Give it a try, can't hurt. My guess is they'll refer you to a sales number.
Let us know if that works.
I live around the corner from a bunch of these new developments by the Graham Ave stop. Question: all of these buildings that are in construction have a sign at their worksite that show the name/#/address of the landlord/owner and the contractors. Is it okay to call the owners to inquire about availabilities, to rent or buy, on a building that isn't even complete? Or is that inappropriate?
Give it a try, can't hurt. My guess is they'll refer you to a sales number.
Let us know if that works.
You might get a spot higher on the waiting list, but I don't think you'll miss out entirely (but of course it's worth a try).
I've looked into a few buildings right after I noticed marketing banners and there were only a few units sold. Curbed also posts about buildings right after they get press releases announcing their sales have started.
How The City Has Left Williamsburg In A Traffic Jam
Plain and simple the city administration, that is Bloomberg and the agencies he controls, are not providing good leadership on transportation planning. This is most clear in Williamsburg where the transportation system is buckling under the rapid growth of the area. The fundamental problem is that transportation planning is not part of the Development Process, ostensibly lead by Dan Doctoroff and the Department of Planning, and that The City Department of Transportation, lead by Iris Weinshall, is seemingly outright hostile to alternative transportation like bikes and buses.
Last Friday New Yorkers sounded a collective guffaw, or maybe it was a belch, when the MTA released a report that said the L-line is operating way over capacity. The "News" was not news to anyone, as Curbed and its readership so perfectly summarized:
"Next up: The MTA studies the G Train, discovers it bites even worse than the L and concludes it won't know what the hell to do with thousands of new Greenpoint residents, except build a footbridge over Newtown Creek so they can walk to Long Island City and try to squeeze on the 7." -Robert Guskind
"I'll bet those jackasses at the MTA paid someone to conduct that study. Der." -commenter Judy
"'Morning and evening rush hours: 4 mins' My ****ing ass. I was at the Bedford stop at 9:30 this morning. I waited ten minutes for a train, only to have sail right through the station without stopping. Eight minutes later, a train finally came and stopped. Four minutes is wishful goddamn thinking." -commenter Joey Joe Joe
It is fun, and not at all hard to bash on management at the MTA. They certainly have had a significant roll in 'misunderestimating' L-line ridership and ordering too-few new cars. Williamsburg Community Board 1 Transportation Chairperson Teresa Toro says the MTA has been stonewalling Williamsburg for a while. The interim solution the MTA announced on Friday is to put older cars on the line, but Toro told me that before Friday the MTA claimed putting old cars on the L-line was impossible. "We've been suggesting this for a long time, since the spring-summer of 2005."
But the problem did not just start at the MTA, the problem starts with Dan Doctoroff.
When the Department of Planning puts together projects like the Williamsburg Waterfront Redevelopment, the policy is to abdicate all responsibility for transportation to the DOT and MTA. Doctoroff and the DCP do not take a proactive roll in making transportation planning a core part of putting these projects together. Additionally when it comes to alternative transportation, like bicycle use, the DOT and Michael Bloomberg have stonewalled advocates. It is this abdication, indifference, and hostility that have lead to the growing transportation crisis in Williamsburg.
When planning the waterfront redevelopment Doctoroff and the DCP ignored repeated calls from the community to address transportation issues up front.
Toro says the current situation "is a city administration planning failure". She says transit planning should have happened when they were putting together the water front deal. "There were no traffic studies; city planning relied on what the Department of Transportation provided. They seem to prefer operating in crisis mode. Why couldn't they have worked with the transportation agencies to avoid the problems? Where is the partnering with DOT and the MTA during the planning?"
Toro mentioned the Williamsburg Waterfront Environmental Impact Statement makes only a small reference about what to do about an increased burden on the subway: "it basically says something like: the MTA routinely monitors ridership and will make adjustments".
Such abdication it strikes me is a way for the administration to avoid facing the fact that these large developments can have a serious impact on the operational budgets of the transportation agencies. By removing the issue from the planning process they do not have to reconcile the resulting transportation costs created by these new buildings.
Toro predicts similar strains for the G-line when 100+ unit buildings near Nassau Avenue start going up. Not that the average New Yorker need be a sage to recognize that this will happen. Toro, like commenters on Curbed, recognizes that New Yorkers in general see these problems coming early on, "the first thing they complain about is transit." But she says that some opposition to development would melt away if transit planning were done right from the beginning. "I think the administration would be surprised, if things were done right. Most people are not against development, they are against bad development."
Meanwhile the Department of Transportation has also been reluctant to examine the issues. "Now they are starting to acknowledge the need for study; But they are doing studies after the fact." Toro says, "We need a transportation study, which Weinshall has been resistant to. The DOT has said, 'We will work with you as issues arise'. The problem is things are changing so fast. They make a correction in one place without considering the effects down the block. They have crammed a lot of changes into the community and they need to look at it."
The irony of this all is that last Thursday there was an article in the Greenpoint Star, in which Dan Doctoroff was quoted as praising community involvement in the Williamsburg Waterfront Plan. "Sometimes we learn the hard way that by listening to the community we come to the right results." he said. But Doctoroff had a completely different reaction when challenged by Phil DePaolo of People's Firehouse in Williamsburg:
"One person Doctoroff didn't want to listen to, however, was Phil DePaolo... 'We need infrastructure, Dan,' DePaolo said, referring to a need for schools, firehouses, and other social services that will be taxed by the thousands of new residents who will move to the neighborhood. Doctoroff waved his hand at DePaolo, dismissing his suggestions."
I spoke with DePaolo too. He says some people mistakenly blame the builders. "When the first development company came to the community and had a public meeting, every body started yelling, 'what are you going to do about transportation?!' I had to laugh. Why are you yelling at them? You should be yelling at your elected official."
During the planning of the Williamsburg Waterfront, the community not only urged the city to take a leadership roll, it also advocated solutions. Solutions the community is still advocating. One is keeping older cars on the L-line as mentioned above. Another is adding Bus Rapid Transit service between Williamsburg and Manhattan. DePaolo says, "We would like more express bus service. When they were re-doing the bridge they should have designed a bus lane, like the ones they have in the Lincoln Tunnel. The city is taking over private bus companies out here, it would be nice if the city would use some of that to create express service and allow people to use their metro card."
Bus Rapid Transit is cheap and easy to implement, even if for just testing it as a solution. In general however the DOT has been dragging it's feet on BRT for a while now.
The only solution the city has put on the table is Ferries and Water Taxis from Williamsburg to Manhattan, but water transport has a huge flaw: what to do when you get to the other side? Toro, DePaolo, commenters on Curbed all have said the same things about water taxis: they are expensive since they are not part of the regular bus/subway fare, and once you get to the other side you then need to take a bus, and then maybe take that to a subway, and ultimately your commute ends up being more than an hour. In our conversation DePaolo observed the irony that the city wants to move all these people closer to the city center, putting them on the water front, but the commute time is not being reduced.
With the lone exception of congestion pricing, which Bloomberg seems to have backed off of, over the past five years Doctoroff and Bloomberg rarely have been interested in hearing from the community on transportation issues or ideas. Ms.Toro put it best, "Perhaps they are interested in learning the really really hard way."
The city chose The Hard Way with the bike path on the Williamsburg Bridge.
As many in Williamsburg know, the bridge had a problem with metal bumps spanning expansion joints on the bike path. The bumps were in place when the bike path opened in 2002, and the problem was serious. "People have broken ribs, collarbones, arms. One person had to have facial surgery. There have been internal injuries" reported Transportation Alternatives in 2005. They made traversing the path dangerous for bikes and impossible for wheelchairs. Despite the seriousness of the problem and outcries from the community, DOT and the Bloomberg administration refused to address the problem for years. David Snetman at Transportation Alternatives told me, "We were pushing the city on Williamsburg Bridge since 2001, and it was constant advocacy." It took the city 4 years to finally remove the bumps! Now the Williamsburg Bridge is one of the finest bike paths to the city, and is used daily by many riders. But even in the end the city was never really agreeable to making this improvement. David says, "it really wasn't until there was the threat of lawsuits to the DOT that the city removed the bumps".
This is not to say all things are bad. There are good examples where agencies are listening to the community, and they should be modeled by the Bloomberg administration.
Toro says, "The Brooklyn Department of Transportation has been good. They have done a lot more with bike lanes and bike parking. They are building out the sidewalk at Bedford and 7th to create room for more bike racks there. And we are putting a list together of other needs so that the Brooklyn DOT can fast track them."
"NYState Assembly Person Joe Lentol has been a champion on bike racks! He asked the 94th Precinct to do an abandon bike tagging program, because they don't want to. I would really like to see the police come around on that, not just go on a bike clipping blitz." Having Bike racks is great, but people abandon bikes for weeks or who knows how long, and it ties up the racks, so people end up chaining their bikes all over the place in Williamsburg, such as to the entrances of the subway. That's when the NYPD comes around with the chainsaws to remove these bikes, which Toro says, just throws everyone into a panic. Toro says a bike tagging program would be more productive at addressing the problem. "And jointly I want to get more bike racks!" she eagerly says.
But make no mistake, Toro here is talking about the regional Brooklyn Department of Transportation. The city DOT has a record of hostility to bikes. Last Friday, the same day as the MTA L-line report, New York City DOT Bicycle Program Director Andrew Vesselenovitch resigned from his position, and on the way out expressed significant frustration with Commissioner Weinshall and her top deputy for traffic operations, Michael Primeggia.
The long-time Director of the New York City Department of Transportation's Bicycle Program says that Commissioner Iris Weinshall and her top deputy for traffic operations, Michael Primeggia have burdened the city with unnecessary law suits and stymied the progress of the city's bicycle programs.
"I waited for a long time for the direction from the commissioner's office to change, or for the commissioner to be changed," Andrew Vesselenovitch e-mailed to about twenty agency colleagues and a handful outsiders on Friday, his last day at the agency. "I hope that you won't have to wait much longer."
In his resignation letter, Vesselenovitch cites two specific examples of agency failures. First, he claims that DOT could have saved the city millions of dollars in lawsuits "resulting from the puzzling addition of unusually high expansion joint covers on the Williamsburg Bridge." Vesselenovitch says he brought the issue to the attention of Deputy Commissioner Michael Primeggia in 2003 and was told to "butt out."
Vesselenovitch also says the agency "could have produced plans for forty to fifty miles of workable bicycle lanes each year" but inexplicably only managed to install a little more than fifteen miles of bike lanes in the last two years.
The City Administration, the DOT and MTA all clearly have some things to learn from the Brooklyn DOT and Assemblyman Lentol. And these problems are not exclusive to Williamsburg, these transportation issues are happening throughout the city. While it would be nice to end this article with a quip that maybe Doctoroff and Bloomberg will eventually learn, even if it is the hard way, the reality is that it is residents who are ultimately experiencing things the hard way. Not that that is news to you.
Seems like Williamsburg project are moving forward significantly faster than Greenpoint, even city projects like parks. It seems like both the Greenpoint Terminal Market and the Park Tower Group site have no major activity at all, even building demolitions (excepting the fire, which doesn't count IMHO).
I just get nervous if they don't act while the market is hot and lending is available, those sites will languish for years. Why isn't more demolition and preparatory work underway - is the city dragging its feet or the developers?
With zoning changed, the waterfront properties won't languish. They might change hands a few times or go through redesign, but I think we'll see the waterfront pop up to maximum height in the next two to five years.
It's a much mature market, so prices are better. (I generally assume greed is the motivator in these things) Away from the waterfront properties (that have only been zoned for a few months) there's a lot of activity on both sides of the park...
A couple of semesters ago, did a mock development of this exact site. Our team kept to the existing zoning regs, and still created a profitable 80/20 development. Kept the "Williamsburg" look, added parking, and made money. Our only obstacle would have been that much of the site, although recently demo'd & previous variances already granted, wasn't for sale. The block is huge though, and it could still be worth the investment to build within the regs... maybe with some height/FAR concessions for greenspace, leeds, parking, or low-mod income availability, you'd gain just a bit more space.
Hi Greater NYC. Welcome to the forum! Hope you'll stay engaged with us on this neighborhood and other developments.
You got..... look forward to it.
Here are some renderings of The Edge. It's not that bad.
Current > 060203
Kind of a Brooklyn BPC.
It does look pretty nice. Looks like they will extend the streets past Kent, with some retail too. The architecture is average, but the lay out is very good.
Plans for a 6 story and a 15 story were issued by the DOB, under the address 128-142 kent ave. Seems like the other two are 30 and 40 stories. Architect will be Stephen B. Jacobs, which coincides with the average architecture comment.
This and the project to the south are going to be really mammoth complexes.
I had heard construction was suppossed to start in September. This, after already delaying from May. There's not that much of September left and it looks to me like absolutely nothing is happening on the site, including getting equiptment or supplies ready for a groundbreaking.
Are they chickening out in the softening market?