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23rd Street Is An Active Thoroughfare For Residential And Commercial Real Estate

This street that spans the Island of Manhattan has everything you would expect from a major city.

By Jeff Vasishta October 24, 2016
Photo courtesy of NYC Corners

Nothing, it appears, is what is seems. US Elections are apparently now being modeled on the Somali judicial system, it’s eighty degrees in October and 23rd St. is the new Midtown. Who knew?

There is such a hive of activity around 23rd Street these days that the other major Manhattan thoroughfares 42nd St, 34th and 57th might get jealous. It’s not simply that box chain stores usually more accustomed to the outer boroughs like Home Depot, Best Buy and now Trader Joe’s have set up shop there, it’s the amount of condos slated for their cloud like ascent in and around the Flatiron District.

Related: Chic Condos or Maison Living: Listed at $7.5 Million Chelsea Townhouse Offers Multiple Options

With subways lines sprinkled liberally along the street from Chelsea on the West Side (A, C, E), to the Flatiron (N, R) and Gramercy (6) developers are cottoning on that 23rd St. offers the coolness of downtown—gyms, restaurants, modeling agencies, media companies, Union Square etc—along with the accessibility to Midtown.

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Developer Bruce Eichner is setting the pace with the ambitious 45 E.22nd St, south of Madison Square Park. At 777 feet of shimmering glass it’s set to be the supermodel of the neighborhood—tall, glamorous and expensive. It’s already surpassed the 600-foot tall One Madison in height and price.

It’s not that there aren’t skyscrapers in the neighborhood but many, like the aforementioned One Madison and the 19-story Tempo on 23rd and 2nd Ave and The Gramercy Starck on 23rd and 1st had to suffer being completed around the time of the financial crash. The new buildings, financed with new money, during a real estate boom are as beaming with optimism and their towers are shining with sunlight.

So what’s the downside? There always had to be a downside, right? Well, clearly residents buying condos have cash—and lots of it, so the addition of yet more skyscrapers feeds into the narrative that New York is losing something essential, it’s diversity. But those who remember 23rd St. as it was—somewhat gritty, dimly lit area filled with recording studios, bars, and artsy businesses will have mixed emotions. Aesthetically, there’s no denying it now looks way better now than it did. Is it as diverse or culturally compelling? That’s up for debate.

The East Side is getting in on the action too. The NY Post reports that one block east, at 150 E. 23rd St., Kent Chang of LKH 23rd LLC is planning a 19-story building with 52 units designed by ODA. Expect completion in October 2018. Across the street at 139 E. 23rd St., the Modell family, famous for sports stores, plans to demolish one of its pawn shops to make way for a 15-story, 13-unit condo building. It doesn’t stop there, however. Between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Anbau Enterprises is teaming up with biophilic (buildings connected to nature) architects COOKFOX on a slender, two-towered 48-unit project at 39 W. 23rd St., which is supposed to finish construction in 2019.

And if all that wasn’t enough, smaller buildings are being constructed around the High Line in West Chelsea to keep with the neighborhood’s intimate feel.  A new development at 559 E. 23rd St. offers 19-foot ceilings and spacious private terraces and roof decks. Work on the building’s six apartments is almost finished. There’s nothing intimate and retiring about the prices though which range from $4.25 million for a three-bedroom, four-bathroom to $5.35 million for a three bed, two bath duplex penthouse with roof deck.

If all that talk of crazy money has you feel stressed out and a little worthless there’s always the Dharma Yoga Center on 61 W 23rd St. where one month’s unlimited access ($239) will cost you less than most residents tip to their doorman during the holidays. And the net effect could be priceless.

 

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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