With studios starting at $2,700/month and penthouses topping out at $7,200, residents of Williamsburg's newest luxury rental complex, 50 North 5th, could be forgiven for having high expectations. For one, they can expect breakfast. Bagels, muffins, juice, and coffee will be waiting in the lobby each morning until 9 a.m. "People really appreciate little touches like that," says David Maundrell, the building's exclusive leasing agent, stressing that the food and coffee will be "from somewhere local."
A product of the Mack Real Estate Group, 50 North 5th's construction finished two months ahead of schedule. No longer a mud pit on North 5th, the building's first residents were moving in last week (20% of the 229 units have already been leased) when Maundrell, the president of aptsandlofts.com, and his associate, Angel Guzman, gave us a tour of the sample units and 15,000 square feet of amenities, which, as the men are eager to point out, come standard with the price of rent. Parking (there are around 100 spaces in the garage) and industrial loads of laundry will cost extra.
Both Maundrell and Guzman grew up in Williamsburg, and dismiss criticism that the neighborhood is becoming too glass-bound, homogenous, and expensive.
"People can say that these new people are pushing them out," Maundrell says. "But the people who are saying that are the artists, and the artists are the ones who pushed out my mother and grandmother. This neighborhood didn't used to be a place where you wanted to walk around at night. For a long time, no one cared about Williamsburg."
Maundrell admits that things have been getting "a little crazy" recently—Bedford Avenue has exploded, an Urban Outfitters is on the way, not to mention the impending Tronification of the Domino Sugar factory. "I just roll with it."