The Park Premium: Do You Pay Extra to Buy Next to Manhattan’s Largest Parks?

Key Takeaways:

  • The most expensive park frontage in Manhattan is Hudson River Park’s Chelsea side at $4.54 million
  • At a median $389,000, Manhattan’s most affordable park frontage can be found around Inwood’s Isham Park
  • With a surcharge of $3.12 million compared to neighborhood median, Chelsea units bordering Hudson River Park command the highest premium
  • At a discount of $1.22 million, Central Park’s frontage in Central Park South has largest price cut between the first row of buildings bordering a park and the overall neighborhood
  • Most Manhattan parks have higher costs for units in the first row of buildings, although some feature lower prices compared to the rest of the neighborhood
  • Central Park has the widest park proximity cost in Manhattan: Its Central Park South side is $1.22 million below the neighborhood median, while its Central Midtown frontage is $3.11 million pricier than the rest of the neighborhood

Most New Yorkers are within a 10-minute walk of one of the city’s 2,000 parks, and Manhattanites, in particular, enjoy access to more than 160+ public parks. But how much does it cost to buy a home next to Manhattan’s largest parks? As it turns out, it will run you anywhere from $389,000 to more than $4.5 million.

So, to see how much more you’d have to pay compared to the rest of the neighborhoodor how much less, in rarer cases —we looked at all Manhattan parks of at least 10 acres, considering only those that had at least five residential sales in the first row of buildings next to the park in the last 12 months. For parks that are bordered by multiple neighborhoods, we determined separate median sale prices for each neighborhood, as well as the first row of buildings next to the park for each neighborhood.

Of the 15 Manhattan parks that met our criteria, eight parks commanded higher prices in the first row of buildings next to the park, five had lower prices and one (Tompkins Square Park) had no noticeable differences. Manhattan’s largest green space, Central Park, stood out with somewhat mixed trends as prices were higher in buildings overlooking it in eight of its border neighborhoods, yet lower in one surprising area — Central Park South.

Overall, a unit in the first row of buildings next to Manhattan’s largest parks can cost as much as $3.12 million more than the neighborhood median. At the opposite end of the spectrum, buying next to one the largest parks in the borough can also be $1.22 million cheaper than the rest of the neighborhood.

Explore the interactive table at the bottom of the page to see the cost of living next to Manhattan’s largest parks.

1) Carl Schurz Park

This 15-acre, riverside park was converted from a private estate to a public park back in 1896 and renamed in 1910 after statesman and journalist Carl Schurz. The park is also one of the most dog-friendly in the city and is home to the 1799-built Gracie Mansion, which has served as the official residence of NYC mayors since 1942.

However, buyers looking to become near-neighbors with the mayor pay a hefty 99% premium. Specifically, the average median sale price of Yorkville stood at $865,000 in the last 12 months, while the median sale price in the first row of buildings next to Carl Shurtz Park was twice as expensive at $1,725,000.

2) Central Park

The most widely known NYC park, Central Park’s 840 acres stretch it across nine neighborhoods with vastly different characters and price points, including some of the city’s most expensive. As such, units in the first row of buildings next to Central Park range from medians of $776,000 on the park’s Manhattan Valley Side to as high as $4.5 million along its Central Midtown frontage. In fact, buildings bordering the park had medians of $3 million and above in four neighborhoods.  

Additionally, Central Park’s Midtown frontage was one of just two cases where the first row of buildings had a median sale price $3 million higher than the neighborhood median. At the same time, CentralPark’s East Harlem frontage had the highest premium in terms of percentage with units in the first row of buildings selling for 3.5 times the neighborhood median: $2,073,000 versus $590,000.

Conversely, the park’s Central Park South frontage saw units in the first row of buildings closest to the park sell for $1.4 million in the last 12 months— representing a 47%or $1,218,000 reduction compared to the $2.62 million neighborhood median. Those were the sharpest discounts both in percentages and dollar amounts between park-side buildings and the rest of the neighborhood, a result of the neighborhood’s much higher priced luxury buildings being developed further inland from Central Park.

3) Danny Farrell Riverbank State Park

A unique, multi-level park by the Hudson River, the 28-acre Danny Farrell Riverbank State Park is home to a wide range of sports facilities, including a 2,500-set athletic center, swimming pools, and an eight-lane running track, as well as an 800-seat indoor theater, 400-seat waterfront amphitheater and a covered roller/ice skating rink.

Nowhere near as pricey as Central Park’s Harlem frontage, units in the first row of buildings next to Riverbank State Park sold at a $470,000 median during the last 12 months. That meant that savvy buyers paid 18% less for park-side units than the average Harlem homebuyer, saving $105,000.

4) Fort Tryon Park

Gifted to the city in 1935 by John D. Rockefeller, the 66-acre Fort Tryon Park includes Manhattan’s largest dog run; NYC’s largest unrestricted public garden; and the Met’s Cloisters, which feature more than 5,000 medieval art pieces.

Notably, buyers looking for proximity to green spaces by the Hudson River pay slightly less than the average Washington Heights resident with units in the first row of buildings selling for 8% less. So, while the 12-month rolling median sale price in Washington Heights was $514,000, units right next to Fort Tryon Park traded for $475,000 or $39,000 less.

5) Fort Washington Park

Home to NYC’s only lighthouse, hiking trails, waterfront access points, dog runs, diverse landscapes and views of the New Jersey Palisades Cliffs, Fort Washington Park covers 160 acres in Washington Heights.

However, unlike Fort Tryon, Fort Washington Park commanded 15% higher prices in the first row of buildings bordering the park: Units sold here at a median price of $590,000 — or $76,000 more than the overall neighborhood.

6) Hudson River Park

Created in 1998 through the redevelopment of Manhattan’s derelict industrial waterfront, Hudson River Park today offers 550 acres of green and recreational space along four miles of the Hudson River. And, because it’s surrounded by some of the most expensive NYC neighborhoods, buildings bordering the park have some of the highest prices in the city.  

For example, the first row of buildings bordering Hudson River Park in Chelsea have the most expensive park-side units in Manhattan at a median sale price of $4,538,000 — more than three times higher than Chelsea’s $1,425,000 median in the last 12 months. In fact, at $3,123,000, Chelsea’s Hudson River Park frontage commands the highest premium in the entire borough.

Meanwhile, the park’s TriBeCa frontage reached a median of $4,255,000 (the borough’s third highest) with a 44% premium (adding about $1.31 million) compared to TriBeCa itself. At the same time, the park’s West Village frontage had the lowest price at $3,355,000, which was still 2.5 times higher than the neighborhood median.

7) Inwood Hill Park

One of the most natural parts of Manhattan, the 196-acre Inwood Park is home to large swaths of dramatic landscapes, including glacial caves, the borough’s last natural forest and a salt marsh — the driving factor for the park’s bald eagle release program.

Even so, buyers looking for quick access to one of Manhattan’s most wild areas can do so with minimal extra costs: Residential units bordering Inwood Hill Park sold at a $410,000 median — just $8,000 more (+2%) than Inwood’s median sale price in the last 12 months.

8) Isham Park

Right across Seaman Avenue from Inwood Hill Park, the 20-acre Isham Park covers the former Isham estate. Assembled through land donations from the Isham family, its elevation offers vast views of the Harlem and Hudson River valleys.  

Buyers looking to move to Inwood and enjoy immediate proximity to green spaces can get a better deal here than near Inwood Hill Park and spend around $21,000 less. Specifically, units in the first row of buildings next to Isham Park sold at a median $389,000 in the last 12 months — 3% cheaper than the neighborhood’s $402,000 median sale price.

9) Jackie Robinson Park

Just shy of 13 acres, Jackie Robinson Park stands as one of four historic Harlem parks and was one of the first 10 city parks where public pools were opened. It features ample sports facilities, including the 1936-built rec center, while the bandshell hosts concerts throughout the warmer months.

Here, buyers looking to live next to a park with a vibrant community life can do so at a $150,000 discount compared to the rest of the neighborhood. So, while the median sale price for a Harlem condo or co-op unit was $575,000, the first row of buildings bordering Jackie Robinson Park sold for a median $425,000 — 26% cheaper.

This was the result of a unique situation: Both condos and co-op bordering Jackie Robinson sold for higher prices that condos and co-ops located further away from the park, but since more co-ops sold in the past 12 months in the first row of buildings (77% of transactions) than in Harlem overall (43% of transactions), the median of buildings bordering Jackie Robinson Park was artificially lowered.

10) John V. Lindsay East River Park

Once an essential part of NYC industry, the 57-acre East River Park opened in 1939. Today, it boasts more than a mile of water frontage and extensive sports facilities, including tennis, baseball, softball, football, basketball and soccer fields.

Moreover, buyers with a passion for sports can score a deal because units in buildings next to East River Park sell for 32% less than the overall neighborhood. So, while a Lower East Side unit traded for a median $990,000 in the last 12 months, sales in the first row of buildings next to East River Park sold for a median $677,000, representing a $313,000 discount compared to the overall neighborhood. This is the result of the neighborhood's property mix, with the first row of buildings next to East River Park made up older co-op buildings, mostly built in the 1950s.

11) Marcus Garvey Park

Opened in 1840, this park’s grounds were almost razed by the city, but public pressure saved the area and saw it preserved as a park. Now, the 20-acre park features one of the city’s top amphitheaters, among many other amenities.

Although buyers on a tighter budget could close on a unit next to Jackie Robinson Park for $150,000 less than the Harlem median, units in buildings bordering Marcus Garvey Park cost $325,000 (or 57%) more than the $575,000 neighborhood median. More precisely, residential units in the first row of buildings next to the park sold at a $900,000 median during the last 12 months.

At the same time, units in the first row of buildings in Marcus Garvey Park’s East Harlem side sold at a median $587,500 — just $2,500 below East Harlem’s $590,000 median.

12) Morningside Park

At nearly 30 acres, Morningside Park came into being after city officials decided in the second half of the 1800s that extending Manhattan’s street grid over the uneven terrain would be too expensive and time-consuming.

Another one of Harlem’s four historic parks, Morningside commands some of the highest prices in Harlem for units bordering a park, surpassed by only Central Park’s Harlem frontage. Specifically, units in the first row of buildings next to Morningside Park sold for nearly double the neighborhood median in the last 12 months, trading hands at a median $1,103,000 — 92% pricier than the average Harlem unit.

13) Riverside Park

Buyers looking to live next to what is considered to be Manhattan’s premier waterfront park can find the best prices on the park’s Morningside Heights frontage, where units sold for a median $999,000 — just $1,000 below the neighborhood average.

Here, the first row of buildings on Riverside’s Lincoln Square section were the priciest at a median $1,853,000 to command an additional premium of $667,000 for Lincoln Square’s median sale price. Otherwise, the first row of buildings on the park’s Upper West Side border sold for $1,337,000 or about $87,000 more than the average Upper West Side apartment.

14) Theodore Roosevelt Park

Home to the American Museum of Natural History, the 17.5-acre Museum Park, as area residents often refer to it, commands a hefty $1,525,000 premium for residential units located right next to it. As a matter of fact, the first row of buildings bordering the park sold for a median sale price of $2,775,000, which represented a 122% premium over the Upper West Side median and double what buyers paid for units bordering Riverside Park’s Upper West Side section.

15) Tompkins Square Park

Located in the eclectic East Village, the 10.5-acre Tompkins Square Park is best known for its live performances and events, including festivals like Wigstock, Howl and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Yet, with the East Village median sale price at $1,096,000, buyers eyeing a unit in the first row of buildings bordering Tompkins Square Park pay nearly the same price with medians at $1.1 million — just $4,000 more.

Explore the interactive table below to see the cost of living next to Manhattan’s largest parks:

Methodology

We looked at all Manhattan parks of at least 10 acres, considering only those that had at least five residential sales in the first row of buildings next to the park between April 4, 2023 and April 4, 2024. For parks that are bordered by multiple neighborhoods, we determined separate median sale prices for each neighborhood, as well as the first row of buildings next to the park for each neighborhood.

To determine the park proximity cost we calculated the median price of for the overall neighborhood and subtracted the median sale price of units located in the first row of buildings next to its respective park.

Only residential sales were considered when determining median sale prices. All package deals were excluded.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza writes for both PropertyShark and CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]