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Making a home: The other side of the Flatiron District

To live in the Flatiron District is to live in a rare environment, with a sense of security, safety, and community in the big city. With big-name neighbors – like Greenwich Village, Chelsea, NoMad, and Gramercy Park – it was destined to succeed. That’s why those looking to buy a residence in Manhattan head first to the Flatiron District.

Let the record show

Before making a home, the neighborhood had to make a name. The Flatiron District was first known as the Toy District, home of toy manufacturers, factories, and annual fair; then, after a surge of photography studios took over cheap lots, its unofficial name became the Photo District.

But how did this neighborhood full of so much character get stuck with the name of a home appliance? The answer is simple: The district is dominated by a landmark skyscraper built in 1903 (one of the first in the city), a wedge-shaped structure called the Flatiron Building. When realtors began to think of a new name to rebrand the neighborhood in the 1980s, they looked up.

Real estate in the Flatiron District

It’s no secret, the real estate market in New York City is extremely competitive. For this reason, the Flatiron District emerged as a welcoming safe haven for those looking to buy and invest in property in Manhattan at a reasonable price.

Located in the fashionable Lower Manhattan area, only 19 blocks split by the famous Fifth Avenue, the neighborhood has become a housing hotspot. Commercial and industrial spaces have been converted into chic and spacious lofts, and recently constructed luxury condominiums and modern residential buildings have added to supply in order meet high demand. Centrally located with a bounty of square-footage, the Flatiron District is a favorite among families led by working professionals.

Living in a small town in the big city

Imagine walking the streets, greeting neighbors by first name, and seeing the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and other soaring towers on display every day. It’s the stuff of movies. The hustle and bustle (or noise and traffic) of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and Park Avenue is muted on peaceful little side streets and quiet tree-lined blocks hidden off the main roads, where most residential entrances are located. This is the magic of living in the Flatiron District.

Many people who live in this vibrant neighborhood also work there. Typical morning program: drop the youngest off at one of the excellent daycares or play centers in the area; check that the oldest children have arrived at one of the most competitive public schools (or private if proximity is not a priority); then to the office. All done foot, or bike if you wish.

Manhattanites from all over the island often meet at Madison Square Park, to the north, and Union Square Park, to the south. In spring and summer, these green spaces offer an especially delightful breath of fresh air in the concrete jungle – playgrounds, landscaped lawns, benches, sculptures, and live performances in open-air included.

When it comes to preserving history, the Flatiron District does not disappoint. Much of the neighborhood’s beautiful 19th-century architecture are grand relics of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District and give the neighborhood an air of old-world elegance. Of course, it’s important to note that the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt has been memorialized at 28 East 20th Street, a registered National Historic Site.

The Flatiron District has a reputation for its shopping. Along 23rd Street, you’ll find an array of designer boutiques and upscale home decor and furniture stores. Foodies, too, feel right at home among the District’s trendy restaurants and food trucks. Our tip: The go-to local spot is Gramercy Tavern, a fine-dining restaurant with deep roots in the neighborhood.

Here, there are no comprises to divide the household: To have all the benefits of the city and the intimacy of a close-knit town, buy a loft or condo in the Flatiron District.