Battery Park City: A Resort-Like Community Built on Landfill

Monthly expenses may be slightly higher in this landfill neighborhood than elsewhere in Manhattan, but many residents say the benefits outweigh the costs.

Comments: 34

  1. We lived near City Hall for 33 years, and once BPC was built, very much enjoyed walking or jogging along the river and through the parks there and attending events at the Winter Garden. But I always wondered: what do the residents there do for groceries? The food shopping--Le District, a fairly new and quite expensive addition, notwithstanding--was pathetic: highly inadequate, tiny "supermarkets," and the Greenmarkets were only seasonal, when they existed at all. (The big one at WTC never returned after 9/11.) Maybe if you're paying that much for an apartment, you don't mind using Fresh Direct or another delivery service all the time. Or do you just eat out, which is more difficult for families?

  2. @Suzanne Fass Whole Foods is across West St, or at least I recall they were opening one when we left.

  3. @Suzanne Fass There are two Gristedes a block apart. Le District is amazing, high end. Whole Foods is an easy walk. And there is a large Eataly in Brookfield. The food shopping here is the best in the city.

  4. @Suzanne Fass My husband and I have lived in south BPC for a number of years. We love it and wouldn’t move but the grocery shopping options are limited. Gristedes is expensive (and to me the stores feel a bit dingy). It’s hard to believe but Whole Foods is cheaper, especially if you shop their 365 brand. However, Whole Foods is a 20 minute walk from our building. I don’t mind the distance but this means paying a $10 delivery fee plus tip for a big shop. Le District and Eatly are more speciality stores than grocery stores and both are pricey. We live closest to Battery Park Market but I only go there in a pinch because again, pricey. We end up using Fresh Direct for dry goods and farmer’s markets or the nearby vegetable stand for produce. Groceries aside, this neighborhood is an amazing place to live.

  5. I checked some of the listings on Streeteasy. The monthly charges, taxes and common charges, are ridiculous.

  6. "Monthly costs may be slightly higher than in other areas of the city because of the fees the authority charges..." This is a real understatement! I've been looking at condo prices in a number of areas of Manhattan for a long time. Invariably monthly charges in BPC seem to be 2 or 3 times what they are in other areas.

  7. One feature not mentioned is the ferry service to Jersey City, Hoboken, etc. It is relatively inexpensive and a pleasant ride for all ages. I believe there is also a WholeFoods close to the Brookfield Center.

  8. No mention of the high common charges attached to the sales prices? My understanding is that the developers in fact lease the land and do not own it. Hence, they pass that leasing cost onto the residents. Too rich for my blood, but it is a very livable neighborhood!

  9. If you own in BPC, the cost is related to cash flow. yes, buildings lease their land, thus you pay ground rent. But because ground rent makes the carrying charges higher, prices tend to be lower than for comparable properties elsewhere in Manhattan. If you have a mortgage your total monthly cost won't be much different for comparable units elsewhere in Manhattan, but it is easier to come up with the 10 or 20 percent you need for a down payment in BPC. One thing that's not comparable is the beauty of Battery Park City, if you like that sort of thing. If you cross West Street, there is a farmers market at WTC on Tuesdays (and at Washington Market Park and Bowling Green other days), there is a Whole Foods across West Street at Warren Street, where the wonderful Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center is located, and there are a plethora of nonprofit and for-profit providers in the area to keep you and your family engaged, educated and happy.

  10. I always wish I'd bought a place here after 9/11 when the prices had dropped quite a bit. It's still a nice neighborhood to visit though. I'll sometimes get a sandwich or croissant at Le District in the WFC (I'll never get used to saying Brookfield Place) and sit by the water and watch the scenery go by.

  11. I'm surprised that the most recent big hit this area took after 9/11--super storm Sandy--is not highlighted. Whoever buys a place here must also recognize how vulnerable this area was during Sandy, and will be even more so in the future since parts (all?) of Battery Park City are below sea level. In fact, power/services were restored here later after Sandy than all the nearby public housing developments.

  12. @Diane Foster Actually, my building never even lost power during Sandy. We evacuated for a day, cane back, and had visitors coming to shower and charge phones (and drink wine) for two weeks.

  13. @Elizabeth McCarthy We also live in BPC and I had the exact same experience.

  14. @Diane Foster No part of BPC is below sea level at present - that can be verified by the absence of barriers or dykes holding back the water. Quite a lot of Manhattan will be vulnerable to frequent flooding over the next 100 years or so, and perhaps portions will even be habitable only because barriers will have been constructed by then. BPC did not lose power during Sandy. An individual building or two may have had problems that night, but not long-term. BPC was connected to a Brooklyn power grid after 9/11 and the lights stayed on during and after the storm.

  15. We lived in BPC for a few years until the World Trade Center disaster ultimately forced us out. It was magical. We rented on Rector Place, had a view of the Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. Needed no car. Walked to the corner Gristedes grocery and liquor store and cleaners and deli's and found virtually everything else we needed in the Trade Center from Duane Reed drugs to Weight Watchers to our bank. Yes, the rent was high, but compared to commuting 3 hrs a day, it was worth it. If Sept 11th hadn't made our apt uninhabitable for months, we'd still be there.

  16. TriBeCa, which is next door, has, arguably, along with FiDi, the best steaks in America (Wolfgang's, Delmonico's, Capital Grille, Palm, The Odeon, American Cut). TriBeCa/FiDi is a steak-lovers paradise.

  17. You may find a 3BR in BPC/TriBeCa for 2.5-3 mil, but it'll be one of the cheaper ones, and your neighbors will have a 5 million dollar place. You'll drive an A6 and they'll drive an RS7. The problem with living in a place like BPC is that, if your net worth isn't eight figures, you'll feel like a poor person. I assume that Beverly Hills and Marin are the same way. BPC and TriBeCa are the Beverly Hills of New York.

  18. I remember watching the fireworks on July 4, 1976, standing on sand, that would soon become Battery Park City. The place looks a bit nicer now.

  19. I got chest pains reading some of the prices these people pay just to put a roof over their heads.

  20. All that's missing is a beach? This per a remark made in the article. My visceral response is "You'll have one soon enough." BPC seems a nice community, but situated where it is I don't give it a hundred years given climate change and the concomitant rise in sea levels projected to occur. Matter of fact, you can kiss most of lower Manhattan good-bye, too.

  21. Even in these troubled times, I can always count on the Real Estate section for a few laughs.

  22. How could you forget about the R/W trains?

  23. I recall the landfill being created and the landfill then being our beach, sand mixed with anthracite dug up near the Verrezano Bridge and deposited by a dredger from Hamburg.; the anthracite derived from barges that had shipped coal to NY in the 19th century. Those were the 70 while Tribeca was forming and the West Side Highway had been condemned!

  24. “...Its 50 year history?” Ahem. It was a sand pit in 1979. There was that huge no nukes concert which is documented - it was acres of sand pit. I remember... So no, not 50 years, not yet 40!

  25. @flying rat "There was that huge no nukes concert which is documented -" I was there! Took a bus all the way from Omaha to attend and concert

  26. The BPC is definitely underrated. My favorite tip, watching the sun set over the Hudson while sipping Frozes on the Beaubourg patio.

  27. Great neighborhood and I rented there for about a year and a half . That said the rent is high and to own, the common charges are very high. I believe everything is on a land lease to the city. Because its got high educational scores, the administration I would guess will want to force some low income housing at some point to bring it down in line with everything else. I'd imagine at some point they might reclaim 1 of the buildings when the lease is up and turn it into a housing project or something in the name of 'progress/equality' blah blah initiative/experiment.

  28. Give me midtown any time

  29. My wife & I owned a 2 bed/2 bath @ 280 Rector Place from 8/1993 until 1/2000 and I still miss living there. Prices were lower because of the land lease and that portion of my monthly maintenance that paid the land lease was tax deductible under something called payment in lieu of real estate taxes. The apartment doubled from the low 200's to the high 400's. We left the burbs, sold 2 cars and walked to work @ the WTC, crossed the old West Side HWY to access subways and many nights we'd leave Lincoln Center and catch a bus which dropped us at our door. Our only regret is that we didn't buy ten year earlier when my daughter was young. It's a great place to raise a family and given the state of public transportation in NYC a sensible place to live for people who work down town.

  30. Floods in super storms

  31. @NYC Dweller I lived there during Sandy, and notably it was the only thing below 23rd street that still had power. And flooding didn't even touch the grass.

  32. Correct me if I am wrong. Over my 7 decades of living in NYC, the Battery Park City and the New WTC area are the coldest parts of NYC. Winter winds bring Chicago type cold to the area. The waterfalls in the 9/11 Menorial freeze so often they are shut down for many weeks in the winter. Stroll around there in Februay enjoy the view as you eyes tear up from the bitter winds coming into the harbor. Do you think the article might have mention this fact ? Danny

  33. @Daniel That there is wind? It's NYC. it gets cold. Buy a good winter jacket and you will be fine.

  34. BPC - sometimes called Battery Dog City - a great place for dogs! Also the northern part is called L.F.N.T - pronounced Elephant - for Land Fill Near TriBeCa - as many of its buildings for marketing purposes (like this Times fluff piece) were named "TriBeCa" this and that. There is a vacant walkway in the south near West Street called "Pataki- stan." The public elementary schools - built as an after though after years of protests by parents are excellent. Beware that financial risks in Condo ownership could occur! The area is very high end, quiet and safe. And for true hip NYC lovers - this may not be what you're looking for! A somewhat Republican enclave different than NYC - actually owned and governed by the State of NY - people aren't too thin and they don't wear black. There is no night life whatsoever. There are many basketball courts for some reason - which are barely used by residents. Luxury stabilized rentals with affordable units have been converting to Condos with no real protest (Republicans - or REBNY financed Albany Dems?). The underlying ownership structure is very unstable and a Condo investment could be a mistake. And again, the area is very high end, quiet and safe.