Train of Thought: UES Buyers See Potential in Second Avenue Subway

Second Ave Subway UES
Photo Courtesy B. Kabak/Flickr

Typically a quiet neighborhood, the Upper East Side has been generating some substantial noise recently, both in the literal and figurative sense. Construction on the Second Avenue Subway, infamously known as “The Line That Time Forgot,” is moving along, with the first phase of the project on track for completion in December 2016. And with that progress, those shopping for a new home see the long-term potential of a home east of Lexington Avenue.

Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway will extend the Q train from 57th Street - Seventh Avenue station to the newly built terminal at 96th Street - Second Avenue. The new stations along this stretch of the line will be located at 72nd Street, 86th Street, and 96th Street. Additionally, the Lexington Ave - 63rd Street station will be renovated. While sales activity across Manhattan in general expanded over the first quarter of this year, the neighborhood surrounding all of these stations saw a noticeable surge in real estate deals, with one report claiming it saw more than three times as much activity than the Manhattan average.

Those opting to move to the Upper East Side now, specifically in Yorkville, see the value that the new subway will provide. Unlike renters, homeowners move much less often, so those buying in the neighborhood will be able to access the Second Avenue Subway for most of their time living there.

Traditionally, south of the 90’s and west of Third Avenue has been the popular neighborhood choice, but now several businesses are moving east to Second Avenue and signing long-term leases to be there as the neighborhood inevitably grows in popularity. In the last two years, several new restaurants have set up shop along the thoroughfare, including The Penrose, The Meatball Shop, The Gilroy, Infirmary, and the Writing Room.

And now they’re looking further uptown, too, past the former 86th Street border that high-end retailers rarely ventured beyond. Whole Foods Market will open a new store at 87th Street and Third Avenue in the near future, and a Maison Kayser is opening a bakery across the street. Equinox Gym is planning a branch at 205 East 92nd Street, which is an upcoming mixed-use building by Related Companies.