Of all the breathless Williamsburg marketing slogans created over the years to sell the gentrifying 'hood to condo buyers, "Just Like the Bronx in '79!" might be our new favorite. North Brooklyn is tops when it comes to vacant lots and rusting steel, according to the Department of Buildings, with 18 stalled construction sites in Williamsburg and Greenpoint?causing one Williamsburg transplant (who moved from the Bronx during the firebug era) to remark to the Post, "It looks like I never left." The Bronx and Queens each have 14 stalled sites, according to the DOB's stalled-sites unit (never a good market sign when the stalled-sites unit gets dusted off), while Manhattan has 39 and Brooklyn overall has a whopping 63.
There are concerns about squatters (been there, done that), but mostly the DOB is worried about safety at the sites as the elements take their toll on the exposed skeletons. The City Council has drawn up a bill that would grant unlimited extensions of building permits to developers if they maintain the property. As for Williamsburg's boom to bust, there is one benefit: the creation of the "Name Your Favorite Blight!" parlour game. Ours is obvious, but damn, it's a hot one. Any other favorites out there?
· 'Lots' of Woe in W'Burg [NYP]
· Reader Rant: Williamsburg's Squatters' Row Has Got to Go [Curbed]