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Real estate agents are legally prohibited from answering questions about whether a building is "family friendly," but there are some tried-and-true methods for finding a kid-friendly New York City apartment building yourself: Search for buildings with playrooms (the more elaborate and/or well-tended the better), and when zeroing in on a specific building, ask the doorman and residents, and park yourself outside early one weekday to count strollers and mini-people.
Or...post your question on StreetEasy.com, like a would-be Financial District parent did yesterday, saying, "We looked at places like the Beaver House and 20 Pine, and the impression is that they cater more towards singles, business types, or couples without kids."
That's a pretty common issue in FiDi, one commenter explains: "A lot of the big buildings in the FiDi aren't super child friendly because they're predominantly studios and 1 BRs; as a result, even the larger units often end up being used as shares. 2 Gold is the best example of this; probably 88 Greenwich as well. Several buildings have completely ridiculous kitchen setups that make them poor choices: 20 Pine, The William Beaver House, District."
But the StreetEasy commenters offers some family-friendly FiDi & FiDi-ish options, including a mix of rentals, co-ops, and condos for sale or sublet, as an alternative to heading further down to Battery Park City:
- "10 Liberty has a bunch of families with kids. 150 Nassau for sure, and it's also right next door to the Spruce Street school. I don't know the building quite as well, but 55 Liberty seems like a likely choice. There's a building at the intersection of Fulton and Nassau that's all fairly large units, so it probably qualifies. Possibly 59 John."
- "15 Broad is filled with kids. Trick or Treating last fall had over 100 kiddos running around. Plus the deck, pool and hoops court are great places for bored toddlers."
- "10 Barclay is a beautiful building, has a fabulous playroom and a pool. Easy walking distance to the park in Tribeca and Whole Foods. However, the immediate neighborhood is full of construction, and the prices seems high for the less than generous size of the apartments. When I toured, the rental agent called the neighborhood Tribeca, which at best is very ambitious marketing."
- "Some like 71 Broadway - the nice thing there is that the kid's playroom is connected via a window to the gym - so mom can go to the gym and put the kids in the play room at the same time."
- "The obvious one would be the new Gehry tower on Spruce Street. It should be filled with elementary school age kids."