Lower East Side
Designers, writers, artists, musicians, and (gulp!) professionals continue to supplant the pickle purveyors, heroin dealers, and rent-controlled lifers of yester-year. Funky shops, bars, and restaurants radiate from Ludlow and Orchard Streets, and Clinton Street is now a downtown destination for foodies.
Once characterized by tenements and pushcarts, Orchard Street gained its flavor more than 200 years ago, as families squeezed into cramped buildings that filled lower Manhattan. Industrious immigrants became the Lower East Side's first business owners. Selling their wares from potato sacks to thousands of local shoppers, successful business owners soon expanded their inventory and bought pushcarts -- and eventually storefronts -- to make Orchard Street one of the busiest commercial districts in the world and the neighborhood a cultural mecca. Over a century after hardworking immigrant families first crowded the tenements of Orchard Street, visitors from around the world are rediscovering the historic neighborhood and finding new surprises -- all while absorbing the amazing history that characterizes the area.
What's Next? Condo developments are hitting the market on every corner. As the price per square foot continues to increase, so does the average resident's annual income. As this cycle of real estate continues throughout the Lower East Side, retail stores are beginning to cater to more affluent residents, and the quality of living across the board will, certainly appreciate relative to the real estate values in the next five to ten years. Old tenements will continue to be converted and renovated, and retail rents will appreciate, bringing in Starbucks, Four Star restaurants, dance clubs, and boutique shopping. The Lower East Side is poised for further gentrification.
Lower East Side Buildings