Thursday, July 23, 2009
New Town In Williamsburg, Changing Times, Part One
Just a few short years ago, the area now known as New Town in Williamsburg was nothing more than a fairly dense wooded area. Today it is a mini metropolis. A city within a city. New town is one of several of these projects that is forever changing the landscape of Williamsburg. Last year the New Town projects was thriving fairly well with lots of people in the shopping district, today more empty spaces exist than did last year and the market to fill these stores is tougher than ever in today's economy.
The row houses have seemed to fill up fairly well, despite their salt and pepper look. Overall the architecture is fitting within the Williamsburg atmosphere but parking is horrible. Views from many of the townhouses are of parking lots. At least one never has to worry about mowing a lawn as there are no lawns to be had. From a business standpoint, the area was doing well until the latest economic conditions which now seem to be crushing the area especially in light of the new competition. Williamsburg seemed immune to the ravages of a slow economy, but that is now fading very quickly.
It seems to many people were over zealous about the growth potential of the area. Although New Town is one of our favorite places to shop these days, we see rapid decay setting in on the area. There have always been a number of empty store fronts and more office space than could be filled, but the numbers are higher now than before. Some businesses have already moved out, no real new one coming in quick to fill the spaces. There are some strong retailers in the area, but for how long? Some of our favorites are Panera Breads, Trader Joe's which is incredible, Barnes and Noble and Bath and Bodyworks. Old Navy is always worth a stop for their clearance items.
This is the first part in our series of changing times in Williamsburg. We will be covering all the growth the area has experienced over the past few years and take a deeper look into the impact it is having. We will include a detailed slide show with each post to show what Williamsburg looks like these days as we have a lot of readers that have not been to the area in some time and like to keep up with what is going on.
The Picture accompanied by the slide show is a representation of what the area looked like before New Town was developed. New Town is located along Monticello Avenue and Ironbound Road.