Every once in a while a real estate opportunity comes along that is too good to pass up, and this former firehouse at 411 Kent Avenue on the Williamsburg waterfront is a perfect example. The very definition of a creative Brooklyn loft, the existing 3,300-square foot, two-story building features massive open spaces, high ceilings, huge windows, multiple skylights, original wood floors, exposed brick, and completely exposed wood ceiling joists.
A view towards the Williamsburg Bridge. Image © Ray’s Tours
There has always been a somewhat “invisible” line dividing ritzier North Williamsburg and the once-grittier-but-now-gentrifying South Williamsburg neighborhood—and that southern portion’s border is generally considered to be from Grand Street to Division Avenue between Union Avenue and the East River. And though this south side of the neighborhood continues to be populated by a diverse group of residents, new amenity-filled developments are quickly attracting a younger population and pushing prices to match those in the northern part of the nabe. Here, we take a look at some of the most notable developments and a few cool listings bridging the gap ahead.
After years of searching for an industrial space to use as a studio and a comfortable home, a married couple—he’s a chef and food writer, she’s a sculptor—transformed this 3,500 square-foot ground-floor Williamsburg Loft into a well-balanced live/work space that includes a top tier kitchen and plenty of light and space for creating art.
MESH Architectures’ Atrium House Will Have You Saying “Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Williamsburg Anymore”, Sun, September 7, 2014
You’re not dreaming; this house is in Williamsburg. In fact, it harkens back to the neighborhood’s industrial roots and stays true to the low-scale character of the area. The navy blue cube was originally built as a garage that occupied the entire 22’ x 100’ lot, but when converted to residential use in 2011, NYC zoning regulations mandated that a certain percentage of the site be reserved for a yard. Enter MESH Architectures, the creative firm that devised a genius plan to incorporate the required outdoor space as an inner atrium, letting the outside in while still maintaining a sense of privacy.
The central space is composed of two volumes – a double-height great room and the courtyard surrounded by folding-glass doors on three sides. The great room, master bedroom, and bathroom sit behind these glass walls, seamlessly blending the indoors with the zen, outdoor area.
Williamsburg’s upcoming Level Hotel is right on track for its 2016 opening as construction continues moves full speed ahead at 55 Wythe Avenue. Back in July, architects Yohay Albo and Nick Liberis of Albo Liberis LLC were revealed as the brains behind the building’s ultra modern form, and it’s just been announced that Gunn Landscape Architecture will be taking charge of the expansive rooftop escape that will sit atop the retail pod of the futuristic hotel.
Restored from one of Williamsburg’s original turn-of-the-century factory buildings, the Factory Lofts at 66 North 1st Street made headlines for its unusual and controversial rooftop addition by architect Robert Scarano. But now that the dust has settled, this adaptive reuse project offers some of the most hip residences in Williamsburg.
Known for making the most of every inch of square footage, the Brooklyn-born Scarano has a knack for thoughtfully designed spaces like this one-bedroom condo with a mezzanine loft — his signature design element.
We often think of the street grid as New York’s greatest “master plan.” Officially known as the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, this put in place the original, gridded street pattern that we still know today. But there have been several other master plans that took shape on a smaller scale within the linear configuration of Manhattan. These planned communities were largely conceived to transform blighted or underutilized areas into suburban enclaves or peaceful oases within the big city. And just like the neighborhoods that grew organically among the street grid, these master-planned areas each have a unique character. They’ve also influenced a new crop of developments, currently under construction on the West Side and in Brooklyn.
In our humble opinion putting down roots in New York City should be on everyone’s bucket list. And that’s exactly what Friedrich Gretsch, an immigrant from Mannheim, Germany did in 1883, when he founded a small musical instrument shop in Brooklyn that later became a dynasty still in existence today. In 1916, as The Gretsch Company expanded, his son moved the operation to a mammoth ten-story factory at 60 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, now the site of this luxury residential condominium conversion by architect Karl Fischer and interior designer Andres Escobar & Associates completed in 2003.
Producer Jason Sosnoff–who has worked on such films as Analyze This, The Good Shephard, and You Don’t Know Jack—has just sold his Williamsburg town home for $2.95 million, according to city records. Not only is this single family home at 154 Wythe Avenue a rare find in a neighborhood characterized by warehouse remodels, it also features three floors, a finished basement, a landscaped garden and a rooftop deck. Sosnoff had the 4BR/2.5BA townhouse redesigned by CWB Architect’s Brendan Coburn, who said, “let there be light” and–oh wait, was that another story?
As New Yorkers we love to think of ourselves as original and cutting edge, but there’s no denying that many of us have a soft spot for things that harken back to gentler times. In a sea of towers and shiny new boutiques, Williamsburg‘s newest hotel addition bucks the steel and glass trend for a beautiful Adirondack design that will appeal to even the most unwavering modernist.
If you’re looking for an oasis in this concrete jungle of ours, look no further than the Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast, a ranch-style escape sure to turn any city dweller into a cowboy complete with a twang.