It’s time for the kitchen supply stores to move aside. These longtime denizens of the Bowery south of Houston Street have reminded New Yorkers why the famed boulevard got its reputation in the first place, but their days there may be numbered. The Bowery is distancing itself from its past with every passing day. New retail boutiques, high-end restaurants, and hotels are opening up, and luxury apartment buildings are on the way too. And that’s not to mention the New Museum and a Whole Foods. In other words, all the telltale signs of gentrification have surfaced, which means the Bowery will finally join the rest of downtown Manhattan’s real estate boom. The few luxury apartments for sale on the Bowery have already generated a ton of attention, and the ones that have sold so far have done so for prices comparable to trendy Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and Tribeca.
Case in point: 250 Bowery. The apartments in this new luxury mid-rise located between Houston Street and Prince Street won’t go on the market for another 6 weeks, but already people are lining up to get in. 24-hours after the teaser website for 250 Bowery went online, it crashed due to too much traffic. The brokers for the building told the New York Post that their phones are ringing off the hook, and they added that the security guards for the yet-to-be-finished property have been solicited for information about the building by passersby countless times. Even though brokers thought that the area would appeal primarily to younger singles, they claimed that they’ve received inquiries from older couples, a newlywed couple, and even a couple from Italy. All of these developments indicate that nobody cares about what the Bowery’s sordid history. Truly, the Bowery is not what it once was; it’s infamous past is quickly receding into memory
These developments also reflect the surging popularity of the surrounding Manhattan neighborhoods. The Bowery winds through the Lower East Side, NoLita, Little Italy, Chinatown, and SoHo; all massively popular neighborhoods with some of the best nightlife, retail, and restaurant fare anywhere in Manhattan. Downtown Manhattan is now ‘the place to be’ for owners of luxury apartments in Manhattan, and the high prices per square foot of the properties on the Bowery that have sold so far confirm that. The bottom three units at 263 Bowery, a boutique condominium on the southern stretch of the Bowery that brokers tout as the first of its kind in the area, sold for $1,300 per square foot, and the penthouse sold for $1,485 per square foot. The PPSQ for a two-bedroom 195 Bowery is listed at an even higher price - $1,515 to be exact – and the broker claims to have just signed a contract for that luxury condo.
The thing about the Bowery is that real estate is nothing if not scarce, and this scarcity is playing a key role in stirring up demand for these downtown Manhattan luxury apartments. 250 Bowery is only 8-stories tall and contains 20 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and two duplex penthouses. That’s not much to go around. The Bowery isn’t zoned for dense housing and there are numerous height restrictions in place, so don’t expect large new construction projects to start there. It is a safe bet that boutique condominiums will keep popping up, however, especially if they keep selling like they are right now.