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Price Points

02/01/2008, By LISA KEYS

February 1, 2007 -- JUST how much does it really cost to live in Manhattan? It's an answer - and a sum - that goes far beyond a mortgage payment or rent check.

There are also the day-to-day things: the price of a cup of coffee, a movie ticket, a barbershop haircut.

NYP Home scoured the city to find the neighborhoods that offer the most - and the least - bang for your buck.

While some of the hottest neighborhoods are the most expensive (read: West Village), others, like the Lower East Side, remain bargains.

Then there are places like Yorkville, which combine relatively low housing costs with high-priced amenities. Read on for more surprises.


Perhaps it comes as no surprise: Waaay up in the northern reaches of Manhattan is one of its cheapest neighborhoods.

Citi Habitats agent Sandy Edry says an increasing number of his clients are "escapees" from the Upper West Side and farther downtown.

"Inwood is one of the last places they can go before they leave Manhattan," he says.

One-bedroom co-ops are, on average, slightly more than $400 a square foot - that's less than half the price of many downtown areas. And while they tend to be in prewar mid-rise buildings with few amenities (doormen are a rarity here), they're big: "A one-bedroom here is closer to 800 square feet, as opposed to the Upper West Side where they're 500 to 600 square feet," says Kelly Cole, a vice president at the Corcoran Group.

Rentals are a bargain, too: One-bedrooms go for about $1,000 to $1,300, with the more expensive listings in the coveted areas west of Broadway. Plus, notes Edry, "This is one of those areas where you can still get rent-stabilized apartments."

"Because you get so much space for your money, it attracts nesters," Cole adds. "Inwood is perfect for people who don't want to be in the thick of it."

That's slowly changing. Newcomer Mamajuana, an upscale Dominican restaurant on Dyckman Street, is as sultry as anything downtown and, with entrees about $20 each (churrasco frites, $22), comparable in price, too.

But when it comes to life's little necessities, Inwood remains a steal. Coffee at La Penda Grocery (on Broadway at 212th Street) is 60 cents; a six-pack of Budweiser is practically free at $5. And a manicure/pedicure at New Lovely Nails is $18 all week long.


One-BR rentals: $1,000 to $1,300

One-BR co-op: $359,000 for 822 square feet

Six-pack of Budweiser: $5 at La Penda Grocery

Bananas: 49 cents a pound at C-Town

Men's haircut: $12 at M.A.R. Barber Shop

Key copy: 99 cents at Dick's



It's trendy but family-friendly, quiet yet somehow in the heart of the action. Life on the beautiful cobblestone streets of the Far West Village is sweet - but it's going to cost you.

With a vacancy rate at less than 1 percent, rentals are pricey: Junior one-bedrooms here are about $3,100 a month, according to Vidal Chavez of Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy. When it comes to buying a place, expect to pay about $1,100 to $1,300 a square foot, says Itzy Garay, managing director at Citi Habitats.

But the range of housing stock is wide here, resulting in prices that are more varied than other neighborhoods. You'll find studio co-ops for less than $500,000 and two-bedroom condos selling for $1.5 million.

And that's nothing compared to the cost of the area's sleek newcomers. A one-bedroom, 1,018-square-foot condo at Richard Meier's 165 Charles Street is on the market for $3.1 million.

Plus, it's when you step out of your million-dollar home that costs will really add up: At D'Agostino on the corner of Greenwich and Bethune streets, a half gallon of milk costs $2.29 - that's 30 cents higher than anywhere else in our survey. Laundry, too, was the most expensive, at $2 for use of a small washing machine at ABC Dry Cleaners & Laundromat on Hudson.


One-BR rental: $3,100 for 585 square feet

One-BR co-op: $735,000 for 650 square feet

Can of Fancy Feast cat food: 99 cents

Half-gallon of milk: $2.29 at D'Agostino

Manicure/pedicure: $40, Monday-Thursday at Gemini Salon & Spa

Laundry: Small machine, $2 at ABC Dry Cleaners & Laundromat



Murray Hill has gone upscale.

"I get a lot of clients, kids out of college, who want to live in Murray Hill, but they're getting priced out," says Jordan Hoch of Manhattan Apartments. "Luxury buildings are taking over."

Though one-bedroom rentals can be found in rare walk-ups for about $2,000, prices jump significantly for one-bedrooms in boxy high-rise doorman buildings. Prices for those properties tend to range from $3,000 to $3,200 and up, according to Hoch.

In the last quarter of last year, one-bedroom condos in the neighborhood sold at $918 a square foot, notes Ed Curtin at the Curtin Realty Group. When it comes to one-bedroom co-ops, Curtain says he's seen a "high concentration in the $500,000 to $800,000 range."

"I think on the Upper East Side you can do a little better," says Hoch. "This is still a downtown neighborhood."

Actually, it's Midtown - but Murray Hill's cash registers ring to uptown prices. At the Food Emporium on Third Avenue, Boar's Head Turkey was priced at $9.49, a price comparable to Manhattan's fanciest nabes. A six-pack of Heineken at Anita's Deli and Grocery on Lexington was a whopping $12.50; a small cup of coffee, $1.


One-BR rentals: $3,000 to $3,200 in a doorman building

One-BR co-op: $569,000 for 680 square feet

New development: The Charleston (pictured); units start at $745,000

Cup of coffee: $1 at Anita's Deli and Grocery

Men's haircut: $16.50 at Supercuts

Bananas: 79 cents a pound at Food Emporium



"When people come to TriBeCa, the first thing that comes to mind is the loft feel," says James Attard of Tabak Real Estate. "Those [properties] are the highest in demand."

Yet, given the proximity to super-trendy bars and restaurants - like Bouley, which features an $85 tasting menu - housing in the 'hood is surprisingly reasonable.

One-bedroom rentals range from $2,600 to $3,500, says Attard. The product varies dramatically from boxy, postwar apartments at the low end to spacious lofts on the high end. "If you're OK with a cookie-cutter apartment, there's inventory," says Attard. "If you come looking for a loft-like one-bedroom, those are hard to find."

For buyers, Attard estimates that condos are priced between $1,100 to $1,200 a square foot; co-ops are slightly cheaper at $1,050, but aren't easy to come by.

Newcomer 101 Warren Street - which will feature a Whole Foods Market - has multiple condos that go for at least $1,400 a square foot.

Copying a key at TriBeCa Hardware on Chambers Street costs $2 - that's double the price of other neighborhoods. But most amenities seemed reasonably priced; an egg-and-cheese on a roll costs $1.50 at Morgan's Market, and you won't gasp at the $4 to $6 pints at Puffy's Tavern on Hudson.


One-BR rentals: $2,600 to $3,500

One-BR co-op: $985,000 for 880 square feet at the new Zinc Building

Can of Fancy Feast cat food: 75 cents

Cup of coffee: 85 cents at Morgan's Market

Dinner for two: $320, with wine, at Bouley

Key copy: $2, TriBeCa Hardware



One part "Breakfast at Tiffany's," one part "Animal House," Yorkville attracts the post-college set with its cheap rents. One-bedrooms in walk-up buildings around 86th Street between Third Avenue and the East River are available for about $1,600 to $2,000, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman's Karen Connolly. Doorman buildings run in the $2,750 to $3,000 range.

"You get great value here - far better than any other place on the Upper East Side," says Connolly.

That is, until you walk outside and start giving back the money you've saved on rent. A mani/pedi at Angels Nail Salon on 86th Street costs $30 Monday through Thursday, and dinner for two, with wine, at local hot spot Café d'Alsace will set you back about $150.

Housing prices are cheaper on the eastern fringes, but that involves a trek to the subway on Lexington Avenue.

"When they break ground on the Second Avenue subway - and they will - those apartments will go up accordingly," says Doug Hochlerin, a broker at Bond Realty.

Hochlerin says co-ops are selling at about $830 a square foot; condos for about $950.

One massive new development, The Brompton, at 86th Street and Third Avenue, will be priced between $1,100 to $1,700 a square foot, according to David Wine at the Related Group.


One-BR rentals: $1,600 to $2,000 in a walk-up

One-BR co-op: $539,000 for 650 square feet

New development: The Brompton, approx. $1,100 to $1,700 a square foot

Manicure/pedicure: $30 Monday-Thursday at Angels Nail Salon

Cup of coffee: 85 cents at High Point Deli

Dinner for two: $150, with wine, at Cafe d'Alsace



The more things change, the more they stay the same: Though it may be one of the hippest 'hoods in the city, the Lower East Side is still one of the cheapest.

The "old world" meets "new school" vibe of the area south of Houston, from the Bowery to the East River, is a major draw for the nabe, according to broker Limor Eliyahu of The Broadway Group.

That's especially true on historic blocks such as Orchard Street, where you'll find, she says, "a 30-year-old business next to a 30-day-old business."

One-bedroom rentals in the area, mostly small walk-ups, average about $1,700 to $1,900 per month - about a 20 percent increase from last year, Eliyahu says.

That's pretty cheap for Manhattan - and you'll save even more when you walk out your front door. The LES boasts some of the most affordable cultural offerings: While art-house upstart Landmark Sunshine Cinema is - at $10.75 per ticket - slightly cheaper than other major Manhattan theaters, catching a film at Anthology Film Archives on Second Avenue is a steal at $8.

And when you want to get your drink on, you're in the right place. The LES is chockablock with bargain bars; at Welcome to the Johnson's on Rivington Street, the preferred drink - a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon - costs just $1.50.

Still, if you're hoping to make a more permanent commitment to the LES, you're in for a tough ride. With the exception of the co-ops on Grand Street (which we did not include in our survey), there's not a lot of housing stock, according to Karen Skurka of Prudential Douglas Elliman. Co-ops in the area are selling at about $800 a square foot, she says, while condos go for $900-plus a square foot.

New construction, on the other hand, commands upward of $1,000 per square foot. A one-bedroom at Blue, one of the area's first upscale condos, is, on average, $1,129 a square foot.


One-BR rentals: $1,700 to $1,900 for walk-ups

One-BR co-op: $499,000 for 700-square-foot duplex

Cup of coffee: 50 cents at Stop 1 Deli

Beer: $1.50 PBR at Welcome to the Johnson's

Men's haircut: $12 at Manhattan Unisex on Allen Street

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