The Reel

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A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

By, Lev Kimyagarov, Cushman & Wakefield

Real estate in the New York City tri-state area trades more frequently than anywhere else in the world. In any region, real estate values are driven by location.  With the condensed layout of New York City, neighborhoods and even smaller communities have pricing and trends of their own. There is a tendency for trends in New York to follow one neighborhood to the next. In a few cases, one or two neighborhoods decide to defy these ideas. In recent years, there has been a surge of luxury housing developments and conversions. Most of these projects have been condominium based, despite East Harlem putting up a fight.

East Harlem is the area of Manhattan running north of East 96th Street and east of Fifth Avenue. Though the area was originally settled in 1654 by Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant and was named “Nieuw Haarlem,” the name was changed to “Harlem” with the arrival of the English in 1664. The region’s flat land provided some of New York’s most illustrious early families with vast farms and estates. In the 1800s, East Harlem developed into an early railroad suburb that provided housing for working-class immigrants relocating from the overcrowded Lower East Side.  The earliest waves of immigrants to occupy east Harlem were predominantly German and Irish families, followed by Italian and European Jewish families. In the mid-1900s, African Americans and Puerto Ricans began settling there, leading to the community being referred to as “Spanish Harlem” or “El Barrio.”

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