New York – study Tour 2014

I am lucky to be back in New York again – this time it is work. I was invited by a client to join a study tour. As it is my favourite city this was difficult one to decline!

new_york_skylineThe pack sent to me just before we left Blighty said,

“Over the past five or so years the City of New York has been undergoing a major transformation of the quality of life and experience of the city. Initiatives include the high profile traffic experiment in Times Square, the creation of pedestrian plazas and pocket parks across all five boroughs, to the ambitious roll out of cycling lanes. These are just some of the Bloomberg administration’s achievements, aimed at shaping great neighbourhoods – walkable, cycle-friendly places, and wonderful riverside parks.

The new Mayoral administration has picked up this Bloomberg agenda continuing the drive to make the city ever more liveable. However, the new Mayor Bill de Blasio has also turned his attention to the same issue perplexing London: how do we house a growing population, and not just those who can afford the ever-rising purchase and rental levels?”

When I was in New York two weeks ago there was news that the penthouse apartment at the newest 89 story 432 Park Avenue scheme has pre-sold for $95m.

Whilst Nottingham doesn’t quite have this issue – the housing problem in the UK is not getting better. Certainly the cost of entry into the market in London is making it difficult for young people. There was a headline in the London Standard last week which suggested that you really needed a salary of £100,000 to get on the housing ladder. The average age of a first time buyer is now over 40. That can’t be sustainable.

I have always wondered about an apartment in New York (on the basis that I might win the lottery!) – a studio in Manhattan is going to be starting at around $300,000 in any semblance of a decent area!

So, I’m looking forward to finding out what plans Gotham City has for the future and whether it can buck the economics of people wanting and / or needing to be in this place…

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