The New South Street Seaport: Not For the Fish

NYC Luxury Rentals - South Street SeaportFor many years, cries of “fresh fish!”, shouted by fish-mongers plying their wares, were far more prevalent than residents within Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. But since 2005, with the re-location of the Fulton Fish Market to Hunts Point, that paradigm has become obsolete, as many Manhattanites find themselves choosing to rent luxury apartments within this historic district. To be sure, there has been a changing atmosphere in the area dating back to the late 1970s, but since 2005 the rate of transformation has rapidly increased, perhaps representing the beginning of a new trend within Manhattan real estate.

The South Street Seaport neighborhood spans 13 blocks, with the East River, Dover Street and the Brooklyn Bridge acting as its boundaries to the north and east, John Street to the south and Pearl Street to the west. There are two very distinct sections, with a divide between the northern residential area and the touristy shopping malls below Beekman Street. Public transportation can be tricky, with the closest option six blocks west at Fulton and William Streets, but the new Fulton Street Transit Center is being developed, which will provide access to more mass transit options, and is perhaps further proof of the recent change in the neighborhood. In fact, with a population boom, which according to projections by the Downtown Alliance is expected to reach 60,000 people by 2013, there are a variety of changes being made, all of which hope to increase the popularity of luxury rentals in South Street Seaport. Imagination Playground, for example, has provided a new place for children to play, and along with newly opened bike lanes and the New Amsterdam Market, a weekly run, high-end farmers’ market taking the place of the fish-mongers formerly found in the area, the district is becoming increasingly attractive to potential renters.

As popularity increases, more luxury rental apartments are becoming available in South Street Seaport. 2 Gold Street, for example, a post-war, 51-story doorman building, features 650 luxury rentals, and boasts an array of amenities. Apartments range from one to three bedrooms, with the former averaging $2,975 and the latter $5,765 per month. Another building, featuring 576 luxury rental apartments within 32-stories, is 200 Water Street, ranging from studios starting at $2,800 to two bedrooms for $4,215 per month. Even more luxury real estate within South Street Seaport will soon be available, with residential units estimated to exceed 30,000 by 2013, a whopping 130 percent increase since 2000. And with the neighborhood continuing to change, with small and large business now peppering both the residential and touristy sections, popularity is poised to increase. A prime location, bordering the water and a stone’s throw from the heart of NYC’s Financial District, developers within South Street Seaport are attempting to walk the fine line between making changes and retaining, to some degree, the older aesthetic formerly defining this historic district. How far we’ve come from the smells and displays of fish, which have ceased to be a part of the fabric of the South Street Seaport, perhaps paving the way towards redefining it as one of Manhattan’s newest trendy areas.