Living In: Manhattan Valley: A Diverse Neighborhood Bordering Central Park

Living In: Manhattan Valley: A Diverse Neighborhood Bordering Central Park

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He and other tenants eventually bought the building, a five-story walk-up on Amsterdam Avenue between 106th and 107th Streets, from the landlord, said Mr. Arndtsen, 61. Many buildings became co-ops with such “sweat equity,” and whole blocks were renovated with the help of the Manhattan Valley Development Corporation, a nonprofit that now manages more than 780 units of affordable housing.

467 CENTRAL PARK WEST, #10B A two-bedroom two-bath condo with park views, listed at $1,849,000. 917-592-6810

Credit
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

“The neighborhood has traditionally been a working-class family neighborhood, and very diverse” in terms of age, ethnicity and income, said Mr. Arndtsen. “It’s also an immigrant neighborhood.”

What You’ll Find

Just south of Morningside Heights and Harlem, Manhattan Valley encompasses a 22-acre public housing project, the Frederick Douglass Houses, with 18 buildings; the blocklong hostel HI New York City; and 10 blocks of prime real estate facing Central Park.

The rolling topography that gave the neighborhood its name can be seen at Columbus Avenue and West 110th Street, said Jim Mackin, a historian who leadslocal tours for the Columbus Amsterdam BID. In a traffic circle at the northwest corner of Central Park, the Frederick Douglass Memorial includes an eight-foot-tall statue of the abolitionist, author and orator.

At Central Park West and West 106th, the former New York Cancer Hospital, dating to the 1880s, is now a condominium, with an adjacent 2002 high-rise. Some of the hospital’s buildings are part of the Manhattan Avenue Historic District. Other historic structures dot the neighborhood, as do old tenements, many now renovated. A few high-rises have been built in recent years. Columbia University faculty live in some of them, said Gilbert Tauber, a historian who wrote a chronology for the Columbus Amsterdam BID’s website, while “quite a few students live in the more modest buildings, like the one on 109th Street whereBarack Obama lived when he was a student at Columbia.”

What You’ll Pay

Of the 24 apartments for sale on Dec. 15, Ms. Zoria said, the most expensive was a three-bedroom condominium with park views, listed for $5,595,000. The least expensive were two co-op studios, each listed at $350,000. The 220 rentals on offer ranged from two studios in different walk-up buildings, for $1,695 each, to a furnished seven-bedroom apartment at $14,000.

Over the past five years, the median sales price of all apartments rose 46.8 percent, to $683,500 from $465,000, according to Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, the appraisal company.

50 WEST 106th STREET, #15A A one-bedroom one-bath co-op in a prewar building, listed at $520,000. 917-658-5368

Credit
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

The Vibe

The area along Central Park is peaceful, with joggers, strolling adults and parents with children entering or leaving the park. Because of the hostel and other budget lodging, young adults, often carrying backpacks, can be seen exploring. Broadway is a major commercial thoroughfare.

There are three large playgrounds, the 1.95-acre Frederick Douglass Playground, the 1.44-acre Booker T. Washington Playground and the 0.71-acre Bloomingdale Playground. Restaurants representing various cuisines include Awash (Ethiopian), Arco Cafe (Italian), Saiguette (Vietnamese) and Thai Market.

The Schools

Public School 165 Robert E. Simon, on West 109th Street, has an enrollment of about 720 students in prekindergarten through Grade 8. According to the city’s 2015-16 School Quality Snapshot, 30 percent met state standards in English, versus 38 percent citywide; 27 percent met state standards in math, while 36 percent did so citywide.

P.S. 145, the Bloomingdale School, on West 105th Street, has about 366 students in kindergarten through Grade 5. Sixteen percent met standards in English versus 39 percent citywide, and 7 percent met math standards versus 40 percent citywide.

Students living in Manhattan Valley are also zoned for two schools outside the neighborhood, P.S. 163 Alfred E. Smith, on West 97th Street, and P.S. 75 Emily Dickinson, on West End Avenue.

The Commute

The 1 subway train stops along Broadway at West 103rd Street and at Cathedral Parkway (another name for West 110th Street). The B and C trains stop along Central Park West at West 103rd and at Cathedral Parkway; the A train stops late nights at both.

Bus lines in the area include the 4, 7, 10, 11, 104 and 116.

The History

In 1879, the elevated train along Ninth Avenue (now Columbus Avenue) was extended from 104th Street to 125th Street, making a turn east at West 110th Street, said Mr. Mackin, the historian. “This really gets the population way up here,” he said, allowing them to commute to jobs in Lower Manhattan. Tenements along Columbus and rowhouses on the nearby side streets soon followed, Mr. Tauber wrote on the Columbus Amsterdam BID’s website.

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