The Real Deal New York

Chinatown comes into its own

Brokers say the neighborhood is on the brink of major change
March 30, 2015 12:30PM

Chinatown has held out as the largest ethnic enclave in Lower Manhattan, but while development has largely occurred on the outer edges, brokers expect to see the neighborhood change rapidly in the next decade.

“I think it’s an emerging market — there’s little inventory and increasing demand. I’ve seen it on the ground as a resident,” Christopher Morales, a Douglas Elliman broker and Chinatown resident, told the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve seen more non-Chinese people, and it’s become a place where you hear people wanting to go. … The neighborhood is becoming a cool, Hip Place to be.”

Located at the intersection of Tribeca, Soho, Little Italy and the Lower East Side and boasting easy access to Brooklyn, Chinatown appears to be in a prime spot for luxury development. But the neighborhood remains home to low-rise housing and independently owned Asian businesses.

“Developers are pushing the boundaries a bit and encroaching into Chinatown territory,” said the Corcoran Group’s Julia Pham. “I think it’s a corridor that’s going to change probably very rapidly over the next five to 10 years…it is in a very central location, and it’s just a matter of time before that real estate appreciates and buyers find that area desirable.”

The Essex Crossing development will soon bring 1,000 apartments to the nearby Seward Park area. [WSJ] — Tess Hofmann