Here at the Alexander Team our clients are always asking us where value can be added, where real estate is under-market, and where they can get the best deals and the best return on their investment. In the end, isn’t that what everybody looking to buy in Manhattan wants?
The Alexander Team’s M.O. is not only to find our clients the best homes and deals, but also to make them the most money in the long run. So today, we’re going to let our readers in on something that we’ve been discussing internally for months: the Financial District is the place to be.
The Financial District, all the way down at the southern tip of Manhattan, has in recent times been sort of a forgotten neighborhood, often carrying the stigma of a “working neighborhood” or a “dead at night area” with “little to do.” However, this is very untrue and a lot of it is changing.
The Financial District has been an important epicenter throughout our history, even dating back to the Revolutionary War (we’re serious!). It quickly became the finance capital of the world, housing all of the large investment banks, the Federal Reserve, and the Stock Exchange, allowing New York to prosper throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Just as the area was on the verge of a residential real estate breakthrough, with a few new developments sprouting up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, 9/11 hit New York and many were scared out of the area.
Years later, the neighborhood was hit by another series of unfortunate events, throughout the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, with the collapse of many large banks and the downsizing of large finance companies. This vacated a lot of the office space in the District, but was in turn a blessing in disguise.
The area became ripe for residential development and conversions. Much of the office space was also filled by TAMI businesses (Tech, Advertising, Media, Information), bringing tons of youth to the neighborhood. Quickly, rental buildings went up, and behind them, condominiums and retail followed suit. It is only now though, in the current revamping of the real estate market in general, that we are seeing the real breakthrough of luxury real estate and lifestyle brands come through—and there’s still time to get in while the area is undervalued.
NEW DEVELOPMENT: LIFESTYLE
$30 billion of public and private investment is currently being put into downtown. This ranges from luxury real estate developments, to new commercial office space, to high-end retail, to fine dining. Walk the area now and your head will hurt hearing all the jackhammers and saws going off during the day; just think about the beauty in a few months!
Let’s start with commercial: in a few months, the new World Trade Center will start opening up again, a testament to the District bouncing back, and a flood of new workers will come to the area. In conjunction with this, New York will soon be unveiling the Fulton Center, a $1.4 billion project undertaken by the MTA which is an entire renovation of the Fulton Stop, including retail space, food and dining, and a wicked oculus for the main interior. This stop is estimated to have more foot traffic than the Times Square stop each and every day!
Then we have the retail: Brookfield Place, a project by Brookfield Properties, will be opening later this year in the space between the WTC and Battery Park. It’s not just another no-name retail mall, this space has had leases signed by heavy hitter global luxury brands such as Hermes, DVF, Ferragamo, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Theory, and Michael Kors. Check it out here. Also, the South Street Seaport is undergoing a massive renovation and revamping headed by Howard Hughes, bringing new piers and new retail space to the gorgeous and charming area. Sounds like there will be plenty to do there, right?
NEW DEVELOPMENT: LUXURY REAL ESTATE
Where there is high-end lifestyle choices, high-end real estate always follows suit. There have been almost thirty luxury real estate buildings announced for downtown, an amazing number for the city. Let’s take a look at some of the show-stoppers:
30 Park Place: Probably the downtown development with the most clout, this Silverstein Properties project will have a 189-room Four Seasons hotel and 150 condominium units, and is designed by Robert A.M. Stern.
22 Thames Street: Rafael Vinoly has been picked for this one (432 Park Architect, to jog your memory), an insanely beautiful and tall rental building to open in 2017, poised to overtake the Gehry Building as the tallest residential building downtown.
Woolworth Building Conversion: The top 15 floors of this iconic NYC structure are currently being gutted to become luxury residences, forty of them to be exact. This will be done in 2015.
5 Beekman Street: The Temple Court will be getting a makeover, turning the landmark building into a 285-room hotel and 85-unit condominium. This beautiful old building will be turned around by 2015.
70 Pine: As we said, big banks leaving means big residential real estate coming. This building, the former headquarters of AIG, will soon be about 1,000 rental units, some of them long term options, with what we hear is going to be an insane penthouse.
And believe us, there are a lot more where those came from.
So, just as many people were initially hesitant to move to Tribeca, just as many people were initially hesitant to move to Williamsburg, just as many people are still hesitant to move to the Lower East Side or Harlem, people are hesitant to move to FiDi.
But, it’s clear from all of these changes that the area is poised to be arguable the best neighborhood in NYC in just a few years. Wouldn’t you have wanted to be that person who bought the first apartment in Tribeca or Williamsburg? Prices are lower than the Manhattan market as a whole, and now is the prime time to get in.
The Alexander Team has direct access to the developers involved in the changes in the Financial District; we are working heavily to advise many of our clients to take a look! Always remember that we have the best connections and best ability to find you your dream home or investment when the time comes. And the time is now!