Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg hasn’t seen much development since it was upzoned in 2009, owing to the financial crisis and development freeze that has gripped the city. But with the thaw lifting, at least one player apparently sees potential on the forlorn strip, one of only two streets east of the BQE where six-story tenement-scale development is allowed: a group called 781 Metro Investors LLC just picked up the White Castle at Metropolitan and Humboldt for $6.72 million, according to city records.
With its ample surface parking, the suburban-style building wouldn’t look out of place in Williston, North Dakota, but there be gold in them thar parking spots: the site can accommodate up to 45,788 square feet of development, which means that the new owners paid around $147 per buildable square foot.
Though the buyers shielded their identity behind an LLC, we did notice that they share an office building with Madison Realty Capital, who did not respond to our request for comment.
If the new owners do redevelop the property—and we’re guessing they didn’t pay all those millions so they could continue to flip burgers—it would be one of the easternmost outpost of sizable new construction in the neighborhood. The Department of City Planning has inexplicably reserved the land to the east of the corner, around the Memorial Gore parklet (whose etymology the parks department helpfully provides) at the confluence of Metropolitan, Maspeth and Bushwick Avenues, for “manufacturing.” (We put “manufacturing” in scare quotes because we don’t imagine there’s much making-of-things going on at the Brooklyn Truck Wash or the Hess gas station.)
Stoned hipsters, unfortunately, will have to look elsewhere for their White Castle fix. There’s always Bushwick!