Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Chinese developer is building a luxury condo project designed by a Dutch architect in Hasidic Williamsburg.
Is this a great town, or what? So cosmopolitan.
These nifty renderings depict the Oosten, the much written-about building that XIN Development, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Beijing-based Xinyuan Real Estate Co., is constructing on a two-acre site at 429 Kent Ave. with Piet Boon as the principal designer.
This is the developer's first project in the United States, but Americans have been hired, and they're making an effort to be mindful of the cultural mores of the Hasidic neighbors.
A swimming pool planned for the roof of the Oosten was moved indoors to the basement in deference to Hasidim who will likely be living in a new apartment building under construction next door at 431 Kent Ave., Ryan Black, Xinyuan Real Estate Co.'s director of development, told Eye on Real Estate.
XIN is placing a stair corridor and an elevator bank on the roof to lessen the roof deck’s visibility to residents of 431 Kent, though there will only be a decorative reflecting pool up there.
The Oosten's window glazing will have a tint that obscures vision into the apartments, which will cut down on what the neighbors see.
Also, the developer agreed not to do construction on Shabbos (i.e., Saturday) and to do only minimal work on Jewish religious holidays that fall on weekdays, Black said.
“We're very cognizant we're in a very sensitive community,” said Black, who expects the project at the corner of S. 8th Street to be completed in 2016. “We're doing our best to minimize the impact of our building.”
The Oosten, whose name means “east” in Dutch, has been getting lots of ink.
In March, Brownstoner and Curbed NY picked up a Forbes Asia story about the condos being marketed in Chinese on Soufun.com — China's biggest real estate website. Would-be purchasers in China could speak to salespeople in China and buy apartments without leaving their country or even speaking to anyone in the United States, the Forbes story explained.
Calls get referred to Xinyuan's sales group in China, which is an extension of its South Williamsburg sales office, Black told Eye on Real Estate.
No one was allowed to make purchase offers until June 30, when apartments were released to the sale broker, Halstead Property Development Marketing.
Multiple contracts are out for signature with buyers from the United States and China, Black said.
In South Williamsburg, there's substantial interest from prospective purchasers. The activity at the sales office at 53 Broadway is one indication.
“Appointments are booked solid all day, every day,” Black said. “Offers are at full ask.”
Located a block from the water's edge, the building will have 216 condos, 15 of them townhouses.
Asking prices run from the high $600,000s to $3.3 million and up for the townhouses and around $6.6 million for five- and six-bedroom penthouses.
BTW, many of the priciest units have not been released for sale yet.
The architect of record is WASA/Studio A.
The Kent Avenue site, part of a long-shuttered Schaefer brewery, previously belonged to North Development Group, whose mortgage was foreclosed on.