HABITAT

CO-OP/CONDO BUYERS

There Goes the Neighborhood

Harlem, Manhattan

Harlem Gentrify

The penthouse at Circa Central Park in Harlem has sold for a record $9.4 million (image via Google Maps).

Oct. 31, 2018

It started with the sale of a recently fire-scorched limestone townhouse at the corner of Hamilton Terrace and 144th Street for $5.1 million – a record for Harlem north of 125th Street. 

Then the other shoe dropped when the 5-bedroom penthouse condo atop Circa Central Park, at the corner of 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, shattered that record by selling for more than $9.4 million

If you still had any doubts, it's now official that gentrification has swamped Harlem. 

The 5,000-square-foot townhouse on Hamilton Terrace was built in 1898 and boasts a private garden and an 860-bottle wine cellar. The five-story property, built in 1898, was ravaged by fire more than a decade ago, then restored as a single-family home. 

“I felt this house was special enough and it was time that we could cross the $5 million mark” in the neighborhood, Tamara Marotta, the Corcoran Group broker who marketed and sold the home, tells Bloomberg. “Of course, downtown, this house would be three times as much.”

The sprawling penthouse at the northwest corner of Central Park has two terraces that afford above-the-trees views of the park. It was bought, anonymously, by a limited liability company – a sure sign, along with bottomless pockets, that the gentrifiers have arrived.

“Harlem isn’t a value play anymore,” Julia Boland, a Corcoran broker who wasn’t involved in the Circa penthouse sale, tells the Wall Street Journal. She says many buyers, including older couples moving back to the city from the suburbs, choose Harlem for “the creativity, the edginess, the sense that new things are being created every day.” 

Love them or loathe them, these eye-popping sales are a sign of the times. “People with $9 million to spend have choices, they can live anywhere in Manhattan” Boland adds. “But they chose Harlem.”

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