Permits Filed: 153 Berry Street, Williamsburg

153 Berry Street153 Berry Street, image via Google Maps

On Friday afternoon, YIMBY regular Architects Studio filed for a new building permit in in the most prime section of northern Brooklyn, at 153 Berry Street in Williamsburg.

Smack dab in the middle of the Northside, between North Fifth and Sixth, 153 Berry will be a much higher-rent project than the Queens neighborhoods Architects Studio normally designs in.

The building, developed by Daniel Haghani, will rise five stories and 58 feet. It’ll have a small 400-square foot retail space at the bottom, topped by nine apartments spread over 6,250 square feet.

The store and nine new apartments will replace a two-story pre-war brick building, cute but barely ornamented and woefully inadequate in density given the torrent of demand rushing through Williamsburg. The old two-story building building sold for $1.76 million six months ago, surpassing the $1.6 million it fetched in 2006, near the height of the last market cycle.

Given the large amount of extra capacity available on the L train now that its signals have been updated, it’s unfortunate that the MTA is stiffing riders on precious trains-per-hour and the area immediately around the Bedford Avenue station is still zoned for floor area ratios of just two and three – not even enough density for the six-story tenements that already exist on Williamsburg’s Southside, whose scale have hardly ruined that neighborhood.

When it comes to affordability, policy is the problem — and if Bill de Blasio is intent on trading density for affordable housing, Northside Williamsburg has a ready reserve of unremarkable architecture ready for transformation by demand.

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