It seems like we spend all our time here at the New Construction Manhattan blog sussing out the shape and size and seriousness of the ongoing Manhattan real estate recovery. Which, you know, is reasonable enough of us, given that this is a blog about NYC condos and Manhattan real estate and such. But this fine-grain focus on the present -- and attendant anxiousness to find positive indications for the future in the still-anxious present-day state of Manhattan real estate -- can sometimes limit our perspective somewhat. Not just as regards the recovery, and the search for omens and signs indicating the existence thereof, but to the basic elements of Manhattan real estate itself. All the more reason to enjoy architecture critic Jayne Merkel's piece in the New York Times on the one objective lasting benefit of the last Manhttan real estate boom -- the addition of numerous beautiful and architecturally distinguished new construction luxury condos to the Manhattan skyline. That we have many of those NYC condo listings here at New Construction Manhattan is probably worth mentioning, too, but... anyway, let's get to Merkel.
"New York has seen an unprecedented building boom, and not just retrofits," Merkel writes. "New towers have remade the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. Even 9/11 didn’t dampen the boom; more than 60 daring apartment buildings went up in the last decade in Manhattan alone. And if most of the new towers cater to the luxury trade, they are also the site of real innovation; they are also the center of a global movement." Merkel singles out several new Manhattan condominiums for praise, most notably NCM blog favorite Nouvel at 100 Eleventh Avenue. We'd also add Nouvel's lovely, intelligently designed and winningly modest Chelsea neighbor at 456 West 19th Street and the bold, luxurious 459 West 18th Street to the list, but that's us. (A number of other Chelsea condominium listings could make the cut as well, of course) Merkel's point about the ongoing evolution of the Manhattan skyline, though, is well-taken and well worth remembering.
There's a reason why people want to buy Manhattan apartments, after all. (Well, numerous reasons: NYC apartments also happen to be pretty decent investments) But, bottom-line considerations aside, New York City's skyline remains about as stunning an advertisement as any city in the world can boast -- and like New York City itself, there is somehow always still more room in that skyline for growth, diversity and the brilliance that makes this the greatest city in the world.