Fabulous young couples, wealthy singles, and ex-suburbanite empty-nesters long ago took over SoHo from artists. As a result, just about every boutique on Madison Avenue has opened a downtown satellite. Even Bloomingdale's is now here. Some of the world's most expensive real estate exists right here in this 24-square block neighborhood. SoHo is well defined by its cast-iron architecture, cobble stone streets, and runway model average resident. If you're looking to live in SoHo, there are only two types of apartments here: very large or very small. If you can afford 'very large', this neighborhood pioneered the 'New York City Loft'. If you can only afford 'very small', be ready to pay big bucks for a not-so-big of an apartment.
How do you define a neighborhood that's also a New York lifestyle? SoHo means glamour, youth, luxury, shopping, and enterprise. We just say SoHo.
Before it became an art and shopping mecca, SoHo had a very long city history?first as a residential neighborhood, and then, during the 1800s, a commercial center, where the neighborhood's famous cast-iron warehouse buildings and romantic cobble stone streets were built?housing fashion staples such as Lord & Taylor and Tiffany & Co. By the time the 1930s rolled around with a plan to run the Lower Manhattan Expressway through it, SoHo had become run down and nearly deserted. Of course, there is nothing cutting-edge artists love more than spacious real estate away from the uptown folds. In sprawling SoHo loft spaces of the late '60s, artists as diverse Chuck Close, Frank Stella, and Richard Serra started a vital, bohemian art movement?and the neighborhood revival. Like today, art poured through the SoHo streets. Buyers, trendsetters, and intellectuals again flocked to the once-forgotten neighborhood. And where artists go, fashion follows. In the1990s, the neighborhood became a glamour capital, for chic stores, restaurants, spas, art galleries, and boutiques. Today Cipriani's, Prada, Chanel, Yohji Yamamoto, Bloomingdales's SoHo, and Apple's flagship store are among the many that fill the storefronts along Mercer Street, Greene Street, Spring Street, Prince Street, and West Broadway. SoHo has become one of the most exclusive and sought-after residences in New York City. And the SoHo Grand was the first hotel to bring luxury back to the neighborhood for visitors, partiers, celebrities, and friends.
What's Next? Two trends will likely continue into the next few decades within this amazingly popular, fashionable, and trendy neighborhood: retail space will become an increasingly invaluable asset and the number of rentals available will continue to dwindle, thereby pushing renters to the edges of the neighborhood and making it feel larger and larger. Retail space in the area has been approaching per-square-foot prices comparable to those of Fifth Avenue in the 50s. A combination of the prices and the prime tenants becoming attracted to the space as a MUST-HAVE location, these retail spaces have become increasingly attractive to real estate investors because of the virtually guaranteed income from the retail space. Furthermore, with continued condo conversions, the number of rental units in the area has decreased more and more. As a result of this people living on Crosby Street are now referring to is as SoHo; people living on Mulberry Street all of the sudden consider themselves close enough to SoHo to tell people they live there. And this is a trend in all four directions around the neighborhood where possible. Everyone wants to live in SoHo!