Williamsburg is the epitome of modern New York: an old working-class neighborhood that has transformed into an upscale residential community (with character!) and a nightlife destination. The story of Williamsburg is similar to the story of many of modern New York’s other popular neighborhoods. Artists began moving to the area in the 1990’s to take advantage of its convenience to Manhattan via the L train. Residential real estate development in the ‘Burg would have happened naturally, but the 2005 rezoning of north Brooklyn’s waterfront put the neighborhood’s development on the fast track. Today, Williamsburg is one of New York’s most desirable ZIP codes for its convenience, its charm, and for its stunning views of Manhattan.
Williamsburg is a huge neighborhood that is bounded by the east river to the west; Flushing Avenue to the south; Bushwick Avenue to the east; and by North 15th Street / McCarren Park to the north. The areas to the west of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and north of Grand Street are more desirable than the outer reaches of the neighborhood thanks to their close proximity to the L train and to McCarren Park. Waterfront homes are the most desirable homes, and they are almost exclusively high-rise condominiums. But buyers can still find new, modern homes in every section of the neighborhood. Unlike Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo, Williamsburg is mostly free of historic district and landmark restrictions. That has opened the neighborhood up to real estate development, leading to plenty of new condominium inventory. Occasionally, a charming townhouse will hit the market in the ‘Burg.
Williamsburg buyers are buyers who want to live in the center of Brooklyn’s action. It’s perfect for those who don’t need to be in Manhattan, but who still want the charm and conveniences that they might find in the East Village or the Lower East Side. And those views!
The neighborhood to the east of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is sometimes called East Williamsburg thanks to its affordability and its noticeable lack of high-rise condominiums that line the waterfront. We think it’s a helpful distinction to make: those who want to live in the heart of the neighborhood will not settle for anything else, while those looking for something more affordable will know to focus on homes labeled East. But even if your next home ends up being on the outskirts of the neighborhood, you will still only have to take a short walk to reach the heart of the action. That’s the beauty of living in New York City.