Over the weekend, A Curbed reader went to check out the more-than-a-sales-office for District, the 163-unit FiDi condo development that nightlife queen Amy Sacco is consulting on and living in, eventually. Steakhouses, hot tubs?this place will have it all. But is it too much? And what to make of the FiDi as a whole? This guy has a take on everything:
On the whole, I have to say that my opinion of the District was quite favorable. The other places my broker took me to in the FIDI (45 John and 90 William) struck me as little more than repurposed office space. The District, however, feels as though it was conceptualized as a residential building from the ground up. Furthermore, it nicely complements the early Wall Street era architecture you'll find in the immediate vicinity (with a slight reminiscence of the Flatiron building thrown in for good measure). I also think that the developers were very smart about where to situate the building (close to subways, Seaport and the Freedom Tower, whenever that will be). Also, I happen to like Andres Escobar, and I was pleased to find that his design was far removed from the "Bushwick starter condo" vibe he's had going on in Brooklyn over the past couple of years. My problem is... My problem is that the District is an amenity overdrive. This appears to be driven, at least in part by, the Amy Sacco thing (or, as Josh David Stein put it more eloquently, the "striped shirt FiDi ass-vacuum" factor). Who (other than said vacuums) wouldn't be slightly embarassed to live in a building that had a lifestyle consultant? To mention nothing of the price (around 880k for a 780 square foot one bedroom). But I guess you buy with a view to eventually sell, and since Wall Street will always be full of striped shirt FiDi ass-vacuums in search of tacky ways to spend their bonii, maybe Amy Sacco is a good thing, after all. Which brings me to the real question: what does the future hold for the neighborhood? I've been getting a bullish read from first-time condo buyers in the FIDI, especially from people who are eager to get into the real estate market but who realize that that anything south of 900k is going to get you the privilege of a shitty apartment in a mediocre neighborhood if your looking north of Chambers. Plus, there's a lot of talk about how, with all that influx of yuppie-type residents (to mention nothing of the major local infrastructure projects), the FIDI will eventually develop a self-sustaining neighborhood vibe within the next 5 years or so). I know a lot of that talk is being driven by developers and brokers, but I can't help but think they might be on to something. Then again, these are the same people who are trying to convince me to move to Clinton, so who's to know who you can trust?
Whew! That's a mouthful. While asking people if the FiDi is truly a sustainable residential neighborhood right now is a big can of worms to open, we're more into the theory that "amenity overdrive" could detract from a building. Thoughts?
· District NY [Official Site]
· On the Market: District NY [Curbed]
· Absurd Amenity Update: Sacco/Starr Steakhouse at District [Curbed]