November 18, 2001
7:33 AM   Subscribe

A developer is pushing new luxury rental apartments in this building in Lower Manhattan with ads on Rentals are probably slow because the building is five blocks from a disaster zone. But let's all just pretend it's not. Potential renters, take note: "actual view south" may not be the actual view south.
posted by davidfg (22 comments total)
If their rent was low enough, I'd move there. I pay nearly 2 grand a month for my brooklyn apartment. I WISH I could afford to live in Manhattan. I wouldn't have an hour-and-a-half commute to work every morning and another one home at night.
posted by grumblebee at 9:44 AM on November 18, 2001

I feel sorry for the poor shmoes who are trying to sell luxury flats down there in the dead zone. The great, 200-year-long real estate scam that is New York City is over. Can you imagine if 9-11 had been even a small nuke, dropped into lower Manhattan? It may be news to New Yorkers, but there's a great big, beautiful country out there for you to live in. There are hundreds of wonderful mid-sized cities all over the country that would welcome you or your business or company headquarters. And don't say, "Moving out of New York means the terrorists have won." Remaining packed together, shoulder to shoulder like the battle ships at Pearl Harbor, in Lower Manhattan simply gives them the opportunity for an even bigger victory next time. Don't forget, these guys are not averse to striking the same target more than once. God bless you all, I love New York; I lived in Manhattan for 20 years. But if there's one lesson to be learned from 9-11 it's this: Spread out.
posted by Faze at 9:59 AM on November 18, 2001

If you're trying to make a living doing theatre -- or some related art form -- you basically have to live in NYC or LA. Sure, there's theatre all over the country, but how many professional actors live in Atlanta or Tulsa. The professional regional theatres come to New York to cast their shows. Even in major regional theatre centers, like Chicago and Seatle, it's impossible. They few actors based there who work get all the work.

Yes, I know most NY actors need a day-job to support themselves. I'm a NY director, and I need a day job. But at least here there's the possibility of occasionally making a few bucks guesting on a Law & Order episode.
posted by grumblebee at 10:06 AM on November 18, 2001

I haven't seen any real changes in the 'real estate scam that is New York City'. A close friend has been looking to buy a small apartment in Manhattan, and the only real change is that people are a LITTLE bit more flexible. Asking prices haven't really gone down - I haven't heard about rents going down anywhere (even Battery Park City).

While that building is 'five blocks from a disaster area', it's also in TriBeCa.

If I can get a 1 bedroom for $1000 I'll move there... but I'm not even going to waste my time checking it out (usually it entails e-mailing them etc, I'd say that a 1 bedroom in that apartment is at least $3500.)

My small 1 bedroom on 105th street (a mere 7 miles from a disaster area!) is $1300, and most people think that's a good deal.
posted by QrysDonnell at 10:22 AM on November 18, 2001

- I haven't heard about rents going down anywhere

That's just not true. The NYC real estate market is down about 5-10% from its peak (according to an articule I read -- can't find link tho, sadly) -- it'll take a little longer for this to really show up in rentals because leases need to expire.

It's definitely showing up in the market now, tho, everyone I know who is looking is finding a lot more apts, and they are somewhat cheaper (no idea what range your friend is looking in, but they should find new brokers). This isn't just b/c of the WTC, the recession that was on before then was causing a lot of ex-dotcommers and wall street types to flee the city.
posted by malphigian at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2001

If I can get a 1 bedroom for $1000 I'll move there... but I'm not even going to waste my time checking it out (usually it entails e-mailing them etc, I'd say that a 1 bedroom in that apartment is at least $3500.)

How big are these $1000 or $3500 apartments? Were I live a gigantic one room apartment can be had for $600, maybe less... If not an entire house for $1000... Do people make more in New York?
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on November 18, 2001

I was actually more interested in this from a Web/marketing perspective. The ad for the developer has a vaguely patriotic theme ('life, liberty'), so clearly someone involved with this thing is living in the real world. But when you click through to the promotional sites for the buildings, they all feature WTC photos, and use the view as a selling point. Is this simple neglect? Nostalgia? Bizarre denial? False advertising?

Or maybe they couldn't find a good Web developer with some time on his/her hands?
posted by davidfg at 1:07 PM on November 18, 2001

Yes, drezdn, people do tend to make more in NYC than they would at most other US cities -- but not in proportion to the price of living here. Rents/housing prices are outrageous, and they only get worse as time goes on. Any "softening" of the market due to 9/11 is being quickly replaced by increases in insurance rates, which are passed on not only to homeowners but even to renters in the form of higher monthly "maintenance" fees (kind of like a monthly condo fee for residents of co-operative apartments).

At the same time, as someone who's lived in wide open spaces and loved it, there's nothing quite like living in NYC -- at least, for a while. ;-)
posted by verdezza at 1:39 PM on November 18, 2001

Where I live a gigantic one room apartment can be had for $600, maybe less... If not an entire house for $1000... Do people make more in New York?

I hope so! According to an online salary calculator, the Milwaukee resident (just to use you as a reference, drezdn) making $50K would have to make over $103K in Manhattan to attain the same standard of living.
posted by Mapes at 1:44 PM on November 18, 2001

There's also been a terrific amount of new residential development in the neighborhoods downtown in the last couple of years — I can think of eight big new high-rises in Chelsea alone — that will be pushing prices down over the next six to twelve months.

drezdn, a $3,500/month one-bedroom in Tribeca would be less than 1000 ft2. But, Qrys, that building isn't really in Tribeca where famous people live, it's in Battery Park City where Wall Street managers live(d).
posted by nicwolff at 2:04 PM on November 18, 2001

Those salary calculators are kinda (totally?) bogus - mostly becuase no one can retain the same 'standard of living moving into Manhattan. My $1300 1 bedroon apt isn't big. It's maybe 500 or 600 square feet (they didn't tell me, and I haven't measured it, maybe I will someday). The ceilings are actually quite high here, so I'm probably not doing too bad on cubic feet though (can't reach ceiling standing on a chair and I'm 6 feet tall - can reach sealing if I put the chair on the bed, but it's kinda dangerous, I need to get a ladder for changing lightbulbs).

Yeah, I just saw the map, it's at the top of BPC.

As far as real estate rates going down I've heard that it's primarially the high-end stuff. My friend is looking for a studio or 1 bedroom under $225,000. Most of what he's found in that price range is tiny tiny tiny studios. (Or slightly larger, but crappy).

He's probably juse going to decide to move to Harlem, where he can get a 1 bedroom in a recently renovated building for his price range... but he's been looking since July or so, so he'd recognize if there was any noticable price decreases. The only things he's really noticed are apartments staying on the market longer, and people being a little easier on the 'other things' (i.e. only wanting 15% down when they used to want 20%)
posted by QrysDonnell at 2:31 PM on November 18, 2001

Yeah! Move out of NYC! Destroy even more of the small amount of countryside we have left! That's the right attitude! Because, really, what this country needs in time of trouble is more suburbia.
posted by louie at 4:24 PM on November 18, 2001

(spit take) $2000?!? How big is that? In the midwest $2000 would buy you some real luxury. I've seen "luxury apartments" for $1000 for one bedrooms, and I won't even pay that.
posted by benjh at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2001

Yes, but it's all relative! People in Mexico City might say, "$400?!? Who would pay $400?!?"

Salaries are higher in NYC, so $2000 doesn't mean the same thing here as it does in the midwest. Sure, I could move to the midwest, and if I managed to keep my modest NY salary, I could live like a king. But I WOULDN'T keep that salary. I'd have to take a big cut.

By the way, I have a 2-bedroom duplex in brooklyn. If I moved to Manhattan, I'd only be able to afford a studio. But the commute is the tradeoff.

I think geographical snobbery is odd. There are many NYers who look at midwesterners as bumpkins. There are many midwesterners who look at NYers as neurotics who need to learn how to enjoy life. I grew up in Indiana and then moved to New York, so I've had it from both ends. And it's all so silly. Different people thrive in different environments. Which is great. I'm glad we have the country and I'm glad we have the city. It's nice to have variety.

I know that my personal pace matches city more than country, so I'm happy here. But I'm glad that the country exists. I like to visit.
posted by grumblebee at 6:26 PM on November 18, 2001

One thing about Manhattan is that you don't need a car; in fact, a car is an impediment. Figure half the money you'd spend on a car -- loan, insurance, gas, repairs, possibly parking -- in another city can go to your rent; and the rest goes to cab fare and the occasional weekend rental to get to Connecticut or wherever.

And yes, those $3500 apartments are not going for the middle-class professional market, they're going for the obscenely comfortable or obscenely profligate market, anybody from incredibly successful young brokers to west-coast movie producers needing a pied-a-terre.

As for the "scam that is New York real estate", it's far from over. The recession is hurting, and there's probably more than a few people who are so emotionally scarred they'll prefer to move back. (Heck, I quit my stint in New York when a friend died of AIDS. It just took all the heady adventure out of the experience.) But by next year those feelings will have abated, and the economy will be swinging back up. The economic benefits of centralization are clear, and most of the businesses in WTC and the surrounding financial district were there for the prestige as much as the convenience.
posted by dhartung at 7:16 PM on November 18, 2001

Because, really, what this country needs in time of trouble is more suburbia.

If that's what people want -- and they do -- that's what people get. Your own piece of land beats hell out of being able to hear your neighbors have sex any day.
posted by kindall at 7:18 PM on November 18, 2001

Thanks, 'bee! I had written a whole "you can keep the country just give me Park Avenue" rant for Faze but you've got the right idea.

(But!) Hey, kindall: I'd pay extra to hear my neighbors have sex — I didn't know that was an option! My apartment's nice and quiet.
posted by nicwolff at 7:27 PM on November 18, 2001

I think it's important to point out for the people that don't live in NYC that New York City isn't a totally impossible city to live in. It's hard to relate to things in a sense that someone from the mid or southwest would understand. (I lived in Phoenix 20 years before I moved here).

In general if you live in Manhattan, which, as far as middle class people, seems to be a lot of recent transplants - rather than middle-class people who have grown up here. Those people are usually from Brooklyn or Queens or Westchester or Jersey or something. I don't have any Manhattanite friends that were raised in the city, for instance.

My apartment is expensive, I don't have a car. I make more than I used to make in Phoenix, but not 'crazy mad-cash more, maybe 10-15K more. (well really, I'm unemployed now.. so I make, um, unemployment, but that was like a month ago). Life is kinda expensive here, but you get accustomed to it, and it's not like anyone is forcing this on me.

New York City is the best place on Earth.
posted by QrysDonnell at 7:42 PM on November 18, 2001

Your own piece of land beats hell out of being able to hear your neighbors have sex any day.

Well, to each his own, I say. ;-)
posted by verdezza at 10:15 PM on November 18, 2001

The pic on the first page of the building's web site looked almost exactly like any number of new buildings in Sydney, Australia. I find that interesting, if a little saddening.

I was paying about A$1800 a month rent for a new, furnished 1 bedroom downtown when I lived there for a while, but of course that would be the equivalent of about US$1.49, so what do I know?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:20 PM on November 18, 2001

Goodness me. I had no idea there were so many voyeurs here. Frankly, being able to hear my neighbors have sex bugs the hell out of me, since it merely hammers home (no pun intended) the fact that I'm not getting any of that.

Maybe I should have said "Your own piece of land beats hell out of being able to hear your neighbors' screaming brats," or "thumping stereo," both of which are equally true.
posted by kindall at 10:29 PM on November 18, 2001

It's not that I'm a voyeur, it's just that you set that up for me so nicely, I couldn't resist. Really.

By the way... what are you wearing?
posted by verdezza at 11:58 PM on November 18, 2001

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