[Every other week, our friends from property research hub PropertyShark drop by Curbed to share some of the wealth from their array of maps. Look, here they come now!]
As you can see above, we just did a map showing the height of buildings in stories. When researching this map an interesting problem came up: what exactly is the first floor of a building? It turns out that the city considers the first floor to be the floor on which the main entrance is located. That means that if you have a four floor brownstone with a stoop, the city will consider it to be a three story building with a basement. Oftentimes the floor of the "basement" will be just 3 steps down from ground level. If there is a floor below the "basement" floor, it is called the cellar.
The map above shows a closeup of Harlem. When I arrived in Harlem five years ago everyone wanted to buy below 125th, which was considered the best area. If you look at the map closely you can see that really that meant the six streets from 118th to 123rd, because the areas below that are mostly tenements. Remember that the brownstone blocks are mostly what the city would consider to be 3- and 4-story buildings, so they are shades of blue. The tenements are 5 stories and higher, so they are pink.
By now, all the good stuff below 125th has been bought up (and most of the bad stuff, too), so people are looking from 125th to 145th. Looking at the map you can see that there are some areas that are dense in brownstones but it's a little sparser than below 125th. Myself, I just moved into a brownstone coop unit on 131st.
· Property Height Map [PropertyShark]