Why Developers Love Parks—the High Line in New York as an Example

The High Line is proving to be a powerful catalyst for development but the same can be true for nearly all parks (less perhaps the starchitect-designed projects near the High Line), explains former Empire State Development Corp VP Carol Berens.
November 7, 2014, 1pm PST | melaniecj
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David Berkowitz

While parks were once seen as a fiscal drain on city budgets, they are now credited with boosting property values and fostering the creation of chic neighborhoods.

An example that proves the point is NYC’s High Line, according to architect, author, realtor, and former redevelopment official Carol Berens. It’s repurposing as a park captured the public’s attention when it first opened in 2009 and sparked the development of high-end residential and commercial projects during High Line’s first phase, specifically new apartment buildings.This growth is no surprise, according to Berens.

“From Central Park’s earliest days to today, private real estate concerns are never far away when parks are created. Ideas for parks unfold when land is contaminated and the surrounding neighborhood stagnant and struggling. A park’s construction and completion greatly influence the life of the city and affect the value of adjacent property—whether from the growth of new neighborhoods, the refurbishment of the old or the promise of unobstructed views in perpetuity. This increased land value from park development leads to fears, not unfounded, of neighborhood gentrification.”

Berens goes on to discuss the various developments around High Line and how condos and apartments around the park don’t come cheap for residents. The article includes many photos of the new developments.

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Published on Sunday, November 2, 2014 in UrbDeZine
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