“The times they are a changin’” said Bob Dylan famously in the ‘60s. Where New York real estate is concerned, the times are always changin.’ Former no go areas in the outer boroughs are now becoming pricey hipster havens and the old money that once made the Upper East Side an exclusive lair to the privileged is now heading downtown to new luxury condos.
According to a recent brokerage report, the median price of a luxury condo — defined as $5-million-plus, fell 27 percent in 2017 with uptown co-ops falling 15 percent since mid 2016. Conversely, the majority of condo sales in 2017, around 57 percent were downtown.
Part of the reason is because the Upper East Side has always been an enclave of exclusive co-ops with a notoriously picky approval process. Condos, though traditionally more expensive, have done away from that inconvenience and so younger, wealthier buyers, fueled by the arts, restaurants and shopping have been flocking to areas like Tribeca, Soho and the Flatiron District turning them into some of the most expensive real estate in the city.
The rate of construction downtown has been alarming with gleaming glass towers racing skyward as cranes cloud the landscape and city blocks are covered in hoardings and work permit signs. Nowhere has the rate of change been more dramatic than in Tribeca with Leonard Street front and center. Known at the “Jenga building,: 56 Leonard currently has a Penthouse priced at the humbling $55,600,000, which rivals the exclusive properties clustered around Central Park (One57, 15 Central Park West). The building also has several other penthouses listed from $17.75 million and up with many now sold. Nearby, 91 Leonard St by the Toll Brothers is bringing 111 condos to the market. The 19-story building features studios up to four-bedroom apartments with prices starting at $795,000 and going up to $10.49 million. Another at 108 Leonard, known at The Clocktower Building, is converting a landmark building into 151 condos. The property was once the HQ for New York Life Insurance Company and more recently The New York City Criminal Court.
Neighboring areas are also benefitting from the building boom downtown. The Noho condo with interiors by Ryan Korban at 40 Bleeker recently launched sales on its 61 apartments, ranging in price from $1.775 million for a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment, going up to $6.31 million for a three-bedroom, three bathroom apartment. Amenities include a 57-foot swimming pool, gym, concierge and bike storage.
Fueled by a celebrity buying frenzy that has seen Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, and in one particular building — at 443 Greenwich St., Justin Timberlake. Jennifer Lawrence, Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal, all neighbors — prices and appeal downtown continues to soar.
“When you start reading about the recent purchases with more than a couple of household names, the attention that the building attracts accelerates,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, a real estate and consulting firm. Along with a slew of top notch amenities a gated paparazzi proof parking garage 443 Greenwich St is a big draw for celebs. Must be nice.