View Full Version : Inwood/Washington Heights - safe area?

September 18th, 2006, 01:08 PM
Would one consider the Inwood/Washington Heights area a safe place to live? How is the neighborhood in general?

September 18th, 2006, 01:17 PM
^ Not sure you should ask that question on this forum. We have a history of being spectacularly wrong about such things.

September 18th, 2006, 01:32 PM
^ Not sure you should ask that question on this forum. We have a history of being spectacularly wrong about such things.
Well, I'm willing to take the chance, and am open to any and all opinions regarding the subject.

September 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
^ That can and has been a matter of life and death.

September 18th, 2006, 01:43 PM
^ That can and has been a matter of life and death.
I'm willing to take my chances. I won't hold you to your opinion. I just want an idea. From your response, I'm gathering it's not the best area...

September 18th, 2006, 01:48 PM
Ablarc doesn't even live in the city, so take his posts with a spoonful of salt.

Some parts of the neighborhoods are fine, others are a bit dicier. I doubt that you're asking for opinions on the neighborhoods because you're looking for alternatives to your multi-million dollar Tribeca option, so you're asking a valid question.

September 18th, 2006, 01:52 PM
Some parts of the neighborhoods are fine, others are a bit dicier. I doubt that you're asking for opinions on the neighborhoods because you're looking for alternatives to your multi-million dollar Tribeca option, so you're asking a valid question.
Would you recommend it to someone who would be moving to the city for the first time?

What I am getting at is, the area in question is the only part of Manhattan I've found that is in my price range apartment-wise. ($1300/mo max) That said, I may not exactly have a choice in the matter. Unless of course, spawning off a bit - you know of another area that may offer the same as far as price goes.

September 18th, 2006, 01:56 PM
You should look to Queens or Brooklyn for a cheaper alternative. Inwood/Washington Heights are nice neighborhoods in their own rights, but don't really have a lot of that "manhattan-ness" that you're probably looking for. Mostly they're really far away from downtown, so if you plan to go there with any regularity, you might look elsewhere.

What are you looking for in a neighborhood? Commute to midtown/downtown? Bars/restaurants/nightlife? A specific community?

September 18th, 2006, 01:57 PM
It really depends on what you're looking for? I generally think that it's better for people just moving to the city to have roommates. For whatever reason, a lot of people balk at that, but if you don't know many people here, it's the best idea.

You could find plenty of comparable places in Queens and Brooklyn for that price- don't limit yourself to Manhattan.

How old are you? What do you do? What are you looking for in a neighborhood?

September 18th, 2006, 01:57 PM
And, jinx.

September 18th, 2006, 02:06 PM
The husband would be accompanying me, and we are both in our early 20's. (Which rules out the idea of rommates in my book. If I were single it would be a different story.)

As ryan put it, the "manhattan-ness" is what I crave. As far as what I'm looking for in a neighborhood...hmmm, well just a safe area. I'd prefer a light commute to mid-town, as I will more likely than not be working in the city when I arrive.

We aren't big into clubs at all. If I can't afford a decent Manhattan neighborhood, then Brooklyn it is.

September 18th, 2006, 02:22 PM
$1300/month is pretty tight, but with some looking you should probably be able to find something in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill (pretty with brownstones, Pratt University, diverse), Greenpoint (ugly, but home for me and growing hipper) or Astoria.

There are others, of course - especially in Queens, which I don't know much about, but you stressed safety, so I'm guessing you want a fully gentrified neighborhood...

Don't feel like you'll miss out on much if you don't find a place in Manhattan. Cheap neighborhoods in Manhattan suck and aren't worth the premium over less sucky Brooklyn/Queens (and Bronx, but I defer to Schadenfrau on BX) neighborhoods.

September 18th, 2006, 02:24 PM
I'd much rather live in a $1,300 place in the Bronx than uptown Manhattan, but that's just me. My commute is about half the time to midtown.

September 18th, 2006, 02:31 PM
I've been doing some research, and have noticed that it's definitely a steal for what you can get in Brooklyn for $1300/mo as compared to Manhattan.

I'm still grasping at straws at this point, however, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that until I can adjust to the difference in the cost of living, (NYC compared to where I am now in a Chicago suburb) I should be satisfied being able to move to the area in itself.

September 18th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Most people I know took the first apt that suited them, then moved after that lease was up. Neighborhoods are so different that it's hard to choose before you know what you like. I love Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but you'd find 5 people on the forum that hate it (and a couple that had never been). Without the luxury of a week+ long trip to apt hunt, I think it's best to just take a place that seems ok, and not worry about finding the perfect place.

It's not just the quality of apartment, but the quality of the neighborhood that changes with those manhattan prices. It's a huge adjustment, and you really can't predict what you'll want out of an apt after you've adjusted to living here. Let yourself off the hook a bit.

September 18th, 2006, 02:57 PM
I would also recommend looking for places in Hoboken and Jersey City that are close to the PATH train.

Hoboken has a lot of nice stuff and it is really close to midtown/the village by the path.

JC is cheaper, and hit or miss depending on the area.

I would also recommend places like Fort Lee, Queens and Brooklyn, but there are SO many areas in Queens and Brooklyn that you might need something a little more specific to look for.

One of the best bets is to ride around on the subway to look for what you want. It will give you an idea of how close it realy is to the city and how convenient it will be as well as give you a better idea of what the area would be like to live in.


September 18th, 2006, 06:37 PM
Ablarc doesn't even live in the city, so...
Guilty as charged.

If living in New York were the criterion for usable truth in such matters, a recently-deceased forumer, TLOZ, would still be with us. He lived in New York, was convinced that Harlem was safe, and was encouraged in that view by others. He died tragically trying to escape mugging on “safe” 125th Street.

Clearheadedness seems a sounder basis for answering your question than living in New York, and it seems in shorter supply.

September 18th, 2006, 06:54 PM
There is crime in all parts of NYC - especially the random, senseless kind. Nicole DuFresne (http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2005/03/02/lower_east_side_shooting_prompted_by_goading_and_h appiness.php) was killed in the Lower East Side a while back. Does that mean the LES should be avoided? That train of thought leads a person to live in suburban Charlotte.

Using TLOZ's death to fearmonger about non-white neighborhoods is pretty ironic...and more than a bit disrespectful.

September 18th, 2006, 08:27 PM
No kidding, and it's really just the icing on the crap cake to get the neighborhood wrong, as well.

ETA that TLOZ was NYC born and bred. I don't think he ever asked for anyone's half-baked opinions about neighborhoods they've little more than heard about.

October 1st, 2006, 05:19 PM
I first moved to new york last November--got my first apt in the city on Rverside Drive in Washington Heights. mostly because we had to find an apartment in a single day-trip, but also cos my husband is at Columbia, which is a pretty nasty commute from Queens/brooklyn--our only other options given our budget as he flat out refuses to go to Jersey.

Pluses: Beautiful big old apartment buildings, cheap rents, proximity to parks, Columbia Med etc., yummy latin food.

Minuses:the kids and olds hanging out, dirty streets, few good local bars/restaurants

I don't list the commute as an issue, i work at the flatiron and the train takes 25 mins, i'm at my desk 40 minutes after i shut my door.

The white people tend to disappear in the evening, but i've never had problems. Catcalls, but that's the city. My husband has had a few comments from kids that have made him uncomfortable, especially when dressed up for a meeting, but never any violence or threat of it. I'm quite fond of the area and it still feels "city" to me. I find the staff in stores, bars and restaurants v. friendly and love my apt. It's a welcome break from the galling pretension of much of manhattan, which i enjoy.

Given the choice though, i'd go to Hudson heights 179th to 190th and West of broadway. All the good things about Washington Heights but a bit prettier and more well kept. Feels a lot like a village.

March 8th, 2013, 09:45 PM
Legos, here they come.

More Units Going Up in a Snap

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/03/10/realestate/10INWOOD2_SPAN/10INWOOD2_SPAN-articleLarge-v2.jpgRuth Fremson/The New York Times
Workers in Pennsylvania install walls for modular units, the building blocks for a seven-story apartment on a lot in Inwood.

By JULIE SATOWPublished: March 8, 2013 A vacant lot on Broadway between Academy and 204th Streets in Inwood is littered with rubble and concrete pilings. But in a matter of weeks, this 50-foot-wide sand pit will be transformed into a seven-story apartment building, with finished bathrooms, maple cabinetry and 10 terraces. It is not a magic trick, but rather the result of modular, or prefabricated, construction.

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Ryan Collerd for The New York Times

A worker in Pennsylvania welds together steel for the modular units.

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Ryan Collerd for The New York Times
The lot in Inwood, between Academy and 204th Streets, where the modular building will stand.

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As seen in this rendering, the building in Inwood will have a stacked style.

A technique in which a building is manufactured piecemeal on a factory assembly line, trucked to the construction site and erected much the way Legos are, modular construction is gaining popularity across New York City (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo). It is not new, but it has never gained much of a foothold here, in part because of its association with low-cost housing like mobile homes. That perception is changing; the city does not track modular data, but at least anecdotally, more developers and architects are embracing its ethos.
“Historically, people have had negative associations with modular construction,” said David J. Burney, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (http://www.nyc.gov/html/ddc/html/home/home.shtml), “and certainly within the design industry, it didn’t have much cachet. But there has been a sea change, and now there is much less of a distinction over whether a building has been assembled off-site or on-site.”

The announcement late last year that Forest City Ratner (http://www.forestcity.net/Pages/default.aspx) would use modular construction to build its first residential tower at the Atlantic Yards (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/atlantic_yards_brooklyn/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) development in Brooklyn (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/brooklyn/?inline=nyt-geo) helped to shine a spotlight on this method of construction, and New York City, in announcing the winner of its first microunit apartment building design contest, has chosen a modular design.
The trend toward modular does pose issues, particularly for New York City’s powerful construction unions. It means exporting some construction jobs to factories outside New York, and while many modular factories are unionized, the employees tend to earn less than traditional construction workers. For its part, Forest City Ratner announced that the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (http://www.nycbuildingtrades.org/) had created a modular division to help build its 32-story high-rise, and it joined with Skanska USA (http://www.usa.skanska.com/) in creating a modular company at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“Any change in the way you do business involves some concerns and issues,” said Richard T. Anderson, the president of the New York Building Congress (http://www.buildingcongress.com/index.html), a nonprofit organization that represents professionals in the construction industry. “If for New York City construction, business as usual is a challenge, you need to change some of the basic ingredients, and labor and management needs to address this.”

Gary LaBarbera, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, declined to comment.
As for the $13 million Inwood project, it will consist of 56 modules that are under construction at DeLuxe Building Systems (http://www.deluxebuildingsystems.com/) in Berwick, Pa. The modules will be combined to create 28 apartments: 6 studios, 6 one-bedrooms, 14 two-bedrooms and 2 three-bedrooms. Twenty percent of the rentals will rent below market rate, and the project, which is scheduled to open this summer, will also include 3,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
While the facades of modular buildings can be anything from red brick to glass, “we chose to express the stacked modules,” Thomas Gluck, a principal of the architecture firm Gluck+ (http://gluckplus.com/), said in describing the boxy design. The building, in homage to its origin, is named Broadway Stack.
Jeffrey M. Brown, the chief executive of Brown Hill Development (http://brownhilldev.com/) of Huntingdon, Pa., which is building the project with Kim Frank, the owner of the real estate finance company MCA, said, “We always wanted to use modular construction for this project.”
The two acquired the property in 2008 and have been working from the outset with Gluck+, which also has an ownership stake.

It is taking four months to manufacture the modules, during which time the team has been building the foundation at the site. “The factory has been able to create 28,000 square feet of residential space in the same amount of time it has taken us to construct 6,000 square feet of cellar space,” Mr. Gluck said.
On successive nights beginning in early April, the modules, which have steel and concrete frames, will be trucked four to five at a time to the building site from the factory.
On each of the following mornings for about four weeks, an enormous crane will stack the modules. Workers will then “zip” them up, connecting one to the next, and to the building’s plumbing and electrical systems.
The project is expected to take 9 months from start to finish, compared with 16 to 18 months if construction had been done on-site. “Because it takes half the time,” Ms. Frank said, “we can rent out the units and generate income much quicker, and the carrying costs are lower.”
Mr. Brown concurred, pointing out that if traditional on-site construction had been used, the project would have cost an additional 10 percent to 20 percent.
Because modular units are built on an assembly line — which is a quarter-mile in length at the Pennsylvania factory — there are constraints, including having to choose the paint colors, finishes, appliances and every other detail upfront. It is also impossible to make substantial changes partway through the construction, and because each module must be structurally sound, the walls and floors of the buildings tend to be thicker than in on-site construction.
There are other differences as well, said Peter L. Gluck, another principal of Gluck+, who began designing and building modular projects in the 1960s. “In the first three weeks of production they manufacture one entire module, which is basically like getting to see a full-scale mock-up of your project,” he said. “We can watch the entire building process and do quality control, correcting something immediately.”

With traditional construction, oversight is more time-consuming because someone must be on the site at all times to catch mistakes. “With prefab,” said Peter Gluck, “everything is done the same, so once we make a fix, it is fixed permanently.”
Also, because construction takes place indoors, there are no delays or damages to the material from inclement weather.
Modular construction may provide sustainability benefits, too. “We can recycle everything, all of the packaging materials, the gypsum, every piece of steel,” said Tom O’Hara, the director of business development at the Capsys Corporation, a modular builder based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, “because none of our products get wet or are affected by the elements.”
DeLuxe Building Systems, which has been actively pursuing New York City developers, has several projects in the works, including an 11-story Harlem (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo) rental in the preconstruction phase; it is also in discussions with a developer of two 24-story rental towers.
“We are starting to hear from a lot of developers about modular building,” said Stephen G. Kliegerman, the president of Halstead Property Development Marketing, which was hired to market a 12-story modular rental building in Manhattan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo) south of 96th Street.
Most of the modular projects in the works are rentals. “It is still relatively untested,” Mr. Kliegerman said, “so there needs to be some kind of track record before developers will feel comfortable using it to build condominiums.”
Mr. O’Hara of Capsys said his firm was “getting a dozen calls a week from developers who want to explore what is, for them, a new type of technology.” He added, “There is a vibrancy in the air now that we haven’t felt in a long time.”


March 9th, 2013, 03:39 PM
This trend toward modular in NYC the the beginning of a complete revolution in how we contruct buildings in this town: I think, when done right, this type of building technique can produce great looking structures. The disparaging 'Lego' remarks are understandable, these type of building seem to be widely disliked: but, they are comming to a street near you none the less.

The complaints about modular construction are fair enough, and the complaints will keep on comming no doubt; but to me it is a bit like 'cursing the darkness' or 'spitting into the wind' - not sensible, or helpful.

Whatever- thanks for the article, I am very interested in this subject, It was a good find on my visit here today.

March 9th, 2013, 04:02 PM
I agree. Though I foresee many great designs coming from this modular revolution, I think many projects will reach for a new design low of flimsy, temporary looking structures.

March 9th, 2013, 06:40 PM
...that will leak -

March 9th, 2013, 08:04 PM
Or collapse. They can't be thinking about skyscrapers or even highrises with this kind of construction. As far as lowrises, the building in that rendering doesn't look bad at all, but anything beyond that would be too risky in my opinion.

March 12th, 2013, 08:41 PM
I mean, what is a skyscraper but a bunch of stuff bolted into a steel frame as it is? I think if you could do this right, it would create buildings that would be more serviceable over time than current ones. Can I slide these units back out the front of the building? If I can, can I do new plumbing runs without breaking 6 stories worth of walls when the time comes for new hot water pipes in 50 years? I find this thread really interesting, as someone who has lived in the heights as of about a year after the original questions posted in this thread. The neighborhood is notably different than the one described 5 years ago, despite not having changed all that much. I was up at this site a few weeks ago, and there's no basement here, it's just a poured pad, I found that really interesting. I don't see how this will be shoddier construction than some of the older stuff, but as with any new construction methodology, some of this stuff will be great, and some will be really shady. I mean, how did Fallingwater hold up? Eh?

Notably, this is the exact construction being used for all those skyscrapers at the Barclays Center, so I guess brace yourself/the buildings.

I think these things will hit the mainstream conscious when the first units capped with a single giant square of glass get slapped together in Tribeca. Until then, there will be a pile of articles all surprised about this methodology (and most of the buildings will be happening in poorer neighborhoods too).

As a separate aside, I've been looking at the economics of modular construction for development, and it has a long way to go before it catches on in places not called New York City. The pricing is competitive only in places like this where there are uniquely high costs associated with approvals, land acquisition, staging, material transportation, etc. It may be cheaper to build modular than CIP in NYC, but it does not appear to be cheaper than say, your typical 4-6 story poured foundation+wood framed apartment complex in DC and Boston (or smaller cities like Columbus, Buffalo, etc).

March 12th, 2013, 09:38 PM
been around for ages...it's called commieblock

April 11th, 2013, 09:31 AM
Prefabricated Broadway Stack Apartments Break Ground in Manhattan

by Andrew Goodwin, 04/04/13



The prefabricated (http://inhabitat.com/nycinhabitat.com/index.php?s=prefabricated)revolution that has hit NYC is continuing with the current construction of Broadway Stack by GLUCK+ (http://gluckplus.com/) (formerly Peter Gluck & Partners). Brought to New York City by developers Jeffrey Brown and Kimberly Frank, the 38,000 square foot volume will be one of the city’s first prefabricated steel and concrete residential buildings. When complete, Broadway Stack will bring the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan a new example of sustainable construction.

http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2013/04/GLUCK-Broadway-Stack-3-75x75.jpg (http://inhabitat.com/nyc/prefabricated-broadway-stack-apartments-break-ground-in-manhattan/gluck-broadway-stack-3/) http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2013/04/GLUCK-Broadway-Stack-2-75x75.jpg (http://inhabitat.com/nyc/prefabricated-broadway-stack-apartments-break-ground-in-manhattan/gluck-broadway-stack-2/)

http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2013/04/GLUCK-Broadway-Stack-537x362.jpg (http://inhabitat.com/nyc/prefabricated-broadway-stack-apartments-break-ground-in-manhattan/gluck-broadway-stack/)
Images courtesy of GLUCK+

The Broadway Stack (http://gluckplus.com/project/broadway-stack) will bring 28 moderate-income prefab apartments to Manhattan and about 4,000 square feet of commercial space will take up the ground floor of the site. This seven story building will be erected in only four weeks after the delivery of the modules from the factory in Pennsylvania. The exteriors and interiors of these fifty-six prefabricated modules will then be finished over the next three months. Viewing of the assembly will be available during the week of April 15th.

The prefabrication of more buildings (http://inhabitat.com/nycinhabitat.com/uplift-transforms-elevated-parking-spaces-into-a-hive-of-prefabricated-tiny-homes/) in New York City means that the building industry will continue to become more efficient and produce quality products. The result (hopefully) will be that New York City’s construction will become cleaner, quicker, and smarter. Financing schedules for developers will also become much shorter and otherwise undesirable sites can be developed.

+ GLUCK+ (http://gluckplus.com/project/broadway-stack)

Via ArchDaily (http://www.archdaily.com/352689/construction-begins-on-nyc-s-first-prefab-steel-and-concrete-residential-development/)


April 11th, 2013, 11:53 AM
That 'stack' looks great: nice composition of shapes, with various depths of the facade adding visual interest. IF they keep that white facade from turning sooty greay, That building will make for a nice architectural addition to the area.

April 12th, 2013, 11:18 AM
It's a small step toward the future. Building mammoth concrete and steel structures that involve billions of dollars and millions of labor hours will one day be looked back on as some of the cruder aspects of capitalist society.

If speed of erection, ease of replacement and maintenance and above all, functionality, dictated domicile construction, the landscape would look vastly different. (Not offering an opinion on better or worse).

Buildings will one day self-build. Automated technology will create, transport and erect entire "cities" for want of a better word. Building and selling them for money will be a thing of the past.