How’s the market in Battery Park City faring right now?
It’s affected by the overall increase in vacancy rate as the rest of Manhattan and much of New York City is. Downtown has gone through such a dramatic revival with a conversion of many buildings from offices to condominiums in the last couple years that we have perhaps more inventory than other neighborhoods at the moment. So whether we’re in a good market or a softened market, we simply have more units down here than we’ve ever had.
How is it compared to other Manhattan neighborhoods?
I know there are a lot of neighborhoods, say the Upper East Side, that last year had a lot of inventory available for rent. A lot of people were no longer attracted to the UES, it was sort of the exodus to downtown so to speak. As far as Battery Park City, the units that have finished construction and have been closed have created some owner-occupied units, but actually created more investor units that are available for rent.
Are there any new developments in the works?
Battery Park City was formed by the ground fill taken from when the original World Trade Center was dug and dumped into the Hudson and is attached to an island. So Battery Park City, there’s only so much of it. The last two available land sites in BPC began their ground breaking last year. That’s it. After those two residential buildings are finished there is no more BPC left to build on.
What are some of the more popular residences in BPC?
The Millennium Towers, which sits next to the Ritz-Carlton and had the same developers, is one of the new buildings. To the north, the Visionaire is very beautiful with all the top amenities and a perspective on green living.
What kinds of people do you find in BPC?
Battery Park City is really about lifestyle. It really attracts everybody. It’s for the person that wants to live in a neighborhood in New York City that doesn’t entirely feel like you’re in Manhattan. Because of the large amount of green space and the public art space, it really attracts a person who is looking for something that is a little different than you might typically find in the rest of Manhattan.
It seems like Battery Park City has gained a lot of prestige for leading a green movement…
Absolutely. In fact, it’s one of its missions. The green movement was initiated in the Solaire, the first building to be given a national award for going green. It was designed from the ground up to be a cutting-edge, green building. It set the standard and the bar for any further development construction, so the buildings that have followed have continued to meet that challenge. There is also an effort by the existing buildings to layer in new green practices. Buildings are essentially retrofitting to green.
I think that BPC in many ways looks like the future. The expansion of the bike path, the Esplanade, the Promenade, the development of the green buildings and the very eco-minded neighborhood mandate, Battery Park City is a look into the future right now. The further development of the World Trade Center and all the historic museums will only enhance the nature of this residential community.