Editor’s Note: To read more from our Ultimate Guide To Family Life In Lower Manhattan, click HERE!
In some ways, thinking of Lower Manhattan as a conglomerate of distinct neighborhoods doesn’t quite tell the whole story. No matter where they live, families will always seek out other parts of the city beyond their immediate surroundings to fulfill specific needs; but on the other hand, each neighborhood has its own distinct flavor and amenities. We spoke with local real estate experts to get the scoop on what you’ll find in each area.
TRIBECA: THE JEWEL IN THE DOWNTOWN CROWN
What you’ll find: Known for its spacious renovated lofts tucked onto side streets, Tribeca, once a warehouse district, is about as family-friendly as they come. “The sprawling lofts and the character you’ll find in the old, industrial, refurbished warehouse-types of buildings make this neighborhood a huge draw,” says Danny Davis, a sales agent at Town Real Estate who specializes in downtown properties. “The high-end family-friendly restaurants, great schools, and Washington Market Park are other pluses.” Spotlight on: The Sterling Mason. With 33 oversized residences on 71 Laight Street, ranging from two- to five-bedrooms, a library lounge, a fitness studio, and the first playroom created with the help of 92nd Street Y experts, this luxury condo building is a definite family pleaser. Tribeca Stat: $4.9 million three-bedroom sale (from streeteasy.com).
FIDI: COBBLESTONED STREETS AND CONVERTED OFFICE BUILDINGS
What you’ll find: This burgeoning residential neighborhood is less expensive than Tribeca (and in some cases, up to 30 percent less expensive than the rest of Manhattan, according to triplemint.com), but still offers proximity to great parks and transportation, plus epic views—most apartments here were converted from office high-rises. While once considered more of a 9-to-5 business district, locals here are finding more and more things to do when the workers go home. “The quality of life and the restaurants here are getting better and better every day,” Davis says. “Being near work is a draw, too. I think this neighborhood is a great investment for young families.” Spotlight on: The Beekman. A two- or three-bedroom home in this tower, which will open in early 2016 adjacent to the Beekman Hotel, promises 360-degree views from river to river, and a few added pluses for busy parents: In-residence dining by Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally, and personal training in the on-site fitness center. FiDi Stat: $2.6 million three-bedroom sale.
BATTERY PARK CITY: THE BEST IN PARK LIVING
What you’ll find: The sheer amount of green space can’t be beat in this waterfront neighborhood. “There are incredible parks and playgrounds, basketball courts, and so much green grass here,” Davis says. But it’s hardly boring, and foodie families will love the offerings at Brookfield Place and its Le District food market. “Relative to Tribeca, you still get better value in this neighborhood,”Davis adds. The local amenities are another attraction for busy families, says John Tashjian, a principal at Centurion Real Estate Partners and a developer of River & Warren, a 28-story condo building located right on the river. “Families like Battery Park City because it offers the perfect mix between suburban amenities and city living.” Spotlight on: 50 West. Prices start at $1,960,000 for a one-bedroom in this 64-story tower, but it’s the amenities that will soar to new heights when the building opens in the fall of 2016. The 20,000 square feet of amenity space include a kids’ playroom (with outdoor space), an arts and crafts room, a game room with a ping pong table, a pool table, and foosball, as well as a 60-ft indoor pool with a lifeguard. Battery Park City Stat: $3 million three-bedroom sale.
THE SEAPORT: A MARINER’S DREAM
What you’ll find: History lovers—and those who enjoy a quieter spot to call home—will want to consider the Seaport, a neighborhood filled with landmark buildings and winding cobblestone streets that’s perched between FiDi and the East River. “The playgrounds, especially Imagination Playground, are favorites of the families who live here,” Davis says. “It’s a pleasant neighborhood that’s as full of history as it is walkable.” Spotlight on: 101 Wall Street. Opening in the summer of 2016, this converted-to-condos office building, which dates to 1931, offers a cozy playroom, a training studio, sweeping water views, and a mix of two- and three-bedroom homes. Seaport Stat: $2 million three-bedroom sale.