It’s not news that the arrival of the High Line has spurred a real estate boom around the park, not to mention ever-rising prices. But StreetEasy crunched the numbers to examine the park's so-called "halo effect," meaning how much the success of the elevated park gas affected prices in the surrounding area. It’s part of a series examining different development and rezoning sites around the city and their impact on the surrounding real estate market.
The High Line is one of the most dramatic examples of how a popular tourist destination has altered the landscape around it—in fact, StreetEasy calls it "completely unprecedented." The park's development coincided with Mayor Bloomberg’s creation of the West Chelsea Special District, which rezoned the neighborhood from a light industrial area to an area for mixed commercial and residential development. As StreetEasy puts it, "The success of the park space and the new developments around it go hand-in-hand. The buildings would not exist if it weren’t for the changes in zoning and the High Line would not be the same without the surrounding buildings."
In the area around the first section of the High Line, which opened in 2009, the median resale price ($2,143,287) is more than 100 percent pricier than the real estate value in the "comparison area" one block to the east, between Ninth and Seventh Avenues. It's also 75 percent higher than the rest of Downtown Manhattan. In the second section of the park, which opened in 2011, the median resale price ($1,300,281) is seven percent higher than the rest of Downtown Manhattan. And prices in Section Two are rising rapidly—up 11.7 percent year-over-year compared with 9.7 percent in Section One. Since 2011, Section One prices have increased by 50.6 percent, while Section Two priced have increased 48.2 percent, as compared to a price increase of 31.4 percent in adjacent areas.
Most striking about this price growth is that it "proves to be impervious to trends affecting the luxury real estate market at large," as StreetEasy puts it. While the overall luxury market in Manhattan is softening, pricing for homes in Section One and Two of the High Line have appreciated by nearly 10 and 9.4 percent since last May. Pricing on new luxury development in both sections is blowing other new developments in the area out of the water—in the past 12 months, the median recorded sale price for a sponsor sale in new buildings in Section One was $4,419,205 and $6,058,587 in Section Two, significantly higher than prices in adjacent blocks.
And development is nowhere near stopping. According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on StreetEasy’s data, 11 developments with 155 apartments are under construction, while nine more are planned with 751 apartments or hotel rooms. The WSJ reports that High Line-adjacent condo prices have risen to between $2,000 and $3,000 a square foot from around $1,000 in 2009, while the architecture and finishes for new developments has gotten ever fancier—and starchitects like Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, and Bjarke Ingels are all working or rumored to be working on projects around the park.
And then, of course, there is the arrival of Hudson Yards, which promises to further transform the area. StreetEasy says that "if the current trends hold true, the launch of a major new development nearby will only extend the economic success of the High Line and further entrench the High Line in the social and aesthetic infrastructure of the city."