Light at the End of the Tunnel For Upper East Siders: Second Avenue Subway Slated For Completion In 2016

Just last week, we discussed the impact of the expanded 7 train -- which will have a new terminus in West Chelsea come 2013 -- on real estate in West Chelsea and Clinton. It's really not hard to figure all that out -- condos in Chelsea would become significantly more valuable were they suddenly to be a short walk from a subway that connects them to the rest of Manhattan. The same would be true for condo listings in Clinton, Upper East Side Subway Constructionwhich is why NYC real estate developers are lobbying so hard for an additional 7 train stop at 41st Street and 10th Avenue. While we at New Construction Manhattan love us some Chelsea condos and Midtown West apartments, it's probably fair to say that the planned 7 train expansion is small potatoes compared to the opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway line. While it hasn't hurt the market for or value of Upper East Side condos, one of the downsides to life on the UES is that the entire Upper East Side is served by just one subway line, which can make for some unappealing rush hours.

The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway is a rumor no more, though. Trains are slated to start running in 2016 and... sorry, we got distracted by all those cheers from Upper East Siders. Upper East Side condos for sale from Isis to The Cielo to The Laurel just got that much more appealing, if only because they are about to be that much more accessible to everything else in Manhattan. If "six years" doesn't seem like "about to" to you, remember: since the (freaking) Carter Administration, people. "The first phase will be an extension of the Q line from the west side to Second Avenue at 63rd Street and northward to 103rd Street," Crain's Jeremy Smerd reports. "Passengers will be able to transfer at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue for service to Queens. New stations will be constructed along Second Avenue at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets. The MTA had initially said the first phase would be completed by 2012 but extended that deadline first to 2013 and later to 2016... The remaining stages of construction would ultimately extend the line 8.5 miles along Second Avenue from 125th Street to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan. Those phases have not been funded."

It would certainly be nice for all of us if we were alive when the Second Avenue Subway reaches Hanover Square. It would be especially nice for Upper East Side condo owners, who likely see their commutes cut roughly in half. But for the time being, let's just celebrate the long-awaited, much-anticipated arrival of... well, not the Second Avenue Subway. Not yet. But at the very least, it's nice to know that this particular wait for the subway will likely end in a Metrocard swipe, as opposed to disappointment and a long walk to a crowded 4 train.

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