The Real Deal New York

Housing for Orthodox Jews coming to Williamsburg

December 22, 2007 11:56AM
By Adam Pincus

A developer of some of the priciest real estate in Greenpoint is building up to 500 units of lower-cost housing for the growing population of Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg.

Isaac Hager’s North Development Group purchased an approximately 96,000 square foot property south of Broadway and a block from the East River for $42.5 million, company marketing director Martin Ehrenfeld said.

The property from South 8th to South 9th Streets and from Kent to Wythe was purchased on Dec. 11 from Waterview Gardens LLC. The deal for the vacant property was negotiated between the two parties, Ehrenfeld said.

North Development, creator of the Aurora, Ikon and 20 Bayard projects on McCarren Park, is planning to build more modest residential buildings for the Orthodox Jewish population, he said. The Williamsburg Orthodox population has grown to at least 8,000 families and needs more housing, he said.

The first phase of the project calls for 216 units in 12 residential buildings of seven stories each, to be completed by the middle of 2009. A second set of buildings is slated to be completed by the summer of 2010, bringing the total to about 500 units.

An earlier media report said the city approved a building of up to 20 stories on the property, but Ehrenfeld said no building would be taller than 7 stories.

At about $100 per buildable foot, the property probably sold for lower than what might have been expected, but the market has been cooling recently, said broker Herbert Kliegerman of North Brooklyn Realty, who was not involved in the deal.

“I think the $100 price is a very fair deal in this market,” he said.

North Development has not decided whether to offer the units as rentals or condos, but the price would be in line with other housing for the Orthodox community, Ehrenfeld said. Such properties sell for about $380 to $400 per square foot, compared with $700 to $800 per foot for the broader marker, he said.

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