NYC’s Next “It” Neighborhood, According to 6 Real-Estate Pros

It ain’t Soho, we can tell you that much

By Shari Gab

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15 September 2017

Williamsburg? Over. Harlem? On its way.

So what’s the next “it” neighborhood?

Bet you’d like to know. And so would we.

That’s why we asked six local real-estate pros where a prospective home buyer should be looking next. And they each gave us a different answer — along with some tips on what to know before you hit your next round of open houses.

Spoiler: you’ll be crossing the bridge if you’re looking for a steal.

Steve Clair
Level Group | TheMillennialBroker

Where to buy: South Williamsburg. The development going on there is amazing, and the return on any investment will be exponentially rewarding as a 5+ year play.

Perks:  First of all, you're near the water, which is amazing. The amount of top-notch foodie restaurants is a list that goes on for days. But the main reason this neighborhood is going to be booming in the coming years is based on the development going on the waterfront from Dumbo all the way to Greenpoint. South Williamsburg waterfront is right in the middle of that and it is going to have an extensive build out, just like the High Line. And guess who's developing it? That's right … The same developer who did the High Line! Now, go take a look at the property values in West Chelsea pre-High Line, and look at them now ... Enough said.

Where would you have bought 5 years ago?:  Without question, the Lower East Side. The current growth of the Lower East Side has been something that New Yorkers of 10+ years ago would have laughed at. As in, there's no way it would happen. But it is happening. Four billion dollars and then some, is what is going into the Essex Street Crossing project down in the LES.  The problem with sales in this area for the last year or so, is that prices aren't reflecting the current state of the neighborhood, but more so they're reflecting the projected state of the neighborhood. For that, it's already priced too high and is a very unattractive purchase based on not being true to the current market and also not having room for future growth.

Franco Vlasic
Independent Properties

Where to buy: Greenpoint is already really trendy, but I think when the construction on the waterfront is done in the next few years you’re going to see property value go way up.

Perks: It's got a small town feel, very neighborhoody. Lots of great food and little shops.

Where would you have bought 5 years ago?: I actually did buy in Williamsburg just over 5 years ago and it was a very good investment.

Mughen Nakamura
Town Residential

Where to buy: Being born and raised in NYC I’ve also seen “the next big neighborhood” change so quickly from one minute to the next (in fact by the time I’m finished with this sentence there will probably be a new one). If I were going with value and being a fringe early adopter, all the cool neighborhoods you’ve already heard of are too easy! I would say Northern Washington Heights.

Perks: Price, greenspace, views, waterfront access and in several years being able to brag ‘I bought this place for under $500/square-foot.’

Where would you have bought 5 years ago?: From an investment standpoint, I would have bought in the outer edges of Bed Stuy. I recall scouting properties around that time and seeing whole buildings for sale around $300k, those same properties now are close to or above $1M! Where previously it was almost nonexistent, today you’ll see all the makings of a developed neighborhood: new high-end coffee shops, restaurants and bars, big increases in rents, new record prices and new construction.

Esteban Gomez
Town Residential

Where to buy: The next "big" downtown neighborhood in Manhattan is still the Financial District — driven by the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, the East River’s new waterfront project, the South Street Seaport, and a booming private sector job growth over the next 3 years. It all leads to more culinary, retail, and cultural concepts.

Perks: Good deals based on a price per square foot basis, compared to other established or mature neighborhoods in downtown, plus all of the train lines eventually funnel down to FiDi. You can be in several different areas of the city, including Brooklyn and Queens, very quickly.

Where would you have bought 5 years ago?: Financial District. And I would focus on finding the best loft spaces, which are always popular and sought after.  

JP Smith
Nestseekers

Where to buy: Lincoln Square West. Finally, they are completing what has been a 20-year development (since 1999). In addition to the recently added Soulcycle and Starbucks to the neighborhood, there are plans for a movie theatre, food hall market, restaurant and bar by Cipriani. Three brand new luxury residential condos designed by Rafael Vinoly, Richard Meier and Kohn Pedersen Fox which will feature a 70,000-square-foot shared amenities space designed by the Rockwell Group (who designed the Oculus!) including an indoor tennis court, indoor soccer field, professional recording studio, indoor half pipe skate park and a hydroponic garden. Talk about an extreme quality of life!

Perks: Unobstructed river views, Soulcycle, Starbucks, new K-12 Collegiate school and privacy (one of the biggest pluses for luxury residences). An urban feel with a suburban setting, all in Manhattan.

Where would you have boughten 5 years ago?: Harlem

Tracie Golding
Stribling

Where to buy: Brooklyn has boomed and people are buying in neighborhoods that were not popular 5 years ago. I am noticing buyers purchasing and looking in areas that are near transportation.  If it is near a subway, buyers are interested.  But if we are talking about Manhattan, I think there are two neighborhoods that had been overlooked.  One, the Seaport area. Secondly, the Upper East Side, east of 2nd.  

Perks: The Seaport is often thought of as a place people went to after work for drinks in the late 80’s or 90’s or where tourists went to walk around. The area has completely changed and now lining the cobblestone streets are bespoke restaurants, stores, new schools and the IPIC theatre.  Also, there are new hotels (The Beekman) and big name chefs opening restaurants.  There is so much happening in the neighborhood.

Before the subway (Q train) was put in, the neighborhood was often overlooked. But now with easy access to transportation, stores are returning, restaurants are returning, and it's incredibly easy to get around.  Also, Carl Schultz park is lovely, there are private schools all around, and there is a lot of apartments for sale or rent.  

Where would you have boughten 5 years ago?:  Five years ago I should have bought in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens or Dumbo Brooklyn.  Prices in those areas have really exploded and what I could have purchased then for the money is much more than I could get right now.

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