All-star nabes: Where the sports stars settle in New York City
New York has long been an object of affection for the Hollywood set, a place where the A-list can slink under the radar, evading the gaze of too-cool New Yorkers with little more than a pair of oversized sunglasses.
Now boasting nine pro sports teams, with the addition of the Brooklyn Nets this fall, the pro-athlete is set to become an increasingly common sighting on the city streets, as more athletes call N.Y.C. home.
Maybe they're Yankees, Knicks, Rangers or newly christened Nets. Some of them are well-known on the club circuit, but most just want an apartment with easy access to games and practices -- at least until their next trade.
"The location is very important, since they are driving out of the city regularly for practice and away games, and even home games for some teams," said Prince Dockery, a real estate agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman, who helped find homes for several athletes, including some Knicks.
Most athletes are looking for newer buildings with functional spaces and many also require high ceilings.
Many of them, notes David Eyrise, who specializes in relocation services for athletes, actually live in surprisingly modest spaces, conserving financial resources for after they age out of their sport.
The majority, in fact, opt to live in suburban parts of Queens, the Bronx, New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut.
"Athletes need and want a lot of space in the apartment, onsite parking, high-end appliances, and a secured building," said Dockery.
But, "like everyone else, athletes also want great views in a great location," he added.
Here are some of the neighborhoods where you're most likely to find NYC's sportiest bunch:
Upper West Side
For most athletes, like most people, one of the most important factors in choosing where to call home is easy access to work.
Often that means a reverse commute, heading out of the city for practice.
"Access in and out of the city has to be convenient and quick," said Dockery. "This usually makes areas on the West Side of the city more desirable."
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is one of several Rangers known reside in the Upper West Side -- the neighborhood offers easy access to both games at Madison Square Garden and practice at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown.
Access to MSG also lured at least one New York Knick, Carmelo Anthony.
Upper East Side
Many of NYC's most well-known sports superstars call the Upper East Side home - opting for ritzy, high-rise Upper East Side co-ops and condos over the more low-frills spots many of their colleagues might go for in the center of town.
Several Yankees, including former players Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada, have made their place in Upper East Side high-rises, attracted by luxe amenities.
With easy access to the baseball stadiums across the East River, a handful of Mets have also settled in among the domiciles of Manhattan's swankiest zip code, including third baseman David Wright, who recently traded a Flat Iron penthouse for a spot in the eco-friendly Lucida building 151 E. 85th St.
The Financial District is becoming increasingly popular with athletes -- just this month, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kris Humphries reportedly inked a deal on an $8,000 a month Battery Park bachelor pad in the green-certified Liberty Luxe building at 200 North End Ave.
"It's a great middle ground for athletes practicing in New Jersey and playing in Brooklyn," said Dockery.
Financial District properties, said Dockery, also offers a lot of what star athletes might want: Modern furnishing, amenities, and high ceilings to accommodate above-average heights.
"It's important to have high ceilings due to them being much taller than the average person," said Dockery.
"They also want a space that's more functional and usable than charming."
With the Nets already at the Barclays Center and the New York Islanders' planned move to the new arena in 2015, the surrounding neighborhoods of Brownstone Brooklyn are set to be the next destination for star athletes looking for a pad, said David Eyrise.
Neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Fort Greene offer proximity to games, as well as one thing Manhattan doesn't: Space.
Players with families might also be attracted to the top-notch schools and family-friendly neighborhood vibes, though Eyrise notes they're likely to opt for new developments like The Brooklyner at 111 Lawrence St. over historic brownstones.
In Turtle Bay, a few of the more illustrious Yankees have resided in the million dollar condos of the 90-story Trump World Tower on 46th Street and First Avenue, across from the United Nations building.
Derek Jeter and former player Hideki Matsui count themselves among the players that were attracted to the building's high-security opulence, which includes a wine cellar, pool and health club.