Loketch of the Loketch Group got a little press earlier this year when he talked to the Awl’s Brendan O’Connor about his two-year-old condo project in Canarsie, Loft 87. Now YIMBY has the first look at a very different sort of Loketch Group project—a three-story expansion of a low-slung storefront with apartments at 207 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg.