From the NY Times:
This is life in what some refer to as the McKibbin “dorms,” a landing pad for hundreds of postcollegiate creative types yearning to make it as artists, and live like them too, in today’s New York.
Newcomers marvel that such a place exists: two sprawling, almost identical five-story former factories filled with mostly white hip young things, smack in the middle of a neighborhood that has little in common with Williamsburg proper, its cocktail-mixing neighbor to the west.
Perhaps 300 people live in each building, which face each other and sit, respectively, at 248 and 255 McKibbin Street. Between one and eight people live in each loft. Few were born before the mid-1980s. Rents can range from $375 for one person to roughly $800 for a space. Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been citations for more than a few housing violations at one of the buildings.
After the honeymoon stage comes denial when, say, one gets woken up by someone’s band at 3 a.m. or mugged on one of the tough surrounding streets. Next comes anger, usually after someone hurls a 40-ounce beer bottle from the roof and then urinates outside your door. Then comes acceptance and, finally, departure.
Warrenlike as the loft spaces may be, they are, for the most part, legal. No. 248 is zoned for residential use. No. 255’s owners were given a permit to convert the space into artist lofts, though according to the Buildings Department, the required work was never done. Repeated violations have been issued. One came after a vacant second-floor apartment in 255 exploded three years ago, possibly because wood sealant combusted.
They are also a hotbed for crime...