Despite the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Financial District is staging a comeback — at least as a destination for residential rentals, according to a year-end report on the neighborhood by local brokerage Platinum Properties.
Young singles continued to flock to the area, with one-bedrooms the most sought-after apartment type, comprising 45 percent of the market. Rents for one-bedrooms dipped slightly from last year – a rarity in this red hot residential market – to an average of $3,661, down 1.75 percent from $3,726 last year.
November saw a dip in inventory. That corresponds to the anniversary of the superstorm, which hit on October 29, 2012 and forced many renters into new leases ending on or around November of last year, said Daniel Hedaya, president of Platinum. Still, rents fell across all apartment type tracked by the report — alcove studios, studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms — falling by between 4 percent and 13 percent.
But Hedaya was bullish, citing the many amenities that will likely become available Downtown when the various World Trade Center developments and the Fulton Street Transit Center are complete. “Obviously we had a lot of turmoil over the past five years, but things are really beginning to stabilize,” he said.
The average price of a studio stood at $2,784 or $55 per square foot in December; a one-bedroom would set a renter back $3,592, on average, the data show. Meanwhile two-bedrooms were leasing for $5,486. Alcove studios, which comprise a mere 6 percent of the market, are running $2,756. All segments but alcove studios were up just slightly from November.
Still, some prospective buyers remain leery of setting down roots permanently in the Financial District. Among other things, flood protection is a concern. “The sales market has lagged a little bit behind,” Hedaya said. “I see [the lag] as giving a good opportunity for investors.”
High-profile projects could also spur interest in the once quiet neighborhood. 30 Park Place, a 189-key hotel and 157 luxury condominiums by Silverstein Properties, is set to open in mid-2016. The top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth Building, at 233 Broadway, are being turned into condos. And at 70 Pine Street, Rose Associates is building almost 800 rental apartments.
Hedaya sees the area coming into its own, despite a rocky decade.
“It’s all finally starting to come to fruition,” he said.