As New York's population continues to grow, desirable sites for residential development are at a premium. Inevitably, sites that were considered less than ideal a few years ago are now being developed for upscale apartment buildings. Among those sites are mid-block locations on Manhattan's busy crosstown thoroughfares.
Previously, developers focused on avenues and quiet, one-way streets for high-end residential sites. But as those have filled up, developers have begun focusing less on location and more on the amenities that can be marketed for a building on a busy thoroughfare. The One57 development made 57th Street desirable. Now 14th Street in the meatpacking district and 23rd Street are seeing an influx of residential development.
Tenants are attracted to these buildings in part because of the amenities but also because of their convenient access to transportation. Street noise has always been an issue for apartments on busy streets, but developers have reduced that by installing sound-insulated windows. Developers are also finding that the ability to put in ground-floor retail gives a significant boost to their cash flow.
For a developer, choosing a site is only an early step in a long and complex process. Purchasing and developing residential real estate in Manhattan often requires complex transactions, sometimes involving multiple parties. Financing must be obtained and the financing agreements negotiated and finalized before closing. Before a building can be converted to residential use, zoning laws must be reviewed and land use issues resolved. And before the first tenant moves in, leases will have to be drafted and negotiated. Even after the building is rented the landlord may have to deal with non-payment rent proceedings, holdover actions and other tenant disputes. Working with experienced Manhattan real estate counsel can help a developer negotiate the maze of laws, permits, approvals and regulations.
Source: New York Times, "Busy. Noisy. Homey. New Apartments on Manhattan's Busy Crosstown Streets," Robin Finn, Aug. 1, 2014