(Bloomberg) -- A Brooklyn neighborhood’s residential development boom is nearing an end, as a condo tower opens at one of the final sites on the Williamsburg waterfront.  

Sales begin Wednesday at One Domino Square, a 39-story tower just north of the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s the sole condo offering in the 11-acre (4.5-hectare) complex that Two Trees Management has been building around the historic Domino Sugar refinery, which was converted into offices. 

The tower’s debut is the latest step in the transformation of the onetime industrial area, made possible by a 2005 rezoning that cleared the way for construction of some of Brooklyn’s most expensive housing. Earlier efforts in Williamsburg had been focused closer to the Bedford Avenue L train stop, or farther north along the East River. Two of those waterfront projects — Toll Brothers’ Northside Piers and the Edge by Douglaston Development — were finished in 2007 and 2009, respectively. 

“It’s a market that hasn’t had a chance to buy a new condo on the Williamsburg waterfront for 15 years,” said Dave Lombino, a managing director at Two Trees.

Nearly 70% of the almost 11,000 condo units in Williamsburg were built after 2005, figures from real estate data firm Marketproof show. That development surge has contributed to a steady increase in home costs in the neighborhood. The median sale price in January 2010 was $545,000, according to StreetEasy. By February 2024, it had climbed to $1.07 million. 

Williamsburg’s population has grown significantly wealthier since the 1990s, when artists settled there after getting priced out of Soho and the East Village in Manhattan. They brought a cool factor to gritty areas that had been home to immigrant communities, a cache that developers were eager to cash in on. Zoning changes and tax subsidies in the early 2000s made it even more attractive to build glitzy new condos and rental housing. 

One Domino Square — including the condos and an adjacent 55-story rental building that are joined at the base — is opening at “the tail end of a very long development cycle,” said Kael Goodman, chief executive officer of Marketproof. “It needed all the other growth to happen in order to get to its more-distant location.”

Residents at the Domino project would have to walk nearly 20 minutes to catch a subway to Manhattan, while the nearest East River Ferry stop is a half-mile to the south.

The distance from public transit won’t translate into bargains for buyers. The cheapest one-bedroom unit is $1.25 million, which is near the upper end of closing prices for apartments of that size at the older waterfront buildings. Ninety-five of Domino’s 160 condos are two-bedrooms, which start at $2.2 million, while three-bedrooms are priced from $3 million. 

Renters from nearby Two Trees buildings are among those who got early access to the condos and have started claiming units. Aaron Goed, the building’s sales director, declined to disclose how many condos have found buyers, saying only that his team is “making really good progress.” Owners are expected to be able to move in beginning early this fall.

Small details distinguish the project from others in the neighborhood, according to Goed. Tilt-and-turn windows are almost as high as the apartments’ 10-foot (3-meter) ceilings and, when sealed shut, block out the din of the nearby bridge traffic. Closets come finished with walnut shelving. 

“Lots of things are happening just below the surface that make the residences much better homes,” he said. “But you wouldn’t necessarily notice them on your initial visit or before you’re even signing a contract, but you’ll really appreciate them when you’re living in the space.”

The condo and rental towers at One Domino Square are the first residential skyscrapers by Selldorf Architects, in part known for designing galleries and museums. The buildings are clad in white porcelain tile with an iridescent finish that’s visible up close. 

The rental section — with apartments slated to hit the market in early May — is Brooklyn’s tallest building outside the downtown area, Goed said. Both towers offer views south to the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s Financial District and north to the Midtown skyline. At ground level is Domino Park, which has a playground, a dog run and a beach volleyball court. 

Goed said he expects the condos will attract a range of buyers, including Williamsburg locals, Manhattanites crossing the river and pied-a-terre shoppers from the US and overseas.

“Williamsburg is its own international destination,” he said.

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