Photo via Ed Yourdon/Flickr
‘Tis the time of year for private school acceptance letters to arrive. Nervous teens and parents race to their inboxes and find out if they are given the honor of spending upwards of 50k a year on their children’s education, often at one of the Upper East Side’s highly prestigious institutions. At the same time, the starting gun sounds on the race to find an Upper East Side home to move to near school.
amNY reported that with the “private school bump,” not only do buildings see a jump in families moving their primary residences to the area but many see NYC residents buying “little studios for them and their kids for Monday through Friday just to be closer to the school so they don’t have to commute from Tribeca, the Lower East Side, or Chelsea.”
Of Niche.com’s rankings of NYC’s best private schools, almost half of the top 20 are on the Upper East Side: Regis High School comes in at number four; the Dalton School at six, followed by the Chapin School at seven; the Brearley School at 12; Convent of the Sacred Heart at 16; the Ramaz School at 17; Nightingale Bamford School at 19; and the Spence School at 20. Many of these cost between $40,000 and $50,000 annually.
According to a City Realty article, Lenox Hill benefits quite a bit from the private school bump. “The neighborhood is host to Lycée Francais de New York, a renowned private and bilingual French school, and also La Scuola d’Italia, an Italian, English, and French tri-lingual multicultural school. Naturally, many international home-buying families are flocking to new residential developments in this area of the city, hoping to find the right international school for their children.”
The opening of the Second Avenue subway has also increased the inventory of residences to choose from. City Realty data from 2016 showed there were nine residential projects in development on the Upper East Side (UES) with 517 total units either on or soon to be on the market. The units range in size and price, from high-end, luxury, full-floor $20 million units at The Charles to more “accessible luxury” like the $740,000 studios at 389 East 89th Street.
Another newly opened luxury building on 95th Street, The Kent, reported a 15 percent increase in traffic during the three weeks after acceptance letters were sent out. Similarly, Amanda Uhry, founder of the admissions counseling firm Manhattan Private School Advisors, told amNY that up to 25 percent of her clients relocate after receiving an acceptance letter.
Joan Kagan of brokerage Triplemint says she sees the “private school bump” leading to more private schools opening in other neighborhoods so those buyers who enjoy a more “downtown” lifestyle don’t have to make the decision of “commuting.”
As Wednesday Martin said in her book, “Primates of Park Avenue,” the anthropological study of the Upper East Side, uptown and downtown are two different worlds. So having an apartment in each world doesn’t even require the use of the personal jet.
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