G Train at Court Square via Wikipedia
In response to the looming 15th-month L train shutdown, which will affect its nearly 225,000 daily riders beginning April 2019, real estate developers have started looking at Williamsburg’s hip and slightly cheaper neighbors, Greenpoint and South Williamsburg. Both areas sit nearby the G, J, M and Z trains, and in the past have offered a variety of housing options at cheaper prices. According to the New York Times, as developers begin their plunge into Greenpoint, sites along these train lines have become pricier and more difficult to lock down.
Rendering of the Gibraltar at 160 West Street in Greenpoint, via Gibraltar
Architecture and development firm Mortar has secured three development sites along the G train; they plan to build 10- to 20-unit projects with one on Frost Street in Northern Williamsburg and two in Greenpoint, on Diamond and another on Eagle Street. Mortar’s founder Anthony Morena told the Times: “There were already a lot of natural drivers pushing people into Greenpoint, but the L train shutdown has meant more people paying attention to it. We’ve had buyers who were looking strictly at Williamsburg who have started looking at other options.”
Units at a new condo called the Gibraltar at 160 West Street in Greenpoint are going for more than $1,500 per square foot, compared to older units that ask for about $1,000 per square foot. And while developers are quickly scoping out areas along the G, J, M, and Z trains before the L train closes for 15 months, Jonathan Miller of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel said the year-and-a-half shutdown won’t permanently change the structure of these northern Brooklyn neighborhoods, but it moves up the timetable for new developments to take off.
While the G train offers less than ideal service and doesn’t run to Manhattan, it has become more attractive for many Brooklynites to live along as alternative transportation services, like Citi Bike and Uber, continue to grow in popularity. The impending L train shutdown has also increased investor demand for properties along the J, M, Z trains, which serve Williamsburg, Bushwick and Manhattan nabes. However, once the L train’s renovations are complete, it’s likely to reign once again as the best and most reliable subway. In 2016, the L train tied for first for best performing train along with the 1 and 7 trains.
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