Scene Magazine

Go West

February 1, 2014

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Manhattan’s uptown market consists of two key neighborhoods: the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side. The former tends to take more prominent roles in the media and pop culture, ranging from the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s to its zip codes being plastered throughout political newspapers for large campaign contributions. On the other side of the park, the Upper West Side surely has its moments, but the neighborhood is generally more reserved, focusing on residential aspects with café-lined avenues and cultural centers.

“One of the major draws of the Upper West Side is the charming residential feel of the neighborhood with the striking architecture of the beautiful brownstones on wide, tree-lined blocks,” said Jodi Paulovich, a salesperson at Rutenberg Realty.

“The neighborhood also boasts tremendous cultural institutions and Manhattan staples such as Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park and shopping and fine dining destinations, including Boulud Sud, Gennaro and Momoya,” added Yair Tavivian, co-founder of the Tavivian Sporn Team at Douglas Elliman.

Similar to the rest of Manhattan real estate markets, the Upper West Side has been a center of construction in recent years. Development had traditionally been in the core of the Upper West Side in the 70s and 80s off the park, but now, developers are expanding drastically along the Hudson River at Riverside Park and all the way up through 125th Street.

New Developments on the Upper West Side

The Upper West Side has seen its fair share of development in recent years, notably with the construction of the decadent 15 Central Park West near Columbus Circle, but several other areas have come to life, namely along Riverside Park and even upward of 96th Street.

Extell Development Company is continuing to develop its stronghold in the Riverside Park market with the construction of 1 Riverside Park. The 219 residences offer a spectrum of apartments that range from 850-square-foot, one-bedroom units to sprawling 6,000-square-foot, full-floor penthouses with six bedrooms and panoramic views of the city. The building is also marketing two Sky Home duplexes, set to include in-ground private swimming pools, one of which will be on the 17th floor. Accordingly, the condos range from $1 million to $25 million, hitting various price points.

“One Riverside Park is Extell Development Company’s last and crowning achievement in luxury condominium development in Riverside South,” added Beth Fisher, senior managing director of the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. “Riverside South is a thriving, new enclave on the Upper West Side, bolstered by Extell’s development in the area over the past eight years and completed rezoning of Riverside Center.” The center will mark the final piece of Extell’s development in the area and will include 120,000 square feet of shopping, dining and retail services for the area.

The Naftali Group has seen its own success in the core of the Upper West Side after selling out 182 West 82nd Street in a few months since its opening last October. “The Naftali Group has great faith in the continued renaissance of the Upper West Side, as shown in another new luxury condominium planned for West 77th Street and Broadway that will soon begin construction,” said Miki Naftali. The new building, located at 206-210 West 77th Street, is set to span 18 stories and include 30 three- and four-bedroom residences.

Further up on the island, 732 West End Avenue is set to hit the market in the coming year with a dozen exclusive residences. Built by the Sackman family, motivation for the condominiums is based on the desire to create intimate and contemporary luxury homes with a sensibility to the grandeur and historical relevance of West End Avenue and the Upper West Side neighborhood, John Carapella of TOWN noted.

Each of the 12 full-floor residences will feature three bedrooms with the penthouse duplex adding a fourth bedroom and a private roof terrace. Amenities include Italian plaster molding, double-barreled, hand-plastered ceilings and clean-burning and gasless fireplaces, accenting the prewar architecture and charm of the Upper West Side. Sale prices are starting at $2.728 million and range to more than $8 million for residences.

“The location provides a compelling dynamic,” added Carapella. “The building offers the serenity and natural beauty of Riverside Park one avenue to the west and all the conveniences of urban living on Broadway, just one avenue to the east.”

The ‘New’ Upper West Side Above 96th Street 

Even though 96th Street is one of the major two-way streets on both the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, it plays different roles in each. On the east side, 96th Street marks the border between the Upper East Side and Harlem. But on the west side, 96th Street is just another street that eases into the transition of Morningside Heights, which spans the upper portion of the Upper West Side through 125th Street.

New development in the area has really blossomed in recent years. Scott Harris of Brown Harris Stevens notes that new buildings include Avalon’s 1 Morningside Park at 110th Street and Morningside Drive. “Avalon’s rental was a huge home run,” he said. “We’ll see another 300-plus rental units at Amsterdam and 113th Street, also affiliated with St. John the Divine.” Jackie Urgo, president of  the Marketing Directors, also noted that “the traditional boundaries of where people will go for perceived and real value has long come down. People will go and live where they feel safe and can get the space they can afford.”

“The opening of our Harlem office was on the forefront of this renaissance,” said Brian Lewis of Halstead Properties of the revitalization of the northern parts of the Upper West Side and Harlem. “The housing stock and quality in this area is impressive, and the transformation of this neighborhood is inspiring.”

“I’m awestruck by the changes along the Broadway corridor from Columbus Circle well up toward Columbia—not to mention the reinvention of Columbus Avenue from 99th Street up to lower the 100s around the new Whole Foods Market,” Lewis added. “The addition of new condo and rental buildings have served our neighborhood well, providing much-needed, higher-quality housing and a boost of exuberance to the area.”

“The next 10 years will bring a lot of changes to the areas above Columbia and especially around City College as people are priced out of the U.W.S. core in the 70s and 80s,” said Morgan Graham of Miron Properties. “The arrival of big-box stores moving further up allows for more people to make the transition seamlessly.”

L+M Development Partners has been quick to build in the area, bringing to market the Adeline at 23 West 116th Street. “We wanted to respect both the old and the new in Harlem, so we carefully layered modern and traditional details throughout,” said Tell Metzger, the development director, on behalf of the motivation behind the building. Inventory in the building is decreasing with options ranging from a two-bedroom for a little more than $1.1 million to a four-bedroom at $2.55 million.

“More and more, people want to live in Harlem, and with demand continuing to grow, there is an increase in premium housing stock,” added Julia Boland, sales manager at the Adeline and a part of the Halstead Property Development Marketing. “We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to the Adeline from buyers all over the city and expect to see the neighborhood continue to grow on a wonderful trajectory.”