Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Villager photo courtesy Friends of the High Line

Construction work at the “10th Ave. Square” section of the High Line, near 17th St., where crews removed steel portions of the former elevated railway to install an observation deck.

Village, Soho strength

Despite the recent pall cast over the city’s real estate market, Soho co-ops saw a significant surge in prices last year, jumping nearly a quarter at the end of 2008 compared to a year earlier.

According to a recent report by Prudential Douglas Elliman covering the past decade of sales boroughwide, the Soho/Tribeca co-op market jumped 23.6 percent in average price per square foot, from $1,081 in 2007 to $1,337 last year. The neighborhoods also enjoyed a 40.2 percent increase in average sales prices during the same period — from $1.8 million to $2.5 million — while the condo market showed only slight gains.

In the Village, the price for square foot for co-ops and condos rose 6.2 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, while average condo sales prices increased a whopping 27.2 percent — from $1,608,267 in 2007 to $2,046,932 last year.

The East Village/Lower East Side co-op market also saw modest increases — jumping 7.9 percent for average price per square foot and 7.4 percent for average sales price.

The Lower Manhattan market proved a bit more volatile: After the Financial District showed the most growth of any Manhattan neighborhood in the co-op market in 2007, the neighborhood finished at the bottom last year — posting a nearly 20 percent drop in price per square foot.

The Battery Park City condo scene, however, fared much better, with prices jumping 31 percent. The neighborhood’s average condo price also increased, by 56.6 percent.


While the High Line is still buzzing with construction prior to its planned mid-June opening, the organization leading the project’s charge has been tantalizing future parkgoers with images of new installations along the former elevated railway.

According to the Friends of the High Line’s blog — maintained by the group’s staff, including affable media manager Katie Lorah — work has been progressing briskly at various sections along the future “park in the sky.” Recent activity includes the removal of steel at the “10th Ave. Square” section at W. 17th St. for a future observation deck; new brushed aluminum grating panels at the northern spur at 16th St. and 10th Ave.; and the installation of modernistic, Brazilian hardwood “peel-up” benches and alcove seating benches finished with a clear-coat sealant to protect them from the elements.

“A vegetal screen will be installed behind the benches to allow for vines [to] grow,” a March 5 blog entry noted, “creating a shaded place to sit and enjoy views of the Hudson and the neighborhood’s impressive architecture.” Salivating yet? Excited visitors/voyeurs can check out the site at https://blog.thehighline.org for more updates.

The Friends also recently announced the High Line is hiring for seven positions, including program coordinator, maintenance technician, groundskeeper, gardener and bookkeeper, among others. Laid-off horticulturists, take heed.