The Hudson Waterfront: The Manhattan Riviera?

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Darren Sukenik

Darren Sukenik
Darren Sukenik

There was a time when well-healed downtown New Yorkers had to jump on their private jet to enjoy luxurious beaches and seaside attractions.

 
Not anymore.
 
New York City’s enhanced outdoor living experience has convinced some Manhattanites to think twice before heading to their second or third homes so that they may embrace everything downtown New York has to offer along its thriving waterfront.
 
Instead of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic to the Hamptons, or enduring long lines at the airport, New Yorkers are now focused on the city’s beautiful, waterfront amenities.

150 Charles
150 Charles

 
Residents can take sailing lessons at North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place, go for a run or bike ride along the beautiful Hudson River, or practice yoga in Battery Park. Lower Manhattan boasts both privacy and close proximity to whatever a resident may need. Whether Tribeca, SoHo, Greenwich Village or West Chelsea, downtown is not only thriving, but acts as an extended amenity to residents, all while encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle.
 
The Hudson waterfront has only just begun to transform. In fact, this summer, construction began on the fantastical Pier 55 project funded from acclaimed businessman, Barry Diller and his wife, fashion legend Diane Von Furstenberg. This 2.7-acre park will float atop the Hudson River, and will include event space and amphitheater, lush greenery and lawns for sunbathing. In fact, the park will offer the public an extensive entertainment program throughout the year. Set to be complete in 2019, famed architect Thomas Heatherwick is designing the park that will greatly modernize the local, downtown landscape.


 
This may not be the west side’s only floating amenity — with the potential development of new floating pools, it’s only a matter of time before they hit the Hudson. New Yorkers will be able to take a dip all while taking in unobstructed views of Manhattan’s skyline from the west. New York City has put forth an initiative to filter its rivers via + POOL, so residents and visitors alike are free to swim in clean water. According to + POOL, the layered filtration system incrementally removes bacteria and contaminants to ensure nothing but clean, swimmable water that meets both city and state standards; no chemicals or additives, just natural river water. This will change the way New Yorkers enjoy the city’s outdoor activities and only create more natural, luxurious amenities. 
 
The city is not only livable because it is now amenity rich, it is actually more livable now because of a concept called urban biophelia. Biophelia, by definition, is the human need to connect with and be surrounded by nature. Urban biophelia, as I define it, is a city dwellers need to connect with nature for their sanity. In truth, people do not always realize the importance of green space and parks. Green space and parks are not meant to be aesthetically pleasing, their existence is based on true human need. People no longer want to escape Manhattan for the country — they just want to have that sense of psychological calm, a Zen moment, here in the city.
 
The expansion of outdoor living and activities downtown has led to an increased number of uptown New Yorkers to join the easy, chic living of downtown Manhattan. Downtown’s current foreign investors come from Fifth and Park Avenues, and we are only expecting this trend to grow.