Tribeca – short for the Triangle Below Canal – was once home to warehouses, loading docks, and manufacturing companies. Today, Tribeca is populated almost exclusively by the wealthy and successful, partly thanks to its close proximity to the Financial District, but mostly for its architecture; its large, open homes; and its soothing, quiet streets.
The neighborhood is bounded by Canal Street to the north; West Street to the west; Vesey Street to the south; and by Lafayette Street to the east. The neighborhood was a commercial center in the mid-1850’s and that history is still reflected in much of its architecture. By the 1960s, many of its warehouses and loft buildings were empty as industry moved away from New York, just like they were in Tribeca’s neighbor to the north, Soho. These empty commercial spaces were coveted by artists for their open floor plans and large windows. Artists began moving to the neighborhood in the 1960’s and 1970’s and ever since then, more and more residents have moved to the neighborhood, displacing the artists and transforming Tribeca into an upscale residential enclave.
Buyers looking for classic Tribeca – generally between Chambers and Canal, west of Hudson Street – will find open-plan, pre-war lofts with soaring ceilings that were converted from commercial spaces. Buyers are purchasing the quiet, residential neighborhood with convenient access to schools and transportation just as much as they are buying the grand homes and classic architecture. New construction is generally found outside of this area, and none of it comes cheap: Tribeca is consistently at or near the top of the list for both highest sales prices and highest price per square foot in New York.
The neighborhood is unique in that its pre-war buildings are mostly condos, not co-ops, and the co-ops that do exist tend to have very flexible rules. Because condos are generally 30% more expensive than similar co-ops, the type of inventory is partly why the neighborhood is so expensive.