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13 Jan 2017
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The Second Avenue Subway Line and Real Estate on the Upper East Side

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72nd Street: Vik Muniz’s Perfect Strangers. A glass mosaic and laminated glass, fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich. Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, sourced from MTAPhotos, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic.

After failed attempts during World War II and the 1970’s fiscal crisis, 10 years and $4.4 billion later Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway is officially up and running. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority states that this is the “biggest expansion of the subway system in 50 years”. Once completed, the line will stretch 8.5 miles along the East Side and is essentially an extension of the Q line. Presently, the Second Avenue Subway includes stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Street. For Upper East Siders, this line aims to cut travel time by 10 minutes and reduce congestion on the Lexington Avenue line by 23,500 people daily. Not only does the line ease overcrowding, but the new art installations at 63rd, 72nd, 86th and 96th Street stations make the subway more aesthetically pleasing.

The Second Avenue subway line has already started to affect real estate on the Upper East Side. Nineteen new construction projects from 59th Street to 96th Street are taking advantage of the real estate opportunities. The Azure condominium complex has reported that buyers are increasingly more interested in the neighborhood due to the new subway line. Therefore, it expected that prices of real estate and closed sales will steadily increase in 2017. On the downside, this means residences and businesses could see a spike in rent prices.

So who will be moving into these buildings? Millennials have started to migrate to the Upper East Side between Third Avenue and York Avenue due to affordable pricing. In light of the new construction developments and increased area dynamic by way of the new Second Avenue Subway line, millennials are likely to develop a strong preference for residences on the Upper East Side.

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