By Patrick Hedlund
Among residents living across the five boroughs, Downtowners are the richest, pay the highest rents, live in the oldest buildings and are closest to the subway, according to the 2008 “State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods,” an annual report released by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
In the study, covering about 50 separate categories, the Financial District and Soho (which were grouped with the Village) ranked No. 1 citywide for median household income, median monthly rent, median age of housing stock and percentage of units located within a half-mile of a subway entrance.
The neighborhoods also ranked as having the most units located in a historic district, the fewest notices of foreclosure per 1,000 properties, the lowest disabled population, the most incidences of elevated blood-lead levels per 1,000 children and the lowest rate of asthma hospitalizations per 1,000 people.
On its own, the Financial District ranked as having the fewest housing code violations and the fewest tax delinquencies of any area citywide. FiDi additionally stood in the top three in a number of categories, including shortest commuting time for residents, highest rate of households with children under 18, lowest unemployment rate, least vacant land area and highest home purchase loan rate.
The Lower East Side/Chinatown had the most units authorized by new residential building permits citywide, as well as the lowest rate of loan refinancings per 1,000 units. The neighborhoods also ranked in the top three for having the greatest income diversity ratio and the highest population density.
A pair of new Soho developments have been gearing up for the warm weather —and hoping to buck the current down market with luxury offerings and amenities.
Italian investment company the Sorgente Group recently opened its sales office for a boutique project in Soho featuring eight loft spaces in a pair of historic cast-iron buildings at 34 Greene St., near the corner of Grand St.
The Rome-based company, which recently purchased a majority share of the iconic Flatiron Building on W. 23rd St., is asking between $3.5 million and $12.5 million for the full-floor Soho condos, ranging from 2,000 to 4,800 square feet. The units feature a few Italian flourishes for the discerning buyer, from Schiffini-designed kitchens to Calacatta marble countertops and backsplashes.
“With the sales gallery complete we are excited to start showing 34 Greene St. to buyers,” said Jason Karadus, senior vice president for Prudential Douglas Elliman, which is handling sales, in a statement. “The meticulous restoration, exquisite interior design and amenities of the building make this property unique in the Soho neighborhood.”
Over on W. Broadway, the new Soho Mews condo complex will open its 6,000-square-foot private garden for residents to enjoy the solace that only Japanese maple, climbing hydrangea and Easter egg vine can provide.
Last November, crews planted a half-dozen 10-foot trees in the garden between Grand and Canal Sts., which will eventually act as a canopy for the 59-unit development.
“It will provide residents with a relaxing sanctuary,” said a spokesperson for the Mews, “especially during a time when many will not be renting weekend getaways or their usual summer retreats, due to the economic downturn.”
Pity those poor, Hamptons-less urbanites, will you?
The Tribeca Film Fest isn’t the only game Downtown. “The Lower East Side: An Endangered Place,” a doc about gentrification threats to the neighborhood, will be screened April 23 at 80 Rutgers Sl. at 6 p.m. Directed by Ma Shumin, the film was commissioned by the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and the credits include local leaders like Victor Papa, executive producer and president of Two Bridges, and Robert Weber, producer. Incidentally, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, who has drawn Papa’s fire in the past, will be introducing the film. RSVPs are required for the free screening and panel discussion (firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 571-1840 ext. 101).