5,000 apartments expected to open in a year


Condos and residential conversions will fill the majority of new residential buildings opening in Lower Manhattan by next year, according to inventory figures from the Downtown Alliance that show about 5,000 new units opening through 2008.

The data provided by the Alliance, a business improvement district, show about 18 condominium buildings representing nearly 3,000 condo units opening in Lower Manhattan through next year. These include 410 units at 20 Pine St., 396 units 12 Barclay St., 350 units at 75 Wall St., and 320 units at 15 William St., the report stated.

Additionally, about two-thirds of the total buildings under construction in Lower Manhattan — about 2,500 condo and rental units combined — represent conversions.

Of the roughly 24 buildings under construction in Lower Manhattan that provided their lease-type information, 21 represent buildings with condo units and only three represent buildings with rental units.

Trends indicate that residents will continue to seek living space in converted offices in the Financial District, although the value of office buildings has improved gradually as business tenants return to Lower Manhattan, according to Downtown Alliance spokesperson Bruce Brodoff.

The data also serve to reinforce population figures for Lower Manhattan, which have indicated that younger, single men continue to flock to the Financial District, in many cases to live closer to work.

Reports from Community Board 1 also back up the findings, showing “older, less functional office spaces in buildings [being] converted to residential use,” said C.B. 1 staff member Michael Levine.

Another new residential development at 50 West St. — which is expected to rise over 60 stories and include nearly 300 units — is currently under review by the city, he noted. Community Board 1 voted in favor of the project earlier this year, but made its approval conditional on several factors, including adding more affordable housing Downtown.

Farther north in Tribeca, Levine said, families are taking space in loft buildings converted for residential use. However, residential growth has remained stagnant in the Seaport.

The board plans to release more extensive residential survey figures for Tribeca, he added, which were mostly absent from the Alliance’s report, because it is out of the BID’s boundaries. The Alliance receives support from the Battery Park City Authority and does include B.P.C. in its residential analyses.

— Patrick Hedlund