Lower East Side

Located in southeast Manhattan, the Lower East Side, once overcrowded and run down, has reemerged in recent years as an up-and-coming place to put down roots. An influx of art galleries, restored Lower East Side condos for sale and apartments for sale in Manhattan NYC are attracting new residents who appreciate the vintage backdrops that are part of the area’s heritage.

LES borders Chinatown to the southwest and sits between the East River and the Bowery, Houston Street and Canal Street. Remnants of its original Jewish merchants include Katz’s Delicatessen and Russ & Daughters smoked fish sellers. The remains of rusty fire escapes and grimy alleyways provide an edginess that attracts residents looking for something slightly rough yet new and shiny too.

A Diverse Population Provides a Hip Twist

Unique among real estate for sale in Manhattan, Lower East Side condos for sale appeal to the upscale, arts-oriented residents that are redefining the area according to their aesthetic preferences. Once a tenement village providing 20th century immigrants from all four corners of the world with affordable housing, the growth of high-rise domiciles and refurbishing of apartments for sale in Manhattan NYC are gradually but inexorably pushing out the old to make way for the new. More than half the LES residents are single, according to statistics from Trulia, and the average age is 38.

Nevertheless, LES remains home to a significant number of long-time residents. Also, true to the area’s roots, developers of new residential complexes like Essex Crossing are including low- to middle-income housing in their overall plans. The project will also include a 15,000 square-foot public park, shops, recreation and a medical facility, according to The New York Times.

Similar to the eclectic population mix of established and incoming residents, luxurious new buildings surround the historic brick tenements of the erstwhile LES, graphically illustrating the artistic tension that seems to make the community hum. Due in part to this tension as well as to reasonably priced retail space, gallery owners have been migrating to LES in growing numbers.

What Makes the Lower East Side Tick

In addition to the ongoing infusion of well over 100 galleries, the Lower East Side boasts an art house theater, the Metrograph, and the Tenement Museum, a testament to the community’s history and heritage. Upscale and moderately priced restaurants like Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop and Nonna’s LES Pizza provide eclectic choices for dining. Real estate development is keeping up a fast pace, adding new listings to the inventory of apartments for sale in Manhattan NYC.

Boutique hotels such as Sixty Les, chain motels such as Holiday Inn and plenty of lodging options in between beckon visitors to stay and enjoy all the area has to offer. Skyline views across the river to Manhattan, gourmet food and eclectic shopping are just a few of the perks guests enjoy.

A robust nightlife keeps the region active and vibrant. Establishments like Welcome to the Johnson’s, Libation, Mehanata and Spitzer’s Corner are notable examples of the LES’ pub and club scene.

Designer boutiques rub elbows with long-established corner markets, and ethnic delicatessens coexist with gourmet restaurants. The Essex Street Market, in operation since the 1930s, offers fresh produce, meat and more while Hester Street Fair provides a fabulous variety of foods. Mainstays such as C & C Prosperity Dumplings and Kossar’s Bialys provide the ethnic flavor that characterizes this part of town. New and established merchants alike contribute to the eclectic mix that energizes the community.

Reasonable, New and Refurbished Real Estate for Sale in Manhattan

Essex Crossing is one of the largest developments underway in LES, a $1 billion complex slated for completion in 2024. Situated in the area of Essex and Delancey Streets, it will include nine buildings and a total of 1,000 Lower East Side condos for sale, 50 percent of which are designed to appeal to upper income residents.

Those in search of real estate for sale in Manhattan may find the home of their dreams in Co-op Village, an expanse of residential buildings along Grand Street from Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive to Essex Street. The Seward Park Cooperative is one of the complexes located there, offering two-bedroom Lower East Side condos for sale for just under $1 million. It houses 1,728 units and 50 commercial spaces. A significant population of seniors resides here, giving the complex a solid sense of history.

The Crystie is a newer LES building offering apartments for sale in Manhattan NYC. According to the New York Times, the median price of a one-bedroom co-op was approximately $550,000 in 2015, which was 10 percent higher than the previous year. The cost of a two-bedroom unit rose 15 percent during the same time period, averaging $895,000 in 2015.

Another residential project underway at 50 Clinton St. features smaller apartments for sale in Manhattan NYC priced at between $2,000 and $3,000 per square foot. Most of the 37 units were pre-sold.

On the high end of the spectrum in Lower East Side condos for sale, 100 Norfolk is a newly built marvel of modern architecture, according to developers. It houses 38 luxury condos, most of which were already sold when it was still on the drawing board. A three-bedroom unit in 100 Norfolk recently sold for $4.3 million.

The 204 Forsyth St. building is an 11-unit luxury condominium development offering two- and three-bedroom residences. A 1,500-square-foot condo started at $3.3 million while the penthouse unit had an $8.5 million price tag.

On average, a single bedroom Lower East Side condo for sale was $1.4 million and a two-bedroom was approximately $1.8 million, representing an increase of 14 to 20 percent between 2014 and 2015. The upper-end cost for a 2-bedroom condo with a terrace was around $2.55 million. Overall, people paid about $1,250 per square foot for real estate for sale in Manhattan, Lower East Side, according to Trulia.

Easy Access to Subways and Bus Service

The vast majority of LES residents takes public transportation to work and school. The area is about 15 minutes from Midtown via the F train, which stops at Second Avenue and Essex Street.

D and B trains pick up commuters on Grand Avenue while the J, M and V trains stop at Essex Street and the Bowery. City bus service to several destinations is also readily accessible throughout the Lower East Side.

LES is less than an hour from JFK Airport by train and subway, and only a 20-minute taxi or Uber ride. In 2017, residents will have the option of citywide ferry service from Grand Street via the East River.

Plenty of Options in Education

LES and the nearby East Village are within District 1, but there are no zoned elementary schools, so parents must apply for their preferred schools. Public School 110, situated on Delancey Street, accepts students to its gifted and talented program. PS 110 can serve approximately 385 students in grades pre-K through 5. P.S. 34 Henrietta Szold on Broadway, Manhattan Charter School and Lower Manhattan Arts Academy are all nearby.

The School for Global Leaders, located on Stanton Street, is a middle school for 260 students in grades 6-8. Bard High School Early College, a secondary school with high academic standards, takes approximately 535 ninth- through 12th-graders.

Lower East Side Preparatory High School features an ESL/transitional bilingual curriculum for Spanish and Chinese speakers. More than 80 percent of its graduates go on to college.

A Loosely Knit Community that Relaxes Together

With a population topping 200,000, LES residents comprise a closely spaced yet diverse community. Once known as one of the most densely occupied communities on earth, thanks to the immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, LES offers comfortable, contemporary living space with the addition of new high-rise housing options. Lots of activities, nearby parks, shopping and eateries bring people out to mingle and attract others from outside the area as well.

The relatively recent addition of high-income residents is largely due to the new luxury condo developments in the area. While the Lower East Side is traditionally a working-class part of town, these developments are bringing about a population shift. While it will eventually produce a better balance of different economic sectors, it will likely be fractional at first, needing time to blend.


Active, vibrant and often noisy, the Lower East Side offers plenty of plusses to buyers looking for something different in real estate for sale in Manhattan. With rising home values and ongoing development, LES is one of the most desirable addresses for up-and-coming home seekers. A wealth of retailers, schools and transportation options only adds to the allure of the area.
Whether you’re looking for Apartments for Rent in Lower East Side or real estate for sale, you’ll fall in love with our options.