In NYC, affordability comes first

I just spent some time studying Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, and I have to admit it’s a great laboratory for creative, urban living, working and entertainment trends that either reflect or predict what’s happening elsewhere. So… what’s the buzz in NYC?

Affordability, affordability, affordability.

“How much?” It’s the question when it comes to finding a residence in a progressive New York City neighborhood. The young creatives and entrepreneurs need affordable residences to survive – and generate jobs as a result, but where to go, and where to avoid?

One indicator to look elsewhere? Check out how many national chain stores are moving in. SOHO is soaked with yuppie fashion chains, and loft prices are now reserved only for the rich. Williamsburg still has a bohemian vibe, but the chains are starting to creep in, and so are the housing prices.

Another indicator is the number of fine dining restaurants. Greenwich Village, East Village and the Meatpacking District have avoided the chain gang, but an increasing number of their venues are hosts for upscale menus. As more of the associated ‘fine diners’ want to become residents within the yuppifying scene, they bid up the home prices and rents, predictably.

The sad irony is that most of the new fine dining establishments are creative works of social interaction and art unto themselves (image: Son Cubano in the Meatpacking District.) The trick is how to provide places like this that creative people can afford on a regular basis. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow, where to find NYC residences in cool neigborhoods that won’t cause sticker shock.

Where have you seen prices going up a little too quickly, and why? Speak your mind below…

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