Brownstone Harlem Named Neighborhood of the Year

From the Financial Times: "Even for normally unflappable New Yorkers, the news that Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Boulevard was named 'Neighbourhood of the Year' by the popular real estate blog Curbed was event-worthy.  Urban amenities are still scarcer than the districts below 96th Street. But a recent spate of shop and hotel openings suggests a commercial critical mass may be forthcoming.  Beyond the increase in amenities, Harlem’s most immediate appeal remains its affordability.  According to Stephen Kliegerman, executive director of development marketing at Halstead Property, premium Harlem homes are priced between $500 and $700 per sq ft – compared with at least $1,000 per sq ft just 15 minutes south on the Upper West Side.  That market – much like Harlem itself – is as vast as it is varied.  At one extreme are Harlem’s historic brownstones – row-houses built mostly in the 1920s and often abandoned during the crack-fuelled blight of the 1980s.  But amid the decay lies a level of architectural detail virtually unrivalled in most of Manhattan: neoclassical façades, elegant wooden banisters, hardwood floors – even colourful stained-glass windows.  'Because of the area’s poverty, these buildings were usually left untouched,' says Janet Forman, a journalist and film producer who bought an empty brownstone for just under $1m with her husband in 2006."  Full story here.  (Image credit: Jennifer Taylor.)