THE BASICS: In the past year, Tribeca prices have been hit as hard as any in the city. But the big lofts, quiet streets, and good schools (P.S. 234) still draw doctors, bankers, and lawyers, with or without baby No. 1. These days, “it seems a little more touristy because of ground zero,” says resident Jay Wolowitz. “Expect to get stopped by someone asking you to take their picture or find out where JFK Jr. lived.”
WHAT’S NEW: Brokers describe the neighborhood as “essentially done”—nearly everything convertible has been converted. Among the final few: 73 Worth Street, where 30 condos opened last summer, and 50 Murray Street, a high-rise rental of more than 300 units with an Equinox gym. The Hubert, a brand-new sixteen-story loft building at 7 Hubert Street, is scheduled for summer 2004. The former state offices at 80 Chambers Street may be the swankest newcomer in the area: Sub-Zero fridges and Bulthaup sinks are standard.
BARGAIN HUNTING: Sign a two-year lease, and you get a 9/11 discount of up to $500 a month, depending on the zone you’re in. There’s really no bargain area in Tribeca, but, says Stan Ponte of Stribling & Associates, “new developments with 300 units are going to have rent incentives and special deals” as developers scramble to fill them up.
HOT SPOTS: “It” restaurants include Fresh, an elegant seafood eatery on Reade Street, and Jean-Georges’s new 66—chic Asian dining at Leonard and Church. On weekend mornings, Bubby’s and Kitchenette fill up with locals seeking brunch and baked goods. After hours, Le Zinc draws a Euro crowd for drinks, and Azafran is popular for tapas. The Tribeca Film Festival continues to grow every year.
PREDICTION: The federal rebates should keep people looking downtown and stop prices from cratering. But all those conversions have loosened supply and will hold values down.