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Williamsburg Rentals Are Feeling The Brunt Of The Coming Subway Shutdown

The L train at the Bedford Avenue subway stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

As renters in Brooklyn consider where to sign a yearlong lease into 2019, they are beginning to decide against dealing with the shut-down L train.

Apartment inventory is up 25% and rents have fallen to three-year lows in Williamsburg, the neighborhood that will be most acutely affected by the 15-month shutdown set to begin in April, according to StreetEasy data reported by the New York Post. To make matters worse for Williamsburg commuters — and landlords trying to convince future tenants to sign leases — there will be 15 weekends starting with this one where service will be disrupted on the L train.

“The shutdown is eight months away, which means that anyone who has to renew a lease is thinking twice,” StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long told the Post.

The shutdown was announced in 2016, and Brooklyn property owners have been bracing for its impacts since. Owners of apartments along the J, M and Z subway lines have been anticipating demand moving south from Williamsburg into their buildings. To keep the competition at bay, Williamsburg property owners, like Douglaston Development, are planning on offering their residents free shuttles to the JMZ stops.

Shuttles alone won't help fill up the thousands of new and upcoming units. More than a quarter of apartments dropped their rents in June, according to StreetEasy, and nearly one in five are offering a month of free rent or more.