A Closer Look at NoMad – Manhattan’s “New” Neighborhood
New York’s ever-changing culture is reflected in the surge of new neighborhood names that have sprung up recently — LeDel (below Delancey Street), RAMBO (right around the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), or, one of the most inventive, BoCoCa (the area that is intersected by Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens). Fortunately or unfortunately, none of these creative monikers have stuck. One that has, though, is NoMad (north of Madison Square Park), bound by 25th Street, 30th Street, Avenue of the Americas, and Lexington Avenue.
NoMad has become a go-to place for culture, food, business, and residential opportunities. During the last five years, the neighborhood has seen price-per-square-foot averages rise by 40 percent; the average price per square foot for a condo is now $1,791 compared with $1,279 in 2010.
NoMad rose to prominence in the mid-19th century when it was home to the city’s most opulent hotels — the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the Gilsey House, and the Grand, the two latter of which have since been converted to residential sites. Along the park were mansions and brownstones occupied by New York’s elite, including the Jerome Mansion at 41 East 26th Street, owned by Winston Churchill’s grandparents, Leonard and Clara Jerome. This building eventually became the Manhattan Club, a Democratic gathering place frequented by the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, and Al Smith.
In the early 20th century, an influx of commercial business, many of which spilled over from the nearby Tenderloin district, moved into the area and overtook its residential character. Affluent New Yorkers moved to neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Gramercy, and the Madison Square Park area became deserted.
Image © Shake Shack
NoMad began its journey to become one of Manhattan’s hot new neighborhoods in 2001 when Madison Square Park reopened after a $6 million restoration that also put into place the Madison Square Park Conservancy, a non-profit organization that oversees the public space. In 2004, restauranteur Danny Meyer opened the first outpost of his now-international Shake Shack as a kiosk in the park. In no time, the burger haven attracted massive crowds, and lines are more often than not wrapped around Madison Square.
Image © Eataly
Other businesses quickly moved into the area, which gained the reputation of being a foodie destination thanks to several culinary powerhouses: Eataly, the Italian food emporium of Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich; NoMad, acclaimed chef Daniel Humm’s second restaurant; and the Breslin, John Dory Oyster Bar, and Stumptown Coffee, all located in the trendy Ace Hotel.
Image © Twenty9th Park Madison
Today NoMad is a mix of cast-iron commercial structures adapted for residential use and swanky modern apartment buildings like Twenty9th Park Madison and One Madison, the 60-story tower designed by Cetra/Ruddy.
2007 and 2008 were the busiest sales years for NoMad due to the opening of two large-scale residential projects: Grand Madison and SkyHouse. The latter, a 55-story condominium designed by FXFowle, is located at 11 East 29th Street and has seen average square-foot pricing over the last 12 months at $1,634. The Grand Madison was originally constructed at 225 Fifth Avenue in 1907 as a showroom building, but was converted to 192 residential condos in 2007. Over the past year its average pricing has exceeded the neighborhood average, with median square-foot pricing at $1,909.
The recent development trend in NoMad has been to construct larger residential buildings with fewer units. According to CityRealty’s Market Snapshot:
At 132 East 30th Street, an 11-story condo with only 10 units sold swiftly when it was unveiled in the spring of 2013, with buyers scooping up 65 percent of the units in just three months. Further south, the Whitman at 21 East 26th Street, a residential conversion of a former showroom space built in 1924, features four expansive residences situated on six floors. Apartments here have also moved quickly, especially among celebrities. Building residents include Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky, who purchased their 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment for $9.25 million, and NASCAR star Jeff Gordon.
So, next time you’re waiting in line for a Shake Shack Burger and chocolate milkshake, take a look around at the beauty of NoMad. Have another favorite spot in the ‘hood? Let us know in the comments!
Graphs courtesy of CityRealty