It wasn’t too long ago that waterfront living in the city was for those too poor to live elsewhere, and a New Yorker could go weeks or more without even thinking about the numerous blue-green bodies that surround the island of Manhattan. No more. Between former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push to add parks to the outer rims of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and the rezoning of large waterfront swaths to accommodate higher-density housing — particularly in north Brooklyn and Queens — the NYC waterfront has emerged as some of the city’s hottest real estate for those looking for luxury living and sun-dappled water views — and that’s even after substantial Superstorm Sandy setbacks in 2012.
According to an analysis by DNAinfo.com, recent sales numbers in select areas of the Rockaways in Queens and the Financial District in Manhattan show that buyers are overlooking potential storms, rising tides and sky-high flood insurance in favor of shiny new appliances, landscaped roofs and, of course, killer views. Indeed, waterfront developments the city over continue to command top dollar for both rental and condo units. With this flood of new options in mind, we’ve singled out our eight favorite waterfront developments in New York City. These buildings have the best views, the best amenities and the best access to the water.
One Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights
This 438-unit condo building, converted in 2007 from a warehouse built in 1928, sits directly along the Brooklyn Heights waterfront, and it overlooks the 85‐acre Brooklyn Bridge Park. The popular and ever-improving park is impressive by any standards with multiple playgrounds, lawns and athletic fields including sand volleyball courts, a kayak launch, running and biking paths and much more. Inside the modernized building are two landscaped terraces overlooking the park, a yoga studio, billiard room, children’s playroom and screening room. The apartments facing the water look out onto Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty and Downtown Manhattan. The downsides to living at the doorstep of the best waterfront park in Brooklyn? The building is a 14-minute walk to Jay Street/Metrotech subway station and is surrounded by ongoing park construction. 360 Furman St., Brooklyn, 718-330-0030, onebrooklyn.com
Northside Piers, Williamsburg
Williamsburg is famed for its high-end waterfront development — what was once a manufacturing district is now a neighborhood of pricy condos and shiny skyscrapers — and its array of hipper-than-thou restaurants, bars and even hotels (see the King & Grove and Wythe Hotel). The Northside Piers development is a cluster of three different waterfront condo towers within walking distance to it all and the Bedford Avenue L subway stop: One Northside is sold out, Two Northside still has units for sale, and the someday-rental Three Northside is under construction. Much to the ire of existing residents, when construction at Three is complete, it will block the river views seen from Two. All three buildings offer direct access into East River Park, which opened in 2007, and the two constructed towers both have roof decks with views of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn and Queens. Three, of course, will also have an expansive terrace overlooking the river. 2 Northside Piers, Brooklyn, 718-388-0606, northsidepiers.com
4545 Center Boulevard, Long Island City
One of the newest waterfront towers from TF Cornerstone, the developers who built up a large part of the Long Island City waterfront post rezoning, this building has an impressive 50,000-square-foot amenity deck with views of the water and Manhattan, as well as beach volleyball courts, a reflecting pool, lounge chairs, tennis courts, barbecues, an on-site parking garage and an indoor and outdoor playground. It’s also located a block away from the neighborhood’s waterfront park, Hunters Point South. True, this area of Queens doesn’t yet have a bustling waterfront like Brooklyn, but its residential and commercial sectors are growing nonetheless with newcomers like M. Wells Steakhouse drawing more than just residents for dinner. 4545 Center Boulevard, Long Island City, 718-606-9440, 4545centerblvd.com
Tribeca Park, TriBeCa
This lavish rental building tops off at 27 stories and sits right along the waterfront. The building has a 19th floor sun terrace with barbecues as well as a landscaped sculpture garden. Views look out onto the glittering Hudson River. For residents with no desire to swim in the Hudson (likely all of them), Tribeca Park has its own heated 60-foot-long indoor pool. About a half block away from the building is Rockefeller Park, a waterfront park dotted with features, including a Tom Otterness sculpture, a wading pool, carousel, and game tables that are part of Battery Park City. The neighborhood itself is dotted with chic restaurants and bars, hosts an eponymous film festival and is widely considered one of the city’s most expensive zip codes. 400 Chambers St., 917-720-7550, related.com
250 West Street, TriBeCa
250 West Street is another TriBeCa waterfront building, although this one houses upscale condos in a historic 1906 warehouse. The chic apartment units — with oversized warehouse windows — look out onto Hudson River Park and Piers 25 and 26. Outside on the piers, a playground with water features, beach volleyball courts and a miniature golf course turn this section of the Hudson River into one giant summer playground. The building itself beckons with a 5,000-square-foot roof terrace with a sun deck, resident’s lounge and dining area. 250 W. St., 212-343-2509, 250weststreet.com
The Regatta, Battery Park City
In a world where luxury skyscrapers loom large, The Regatta comes in at nine stories. No matter, as the 184-unit condo building is located directly on the esplanade of Battery City Park and, as such, has unobstructed views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Other perks: a winter garden to enjoy those views in the coldest of weather and a rooftop deck for warmer weather. Built in 1989, the interiors are not as up-to-date as others on this list and you have to cross the West Side Highway to get to the subway. There is a nearby movie theater and a 10,000-square-foot library built in 2010, the city’s first to be LEED certified. 21 South End Ave., no phone
One Riverside Park, Upper West Side
The glassy new 35-floor west side tower recently launched condo sales, with prices surpassing $25 million. The units wow with floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive views of the Hudson River, George Washington Bridge and Riverside Park. The building has a not-so-shabby 50,000 square feet of amenities including a landscaped garden courtyard, screening room, indoor playground, and an indoor pool and hot tub in the La Palestra Athletic Club and Spa. Of course, Riverside Park is just one block away. If you’re drooling and have the millions to spend on an apartment with views for days, you shouldn’t call the movers just yet — occupancy isn’t slated until next year. 50 Riverside Blvd., 212-663-7873, oneriversidepark.com
Riverwalk Crossing, Roosevelt Island
For those hardcore waterfront enthusiasts out there, there’s always the option of living on the tiny two-mile strip of land that is Roosevelt Island. The island’s most impressive building is Riverwalk Crossing, an 18-story condo high-rise situated along the Roosevelt Island waterfront park. The tower has its own private lawn as well as a sun terrace with views of the water and Manhattan’s Upper East Side. While this tower features some of the best, least obstructed vistas in the city, you still have to live on Roosevelt Island to get them. Although the island is connected to the city by a tram, the F train and Roosevelt Island Bridge, the island can feel cut off from the rest of New York and has limited dining and entertainment options. 405 Main St., 212-838-5090, related.com
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