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Welcome to the Neighborhoods

For the first time in a decade, city real estate last year did something other than shoot straight up: It went up, down, and all around. A block-by-block guide to what happened—and what’s next.

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LOWER MANHATTAN

THE BASICS: Wall Streeters and young families come for the 1.2-mile park full of Rollerbladers, dog-walkers, and sunbathers, and they stay for the schools, like P.S./I.S. 89. Most apartments are one- or two-bedrooms, in Battery Park City’s high-rises. If you don’t have a river view, you’re missing the point.

WHAT’S NEW: The fabulous new Ritz-Carlton is part condo, and a rental called the Solaire, at 20 River Terrace, is touted as the first “environmentally sustainable” residential high-rise in the U.S. Also, the landmark tower at 150 Nassau recently went condo. The ground-zero rebuild will eventually reshape everything.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Nearly all of Battery Park City is in zone one for the post-9/11 incentive program, where residents get $500 a month. Gateway Plaza, a rental building at 375 South End Avenue, is known for good deals. A sad fact: Properties close to (especially facing) ground zero are cheaper.

HOT SPOTS: The bar at the Ritz-Carlton has panoramic harbor views and an equally scenic crowd. Unity, in the space that used to be Manhattan Prime, offers Atkins-friendly comfort food. American Park, a serene restaurant at Manhattan’s tip, sees many marriage proposals.

PREDICTION: The incentives and modest recent price decreases mean excellent deals in the short run; the Trade Center redevelopment (opera house? Museum? Transit hub?) will only add value after that.


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