Williamsburg Waterfront Vacancies Soar

From Crain’s NY (subscription required, so extensive quoting follows) comes word that the waterfront is not immune to the real estate carnage.

Northside Piers (the one finished building) hasn’t sold out, and has now gone the rent-to-own route:

One Northside Piers seemed destined to be a winner when the project broke ground two years ago. The luxury condominium, on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, had sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, a rooftop terrace and a screening room…

Twenty-three months later, the views and all the bells and whistles are still there, but the buyers are missing.

Things are no better next door:

At The Edge, which features 575 luxury condos in two towers and 350 affordable rentals in lower-rise buildings, sales began strong in April but have tapered off drastically… As of late October, Douglaston had sold only 110 apartments; it shelved plans for another 40-story tower.

A glut of units in a neighborhood short on amenities? No one could have this coming:

Plans for 7,000 condos were announced as developers bet that people would pay top dollar to live in one of the city’s hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods. In doing so, they were also wagering that buyers would overlook such things as long hikes to the subway along streets that were still lined with factories and warehouses.

Its worth pointing out here that the Edge and Northside Piers are three blocks from the subway. But there are a dearth of other amenities:

A glaring problem is emerging as people move into the new apartments along Kent Avenue — the profound lack of essential services, including dry cleaners, drugstores and grocers. Developers expect a boom in waterfront retail, but no leases have been signed so far along Kent Avenue, where asking rents hover at about $60 a square foot.

I don’t understand – Tops (on the Waterfront) is only a block and a half away from Northside Piers. And at $60 a foot, whatever comes in is bound to uphold the neighborhood tradition of overpriced necessities.

Yep, no one could have foreseen a problem here.