The High Line Revitalization and Development: 3 Things to Know


The revitalization marks the transformation of an old rail yard into one of New York City’s most popular outdoor attractions

In 2009, the first phase of the New York Central Railroad revival opened on the west side of Manhattan. Dubbed The High Line, this 1.5-mile long stretch of elevated greenway offering stunning views of the Hudson River is now visited by millions of people each year, making it one of the city’s most popular outdoor attractions. Traversing the once derelict westernmost part of New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, the presence of The High Line has had far-reaching effects on the surrounding area, including real estate and business development. 

Real Estate

Before the creation of High Line Park, there stood an abandoned decaying rail line 30 feet in the air, traversing 22 city blocks along Manhattan’s west side. Characterized by higher crime rates and considered a gritty area by other downtown residents, this area of Chelsea wasn’t a highly inhabited residential area and was considered unappealing to property development investors. In 1999, Friends of The High Line was formed--a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the railroad and its use as a public space. 

Construction on the park began in 2006, and by its opening in 2009, its impact on surrounding Chelsea real estate was felt. Development in the neighborhoods along The High Line skyrocketed, with 30 projects in the works by 2009 and property values increasing over other properties just a few blocks away. Star architects have flocked to the area to build innovative structures nearby, and artists install their work along the park’s path every year, adding to the neighborhood’s new reputation as a center for art and culture. Galleries line Chelsea’s streets, and the Whitney Museum anchors the southern limit of the park. 

The recycling of the railway has created hundreds of millions in real estate value and generated millions in tax revenue for the city, helping to continue the area’s development and making it a more desirable place to live year after year. 

Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment

In addition to residential real estate, West Chelsea and the streets lining The High Line have become a destination for both tourists and locals to enjoy some of the best shops and restaurants in the city. The Meatpacking District serves as the setting for the southernmost entrance to the park, which has transformed from an undesirable industrial area to a hip commercial neighborhood, housing designer boutiques, art galleries, high-end hotels, happening bars, and restaurants. The High Line also intersects the now-famous Chelsea Market, a food hall, shopping destination, and office building to notable residents like Google, which is visited by the thousands on a daily basis.

Beyond Meatpacking, the corridor that flanks either side of The High Line up 10th and 11th Avenues has also become a desirable destination for New Yorkers to spend their weekends, with trendy brunch spots like Cookshop and Empire Diner, as well as a number of notable art galleries.

Hudson Yards

One of the most talked-about developments of the year, Hudson Yards opened in early 2019 at the northern end of The High Line, ending the park with the largest private real estate development ever. The $25 billion neighborhood known as Hudson Yards is now home to a 24-acre project that features a huge shopping mall with the only Neiman Marcus store in Manhattan, a performing arts center dubbed The Shed, apartments, offices, a new Equinox gym and hotel, and its signature landmark, a 150-foot-tall honeycomb structure called Vessel

Hudson Yards’ tall glass buildings soar over Manhattan’s West Side, making them hard to miss and a true testament to the massive revitalization of the area surrounding The High Line. The traffic from the park only feeds into Hudson Yards’ visitors, adding to the overall appeal of the neighborhood and signaling the future of its continued development.

Interested in joining this new, revitalized community? Contact us today. It would be our pleasure to serve as your New York City real estate agents and help you find the perfect property in this exciting area.

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