For some Manhattanites, separation anxiety is
a major obstacle to relocation. For these people,
there is Hudson Heights. Jim Nyberg and his wife,
Alice, needed to upgrade from their $1,450 a month
one-bedroom pad in the West Village. But with
a ceiling of $2,000, finding a two-bedroom in
the Village proved impossible. So after reluctantly
scouting out Brooklyn, the Nybergs took a look
at Hudson Heights on the recommendation of a co-worker.
"It was a different world," says Nyberg, who fell
in love with the hill-top enclave just south of
Fort Tryon Park. Last month, they moved into a
spacious two-bedroom apartment for $2,000 a month
on West 181st street, with a view of the Hudson
and the George Washington Bridge.
Lay of the land Hudson Heights, which
stretches roughly from 181st to 193rd Street between
Broadway and the river, is a manufactured name
created by brokers and co-op owners in
the mid-nineties to psychologically distance the
area from the rest of Washington Heights. While
prices have gone up in recent years, the cost
of a one-bedroom co-op ($130,000-$275,000) is
still about half that of one on the Upper West
Side. New, higher-end commercial development has
also crept in, but the biggest boon to the area
is the $84 million ferry-terminal project, which
will open in stages over the next three years.
Prime areas Among the gems are the Hudson
View Gardens on West 183rd, fifteen Tudor-style
buildings situated in front of a block-long community
park; and Castle Village, five high-rises complete
with doormen and sunken living rooms, atop a broad
expanse of grass and trees on Cabrini Boulevard,
overlooking the river.
Creature comforts The southern area, near
181st Street, has loads of ethnic restaurants and
little bodegas. This fall, a Starbucks, the first
in Manhattan north of Harlem, will open on West
181st Street. The northern end offers fewer retail
services but there is a large grocery store, a cute
café, a popular Indian restaurant, a pet store,
and a handful of other little shops.
447 FT. WASHINGTON AVENUE. Two-bedroom, one-bath
co-op in a prewar building. Lots of light,
hardwood floors, 1,100 square feet. Formal
dining room. Steps from A train. On the market
The cons The streetscape of Hudson Heights
is somewhat uninspired, with mostly unremarkable
six- to ten-story apartment buildings. And there
aren't many entertainment or nightlife options,
so get used to the subway.
The commute There are only five stops
between West 181st Street and Port Authority on
the A line. It takes about 20 minutes during rush
hour. But if you get stuck on a local, you're
in for a long ride.
Schools P.S. 187 runs from kindergarten
through eighth grade and is well regarded. Less
desirable is George Washington High School: The
alma mater of Henry Kissinger and Jacob Javits,
its reputation has suffered in recent years from
overenrollment, a high drop-out rate, and a jaded
Best brokers Gus Perry at Stein-Perry
Real Estate (212-928-3805).
the September 17, 2001 issue of New York Magazine.
by Sean Hemmerle. Maps by BRM.