Love them or hate them, artificially created "micro neighborhoods" are sprouting up everywhere

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By now, you've probably heard of the 26-acre Hudson Yards mega-project that's transforming the far west side of midtown Manhattan with 14 acres of public outdoor space,  two high-end residential towers, office buildings, shops, a new school and a restaurant scene being curated by Per Se's Thomas Keller.

But today's New York Post reports that there are 15 other "mixed-use" micro-neighborhoods being built up "from scratch," now under construction in the city. Here's a sampling:

Pacific Park: This 15-building complex (with 6,000 apartments!) -- once known as Atlantic Yards -- will stand over Brooklyn's Atlantic Rail Yards and span 22 acres. 

Essex Crossing: Located on the Lower East Side, this new development will bring 1.9 million square feet of residential, commercial, and community space to six acres of land.

City Point.: When complete, the project will include retail, residential, and office components totaling 1.8 million square feet in downtown Brooklyn.

Riverside Center: This eight-acre West Side development that'll eventually include a school and park, too. The first residential tower, One West End, has some affordable affordable rentals available, should you qualify.

The Post says that these new neighborhoods are already proving popular with New York buyers, but there's been a lot of blowback from community activists in almost all of these projects for creating mostly unaffordable housing options.

The argument, according to many people who already live in these areas, is that these shiny, new mega-projects built "from scratch" ignore the fact that these neighborhoods were already established prior to their arrival (see: the current controversy in East New York). In some cases people already living there are getting displaced.

But even in parts of the city—like the soon-to-be completed Hudson Yards—where there aren't many tenants, there are still problems, according to activists. "Every one of these condominium is self-contained, they have everything they need in the building. [Residents] don't need to go out into the community at all. And in many cases, like in the case of these condos on 57th Street,  the people don't even live there," says Batya Lewton, president of the Coalition for a Livable West Side. And, she adds, "their definition of what's affordable is really ludicrous. They don't add anything to a community or a neighborhood."

Still, there apparently are many takers for these projects. "So far, buyers seem to be eating up the all-inclusive sales pitch. At One West End, 100 of the 246 condos, ranging from $1.3 to $20 million, sold in 60 days," according to the  paper. And when a condo building in Pacific Park (with prices ranging from $625,000 to $6.86 million) opened this summer, "30 percent of its 278 units" had buyers signing contracts "within weeks," apparently.

So what do you think: Do you see these new neighborhood-style developments as the answer to our density woes or too artificial (and unaffordable) for your tastes?


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