Neighborhood Intel

Is your 'hood sudsy or dry? Mapping NYC's neighborhood laundromats

By Virginia K. Smith | April 2, 2015 - 10:30AM

As part of our ongoing look into NYC's totally exasperating "unique" laundry situation, we got to wondering how this plays out on a neighborhood level. Just as some 'hoods have far superior nightlife and 24-hour-deli options, surely some areas make it easier than others to get a load of laundry done? Turns out, our instincts were right.

We asked the team at PropertyShark to put together a neighborhood-by-neighborhood map based on laundromat licenses* in all five boroughs, and their research shows that some areas have far more options than others. East Harlem, Lenox Hill, and the East Village lead the pack in Manhattan, with 29 laundromats apiece, while several neighborhoods (including Noho and the Meatpacking District) are apparently without a single laundry hub. In the outer boroughs, Sunset Park, Bushwick, and South Astoria come out on top, while beach neighborhoods like Neponsit and Sea Gate have zilch. (Click through for full neighborhood-by-neighborhood data in each borough.)

Of course, these numbers don't account for buildings that have their own laundry rooms or in-unit washer/dryers, something that might explain the shortage in some of Manhattan's higher-end neighborhoods. (And it's also highly possible that there are lots of laundromats out there that lack official licensing). 

For per-capita numbers, we turned to Address Report, who compiled the following data set for Manhattan based on 2010 census numbers and Google Places data on area laundromats. The numbers don't quite match up—here, Morningside Heights shows up as having 9 laundromats, whereas by PropertyShark's count there's only one—but that's likely a function of the different data sources. 

As far as who's dealing with the smallest crowds on laundry day, that'd be residents of midtown, where there are just 195 residents per laundromat, as opposed to, say, Washington Heights, where there are 2,554. (We don't envy that wait for empty machines). "The results of the analysis are generally intuitive, but we were certainly surprised to discover that Harlem and East Harlem — two neighborhoods with some of the highest proportions of households with children — had among the fewest laundromats per resident," notes AddressReport co-founder Kayvon Bina. "Perhaps more buildings offer laundry as an amenity in those neighborhoods? It's definitely a question we'd like to explore further."

*A note on methodology: PropertyShark compiled this map based on laundromat license data across the five boroughs, but out of 2,458 laundromats, exact locations for 130 couldn't be determined, so they were left out of this data set.


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