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.

1 minute read

November 7, 2014, 1:00 PM PST

By melaniecj

High Line park NYC - Manhattan - New York City

David Berkowitz / Flickr

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.

Sunday, November 2, 2014 in UrbDeZine

View of Interstate 205 bridge over Columbia River with Mt. Hood in background.

The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project

The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.

September 19, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A derelict sign on a barbed wire fence reads “Golf Course, Private, No Admittance.”

Converting Golf Courses to Housing Never as Easy as the Market Would Like

Thousands of golf courses have closed in recent years, but the obvious redevelopment opportunity represented by many defunct courses isn’t always easy to realize.

September 19, 2023 - The Business Journals

Close-up of red Houston BCycle bike share bikes parked at a station

Houston To End Bike Share Program

Lacking the funding it needs to continue, Houston’s BCycle bike share system will end operations in the coming months.

September 18, 2023 - Houston Chronicle

Close-up of Unalakleet, Alaska on map.

FTA Announces Tribal Transit Program Grants

The agency awarded close to $10 million to 22 communities around the country for transit improvements.

2 hours ago - Mass Transit

View from inside glass top floor of Amtrak passenger train with Rocky Mountains scenery outside.

Making Colorado’s Front Range Rail a Reality

Local leaders are scrambling to bring together the funding and political support to create new intercity rail service in the fast-growing region.

3 hours ago - Governing

Students walking on sunny walkway on college campus.

How College Campuses Fulfill an Urbanist Dream

Most college campuses in the United States are inherently walkable, mixing various uses with diverse housing options and transit networks.

4 hours ago - The Daily

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.