Wondering where you should spend your real estate dollar in 2013? We asked our agents to pick out the neighborhoods that they felt were going to be hot in the coming year and got a wide range of answers. While our top picks aren’t necessarily hidden gems or NYC bargain neighborhoods (as if!), they are areas where home buyers are likely to see a strong return on their investment while enjoying a high quality of life. Whether it’s ease of commute, great schools, trendy nightlife, fine dining or open space, there’s something for everyone in our list of top NYC neighborhoods for 2013 real estate investment.
South Williamsburg / Greenpoint
Rationale: With Williamsburg being the undisputed epicenter of NYC hipster cool, a population boom was inevitable. As more young artists, writers and creative professionals flock to the area, the need for housing is being met by continued new development and neighborhood creep. Williamsburg’s trendiness is no longer confined to the area north of Grand. South Williamsburg has seen the recent addition of multiple restaurants, shops and bars and the associated real estate cost increases. Less gentrified Greenpoint, in the spotlight lately as the setting of HBO’s series “Girls,” has a slightly lower cost of living than adjacent Williamsburg. Home to some of the top public schools in NYC, Greenpoint is ripe for massive growth as Williamsburg residents begin to have children.
Rationale: Located between Manhattan and Queens, this small island in the East River has impressive views of the NYC skyline and until recently was a quiet, almost forgotten part of the city, most famous for its abandoned and decaying Smallpox hospital. With the 2011 announcement of Cornell University’s plans to turn the island into a state-of-the-art graduate school tech campus, suddenly Roosevelt Island was catapulted from a sleepy bedroom community to the heart of NYC’s tech hub. The 2012 dedication of Four Freedoms Park marked a turning point for the island, turning a once overgrown and neglected area into a breathtaking open space for residents and visitors. With extensive development in the works, Roosevelt Island is poised to be NYC’s new technology center and a prime residential area for the tech set. Plus, it’s the only place in the city that is served by its own aerial tramway. How cool is that?
Rationale: Ok, we know. The Financial District. It’s too stuffy. Too boring. Too…whatever.However, big change is coming to FiDi. Massive new retail developments to rival Fifth Avenue, world class restaurants and bars and an influx of new companies, all within the next five years. Add to this the existing infrastructure of employers and ease of transportation, and FiDi looks like a promising neighborhood for the smart real estate buyer.
Rationale: Superfund, schmuperfund. Oh, alright. So Gowanus is not without its “issues,” specifically, the badly polluted Gowanus Canal which was designated a federal Superfund sight in 2010. However, with cleanup of the canal underway and population pressure from neighboring Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, the demand for housing in the Gowanus neighborhood is in the midst of an upswing. The addition of a Whole Foods as an anchor to the area signals a commitment to residential development, and ease of commute via the F train makes Gowanus an increasingly appealing alternative to pricier Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Rationale: A commercial neighborhood for years, the 2009 arrival of The Ace Hotel was one of the first steps in changing the face (and the name) of the neighborhood north of Madison Square Park. This boutique hotel was the first in a series of openings of trendy bars and eateries in the area which have led to increased residential desirability. With its central Manhattan location and newly chic cachet, NoMad is a solid pick for would-be apartment buyers looking to enjoy the excitement of the city while building real estate equity.
Rationale: Yep. It’s a neighborhood. We totally just made it up. Look, if Google Maps is going to recognize RAMBO, why not WestTriSoHo? Just go with it, okay? So anyway, WestTriSoHo is a lovely micro-neighborhood that is runs from Spring Street to Vestry along Hudson Street all the way to Hudson River Park. Distinguishing features of WestTriSoHo include historic cobblestone streets, beautiful cast iron buildings, riverfront proximity, a multitude of shops and restaurants with some new development interspersed. While this may not be the best neighborhood for bargain hunters, the already high cost of real estate is only going higher in coming years.
UWS – 90s & 100s
Rationale: In this area of the UWS you will find many lovely prewar buildings with large apartments featuring high ceilings and character that are not to be found in the postwar buildings that are taking over much of the 60′s, 70s and 80s. There are fewer really tall buildings in this area so less blocking of light and views. Since West End Avenue ends in the low 100′s you can find an apartment just off Broadway that is only one block away from Riverside Drive Park and often with Hudson River views as well. The area lies between two parks – Central Park and Riverside Drive Park with its tennis courts, dog parks, children’s playgrounds. Being close to Columbia University this area is full of students, professors and others attached to the University. There are clubs and cafes and some great book stores (remember those? can’t find them everywhere anymore).The further north you go, the better the bargains as the less savvy buyer is hesitant to venture north of 90th street. In a few years, more people will catch on so this 2013 is the time to beat the crowds.
Rationale: Far from flying under the radar, Hell’s Kitchen has seen rent increases since the 1990′s that put it above the Manhattan average. In spite of this, Hell’s Kitchen has managed to maintain a diverse mix of residents and institutions. Changes in zoning regulations after 9/11 allowed for additional residential buildings in the neighborhood, resulting in a bevy of new luxury development. With a multitude of ethnic restaurants stretching along Ninth Avenue, tree-lined side streets and abundant nightlife, Hell’s Kitchen is an appealing neighborhood which is poised for an even more extensive boom with the addition of the massive Hudson Yards development.