When the developer of an area — in this case, The Related Companies — fills its marketing material with declarations of “New York’s next great neighborhood,” expectations are sky high. And so far, Hudson Yards’ first phase, a $6 billion project along Manhattan’s west side, is living up to the hype.
With the Highline entering from the south (its final phase broke ground last month) and the 7 Subway line extension coming from the north in June of 2014, the formerly remote rail yard is finally going to be made accessible from other parts of NYC. The first buildings in the area, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, are office towers that will soar above the height of the Empire State building. An all-residential tower on 30th Street and 11th Avenue, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and David Rockwell, will fill 680 rentals and condos. According to Related Vice President Joanna Rose, Hudson Yards “will knit the neighboring communities together and feature over 12 acres of parks and open space, a dynamic retail and restaurant collection, cultural amenities, rental and condominium residences and best-in-class commercial office space.” If all goes according to plan, the center of the city may shift farther west than we ever could have expected.
Still owning the title of ‘the new Williamsburg’
Since the resurgence of Williamsburg over the past decade, investors and residents alike have analyzed every nearby area to see which is the next spot to hit it big. Greenpoint has been the long-running favorite as the heir to the throne of “what’s next,” and a new plan to redevelop the waterfront is making it look more like its southerly neighbor than ever before.
While the neighborhood has historically been a working class area zoned for manufacturing, similar zoning changes to those that allowed the rise of condo towers along Kent Avenue in Williamsburg are also leading to a similar project in Greenpoint. A 22-acre plot of land along the waterfront, with the preliminary name of “Greenpoint Landing,” will bring 4,000 new apartments to the area, with 20 percent being affordable housing. The 10 towers, designed by Handel Architects, will be near a planned pedestrian bridge connecting the area with Long Island City.
“The development of the Greenpoint waterfront is likely to attract residents from other areas, changing the demographic,” explains Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Jessica Peters. “I believe the results will mimic the trends that the Williamsburg waterfront has experienced.”
This project may not break ground until next year, but Greenpoint is having its moment. Featured as the home of the characters in HBO’s “Girls,” the neighborhood is no longer just a cheaper alternative for renters priced out of other artist areas. Even the commercial world has joined the craze, with popular crowd-funding startup Kickstarter buying a former factory at 58 Kent St. as their headquarters. With all this change, the area is going to get crowded; let’s hope the G train can keep up.
‘Small town in a big city’
The rise of Bay Ridge is not typical to the growth model seen across New York’s trendiest borough. Zoning restrictions limit condo development, and the only subway line, essentially, is the R train, making the trip to Manhattan no hop, skip and a jump. And yet, this historic area has the housing stock — and tight-knit community — to bring in a new generation to the southern coast of Brooklyn.
Most of Bay Ridge housing is comprised of row houses and single family detached homes, with price points varying from the co-op studios under $100K to a $4.7 million, five-bedroom home on Shore Road with a two-car garage. “The community is laid out very nicely, where you have properties close to the subway and others close to the shore,” says Coldwell Banker Reliable Associate Broker Mary Kae Higgins. She also points out that the culture is attractive for those looking to find high-quality housing stock with a tight-knit group around you. “It’s a very welcoming community. … It’s a small town in a big city.”
In the footsteps of Astoria and Williamsburg, Bay Ridge also may soon be known for its beer garden — “The Lockyard” is expected to debut early next year as the first of its kind in the neighborhood. Whether this will bring the hipsters over remains to be seen. But while John Travolta’s character in “Saturday Night Fever” plans to escape Bay Ridge, the next year may see the opposite trip occurring from Manhattan.
3 New developments to watch
1. The Vista
44-15 Purves, Hunters Point/Long Island City
Why people are talking about it: This building was built with the help of a Feng shui consultant, keeping both the individual units and the building as a whole in accordance to the laws of the Chinese spacing system.
What you’ll have to pay: From $345,000 to $520,800
Unit Mix: 48 condos; studios to 2 bedrooms
Interesting fact: In line with Feng shui beliefs, the building will have no fourth floor and no apartment entrances face other interior doors.
2. Sackett Union
340 Court St., Carroll Gardens
Why people are talking about it: After being abandoned by its original developer, this back-to-life project includes a combination of townhouses and condos in prime Caroll Gardens.
What you’ll have to pay: From $1.1M to $3.1M, so far
Unit Mix: 32 condos, 11 townhouses; 2 to 4 bedrooms
Interesting fact: Many units come with underground parking, and the building’s roof terrace will feature expansive views of Manhattan.
3. 318 Gramercy
Park South, Gramercy
Why People are talking about it: Formerly the Salvation Army’s Parkside Evangeline building, this is the newest conversion with direct key access to the coveted Gramercy Park.
What you’ll have to pay: From $9.25M up to $42M Unit Mix: 17 condos; 2 to 5 bedrooms
Interesting fact: One penthouse, which features two outdoor pools, has been purchased by the owner of the Houston Rockets for a reported $42M — the highest sale in downtown history.