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Neighborhood by the Numbers: Renting in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg is one of the most exciting and popular neighborhoods in New York these days — on either side of the East River. Starting in the mid to late 1990s, artists — the early adopters of the gentrification cycle — who found themselves priced out of Manhattan started flocking to the area.  Low rents, large loft spaces in converted warehouses, and the proximity to the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village made the neighborhood an attractive option.


Williamsburg, Brooklyn

New towers loom amidst old warehouses in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images)

The section of Williamsburg that has seen the most new development over the last 10 years — from S. Sixth Street to N. 11th Street and from Bedford Avenue to the East River — was primarily a commercial and industrial zone comprised of large factories and warehouses full of DIY loft spaces. Artists, hipsters and recent college graduates flocked to this slice of Brooklyn for the aforementioned cheap rents and large spaces, and created a neighborhood with a tremendous cache for innovative art spectacles, late-night dance parties and amazing food. Once the waterfront was rezoned for residential development, a massive construction boom began to reshape the area, with luxury high rises like The Edge and Northside Piers — and the impending Domino Sugar Factory complex — the result.

From its somewhat humble beginnings as a refuge for artists and a home to distinct Polish, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Hasidic communities, Williamsburg has become a destination for New York’s most wealthy and trendsetting renters and buyers. There are still deals to be found close to the Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Greenpoint borders; the area near the elevated JMZ lines on Broadway, for example, remains reasonable but is also defined by an older housing stock. However, the heart of the neighborhood, adjacent to the Bedford Avenue L stop, is increasingly defined by new construction condos with a luxury feel.

The new developments in Williamsburg are a high-end renter’s dream, offering everything from in-house concierge services, gyms, and recreation rooms, to private cabanas, pools, balconies or outdoor space, and even putting greens. With the new zoning laws governing development along and near the waterfront, many newer buildings in the neighborhood offer unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline.

One bedroom apartments start around $2,500 a month and can rent for as much as $5,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment on a high floor in a luxury high-rise with unobstructed Manhattan views and access to full amenities and extras, such as a video intercom, central air conditioning, high-end stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, radiant heat flooring and a private balcony.  Two-bedroom apartments start around $2,500 a month and can run up to $6,000 a month for a luxury building in the part of the neighborhood considered prime.

Yes, 11211 has become the zip code to watch thanks to cutting-edge dining, nightlife and arts venues, with hot spots like the Wythe Hotel, Output and Brooklyn Bowl dominating cultural life in this area. Luckily the neighborhood offers housing opportunities for a variety of budgets, and for those who find themselves priced out, Greenpoint, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy are all easily accessible from the center of the action.

See apartments for rent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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