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Everything the East Midtown Greenway will do for NYC


New York City is home to 578 miles of waterfront space, 20,000 acres of natural areas, and over 1,700 parks to choose from. Now, with the upcoming completion of the East Midtown Greenway, the city’s urban green space just got even more impressive.

In 2003, the NYC government set out to create a 32-mile loop of developed urban green space that stretched all the way around the island. So no matter which Manhattan neighborhood you were in, you wouldn’t be far from a park, pathway, or pedestrian-friendly design. Think of it like an emerald green crown adorning the island of Manhattan, open to anyone on foot or bicycle.

It’s been 20 years since the project was first imagined and finally, its last leg is almost complete. On the East side of Manhattan is a section called the East River Esplanade, which stretches 9.44 miles from Battery Park up to East Harlem. Its last remaining portion is the East Midtown Greenway, a 9-block stretch between the Upper East Side and Sutton Place. Now, the second phase of that project is nearly complete and is expected to finish this fall.

The NewDevRev team knows that this project is going to make a big difference in the lives of New York City homeowners and future homebuyers. Let’s break down what the Greenway project is, what it means for the city, and what you can expect from here.

What is the East Midtown Greenway?

The East Midtown Greenway is a $100 million project to build a 1.8-acre public promenade on the east side of Manhattan near Sutton Place. It runs along the East River, from East 53rd Street to 61st Street.

The East Midtown Greenway is the second phase of the three-segment East River Esplanade, which will eventually descend all the way to East 38th St. It will be anchored by Clara Coffey Park on the southern end, which will receive a newly built pedestrian bridge, and topped by Andrew Haswell Green Park on the northern end. It’s part of a larger, more comprehensive plan to create a 32-mile loop of green space around Manhattan.

Who’s leading the project?

The team at Stantec designed the East Midtown Greenway project, while its construction and management are led by the city government through the NYC Economic Development Corporation.

Also partnering on this project are the NYC Parks Department, the NYC Department of Transportation, and local elected officials. Back in 2018, the entire team held a competition for environmental artists to contribute to the design of the Greenway. After interviews, meetings, and proposals, environmental artist Stacy Levy won that slot.

When the East Midtown Greenway will be completed

Construction on the East Midtown Greenway first began in 2019 but paused briefly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The crew got back to work in October 2020 and they’ve been continuing uninterrupted ever since. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.

What the East Midtown Greenway will do for New York City

  1. Clean the air

    The benefits of green space are well documented: better air quality, more heat-reducing carbon, and more opportunities for wildlife and plant life to flourish. Not to mention the simple fact that more green space means more trees, which helps combat the ever-intensifying effects of climate change.

  2. Make walking easier

    The East Midtown Greenway opens up accessibility for New Yorkers of all income levels. The project will include two new pedestrian walkways.

  3. One will run on top of the river from East 61st St. down to East 53rd St. And the other will bring pedestrians above the FDR Drive at 54th Street to connect Sutton Place Park South to the Esplanade. Now, any New Yorker can escape the summer heat and enjoy these parks, and getting to them will be easier for everyone.
  4. Connect families

    The Greenway will be an easy option for families with children who want to explore the city away from traffic. The founder of the group Friends of the East River Esplanade says the waterfront project is a “great leap forw

  5. ard” for the city. “We are very excited about the opening of the East Midtown Greenway. We can’t wait to have even more mileage on a contiguous waterfront for runners, walkers, bikers, and people just strolling with their kids and families.”

What does the East Midtown Greenway look like?

You can find newly updated photos and visual mockups of the East Midtown Greenway here. You’ll see how much work is already done: elevated pathways, seating, railings, drinking fountains, shrubbery, and more. You’ll also see the amazing view that East Midtown Greenway visitors will enjoy: a panorama from the Queensboro Bridge in the north, Roosevelt Island to the east, and the Williamsburg Bridge to the south.

How will this affect real estate?

Already host to luxury-level prices, Sutton Place is a highly valuable corner of the Manhattan market. Homeowners in this neighborhood know that they’re sitting on gold mine property, and the addition of green space right next door only improves it. Studies have shown that the closer your home is to a park or green space, the higher the value. There’s a good chance that home values in Sutton Place will rise from here, which is great news for existing and future homeowners.

If you’re on the hunt for a new development that’s equal parts modern luxury and green space getaway, Sutton Place may be perfect for you. Find out by chatting with a NewDevRev agent today and see how you can find a home close to the East Midtown Greenway.