Welcome to the Neighborhoods


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.

Apartment Prices TO BUY20012003Studio/1BR$155K-$410K$185K-$550K2BR$425K-$550K$500K-$1.3MFamily Apt.$600K-$625K$600K-$2.7MTO RENT20012003Studio/1BR$1,400-$2,600$1,500-$3,6002BR$3,000-$3,300$2,800-$5,500Family Apt.$4,700-$5,200$4,200-$12,000   Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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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.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$669K-$1.2M$250K-$650K 2BR$1.2M-$1.8M$700K-$1.5M Loft.$2.2M-$6.9M$1M-$7M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$2,300-$4,000$1,800-$4,000 2BR$3,600-$11,000$3,600-$9,000 Loft$5,500-$15,000$5,500-$15,000   Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Fabulous young couples, wealthy singles, and ex-suburbanite empty-nesters long ago took over Soho from the artists. As a result, just about every boutique on Madison Avenue has opened a downtown satellite, and a Bloomingdale’s is slated to appear later this year. Crowds can be overwhelming on the weekends, says resident Linda Erman. “But during the week, it’s still wonderful.”

WHAT’S NEW: There isn’t much left to develop, but the area has seen a few recent conversions. The six-story cast-iron building at 419 Broome Street, near Crosby, houses three 4,400-square-foot lofts. The townhouse condos at 175 Sullivan Street have working fireplaces and terraces. And 388 West Broadway has five sweet full-floor lofts with great understated bathrooms.

BARGAIN HUNTING: “Finding anything under $1 million in Soho is a job,” says Siim Hanja of Stribling & Associates. The tenement-style buildings on Thompson and Sullivan Streets hold modest studios and one-bedrooms. Also, look below Broome Street and east of Broadway.

HOT SPOTS: Peep, on Prince Street, wins fans for its sleek décor and innovative Thai cuisine. Théo, a swank place to the west, attracts scenesters for New American food and drink. Fiamma is a bona fide hit, and not just for its fancy glass elevator.

PREDICTION: Soho is premium turf now, the kind that holds its value over the long term. But the past year has been rough, especially in the $2 million–and–up range, and it’ll take time for that segment to recover. Consistent demand for lofts under $1 million should keep that market strong.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$225K-$850K$200K-$1M 2BR$1.16M-$1.75M$800K-$1.5M Loft$1.75M-$3M$1.5M-$3M Townhouse$3M-$7M$2M-$3M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$4,000-$5,000$1,500-$4,000 2BR$5,500-$10,000$4,000-$10,000 Loft$12,000-$20,000$6,000-$15,000     Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: “There’s definitely more lace than leather in the Village today, and many more families,” says Ed Ferris of William B. May. Brokers say they’re seeing lots of entertainment types as well as Wall Streeters who want to be near work. If you’re looking for a doorman, head uptown—but for charming townhouse apartments on quiet, tree-lined streets, there’s no better spot.

WHAT’S NEW:Old Villagers hate it, but the sexiest new building (and one of the few to go up recently) is Richard Meier’s tower at 173–176 Perry Street. Calvin Klein, Martha Stewart, and Nicole Kidman have all bought there. Horatio House, a brick low-rise at 637 Hudson Street, opens in March, and the Greenwich, a 79-unit loft building on 13th Street, was completed last year.

BARGAIN HUNTING: “Not on the west side,” laughs Audrey Nevitsky of Charles H. Greenthal. You might find something way over to the west, though, around Washington Street. Smaller, cheaper rentals also pop up around NYU’s buildings on Broadway (keep an eye out in June and September).

HOT SPOTS: Mario Batali’s new Otto does for pizza what Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne did for burgers (simple fare rendered fabulous); Washington Park is chef Jonathan Waxman’s triumphant return to New American excellence. New watering holes include the sleek neighborhood lounge APT and the bare-bones dance club Filter 14.

PREDICTION: Don’t get your hopes up for a bargain, even in a down economy. “The Village is the most desirable part of downtown,” declares Corcoran’s Mark Schoenfeld, and supply remains drum-tight. Even as much of downtown tanked last year, the Village held firm.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$350K-$875K$175K-$900K 2BR$780K-$1.65M$550K-$1.3M Family Apt.$1.3M-$4M$900K-$5M Townhouse$2M-$10M$2.6M-$14M TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,700-$5,000$1,500-$4,000 2BR$3,900-$6,500$3,500-$6,500 Family Apt.$5,000-$11,000$8,000-$14,000  Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: “People used to want to live here because it was trendy,” says Mary A. Vetri, of William B. May, “but now people know it’s one of the last neighborhood neighborhoods left.” Young professionals love the renovated Tompkins Square Park (no syringes, two dog runs), and the Ukrainian and Polish communities still thrive.

WHAT’S NEW: Strict zoning laws keep development (except for NYU’s dorms) at bay, but an exception is the Village Mews at 407 East 12th Street. Fifty units—from one-bedrooms to penthouses with terraces, all surrounding a courtyard—range from $500,000 to $1 million.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Given the march of gentrification, how far east do you have to go to get a bargain? “Brooklyn,” jokes Corcoran’s Glenn E. Schiller. That said, you can save some money in the tenement-style buildings east of Avenue B.

HOT SPOTS: Downtown celebrities gather at Lit; the new bar features a well-manned D.J. booth and a gallery. Hip restaurants include the New American boîte Butter, the stylish Industry (food), and the inexpensive Supper. With-it music types hang out at world-famous CBGB, the seedy Continental, or the earnest-young-touring-group favorite Lakeside Lounge.

PREDICTION: Price declines, such as they were, are probably over. Schiller says the demand for larger apartments is increasing as families grow, and since there’re no more blocks left to gentrify, shoppers must compete for what’s already been fixed up. The wild card: In a recession, the neighborhood could regress to its less tidied-up past.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$225K-$450K$125K-$425K 2BR$550K-$850K$450K-$1M Family Apt.$900K-$1.1M$650K-$1M TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,900-$2,800$1,200-$2,500 2BR$3,800-$4,100$2,000-$4,500 Family Apt.$5,500-$7,500$3,800-$5,000  Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Designers, writers, artists, musicians, and (gulp!) professionals continue to supplant the pickle purveyors, heroin dealers, and rent-control lifers of yore. The typical rental is an under-500-square-foot renovated walk-up. There’s more room—and less charm—in the postwar co-op towers on Grand Street, recently gone free-market after decades of regulation.

WHAT’S NEW: With co-op privatization, dozens of high-rise apartments are becoming available. But for the most part, says Corcoran’s Glenn E. Schiller, “it’s still a neighborhood of rentals.” Several new rental buildings are opening in the main district, between Eldridge and Clinton Streets, over the next few months.

BARGAIN HUNTING: There’s no geographic trick: Brand-new duplexes often sit next door to turn-of-the-century tenements (though you might find a deal south of Grand or east of Clinton). To a greater degree than in other neighborhoods, the best way to find a deal is by word of mouth—and you’ll save the fee.

HOT SPOTS: In the Ludlow-Orchard axis, there’s hipster bar Pianos and ever-trendy boutiques like TG-170. On Clinton Street, there’s brunch at Clinton Street Baking Company, drinks at the unpretentious Lotus, and dinner at WD-50, Wylie Dufresne’s endlessly delayed new restaurant, which might just be open by the time you move in.

PREDICTION: There was still upward momentum here in 2002—at least for purchases—but prices are limited by uneven services and housing stock. The good stuff, though, particularly the rare and coveted lofts, won’t tank.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$150K-$265K$150K-$350K 2BR$329K-$799K$270K-$450K Family Apt.$449K-$1.1M$450K-$600K    TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,600-$2,100$1,100-$2,200 2BR$2,000-$2,300$1,800-$5,500 Family Apt.$3,850-$5,600$2,400-$7,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Above Houston, lawyers, bankers, and their arty spouses live in Viking-appointed lofts. Below, filmmakers and fashionistas nest in renovated tenements, drawn by nightlife and shopping. Oh, and don’t forget the celebrities (David Bowie and Iman, Lauren Hutton) in Lafayette Street’s airy conversions.

WHAT’S NEW: As tenements south of Houston are renovated, Noho-Nolita is becoming a Tribeca-Soho, albeit grittier and with fewer tourists. There’s also a handful of new high-end buildings. At 57 Bond, on the corner of the Bowery, for example, a 1,700-square-foot penthouse goes for nearly $2 million.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Older buildings near the Bowery are cheaper (some buyers are scared away by truck fumes and flophouses). Quality varies widely here, so “look for a building that’s not freshly painted, that has mortar missing between the bricks, that has graffiti—all the signs of a building that doesn’t have the money to maintain itself,” says Siim Hanja of Stribling & Associates.

HOT SPOTS: The cute little stores of Nolita—Language, Resurrection, shoe temple Sigerson Morrison—make for “human-scale shopping,” says Hanja. The scene is more intense at Café Habana, the coolest Cuban-Mexican diner in town; for a neighborhoody vibe, there’s the Mediterranean Il Buco or the easygoing bistro Five Points.

PREDICTION: This classic dot-com-boom neighborhood came back to reality somewhat in 2002. Look for increases in the better buildings on the side streets—“but only if they’re in turnkey condition,” says Hanja. The battered buildings on the Bowery and on the fringes of Chinatown are likely to lag.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$250K-$680K$200K-$900K 2BR$520K-$750K$595K-$1.6M Loft$990K-$6M$1.5M-$8M    TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,750-$4,200$1,200-$2,500 2BR$3,800-$7,500$2,000-$7,000 Loft$6,500-$19,000$2,500-$10,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: If you have a key to Gramercy Park, it’s heaven. Otherwise, content yourself with access to midtown, the Park Avenue South restaurant scene, and stable values. Singles and professional couples gravitate to the medium-size co-ops in both pre- and postwar flavors, while the wealthy buy (and hold) the brownstones. “A lot of people are combining apartments, too,” says Greenthal broker Mary Nealie, noting that the shortage of larger places remains particularly acute.

WHAT’S NEW: Several as-yet-unfinished rental towers on 34th Street are likely to continue the area’s shift to younger residents. The retail strip along Third Avenue is also growing peppier, as bad delis have given way to a passable bar scene.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Prices drop east of Third Avenue, especially as the noise and traffic of the Midtown Tunnel become a factor. (The big eighties towers over by the East River are an expensive exception.) In Gramercy, prices fall as soon as you get away from the golden key, especially to the north (look around 28th Street).

HOT SPOTS: Park Avenue South’s restaurant row keeps creeping northward, and now tops out at Artisanal, Terrance Brennan’s cheese mecca at 32nd Street. Gramercy Tavern, on 20th Street, continues to thrill the food elite, and the Old Town bar on 18th remains a beloved pub.

PREDICTION: Prices have held since last year’s mild drops, and here and there, they’re rising. (“Gramercy—God bless,” says J.D. Ross Realty’s Ruth Goldsmith.) Count on more of the same: These neighborhoods don’t lead the booms, but they don’t lead the busts either.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$160K-$425K$180K-$550K 2BR$400K-$995K$475K-$1M Family Apt.$700K-$1.5M$875K-$2M Townhouse$1.3M-$3.5M$1.5M-$7M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,200-$3,000$1,800-$3,000 2BR$2,800-$4,200$3,000-$4,500 Family Apt.$6,500-$12,000$4,000-$7,000    Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: The townhouses and prewar co-ops of gay-friendly Chelsea have been home to photographers and filmmakers for years. But “we’re increasingly seeing doctors, lawyers, and business owners,” says Stribling’s Georgia Asher. “You won’t see many small children,” adds Ashforth Warburg’s Judith Thorn. “You wouldn’t move to Chelsea for the schools.”

WHAT’S NEW: Luxury rentals have sprung up along Sixth Avenue. The Tate, the Westminster, and the Sierra, all mid-rises built last year, mix studios from $2,000 with two-bedrooms from $3,500. The Campiello Collection, a pair of condo towers at 224 West 18th and 151 West 17th, has one- to three-bedroom apartments from $1 million to $3 million.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Prices drop the farther north you get from London Terrace (the famed prewar building that occupies a full block of 23rd Street at Ninth Avenue) and the Chelsea Market, especially up in the grittier Thirties.

HOT SPOTS: Man Ray, the French-Asian restaurant at 15th Street and Seventh Avenue owned by Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, and Sean Penn, caters to the sunglasses-at-night set. Serena, in the basement of the Hotel Chelsea, draws the young and fabulous, as does the bar at the Park, on Tenth Avenue near 17th Street.

Apartment Prices TO BUY20012003Studio/1BR$265K-$825K$160K-$850K2BR$875K-$1.6M$700K-$1.4MFamily Apt.$2.1M-$10M$1.5M-$3.5MTownhouse$2M-$5M$2.5M-$4.5M   TO RENT20012003Studio/1BR$1,700-$3,700$1,300-$2,6002BR$3,800-$6,000$3,000-$5,000Family Apt.$6,500-$11,000$6,000-$15,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Moneyed empty-nesters live alongside midtown working stiffs in virtually every style of apartment (at every price range): modern skyscrapers with floor-to-ceiling windows, great prewars, brownstones. Few schools and a hike to the subway keep the stroller set away. Wave to Katharine Hepburn and Stephen Sondheim, whose townhouses back up to the legendary Turtle Bay gardens, or high-five Derek Jeter, who bunks in Trump World Tower.

WHAT’S NEW: Brokers are buzzing about the Grand Beekman, a stylish tower opening this month, and the just-finished Beekman Regent, a converted schoolhouse, located on opposite corners of 51st and First. Other recent developments, like the ultraluxe Trump World Tower, initially boosted prices here by about 10 percent, a phenomenon brokers say is settling down.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Head to First and Second Avenues for the relatively low-priced studios and one-bedrooms.

HOT SPOTS: Socialites seeking seafood favor Della Femina, while Francophiles dine at Le Perigord. World Bar, which opened last year in the Trump World Tower, is as gold-plated as you’d expect. Scott Conant’s new spot, L’Impero, the only restaurant in Tudor City, is worth the trip.

PREDICTION: Like the ultraconservative portfolios of its residents, Sutton Place rarely loses value. The humbler apartments in the brownstones surrounding First Avenue have been more vulnerable to price drops—but there’ll always be buyers who want to be steps from the office.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$300K-$800K$180K-$750K 2BR$550K-$1.5M$500K-$3M Family Apt.$1.6M-$9.5M$1.4M-$8.2M Townhouse$2.5M-$8M$1.75M-$25.5M TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$3,000-$4,500$1,500-$5,000 2BR$4,700-$8,500$2,500-$7,500 Family Apt.$7,000-$15,000$6,900-$20,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: The new generation of Hell’s Kitchen—sorry, Clinton—residents are folks who started looking on the Upper West Side, then realized they could enjoy much the same lifestyle south of Lincoln Center. For the past century, the typical apartment here was a walkup tenement; now it’s a luxury rental with fancy condo finishes: grandiose lobby, lots of granite, high-speed Internet access, health club.

WHAT’S NEW: “The 42nd Street corridor used to be the armpit of the city,” says Andrew Heiberger, president and CEO of Citi-Habitats. “Now it’s become a flower.” Four luxury-rental buildings have gone up in that area in the past few years. “Midtown has become a much easier sell,” says Corcoran’s Barbara Matter. And don’t forget the 800-pound gorilla that could change everything: The AOL Time Warner Center, on Columbus Circle, should open this fall, with 191 luxury condos priced from $2 million to $32.5 million.

BARGAIN HUNTING: A preponderance of new luxury rentals means discounts: up to three months’ free rent and sometimes even moving expenses or a health-club membership. For purchases and rentals alike, prices fall as you head west, away from midtown offices and the train.

HOT SPOTS: Float, a dance club on West 52nd Street, and the Hudson Library Bar on 58th have resuscitated local nightlife. The neighborhood is packed with great restaurants, from the small storefronts of Ninth Avenue, like the Afghan Kebab House and Uncle Nick’s, to hit pretheater standbys like Molyvos, Baldoria, and Esca.

PREDICTION: “To everyone’s great amazement,” says Robert Clepper, a broker at William B. May, “sales have been stable.” Chalk it up to the newcomers. Prices may be held down some by the luxury-rental glut, but that won’t last, says Heiberger: “Then the area will be occupied, and it will be like any other Manhattan neighborhood.” In the long term, the AOL center plus the proposed stadium complex on the far west side—if it’s built—should boost values across the board.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$400K-$450K$270K-$600K 2BR$500K-$600K$600K-$2M Family Apt.$750K-$1M$900K-$4M Townhouse$1.8M-$3.5M$1.6M-$5M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$2,000-$2,500$1,400-$2,700 2BR$2,900-$3,200$2,500-$4,500 Family Apt.$3,200-$3,500$2,500-$5,000  Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: The Gold Coast properties—mansions and huge prewars in the Sixties and Seventies, on and near Fifth and Park Avenues—remain the domain of the seriously wealthy, for whom park views, expensive meals, Madison Avenue shopping, and proximity to most of the city’s best private schools are basic requirements. East of Lexington Avenue, young professionals and budding families live in prewar and postwar co-ops, condos, and mid-block townhouses, which run smaller than those on the Gold Coast. They’re mostly one- and two-bedrooms in walkups and postwar slabs, including lots of convertible studios.

WHAT’S NEW: Woody Allen has won: The much-publicized Carnegie Hill debate over 47 East 91st Street has been settled, and what was going to be a sixteen-story building has been cut down to nine. Realtors are also buzzing about the Ruppert Yorkville Towers, four middle-income rentals that are being converted into fairly luxurious condos, as well as 502 Park Avenue, at 59th Street, where Donald Trump is turning the old Delmonico Hotel into apartments, restoring prewar exterior details and gutting the inside.

BARGAIN HUNTING: “It’s possible to find good values for Gold Coast properties that need extensive work,” says Elizabeth Henry of Halstead. “East of Lexington, buyers can find bargains in new conversions.” Generally, the farther east you go—away from the subway and outside the prime public-school districts—the more prices fall, until you get to East End Avenue, where the river view sends value soaring again.

HOT SPOTS: Many New Yorkers would snicker at the thought of seeing “hot spots” and “Upper East Side” together. After all, the hottest scene most weekends is at Eli’s, the grand (and grandiose) gourmet emporium at 80th Street and Third Avenue; nightlife more or less means the evenings when the Met, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the excellent Neue Galerie stay open. But not to be overlooked are first-rate cabaret at the Carlyle, the scene at Elaine’s, and the tribal rites of the fur-coat set at Swifty’s.

PREDICTION: Some things are up (two-bedrooms), some are down (small rentals), but grade-A prime turf like this never loses too much ground. As in other neighborhoods, bet on the top blocks: There’s no safer wager in all New York than Fifth and Park Avenues.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$350K-$1.1M$350K-$840K 2BR$500K-$2.5M$675K-$3.5M Family Apt.$1.2M-$15M$1.1M-$20M Townhouse$3M-$22M$2.6M-$25M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,500-$4,000$1,150-$3,100 2BR$2,400-$6,200$2,100-$5,000 Family Apt.$8,000-$14,000$4,400-$11,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: The Upper West Side may not be as tweedy and artsy as it was in the era of the Trillings and Podhoretzes (some argue that it has turned into the Upper East Side), but the neighborhood is still home to artists, actors, and writers, and not just in Jerry Seinfeld’s income bracket. “It’s more diverse than people think. It’s not just mothers pushing carriages at Zabar’s,” says Ken Scheff, sales manager at Bellmarc.

WHAT’S NEW: Besides the AOL Time Warner behemoth? The loft condominiums at 43 West 64th Street, where the old Liberty Warehouse stood opposite Lincoln Center, are set to open in the early fall. Donald Trump has already sold 415 of the 440 condos in his new high-rise at 70th Street and Riverside Boulevard.

BARGAIN HUNTING: The northern edge of the area, on the fringes of Morningside Heights, is “the last frontier,” says Scheff. “There are charming townhouses on Manhattan Avenue in the $1.5 million range,” adds Corcoran’s Deanna Kory. Other deals pop up in the high Nineties along Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, Kory says.

HOT SPOTS: Ouest, Tom Valenti’s French-American bistro at 84th and Broadway, finally made the neighborhood safe for top-flight cooking. Aix, at 88th and Broadway, and Compass, on 70th near Amsterdam, will soon be joined by Valenti’s new 75th Street southern-Italian eatery, ’Cesca.

PREDICTION: Even after the increases of the past few years, classic sixes and sevens should continue to fare well in this family-friendly area, says Halstead’s Michael Goldenberg. Central Park West and Riverside Drive, especially, should also hold their gains—as crazy as the prices are, they’re still lower than on Park Avenue.

Apartment Prices TO BUY20012003Studio/1BR$250K-$420K$180K-$500K2BR$575K-$700K$580K-$850KFamily Apt.$900K-$1.5M$950K-$3.3MTownhouse$1M-$4M$1.2M-$5M   TO RENT20012003Studio/1BR$1,800-$2,700$1,800-$3,8002BR$3,100-$3,800$3,500-$6,000Family Apt.$4,100-$7,000$4,100-$10,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: “Many buyers are affiliated with Columbia or St. Luke’s, or they’re families priced out of the downtown market who need the space,” says Barbara Good, Halstead Property senior vice-president. The area is also popular with first-time buyers, who come for the reasonably priced one-bedrooms: “A lot of Columbia students buy around here, or rather, their parents buy for them,” says Ann Guttman of Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy.

WHAT’S NEW: There are few recent conversions in the area—not counting the twelve-story faculty-housing-and-prep-school complex Columbia is building on 110th Street and the post-doc housing that’s springing up at 103rd and Broadway. That said, you’ll find newly renovated, high-end co-ops in the Manhasset, the mansard-topped building that occupies an entire block of Broadway between 108th and 109th Streets, selling for top market prices.

BARGAIN HUNTING: To find the best deals, head east of Broadway and west of Central Park West. You can also score in the non-doorman buildings from 121st to 123rd Streets.

HOT SPOTS: On Amsterdam Avenue, Max Soha serves up old-school Italian. For French-Caribbean, head to A Café on Columbus Avenue. Silver Moon Bakery is the local go-to for tarts and other buttery treats. If you like your music loud, the Ding Dong Lounge on Columbus Avenue features live punk.

PREDICTION: This area, newly colonized by Upper West Siders escaping to the north, felt last year’s drop-off. But one-bedrooms are selling well, says Guttman. (Must be all those Columbia grads.) Riverside Drive’s big prewar buildings with views of the Hudson tend to hold their value best. Columbia’s incentives for staff to move toward Harlem may boost prices to the east.

Apartment Prices TO BUY20012003Studio/1BR$150K-$350K$180K-$425K2BR$300K-$600K$400K-$700KFamily Apt.$850K-$2.5M$880K-$2.5M   TO RENT20012003Studio/1BR$1,200-$2,000$900-$2,3002BR$1,800-$2,500$2,500-$3,200Family Apt.$1,900-$3,300$3,500-$5,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: “There are two types of buyers in Harlem,” says Charles H. Greenthal’s Anita Carter. “The small developer who buys low and sells high, and the young couple who can’t afford downtown.” The new residents are strikingly diverse: straight and gay, black and white, Asian and European. They’re here for the neighborhood’s history and the immaculate houses on Strivers Row—plus fixer-upper brownstones that cost 20 percent of what they would a mile to the south. In East Harlem, old-style tenements rule.

WHAT’S NEW: The building boom continues. A flood of co-ops and condos is coming onto the market next year to satisfy the in-between market (that is, buyers with a decent income who can’t afford a Strivers Row townhouse). Typical example: The Sugar Hill Condominiums, a six-story luxury conversion at 146th Street and Convent Avenue, will offer two- and three-bedroom units as large as 1,900 square feet (prices are still TBA). Corcoran’s Vie Wilson calls the development “dynamic.” “There are virtually no new condominiums in Harlem,” she says. “They just don’t exist.”

BARGAIN HUNTING: Head north (away from the encroaching Upper West Side) and east of Fifth Avenue—especially over around Third.

HOT SPOTS: The Sugar Hill Bistro’s eclectic American menu has lured the neighborhood’s favorite adopted son, Bill Clinton. Bayou offers former and would-be Southerners a taste of down-home Cajun cooking. The recently renovated Strivers Lounge & Cafe has live R&B and hip-hop, and Lenox Lounge is a jazz-world landmark.

PREDICTION: Rents have been flat, but sales of nearly everything big have been rising. The best long-term growth should occur with brownstones. Says Wilson, “There’s a lot more product to sell here—and people are interested in gentrifying.”

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$125K-$375K$100K-$300K 2BR$150K-$500K$200K-$500K Family Apt.$400K-$600K$500K-$900K Townhouse$400K-$1.5M$400K-$1.2M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$900-$1,500$800-$1,800 2BR$1,100-$2,500$950-$2,500 Family Apt.$2,000-$3,000$1,800-$3,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Typical residents—students, young professionals with college loans, new parents who need an extra room—have fled uptown for space. A lot of actor-singer-dancer-waiters live along (where else?) Broadway. In Hamilton Heights, you’ll find one- or two-bedroom floor-throughs in brownstones. Farther up, five- or six-room apartments in prewar buildings, as well as Art Deco two- and three-bedrooms, dominate.

WHAT’S NEW: The brand-new seven-story condo building at 135th and Broadway—the top four floors of which have balconies and views of the river—is said to be nearly sold out. Several co-op and condo conversions are in the works west of Broadway in Hamilton Heights, and a new condo building is under way on Cabrini Boulevard. Developers are also renovating several properties on Bradhurst Avenue in the 140s—an area that Home Realty NYC broker Yolanda Chang predicts will “boom out.”

BARGAIN HUNTING: The operative phrase here is east of Broadway. Check out Wadsworth and St. Nicholas Avenues, in particular, for the best deals.

HOT SPOTS: The new Hispaniola has a cigar bar and a smokin’ Asian-Latin menu. A bite at the New Leaf Café in Fort Tryon Park supports the New York Restoration Project. St. Nick’s Pub features live jazz most nights and serves soul food that reminds you how uptown you really are.

PREDICTION: Gentrification (two Starbucks outlets and counting) explains the recent price increases. An off economy could slow that process, but the area has natural advantages over the outer boroughs that should help it maintain its appeal. Says Klara Madlin, president of Klara Madlin Real Estate, “You have value anywhere that you can reach by subway and don’t have to cross a bridge.”

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$50K-$159K$100K-$300K 2BR$195K-$375K$250K-$450K Family Apt.$375K-$599K$325K-$750K Townhouse$250K-$750K$550K-$1.3M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$600-$900$700-$1,800 2BR$1,200-$1,500$1,300-$3,500 Family Apt.$1,500-$2,500$1,500-$7,500 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: The Heights is Brooklyn’s answer to the Village, but grander: fabulous nineteenth-century brownstones with high ceilings and fireplaces, and great apartment buildings to match. Not all that much cheaper than Manhattan anymore, but you will get more grace and space for your money, plus a unique small-town feeling. “I love the mix,” says Evan Harrison, who moved from the Upper West Side last year. “Old people, families, Wall Street yuppies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

WHAT’S NEW: Development is scarce in these landmarked areas, and demand is high—so anything new is top-notch. The new four-story condos on State Street between Willow Place and Hicks Street are meant to blend into the historic block, and run from $590,000 to $1.89 million. Slightly more affordable are new units in five brick buildings on Warren Street, between Court and Smith ($525,000 to $995,000). Opening this summer: 58 rental apartments, priced from $1,600 to $4,500, behind a brick-and-glass façade on Atlantic Avenue between Henry Street and the river.

BARGAIN HUNTING: “Brooklyn Heights bargain” is all but an oxymoron, but check out Concord Village, a group of five co-ops on the fringe of downtown Brooklyn. Cobble Hill’s cheaper; scout the area delineated by Smith Street, Court Street, Atlantic Avenue, and Degraw Street. Also, look for loft-style apartments in up-and-coming “West Cobble Hill” (around Tiffany Place and Columbia Street).

HOT SPOTS: Though the Heights isn’t much for nightlife, good restaurants line Montague Street (try Amin for Indian and Nanatori for Japanese), and there’s an old-school-Italian flavor to the area (check out Noodle Pudding on Henry Street). Cobble Hill, on the other hand, boasts Smith Street, which is perhaps the hippest strip in Brooklyn. Smith Street Kitchen serves some of the best seafood in the outer boroughs; Fa’an cooks up delicious Pan-Asian.

PREDICTION: The best neighborhood in Brooklyn will never be cheap again, especially given the whopping increases of the past decade. But don’t look for more big gains. “I guess we are going to plateau for a while,” says broker Christopher Thomas. Two-bedrooms are the greatest draw (for people who’d otherwise buy a one-bedroom in Manhattan). The weakest market? Townhouses at the top of the range, around $3 million.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$110K-$300K$99K-$590K 2BR$400K-$500K$290K-$995K Family Apt.$780K-$1.3M$650K-$1.7M Townhouse$1.9M-$3M$950K-$3M    TO RENT 2001 2003     Studio/1BR$1,300-$1,400$1,000-$2,700 2BR$2,500-$4,000$1,900-$4,000 Family Apt.$4,500-$7,000$3,500-$7,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: It’s a standard Brooklyn demographic: “Italians who’ve been here for years, Hispanics toward the Gowanus, yuppie families in the really nice brownstones, and twentysomethings renting from the yuppie families,” says resident Adam Green. The average townhouse now sells for over a million, but, Chris Thomas of William B. May points out, “There’s a great deal of variation.”

WHAT’S NEW: “The trend has been to take three- and four-family houses and turn them back into one or two-family houses,” says William Ross, president of William S. Ross Real Estate. But there are also a few conversions of industrial spaces, like the 48 rental units in the Lili Rose, a former furniture warehouse at Warren and Smith. Brand-new condos on Degraw Street between Court and Smith, going for around half a million, sold out last year, as did those in the more affordable Martin on Sackett Street—two-bedroom, skyline-view apartments went for $325,000.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Try “Carroll Gardens West”—the Red Hook border zone on the far side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. “Sales run 10 to 15 percent below the equivalent amount of space on the other side of the divide,” says Thomas. The Gowanus Canal cleanup has revitalized the southeastern edge of Carroll Gardens—look for “sweet little three-story townhouses that you can still buy for what you’d pay for a two-bedroom condo,” says Thomas. In Boerum Hill, prices drop the closer you get to the projects.

HOT SPOTS: French bistros—Bar Tabac, Patois, Banania Cafe—abound on white-hot Smith Street. You’ll find plenty of bars on and around the strip, too, including Boat, Roxy, Brooklyn Inn, and—come summer—the outdoor Gowanus Yacht Club. Try the Red Rail on Henry Street for brunch, and get your java at Halcyon or the Flying Saucer.

PREDICTION: Gentrification fueled the price increases of the past several years, but demand is finally cooling—instead of twenty buyers for every property, there are five. Look for sale prices to hold for houses and larger apartments in Carroll Gardens and the prime section of Boerum Hill (closer to Cobble Hill), but to soften for less desirable units. In the long run? “The very last buildable lots have been developed or are being developed,” says Bill Ross. “Within two years, nothing new will be built, and prices should go up a lot.”

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$125K-$300K$150K-$400K 2BR$250K-$525K$350K-$635K Family Apt.$500K-$675K$500K-$750K Townhouse$600K-$1.5M$800K-$1.5M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,200-$1,800$1,200-$1,800 2BR$1,800-$2,500$1,600-$2,500 Family Apt.$2,800-$4,000$2,400-$3,500 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Red Hook is definitely a neighborhood in flux: The longtime home of Brooklyn longshoremen and other blue-collars now sees its share of BMWs parked in front of refurbished townhouses. Warehouse spaces, modest one- and two-bedroom apartments, and townhouses are plentiful and affordable.

WHAT’S NEW: The planned giant waterfront Fairway shopping-and-condominiums complex on Van Brunt Street, approved last year, is under construction. Prime for future conversions: the blocks south of Commerce Street and east of Van Brunt, as well as Coffey Street between Conover and Ferris, which has cobblestone streets and dock views. Business owners hope to turn Columbia Street into Red Hook’s Smith Street; Japanese, Mexican, and Italian restaurants have opened recently. Everything seems to be coming, in fact, except transit: There’s no subway into Red Hook.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Good buys can be found throughout the neighborhood, really, but the blocks surrounding the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel are particularly inexpensive.

HOT SPOTS: Alma, a Mexican restaurant with great views of lower Manhattan, has been drawing crowds since opening last April. Lillie’s and Sunny’s are friendly, rambling bars a few blocks from one another on Beard Street. Red Hook Blue features—yep—live blues.

PREDICTION: Gentrification is coming—witness the steadily climbing prices of the past several years—but the transition is still in its early stage, and mostly confined to the blocks near the water. A good choice for the very long haul if you don’t mind a substantial march to the train.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$155K-$185K$215K-$250K 2BR$185K-$210K$290K-$330K Family Apt.$240K-$260K$500K-$700K Townhouse$250K-$450K$400K-$675K     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$900-$1,300$850-$1,400 2BR$1,300-$2,000$1,450-$1,650 Family Apt.$1,800-$2,800$1,700-$2,200 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Cobbled streets and the ghosts of cardboard manufacturers past mix with “high-tech incubators, all kinds of computer people, and design studios,” says broker William Ross. With a 24-hour organic-grocery store, a bank, quiet streets, access to the A, C, and F lines, and plans for a children’s playground in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo has become a magnet for families. The apartments? Think converted loft spaces with sweeping views of Manhattan and furniture courtesy of the new Jay Street branch of ABC Carpet & Home.

WHAT’S NEW: Judging by all the scaffolding, what isn’t? The latest addition is the Sweeney Building, a turn-of-the-century office building recently converted into 87 luxury condominiums by David Walentas, the developer behind the Clock Tower building and the self-styled “father of Dumbo.”

BARGAIN HUNTING: Prices are still relatively reasonable (for now, anyway) in Vinegar Hill, the area just north of the Manhattan Bridge.

HOT SPOTS: The River Cafe serves four-star meals with five-star views of Manhattan. Neighborhood institution Superfine is still the place to go for a burger, drinks, live music, and a round of pool on the orange-felt tables.

PREDICTION: Dumbo’s appeal to families explains its rapid growth, which should continue. The recent flurry of activity in sales of one-bedroom apartments suggests that Manhattan expats without kids are starting to look here as well. But are all those blockbuster lofts overpriced?

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 1BR$740K-$800K$700K-$800K Loft$995K-$1M$600K-$2.7M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,425-$2,850$1,500-$3,600 2BR$2,700-$2,800$2,800-$5,500 Loft$7,500-$8,750$4,500-$12,000 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: In landmark Fort Greene, you’ll find graceful houses with lots of period detail along Cumberland, South Portland, and South Oxford Streets—and a lot of strollers: “Fort Greene Park has been completely redone,” says resident Sandra Shepard. “You’ll find a lot of stay-at-home moms. It’s a not-so-rushed lifestyle out here.”

WHAT’S NEW: An old shoe factory on Taaffe Place houses large, beautifully renovated loft spaces right off the Pratt Institute campus. The Graham Home for Old Ladies in the 150-year-old building on Washington Avenue has been converted into 25 two- and three-bedroom condos. The Chocolate Factory on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill has become high-end lofts. The Atlantic Terminal, a vast retail and business center, is set to be finished in spring 2004.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Anything between Myrtle and Park Avenues is cheaper than anything between Willoughby and Gates Avenues, the prime blocks. Reasonably priced one- and two-bedroom rentals can be found near Myrtle Avenue around the BQE.

HOT SPOTS: Great restaurants have sprung up on DeKalb Avenue: Madiba serves South African; Sol features sizzling Caribbean. For quaint French dining, mangez at Loulou. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Brooklyn Academy of Music offers “dinner and a movie,” which includes a prix fixe meal with tickets.

PREDICTION: The neighborhood was late to the nineties price boom, but it caught up quickly. Now that it’s been discovered, expect buyers to keep coming. Townhouses with rental income are at a premium, selling to Manhattanites who want gracious homes that they can’t quite afford on their own.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$95K-$225K$150K-$350K 2BR$155K-$350K$350K-$500K Family Apt.$250K-$500K$650K-$850K Townhouse$500K-$1M$850K-$1.3M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,100-$1,600$1,000-$1,700 2BR$1,200-$2,000$1,700-$1,900 Family Apt.$2,400-$3,400$2,000-$2,800 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: As the families that fed the area’s nineties boom—many of them Upper West Side transplants—continue to dominate the area around the park, younger and artier refugees have settled near Fifth Avenue. Townhouses are the dwelling of choice, but those that hit the market tend to be fixer-uppers, and even those are no longer inexpensive. One- and two-bedroom apartments in larger buildings are relatively plentiful.

WHAT’S NEW: The sixteen-story Shinnecock luxury condos at Union Street, near Prospect Park, opened four months ago and are the first new prime Slope development in decades. New buildings will also soon be popping up at President, Carroll, and 5th Streets between Fourth and Fifth Avenues—an area that wasn’t even considered Park Slope ten years ago. “There’s no other place to build,” says Corcoran’s Patricia Neinast.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Look on the fringes—the western flank close to Fifth Avenue and buildings on Flatbush, for example.

HOT SPOTS: Fifth Avenue—up there with Smith Street in hipster cachet—has recently spawned Moutarde, a Balthazar-style bistro; a new Blue Ribbon Sushi; a spate of secondhand boutiques; the music club Southpaw; the plush Gowanus Lounge; and the gourmet beer emporium Bierkraft.

PREDICTION: The Slope sure has boomed, but it probably won’t go much higher, at least for now. If the market falls off its current plateau, “what will do best is anything in a prime location,” says Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy & Garfield’s Neil Stein, “and anything that’s large will hold its value.” More vulnerable are one-bedrooms—a luxury for singles but too small for families. On the edges, Flatbush Avenue—with abundant services and subways—might be better off than Fourth Avenue and the Gowanus hinterlands.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$103K-$276K$130K-$500K 2BR$300K-$400K$375K-$750K Family Apt.$303K-$900K$500K-$1M Townhouse$671K-$1M$900K-$2.5M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,300-$1,800$900-$2,200 2BR$2,000-$2,400$1,600-$3,500 Family Apt.$3,000-$3,500$2,200-$4,500 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: Kensington and Windsor Terrace, with more (and cheaper) one-bedrooms than Park Slope, are filling up with young singles and couples. For others, loft living beckons. Families with cars go farther afield, to historic districts on the far side of the park. Turn-of-the-century houses with porches and lawns make Ditmas Park one of the city’s most beautiful and stable bargain neighborhoods.

WHAT’S NEW: Two loft-style Pacific Street developments are the main event: Newswalk, the converted Daily News plant, has been partly occupied for six months; the smaller Atlantic Art building is almost finished and 85 percent sold. A new, fully occupied five-story rental complex with penthouses overlooks the Prospect Expressway in Windsor Terrace.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Faded architectural gems in Ditmas Park and Lefferts Manor are still bargains at around $500,000. The laid-back co-ops on Ocean Parkway in Kensington may not show up in Architectural Digest, but for a little more than $100,000 for a one-bedroom, they’re yours.

HOT SPOTS: Try Tavern on Dean, a New American brunch place in Prospect Heights. Out in Ditmas Park, a much-anticipated pub (no name yet) will open on Saint Patrick’s Day at Cortelyou and Marlborough Roads. There’s still no trendy coffee shop, though (entrepreneurs take note).

PREDICTION: Yes, prices rose in these areas, but here on the fringes of the fringes, the living is still (mostly) affordable. Landmarked neighborhoods and parts adjoining the Slope should hold up better than the outlying F-train colonies. If the economy really goes south, “areas like Kensington are particularly vulnerable,” says William B. May’s Chris Thomas, “because the people who were being driven there five years ago can find what they were looking for near Park Slope.”

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$60K-$200K$100K-$200K 2BR$200K-$275K$190K-$500K Family Apt.$350K-$750K$400K-$800K Townhouse$350K-$600K$500K-$1.3M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$750-$1,800$800-$1,900 2BR$1,200-$2,500$1,400-$2,500 Family Apt.$2,600-$3,600$2,000-$3,500 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: A more spacious, cheaper cousin to the East Village, Williamsburg can feel at times like a particularly glamorous college campus—or a particularly hip district of Seattle. M.F.A. grads and young professionals priced out of the Lower East Side have carved out space amid the Polish population of Greenpoint and the Italian population near the Graham subway stop. Roughly half the available spaces near the first stop of the L train are lofts, but railroad apartments (450 to 1,500 square feet) are more common in general.

WHAT’S NEW: Williamsburg Gardens, at 250 South 2nd Street, and Bedford Court, at 150 South 1st Street (both in the $300,000-to-$700,000 range), are brand-new condo buildings catering to first-time buyers. This fall, add 158 Broadway to the list; tellingly, for a young neighborhood that’s starting to mature, the building’s apartments all have two bedrooms.

BARGAIN HUNTING: The farther from the Bedford and North 7th Street epicenter you get, the better the deal—specifically, the farther you go east toward Bushwick or north into Greenpoint. If you go about two stops past Williamsburg proper into Bushwick, a new 42-unit building in a former tea factory has lofts renting for $1,100 to $1,800.

HOT SPOTS: The recently opened Sea on North 6th Street (pad Thai, litchi martinis) is packed with diners ogling the fountain-and-platinum décor. The Gray Parrot on Bedford serves cheap and delicious pseudo-French food. The electroclash scene was born here, and thrives at clubs like Luxx on Grand Street. Burlesque and other performance arts are popular at bars like Galapagos on North 6th Street.

PREDICTION: How the waterfront is developed—park or garbage-processing plant?—will determine the area’s long-term fortunes. Expect prices and rents to keep climbing, as young singles and artists are joined by traditional first-time buyers. “Services are within walking distance, so especially the area north of the Williamsburg Bridge has become attractive,” says Insignia Douglas Elliman’s Helene Luchnick. That means larger apartments are more in demand. Wild card: If the 2012 Olympics come to town, Williamsburg will be home to archery, beach volleyball, and all sorts of new construction.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$125K-$175K$250K-$300K 2BR$220K-$225K$300K-$400K Family Apt.N/A$600K-$1.2M     TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR$1,000-$1,300$1,000-$1,600 2BR$1,300-$2,200$1,400-$2,500 Family Apt.$2,500-$3,000$2,000-$3,500 Get the Complete Guide for This Neighborhood
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THE BASICS: MoMA QNS and the “Matisse Picasso” show have earned Long Island City its fifteen minutes of fame and then some. But would-be Warhols and others searching for cheap space have been colonizing the area for some time. Attached and semi-attached townhouses and multi-family homes are most common; studios and one-bedrooms are in comparatively short supply. “You’re getting the people who lived in Manhattan and wanted out, but there’s still a large immigrant population,” says Mary Jane Feimer of First Choice Realty. “Somehow, everyone lives harmoniously.”

WHAT’S NEW:The Avalon Riverview offers 372 apartments (starting at $1,745) and gorgeous views of the East River. Two-family houses with garages have been popping up. There’s also a spiffy new rental building at 21st and Broadway. BARGAIN HUNTING: Head east toward the edges of Jackson Heights and Woodside, where prices are lower because you’re farther from Manhattan—and local subways.

HOT SPOTS: Tournesol, opened by a former Artisanal maître d’, brings upscale bistro fare to Queens. Local favorites for cheap eats include Kabab Cafe for baba ghannouj and newly opened Bella Via for brick-oven pizza. Hipsters head to the Café Bar for board games and drinks, and to the old-world Bohemian Hall for beer.

PREDICTION: Development has been piecemeal here, which explains the uneven price changes. Smaller rentals continue to be in demand, though, and as more people seek bargains outside Manhattan, the area should continue to gain momentum. Who knows—Manhattanites visiting “Matisse Picasso” may start calculating prices per square foot and decide to put down roots. For expanded versions of our neighborhood guides, with extra restaurant recommendations, shopping information, and more, visit newyorkmetro.com/realestate.

Apartment Prices TO BUY 2001 2003 Studio/1BR $60K-$120K $65K-$225K 2BR $140K-$200K $120K-$400K Townhouse $350K-$700K $400K-$750K       TO RENT 2001 2003 Studio/1BR $1,000-$1,500 $650-$1,200 2BR $1,500- $1,800 $1,400-$1,600 4 BR $2,000-$2,200 $1,600-$2,200      

CONTRIBUTORSJoy Armstrong, Christopher Bonanos, Amy Boshnack, Ada Calhoun, Sara Cardace, Lauren DeCarlo, Matt Gross, Boris Kachka, Steffi Krammerer, Tara Mandy, Rebecca Marx, Byrd Schas, Deborah Shapiro, and Michael Steele.

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