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Once known primarily as a commercial district, Flatiron is becoming more residential, as commercial buildings are converted into condominiums and families flock to the rejuvenated Madison Square Park.
But those young families won't find cheap rentals. New apartments and conversions in pre-war buildings tend to be condos, and history and location have made it a pricey area.
The Big Picture
If Broadway, or Bloomingdale Road as it was long known, hadn't sliced into Fifth Avenue just so, we may have never ended up with the steel-framed terra-cotta and limestone, 21-story building known simply as The Flatiron.
The building, which was completed in 1902 and recently was featured in "Spiderman" as the home of the newspaper "The Daily Bugle," is so iconic, it anchors its own neighborhood.
"It's really tough to find a deal, because it's so central; you really have to go over to the west and find a walk-up in Chelsea or something east in Gramercy," Freedman said. "In a few years, the character will be more easily defined. It won't be one block of residential and one block of commercial. It's just coming into its own as an area."
Noah Freedman, owner of Bond New York Real Estate, said Sixth Ave. is beginning to see changes that already made real estate around Madison Square Park extremely popular. "It's just become more vibrant for living; there are more dry cleaners, more services; it used to be porno theaters, it used to be more seedy," he said.
The Flatiron building at 23rd St. and Fifth Ave. is the center of the neighborhood, which stretches north along Park Avenue South to 26th St., west to Sixth Ave., south to 18th St., and back east to Park Avenue South.