Williamsburg, where the L train shutdown will soon take effect, via Wiki Commons
In a city with fewer car owners than nearly any other location in North America, it should come as no surprise that subway access is a key factor for most New Yorkers when they go on the housing market. In fact, many New Yorkers won’t even consider renting or buying if the address is more than a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway. This explains why some neighborhoods, including Greenpoint, which has a subway but not one that leads to Manhattan, and Alphabet City, which doesn’t have a subway at all, have long reported lower real estate values and rental prices that their nearest neighbors. However, there are growing signs that subway access may no longer matter as much as it once did.
While subway access remains important, it is increasingly no longer a deal breaker for developers or prospective tenants. In today’s real estate market, a growing number of developers are pouring money into developments located off the subway line, and many tenants don’t seem to mind. This may also explain why not all developers with projects located along the L line are worried about the pending shutdown, which is now slated to begin in April 2019.