How Downtown Manhattan Turned into a Residential Neighborhood

Over the last 4 years, I work with a team of architects and community groups trying to advocate building new public schools in downtown Manhattan. Due to real estate pressure and high demand, its very hard to find available land for public facilities like schools and libraries. We did an extensive analysis of all tax lots with in Community Board 1 boundary and come out with a few sites that matched our selection criteria. We established the criteria based on certain set of rules like

  • Underdeveloped Tax Lots / Buildings where current zoning still allows for additional square footage
  • Non-Residential landuse since displacing people from their homes is not the best solution to create public buildings
  • City, State and Federal Government owned sites as first choice but we also looked at private ownership sites as well.

In order to support our point that advocates for more public schools in downtown Manhattan, we also did a series of analysis that shows how one of the most busiest business districts of the world, is turned in to a residential neighborhood. Since 9/11 many companies relocated to outer regions, Long Island and Westchester to name a few. The new World Trade Center Development created a massive office space availability effecting already a tough market for rentable commercial/office space in the area. Then I asked the question, how many people actually moved the downtown Manhattan, how many new buildings are constructed and more importantly how many office buildings are converted and retro-fitted with rentable apartments? I think we all agree all these new units and people will create a higher demand for public schools which is already pretty shortage in downtown Manhattan.

This map shows all the predominant residential use tax lots in Community Board 1 area. When clicked each taxlot will show how many residential units does it have and a few additional information. According to our analysis since 2002, we added

  • 28,655,823 SF of Predominantly Residential Building Area (Gross Floor Area)
    • 11,872,285 SF from New Construction After 2002
    • 16,783,538 SF from Buildings Converted from Other Uses
  • 19,140 Residential Units
    • 8,129 Units from New Construction
    • 11,011 Units from Buildings Converted from Other Uses

All the information is extracted from MapPluto files 2002 and 2016

Here is the MAP!


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