By: Michelle Wong
New York as I see it is becoming a place of renovation, reconstruction and building. In the past five to six years, New York has undergone a major facelift. There is mass construction anywhere in the New York City area and the five boroughs. New York, being the capital of the world and having a reputation of “anything is possible,” needed a much well-deserved makeover. Places in Downtown Manhattan like SOHO, Tribeca, NOHO and the Financial District are now under massive construction and old buildings are now being renovated. Old warehouses such as lofts are now being turned into residential spaces for the young and hip New Yorkers.
If you go uptown to the Upper East Side, old run-down townhouses (or brownstones as they are called) are now being renovated and flipped to upscale one-family or two-family homes, turning it into an investment eye candy. If you did not take the opportunity to invest and buy these townhouses when they were cheap, you missed out. The values on those properties have doubled in the past couple of years. Most investors have taken the opportunity to take these properties at a cheap price and fix them with a very profitable end result.
Harlem has a lot of renovation and new construction, as well. Older buildings are being fixed up and are attracting very diverse buyers who want to live in the area. Young students who attend Colombia University are now purchasing homes after graduating and landing their first jobs. Young families are also moving into the area.
Brooklyn is now considered the twin sister of Manhattan because of the fast changes being set on the neighboring borough. If you can’t afford Manhattan, the next best thing is Brooklyn. However, due to the fast growth and changes implemented on this borough, the prices are just as high as Manhattan.
Brooklyn’s DUMBO, Williamsburg and Fort Greene areas have massive changes and many are moving into the very trendy areas. DUMBO (the acronym means Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) has many buildings under constructions or in their last stages of completion. DUMBO has changed; the Barclays Center in the area gives a positive impact to the community.
Williamsburg, another area of Brooklyn where there are also many buildings under construction, is in high demand by buyers who want to live in the unrecognizable area. Williamsburg was once a remote, rundown area but it is now being inhabited by young families and young singles. Unlike Manhattan, the prices are a little cheaper. It is one of the most promising areas to live in now, if you want to live outside the crazy Manhattan life.
Queens areas like Astoria, Long Island City, Jamaica and even Far Rockaway are also the new trend of renovations. Long Island City, was once known as warehouse and factory outlets, is now being turned into lofts, apartment complexes and condos. Jamaica is also changing as well; there are more homes being fixed up and new homes being built.
On Staten Island, there’s a new development of homes being built in the northern side of the island. Renovations are being done in the south side, as well. Slowly but surely the changes are progressing, especially after Superstorm Sandy. There is supposed to be a new Ferris wheel being built by the harbor near Bay Street, which is a few minutes from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. A mall outlet similar to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport will be added next to the Ferris wheel, which will attract tourists and possibly more homeowners from the outer boroughs.
The northern parts of the Bronx entering into Westchester and Yonkers are under construction. New developments are under way in these areas, as well. There are new homes being built by a few developers in these neighboring areas. From what I hear, it is very promising and there will some competition with the neighboring boroughs but overall each borough has something to offer each New York depending on the wants and needs of consumers.
The old New York most people think about, or is often seen in old movies, is a distant memory. New York is not like it was 30 years ago, full of graffiti and dingy. The New York is more sophisticated, elegant and upscale. It has a new sexy appeal, very chic and modern.
By: Michelle Wong
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