By, Josh Lipton, Cushman & Wakefield
New York City’s most fashionable neighborhood, the Meatpacking District, where hip restaurants, exclusive clubs, and boutiques dot the cobblestone streets, is coming to Upper Manhattan. Call it the Mini-Meatpacking District and, while still in the early stages, all the ingredients are there for the next big thing in Harlem’s Manhattanville neighborhood. Located just west of Broadway and running from 125th to 135th Streets, a submarket worthy of its own name is emerging. Like the Meatpacking District, this pocket of West Harlem is quickly becoming home to more and more college students and young professionals seeking swish boutiques, trendy restaurants and rooftop escapades much like their Downtown counterparts. To spur commercial and residential developers, the City has offered tax exemptions to encourage the area’s transformation. The cobblestoned streets and industrial buildings are already in place; let the conversion of existing structures begin!
The transformation of this area is undoubtedly being driven by the multi-Columbia University Expansion Project. Started in 2009, the 17-acre site, which sits on four large blocks from West 129th to 133rd Streets between Broadway and Twelfth Avenue, will feature more than 6.8 million square feet of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, as well as parking, support services and community-oriented retail space, including bars, restaurants and live music. When completed, the Expansion Project is expected to generate more than 6,000 jobs and bring more than $11 billion in economic activity to the area.
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