New York City had a difficult go of it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people left the city, and it was hit hard overall by the virus. Now, the city is hoping to regain some of its footing. People who left are returning, and rental prices are soaring.
There is once again activity in the city, and you can see that the skyline will probably be undergoing more changes in the near future with the construction and development in the city.
Whether you’re planning a trip as a tourist or you’re thinking about a move, the following are some of the things to know about real estate in New York and the hottest neighborhoods of the year.
According to a report from StreetEasy, SoHo is one of the top three neighborhoods to watch in New York City this year. The data used to make that call included increases in sales prices, increased rents, and also searches from users.
Manhattan was hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, but there is a growing and renewed interest as things return to some semblance of normalcy.
In Soho, the neighborhood saw a 48% uptick in listing searches in 2021 over 2020. SoHo also had the second-largest annual rent growth in the city.
SoHo is known for its cobblestone streets and boutiques, but it’s also front and center in a push to develop more affordable housing in New York, garnering mixed feelings. In December, City Council approved a controversial plan that is going to pave the way for more commercial and residential development, including hundreds of affordably priced housing units.
The ambitious plan is one that proponents hope will pave the way for other neighborhoods in New York City, where a shortage of housing drives up the cost-of-living overall, making a tough financial situation for a lot of people.
Some community activists expressed opposition to the plan, saying it would only serve to bring in more big-box retail and luxury homes, and destroy the 19th-century architecture of the neighborhood and the artistic atmosphere.
On the other hand, those in favor, including Mayor Eric Adams, hope it’s a step toward undoing some of the things that have made New York one of the most racially segregated cities in the country.
The rezoning plan, which also includes part of NoHo, is a step to shift the longstanding land-use rules that left neighborhoods close to public transit or business districts out of reach for many residents.
During the pandemic, the issues were highlighted even more, with poor neighborhoods being hit hardest by the virus and the subsequent economic collapse.
Only time will tell what the development will ultimately look like and whether it will bring more affordability to SoHo, but regardless, for the time being, the neighborhood is getting a lot of attention among renters and buyers.
Dumbo, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is once again starting to come to life. This trendy but lowkey neighborhood has a lot to offer residents and visitors. There are some of the best skyline views you’ll find anywhere, and cobblestone streets along with a technology and business scene that’s attractive for professionals.
Dumbo is a modern but laidback neighborhood with great restaurants, a scenic waterfront, outdoor spaces and parks, and residents who are invested in seeing it thrive.
The 18th century industrial past of Dumbo is still very much reflected in what you see now.
The East River waterfront has a landscaped pier area, and there are often outdoor concerts held there.
The Market is a mixed-use development with renovated lofts and also new high-rise condos.
Most of the Dumbo housing options are either industrial-era lofts or minimal high rises with skyline views.
A more up-and-coming Brooklyn option is Red Hook. To get to Red Hook, you’ll pass car repair shops, brick warehouses, and garbage facilities, but then once you’re there, you may be surprised with a cobblestone street here or there.
The neighborhood was a shipyard, and then, it emptied out as the maritime industry in the area died down in the second half of the 20th century.
Once that happened, artists started coming in and taking advantage of cheap warehouse rents. Since then, tech companies and businesses have also come in search of commercial spaces that are affordable.
Development to Red Hook has been slower than in other Brooklyn neighborhoods, but that’s starting to change. The popularity of Red Hook has likely increased over the past two years because it doesn’t have easy access to the subway, but with so many people working remotely for the foreseeable future, that matters a lot less than it once did.
What’s On The Horizon For Development?
A lot of development in New York was put on pause during the pandemic. Now, however, it seems that developers and builders are increasingly pushing forward with projects that were at best stop-and-start.
Now, there are projects with sales that may end up starting this year.
One example is the DeKalb/Brooklyn Tower. It stands 1,066 feet, and it’s the tallest in Brooklyn. The building will have rental and condo apartments, and it incorporates the Dime Savings Bank, which is a landmark next door.
Brookfield has a mixed-use complex in the South Bronx, which doesn’t get a lot of similar development. The development was designed by Hill West Architects, and it will have seven towers. There will be 1,350 apartments, 30% of which will be affordable. There will also be retail and community facility space.
The project also opens up access to the Mott Haven waterfront with an esplanade and public park.
Finally, Long Island City now has the recently constructed tallest and second-tallest towers. Both were completed at the end of 2021. Skyline Tower is the tallest of the structures, and Sven is the second tallest.
The Sven building has 30% of its rentals dedicated to affordable housing. The Long Island City skyline is one of the most rapidly changing.
As far as the East Side Access, decades later, it might be completed this year, but it’s not definitive yet.