New-build townhouses return to NYC after 100-year pause

Nearly a century after their last boom, new-build townhouses are making a comeback — just ask developer Abby Hamlin.


In the late 1990s, Hamlin self-financed the construction of five single-family homes in TriBeCa, some of the first spec townhouses to hit the neighborhood in 150 years. The 6,675-square-foot houses sold quickly, at prices higher than she’d expected, around $4.2 million.


“That taught me that there was a phenomenon of young families who didn’t want to move to the suburbs, who wanted a home in the style in which they’d grown up,” says Hamlin, who today heads up her eponymous development firm, Hamlin Ventures.


When an entire city block in Brooklyn — on State Street and Schermerhorn — went on the market in 2001, Hamlin Ventures snapped it up.


The State Street master plan included 23 townhouses, built in two phases. The first, 14 Townhouses, was finished in 2007 and sold out at an average of $2.6 million each.


The second phase, 9 Townhouses, was completed in 2014 and sold out at an average of $3.5 million.

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