The Bust of Williamsburg

Sales in Brooklyn are down, and that's made a ghost town out of the recently booming but now busted Williamsburg neighborhood.
July 15, 2009, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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Some condo projects are stalled and a handful of new projects have been forced into foreclosure.

"With sales across Brooklyn down a staggering 57 percent from a year ago, Williamsburg, with its high density of new construction, has taken on an ominous disposition. Walk down virtually any block and you'll come across an amenity-laden building that sits nearly empty: relics of a moment in history that seems, increasingly, like a fever dream. Some developers with iffy financing have quietly been forced to go rental, others have lowered prices to the point where losses are inevitable, and a handful of projects, including two buildings Maundrell had been selling, have gone into foreclosure.

Most unsettling are the cases of the developers who seem to have vanished, leaving behind so many vacant lots and half-completed buildings-eighteen, to be precise, more than can be found in all of the Bronx-that large swaths of the neighborhood have come to resemble a city after an air raid."

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Published on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 in New York Magazine
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