Washington Heights Real Estate Heating Up

Washington Heights is becoming the new “hip” place to live (photo: Wikipedia)

It may soon be time to trade picturesque views of Manhattan, just beyond the East River, while standing in the shadows of the Williamsburg Bridge, for views from the hilly upper Manhattan of New Jersey’s Palisades cliffs across the George Washington Bridge. Hipsters in Williamsburg may have to soon start migrating to Washington Heights, which is steadily becoming a new hipster hot spot.

The upper-Manhattan neighborhood has the most millenials of any other city neighborhood. The growing area already has 50,103 residents between the ages of 20 to 34, comprising 10 percent of the area’s population, the latest US Census data show.

The uptown community of 285,876 residents edged out Bushwick was a close second, falling short by 3,422 millennials, with Crown Heights falling short by 6,334 and Williamsburg by 8,536, according to five-year population averages compiled for 200 city neighborhoods.

Rapid gentrification has led to higher rents in Brooklyn, so the move from Manhattan to the outer boroughs has reversed for younger adults that don’t have a lot of money, experts say. People have similarly started moving out of New York completely, going to nearby areas across the river like some Jersey City neighborhoods rapidly growing in popularity and Hoboken, especially because of the ease of using mass transit to commute into New York.

“Williamsburg and Bushwick have become victims of their own success, [and] millennials can’t afford to live there anymore,” said Michael Keane, an NYU adjunct professor of urban planning. “So they’re thinking, ‘Hey, Washington Heights is in Manhattan, it’s easy to get to Midtown, crime is down and the rent is several hundred dollars less.’ ”

Mateo Tate, 26, made the leap from Crown Heights to Washington Heights in 2015, drawn by the cheaper rent, bigger apartments and close proximity to Columbia University.

“I wanted to leave [Brooklyn] because I had lived there for three years, and it was frankly a s- -t show,” Tate said. “I had too many roommates, not enough space, and it was taking me over an hour just to get to school.”

Even though he graduated this year, he’s here to stay. “I like being in Manhattan and being close to everything,” he said.

The Upper West Side, which is only a few miles south of Washington Heights but may as well be a world away, is the opposite in that 25,375 people over age 65 and 4,135 age 85 or older live in that neighborhood. It’s a place people put down deep roots, the New York Post said,

“Why would anyone leave the Upper West Side?” said Sarah Kaufman, the assistant director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. “There are so many amenities and good food and culture,” she said, adding that “It’s a great area for growing old in.”

Across the park, the Upper East Side, including Carnegie Hill, has the second most senior population, with 16,305 over age 65.

“There’s a large concentration of good health care on the east side, [which] is beneficial to older New Yorkers,” Kaufman noted.

Brooklyn’s heavily Hasidic Borough Park produces the most children. The neighborhood has 14,350 children age 5 and under, which is nearly twice as many as Flatbush (8,266) and East New York (7,665).

“It’s quite common among the Hasidic communities to have large families and many children,” Kaufman said. The community takes the commandment to be fruitful and multiply quite seriously.

By: Maria Alexander

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