The Highline Project

Does The Highline Allow Developers/Landlords To Command Higher Prices?

IMG_20090608_029SOMETHING FOR THE HAVES-
Nick Hetherington
According to Streeteasy there are 6 condo developments that have risen near The Highline. 1 of the 6 is The Caledonia which sold out in record time back in 2006/7 when, well, you know when we young and innocent. The median price of these properties is $1,350,000. The median price per square foot of these properties is $1,276. Compare that now to say The Chelsea Enclave who is commanding $1500 psf for it’s cheapest 1 bedroom unit and $3,114 psf for it’s most expensive unit and we could argue that news of the global meltdown didn’t reach West of 9th avenue. Just to note how are sales doing at this new development? Well, there are 7 in contract so far out of a possible 53 units since the sales office opened in January. Then there’s 456 west 19th street-which is composed of 22 duplex residences each with open floor plans and soaring double height living rooms to almost 20 feet. Prices range from $1400 psf – $2650 psf. Sales began here in November 2008. To date 1 sale has been recorded.
There are some sales at 350 west 23rd that don’t reach the stratosphere and you can pick up a space for under $1000 psf if you don’t mind living on the 1st or 2nd floor. Otherwise it’s back to $1300 psf. Sales here at this collection of 15 floor-through homes with fireplaces and private outdoor space are less than steady with only 2 contracts signed to date.
So, what does this all mean? Well, if you want to live close to The Highline, developers say ‘show me the money.’ People with this kind of money may be saying ‘We’re not convinced’. We’ll stay tuned to see how this all plays out.

Top Ten Reasons To Love The Highline-The Grand Opening

IMG_20090608_001It was a glorious day. And one highly anticipated. Will there be mixed reviews? Probably this is New York after all and here everyone has an opinion and for those of us that couldn’t get paid to write for an online newsjournal we’ll resort to the blogosphere. Fortunately for those reading I will spare you from having to read the typical droll and low blow comments about a beautiful new elevated park in which the blogger had invested zero time or money. How could they? They were too busy blogging.

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So instead, It’s one long round of applause for the entire Highline project. Bravo. Well done. What a rare and beautiful treat the ‘Friends of The Highline’ have given New Yorkers.

The setting of course is sublime in the ever changing Meat Packing District. The walk to the entrance of the Park is full of sensory temptation from the fine perfumed mist spray of the Diane Von Furstenberg store (not sure if the mist spray is still there but is was so intoxicating) to the always full of humor Andre Balaz Standard Hotel garden bar. And now you finally arrive at the entrance, and it is stunning.  The tease is that you can see the heads of the foliage and trees 40 feet in the air on the way to entrance and like any superb tease the main attraction delivers.  Here are the top ten reasons to love The Highline.

Number 1. The perfect integration of steel, concrete, glass, railroad track and native plant species.IMG_20090608_021

Number 2. Views to the Hudson River, with the mix of the cobblestone streets, 19th century townhouses and warehouses, 21st century condos and the power of suggestion billboards asking us to enjoy Tequilla. Um, yes please.

Number 3. The Standard Hotel. Will someone please debate me on why this is not an ingenious design. I know you’re out there.

Number 4. Native plants, one in particular that is unusually beautiful.  Standing at about 4′ tall with tentacles fanning out from the stem like capillaries.

Number 5.  Wooden cabana benches. Lie down, 40′ in the air and look west.IMG_20090608_029

Number 6. The walkway cut through a redbrick warehouse with neon blue lights that shine from the steel girders where a friendly girl sells mixed berry iced tea in the opening.

IMG_20090608_006Number 7. The glass viewing platform with wooden steps that look North up Tenth Ave. If you are a street performer this is a terrific opportunity to bring your act. It makes for one hell of a stage with two dimensions.

Number 8. The highline staff and volunteers. Thankyou.

Number 9. The thought of where I’ll spend many afternoons and evenings with friends or simply by myself. I love Central Park but this is new special.

Number 10. This is just the beginning. There’s more that await us in section 2. Stay tuned.IMG_20090608_037

Nick Hetherington