Neighborhood Primer, Uptown Edition: Harlem vs. Upper East Side

The Hub luxury apartments in Harlem at street level

The Hub luxury apartments in Harlem, Manhattan.

StreetEasy published its annual quarterly report last week, reflecting fourth quarter real estate market data in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Its findings in rental trends revealed the sharpest spike in rents in Upper Manhattan and the Upper East Side, confirmation that uptown neighborhoods are getting a lot of attention these days as the most desirable places to live. If you’re deciding between Upper Manhattan (above 110th Street on both the east and west) and the Upper East Side, our neighborhood primer can help you suss out what the different areas offer.

Upper Manhattan has a plethora of rapidly growing neighborhoods – Morningside Heights, Harlem, Washington Heights, and Hamilton Heights are all attracting New Yorkers in record numbers – and this week we’re compare the vibrant Harlem with the classically chic Upper East Side.


Harlem has one of the culturally richest histories of any neighborhood in the city. Truly vast – it spans from the East River to the Hudson and from 158th Street to 125th Street (although the southern boundary is ever up for debate) – it has a vibrant community feel, historic cultural landmarks, iconic jazz clubs like Smoke Jazz, world-famous restaurants like celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster and sister venue Ginny’s Supper Club, and stunning architecture. From the classic Harlem brownstone to ultra-modern new construction, the neighborhood has abundant options for unique luxury living.

The Hub

A bedroom at The Hub, a luxury apartment building in Harlem

Located at 327 East 101st Street, The Hub has classic red brick and wrought iron architecture and offers East River views and easy access to the East River esplanade. Built in 2009, the eight-story post-war building has only 34 residences, giving the building an intimate feel. The apartments feature state-of-the-art kitchens with stainless steel Whirlpool appliances and dishwashers, Shaker-style maple cabinets, and silestone countertops. Bathrooms have stainless steel fixtures, oversized soaking tubs, and marble and limestone finishes. All residences have stackable washer/dryers, spacious closets, oversized windows, and hardwood flooring.

The Hub offers a generous amenities package featuring virtual doorman and video security, laundry services, and a roof deck and BBQ terrace.

1-bedrooms begin at $2,600 per month.

220 Saint Nicholas

A boutique luxury rental building nestled in historic Central Harlem, 220 Saint Nicholas Avenue offers premiere half- and full-floor residences just above Central Park. Each exclusive loft-style home features private, keyed elevators, floor-to-ceiling windows, private outdoor space, and carbonized bamboo flooring. Kitchens feature granite countertops, custom wood cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms have Kohler fixtures and deep soaking tubs. The amenities package in this luxury doorman building offers a fitness center and storage. Pieds-a-terre are welcome.

3-bedrooms start at $5,950 per month.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side has enjoyed unparalleled status as Manhattan’s quintessential lap of luxury for generations, and its name conjures images of high-brow elegance and timeless sophistication and class. From world-famous Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue to the elite shopping of Madison Avenue to world-class dining at Daniel and Sushi of Gari, the Upper East Side is the epitome of elegance. The exquisite architecture of its buildings offer some of the most prestigious real estate in world.

Two Sutton Place North

View from the living room at an apartment in Two Sutton Place North in the Upper East Side

Located at 1113 York Avenue just above Sutton Place, Two Sutton Place offers lavish modern luxury. The 37-floor, eco-designed glass tower is home to 211 residences, all of which feature solar-paneled windows, stunning city and river views, floor-to-ceiling windows, individually operated heating and air conditioning, Bosch washer dryers, and hardwood floors. Modern kitchens offer stainless steel appliances, glass tile backsplash, and custom cabinetry. Bathrooms have double vanities, marble tiles, and deep soaking tubs.

White glove amenities at Two Sutton Place include a fully-attended lobby with 24-hour doorman and concierge, valet, fitness center with sauna and swimming pool, dry cleaners, landscaped gardens, and other stuff.

2-bedrooms begin at $9,200 per month.

The Lucerne

Designed by renowned architect Costas Kondylis, The Lucerne is a premiere limestone accented high rise at 350 East 79th Street. It houses 237 luxury residences featuring spacious layouts, nine-foot ceilings, oversized windows offering city and river views, hardwood floors, private balconies, and stackable washer dryers. Lavish marble bathrooms are appointed with whirlpool tubs and state of the art fixtures, and fully-equipped kitchens feature wooden cabinetry and granite countertops.

The luxury amenities package at The Lucerne includes a full-service lobby with doorman and concierge, spacious rooftop deck, a residents’ lounge with landscaped terrace and private kitchen, 7,000 sqft fitness center with a 55-foot lap pool, sauna, and cardio and strength training rooms, gardens, children’s play center, and laundry services.

2-bedrooms start at $8,250 per month.