Lower Manhattan neighborhoods (not to be confused with downtown Manhattan, which includes areas south of 14th Street, such as the West Village, SoHo, Lower East Side, Chinatown, Tribeca, etc.) are now the site of some of the hottest markets for Manhattan rental apartments in the city. And with that comes more restaurants and services for permanent residents.
From Battery Park City to the Financial District to the South Street Seaport, Lower Manhattan neighborhoods have experienced an amazing building- and population-boom that have made that part of town the fastest-growing of anywhere in the borough, with more than double the number of people living there now than a decade ago.
Add in the record-setting, nearly 10 MILLION tourists who wandered around the various lower Manhattan neighborhoods last year–the 9/11 Memorial, which opened on the tenth anniversary of the attack last fall, received more than million visitors in the final quarter of the year alone–and you have an incredible success story for all of New York City. And it’s only getting better for the local residents.
For residents of Battery Park City, for example, one of the big knocks against the neighborhood has been getting better in hurry. For years no one could deny that Battery Park City apartments were quiet, surrounded by all of those great parks large (Rockefeller Park is one of my favorite in all of Manhattan) and small (so many little pocket parks around there, including Teardrop Park with its excellent slide), but it also felt a little TOO isolated over there, with none of the sort of first-rate local dining options that can make you REALLY fall in love with your neighborhood.
No more. As the New York Post noted recently, there’s been a explosion of eatery openings of late in Battery Park City, three by Danny Meyer alone: the crowd-pleasing Shake Shack; a new outpost of the very good barbecue joint Blue Smoke (this place is packed with families in the early dinner hour); and the entirely new, high-end North End Grill, to which many of the nearby Goldman Sachs-ites have already laid claim.
There’s also a new Francois Payard bakery (get the croissants… and the macarons), a Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar is coming soon, and now there’s even a Food Truck Court with a rotating five-pack of mobile meals at the north end of Vesey Street, including the likes Frites and Meats, Red Hook Lobster, Palenque, Gorilla Cheese, and Wafels and Dinges.
Meanwhile, over on the East River side of the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods, great news for residents of South Street Seaport apartments: plans were unveiled last week that could turn South Street Seaport’s dreary, mall-ish Pier 17 (have you ever even been in there? me neither… oh, maybe once, to use the bathroom) into a glassy jewel-box of a thing filled with “high-end” retailers, which, honestly, could be fun or boring, depending.
The best part though, is up on the roof, where the Seaport’s owner Howard Hughes Corp. would put a big public lawn and and a new 700-seat concert hall, which would transform into an open-air bandshell in the warmer months and could host larger audiences of up to 2,000 people. Yes, please, to unobstructed views, grassy lawns, and music!
While you’ll have to wait to enjoy the revamped Pier 17, you can head on down to the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Battery Park City now to enjoy the slew of new restaurants and food trucks now firmly ensconced in the area. And don’t forget to enjoy the Hudson River views from waterfront parks.
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