Battery Park City, one of New York City’s greenest districts, has all that New York has to offer on its doorstep—yet once the drapes are drawn it becomes the perfect suburban setting for family life
Embraced by the Hudson and sitting pretty on the southwestern side of Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City has the benefit of being both close to the hustle and bustle and an escape from it. A key attraction that contributes to the high quality of life residents enjoy, and which, says broker Herbert Chou of Christie’s International Real Estate Group, is what has turned this into one of the most sought-after places in which to live.
A Great New York Location
“Battery Park City is a beautifully planned, immaculately kept, tranquil neighborhood that’s a short walk from Wall Street and TriBeCa and less than half an hour on public transport from Grand Central and Union Square,” says Chou. “It’s also only about two hours by road from the Hamptons, and around half an hour in a helicopter. It’s such an established part of Manhattan yet is only a few decades old: it was built on a 92-acre (37-ha) landfill site in the 1970s and developed in the 1980s as a commercial–residential neighborhood, largely for workers who wanted to live within easy walking distance of the Financial District. However, that demographic has changed enormously over recent years and now many families have made it their home.”
It’s easy to see why people want to make this suburban gem their home: it’s safe, has excellent schools—among them Stuyvesant High School and PS 89 Liberty School—superb shopping opportunities, including Brookfield Place New York, where luxury stores such as Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Gucci, and Saks abound, and numerous outstanding restaurants. It also scores highly on the cultural front, with a handful of good museums—most significantly The Skyscraper Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust—and some rather engaging public art.
I love the views of the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey from the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place. It’s a great spot to sit and watch the world go by—Herbert Chou
What really sets it apart from its neighbors, however, is its 36 acres (14.5 ha) of lush parkland, wide-open esplanades, network of riverside paths, and gorgeous marina with docks for private yachts. “If you like sports and the outdoors, there’s no better place to be,” says Chou. “I think of it as a playground for young and old.”
Green and Eco Credentials
Weekends in BPC are spent playing soccer and baseball, cycling, running, roller-skating, sailing, fishing, or simply taking a seat by the river to enjoy its constantly shifting moods. “I love the views of the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey from the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place,” says Chou. “It’s a great spot to sit and watch the world go by and is one of my favorite spots for contemplation. It’s somewhere I like to go in all weathers and at all times of the day. I can’t imagine ever tiring of it.”
Besides being a haven for families and for sport or outdoor enthusiasts, Battery Park City has another notable claim to fame: it’s one of the largest green neighborhoods in the world and its eco-credentials are often credited with instigating sustainability in New York City.
The Solaire, the first building designed to meet new environmental guidelines instituted in 2000 by Battery Park City Authority, opened in 2003 and became the first residential high-rise to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.
Other developments soon followed, including Riverhouse, The Verdesian, the Millennium Tower, and The Visionaire, which opened in 2008 and was the city’s first apartment building to gain LEED platinum certification.
Natalya Bowen, also a broker at Christie’s International Real Estate Group, is currently marketing an exquisite one-bedroom home in The Visionaire, says the building achieved its rating by “incorporating the latest conservation and environmental technology to create a clean and healthy space.” Among its environmentally friendly features are humidity-controlled indoor air, energy-efficient windows, filtered drinking water, LED lighting, solar, and geothermal energy, photovoltaic paneling, a pesticide-free green roof, EnergyStar appliances that use significantly less energy than other products, and rainwater collection and reuse.
“Battery Park City is leading the way when it comes to eco-friendly design,” says Bowen. “The area was only developed 35 years ago so the best properties were built with impressive eco-credentials from the get-go, and this really chimes with our community, which is very environmentally aware. Many residents value the fact that they can walk or cycle to work. Not only do they avoid the stresses of a long commute, but they also get to spend more time here in the evenings, enjoying the local amenities with their families. Battery Park City has it all—once people move here, they very rarely leave.”