BY JILLIAN BLUME
udrey Hepburn cre-ated a vision of the Up-per East Side party girlwith a past in
Break-fast at Ti
, playing the dra-matic and ﬂighty Holly Golightly.She lived in a brownstone ﬁlmedat 169 East 71st Street. Her favoritehaunt was a bar on Lexington Ave-nue. Today’s uptown party girl hasits representation in Paris Hilton,Olivia Palermo, Tinsley Mortimerand their brood. Glamorous, high-spirited and a little inaccessible,they represent a lifestyle that couldbe described as aspirational, stu
y,privileged, elegant, cultured and af-ﬂuent.The Upper East Side, however, isnot just for the rich and famous;there are properties for families of di
ering ﬁnancial muscle. As wellas o
ering some of the most luxu-rious (and expensive) properties,it also o
ers tremendous valuein both sales and rental proper-ties. “The Upper East Side ingeneral has always beenknown as one of thevery best residential lo-cations in New Yorkto live in,” says KellyMack, Corcoran Sun-shine Marketing.It’s considered bymany to be the mostprestigious addressin town, its residentialstreets lined with trees,stately prewar architec-ture, elaborate brown-stones, distinguishedtownhouses and exclu-sive luxury apartmentbuildings. Comprised of a numberof smaller enclaves including Carn-egie Hill, Lennox Hill, East End Av-enue, and Yorkville, it is an elegant,exclusive area, bordered by the EastRiver Esplanade and Central Park.“You have every single thing thatrelates to proper infrastructureto support a neighborhood,” saysMack. “It’s very clean, it’s very safe,and there’s always been a lot of verygood housing stock available there.It’s a long-established residentialneighborhood, unlike other parts of New York, which were more emerg-ing and have now developed them-selves into strong residential loca-tions, but they don’t have the samesense of history and maturity. Up-per East Side property values havealways held up and grown year-over-year.”
Once known as the “Silk Stocking”district, it was the site of the fash-ionable mansions of families such asthe Kennedys, the Rockefellers, theRoosevelts, the Whitneys, the Car-negies, the Astors and the Dukes.Ithas been home to actors and actress-es including Woody Allen, JamesCagney, Paul Sorvino, ChristopherWalken, Michael J. Fox, Robert Red-ford, Kevin Kline, Candice Bergen,Elizabeth Taylor, Ellen Barkin andGreta Garbo; musicians Cole Porter,Sean Combs, Art Garfunkel and BillyIdol; and famous designers such asDonna Karan and Ralph Lauren. Fa-mous athletes who own homes in thearea include Tiki Barber, Derek Jeterand Martina Navratilova. Businessmoguls occupying Upper East Sidereal estate include Rupert Murdochand George Soros. Madonna recent-ly purchased a four-story, Georgian-style townhouse at 152 East 81st for$40 million.
Real Estate Prices& the Market
“From this year compared to last,it’s like a di
erent world,” says Rog-er Erickson, senior managing direc-tor with Sotheby’s InternationalRealty. “Last year, pretty much ev-eryone was hiding in a cave expect-ing the world to end, and it a
ectedbuyers drastically. There were veryfew people braving to go out andeven look at properties, let alonepurchase. There was very little tonothing happening. And then inthe fourth quarter, things startedto pick up. The fourth quarter wasvery strong with a lot of transac-tions. I actually sold a house in ex-cess of $24 million, an apartmentin excess of $22 million, a couple of major deals over $20 million and alot of other transactions to roundout the year.”According to Mack, this is a greattime to buy real estate on the Up-per East Side. There is a lot of greatproduct to choose among. Invento-ry levels relative to historical aver-ages are high. “The inventory rightnow is about 1,600 units,” she says.“So there’s lots of really great in-ventory to choose from, and there’svalue to be had in terms of the pric-ing. Prices have adjusted downwardin the past year and a half by about20 percent. So if you look at value asit relates to potential price appre-ciation, I think everyone will agreethat the Upper East Side has longbeen known as an area that has sup-ported price appreciation and thathas all the infrastructure to supportgrowing property values.”The Upper East Side has some of the priciest real estate in the city,but even if your name is not Rocke-feller, you’ll still ﬁnd plenty of prop-erties at various price ranges. “Thelower end of the market is insanelyhot with young people looking to
The Upper East Side
“I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where meand things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet.But I know what it’s like. It’s like Tiffany’s.”—Truman Capote,
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
, spoken by Holly Golightly.
The Upper East Side; Holly called it home.So can you.
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