Commercial Real Estate: East Harlem is a neighborhood in transition by Justin Fitzsimmons May 9, 2017

NYREJ | May 2, 2017

As residential pricing has stagnated in markets across the city, one Manhattan neighborhood is still in the early innings of its resurgence. In East Harlem, a confluence of factors—including relative affordability, an increase in transit options, and a transformative rezoning plan in the approval process—have made the neighborhood a haven for many residents priced out of other areas of Manhattan. And, as developers race to meet the residential needs of a growing population, the transformation of the neighborhood’s housing market has already begun.

The increased desirability of East Harlem is reflected by spikes in the neighborhood’s median rents and sales prices. At the end of last year, the median rent in East Harlem was approximately $2,325–a 5% jump from 2015–and it continues to climb in early 2017.

At the end of 2016, East Harlem’s median residential sales price was $810,000–up 12% from 2015–while the neighborhood’s $112 million in total sales represented an unprecedented 99% year-over-year increase.

Development sites and multifamily buildings are both on the rise, as well. The average price per s/f for multifamily buildings in 2016 was $425–an 8% increase over 2015. Development sites are now regularly trading at over $200 per s/f, an approximate 25% jump from 2015.

East Harlem’s future growth will be driven, in part, by a new rezoning plan, which was unveiled last year by the Department of City Planning (DCP). Aimed at reshaping a large portion of the neighborhood, the plan is expected to bring thousands of new apartments and almost 10,000 new residents, 100,000+ s/f of retail space and more than 100,000 s/f of office space to the neighborhood.

Nearly every day, developers are filing plans, breaking ground and opening the door for a plethora of market-rate, mixed-income and affordable housing developments. So, while the heights East Harlem will ultimately reach are still uncertain, everything seems to be in place for the neighborhood to finally take off.


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