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Is There a Manhattan Gold Coast?


Have you ever heard of the Gold Coast? And no, we are not talking about the one in Australia. If you are looking to purchase real estate in NYC, then you’ll need to know: is there a Manhattan Gold Coast? On this page, we will walk you through the history and meaning of this real estate term, and we will give you advice on finding a “Gold Coast” apartment of your very own.

The Gold Coasts of New York

There is not just one “Gold Coast” in New York—there are many. The real estate industry loves the term, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to live somewhere with a name like that? Calling your listing a Gold Coast property evokes a sense of opulence, luxury, and exclusivity.

So naturally, there have been efforts to brand various strips of high end properties as “Gold Coasts.” You can find these gold coasts throughout the tristate area—from New Jersey’s Hudson River waterfront to Connecticut’s ritzy suburbs like Greenwich, White Plains, and Stamford.

But for buyers who want to stay in New York, there are two regions whose Gold Coasts are sure to spark their interests: Long Island and NYC.

Long Island Gold Coast

Long Island’s Gold Coast is the classic New York gold coast. These are the storied wealthy communities along the North shore, made up of mansions built between the 1890’s and 1930’s. Before the Hamptons became the preferred getaway for the rich and powerful, these historic Gold Coast buildings were the grand estates of the wealthiest New York residents. Gilded age titans of industry like the Fricks and the Guggenheims made their homes here. They gave them stately names like “Mill Neck Manor” and “Old Westbury Garden.”

While many of these mansions have been converted to museums and event centers today, a few are still residential homes for the one percent. Want to buy property like a Vanderbuilt? Look for Long Island Gold Coast homes in towns like Oyster Bay, Smithtown, and North Hempstead. The houses built there today may not be as ostentatious as the Gatsby-era mansions that came before, but there are still many beautiful properties that you can call home.

NYC Gold Coasts

In New York City, there are multiple historic and luxuries neighborhoods that lay claim to the title “Gold Coast.” However, the main NYC Gold Coast is in uptown Manhattan. Bordering Central Park and stretching from Park Avenue to 5th avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (UES), the Manhattan Gold Coast has always been home to the lavish residences of New York City’s elite.

Much like the sprawling mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast, many of these Upper East Side buildings have now been converted or rebuilt into famous museums. Known as the Museum Mile, this stretch of the Upper East Side runs along the length of Central Park, and is home to some of New York City’s crown jewels: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, affectionately called “the Met,” the Neue Gallery, the Cooper-Hewitt, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum along with many others.

However, not all of the old Gold Coast buildings have been torn down or repurposed; many have been turned into co-ops and apartment units. Apartments in this region—from 59th street in the South to 96th street in the North—can go for a hefty price, but they come with all the benefits of living in one of the most exclusive addresses in the city. Plus, the proximity to central park, the easy access to midtown make the Manhattan Gold Coast a prime location for New Yorkers who want to make the most of working and living in the city.

The Other Gold Coasts of New York City

There are several other regions in New York City that also call themselves the “Gold Coast” of NYC. One in downtown Manhattan, and the other in Brooklyn.

Downtown Manhattan Gold Coast

The other Manhattan Gold Coast is a stretch of Greenwich Village from Washington Square Park to bustling 14th street near Union Square. For Manhattanites who prefer living downtown, the historic Greenwich Village Gold Coast properties offer excitement paired with luxury. Youthful energy pulses through the neighborhood, which intersects with parts of NYU’s campus and the New School.

Brooklyn Gold Coast

Park Slope has a “Gold Coast” of historic brownstones that border beautiful Prospect Park. This neighborhood is a bit more artsy and bohemian than its Manhattan counterparts, but the Victorian and turn of the century homes here are no less luxurious and beautiful.

Park Slope’s Gold Coast properties are a great alternative for buyers looking for upscale living with a more relaxed, Brooklyn vibe. Prospect park is one of the main draws, but Park Slope is also home to delicious restaurants, comfortable cafes, and good schools that are particularly appealing to families.

So if Brooklyn is more your speed, but you want a touch of luxury, Park Slope’s Gold Coast may be right for you.

Gold Coast Living in NYC

These coveted apartments come with some obvious benefits, as well as some expensive drawbacks. We will break down what you need to know about purchasing property inside the bounds of any NYC Gold Coast.

The Benefits of a Gold Coast Apartment

As some of the most exclusive and luxurious addresses in New York City, Gold Coast apartments tend to come with a host of amenities at unbeatable standards. Door attendants and other building staff ensure the security, privacy, and comfort of residents. The apartments themselves are often large, beautiful, and historic, and the surrounding neighborhoods are residential while still close enough to centers of business in midtown and downtown.

Apartments along Manhattan’s Upper East Side Gold Coast also have the added benefit of being near beautiful central park. Coveted apartments that face the park are the crown jewels of the Gold Coast neighborhood. In Brooklyn’s Park Slope Gold Coast, apartments overlooking sprawling Prospect Park offer similar benefits along with the calmer atmosphere of Brooklyn.

The Drawbacks of a Gold Coast Apartment

Gold Coast apartments—no matter which NYC Gold Coast we are talking about—will be expensive. This is the price that comes with the amenities, conveniences, and exclusivity that are synonymous with Gold Coast properties.

Also, since many of these Gold Coast properties have been converted to co-ops, you may face more than just financial hurdles when trying to purchase a Gold Coast apartment. Co-op boards often require extensive interviews, background checks, financial disclosures, and other tests to approve potential buyers. And even if you do everything right, you still might be rejected by the board for unknowable reasons.

Despite these drawbacks, for those who can afford it, Gold Coast units offer incredible living conditions and some of the best apartments in the city.

Alternatives to New York City’s Gold Coasts

If you would love to live in one of New York’s Gold Coast neighborhoods, but you just cannot afford it, there are alternatives that can give you some of the same amenities at a lower price.

Upper West Side Apartments

Instead of an Upper East Side Gold Coast apartment, you can look for an apartment along the Upper West Side instead. Although further from the UES Gold Coasts’ art museums, Upper West Side apartments are still beautiful, and historic, and many overlook central park. An Upper West Side apartment can also give you easy access to the Natural History Museum, the performing arts at Lincoln Center, and much more.

While the Upper West Side has many units that are just as pricey as those found on the Upper East Side, the atmosphere is a bit more laid back. Here, the luxury shopping boutiques of the Upper East Side are replaced with mom and pop restaurants and cozy coffee shops. Whichever you prefer–East side or West–there are sure to be plenty of charms. Both of these neighborhoods are some of the best places to live in all of New York City.

Prospect Park Neighborhoods

If you wish you could live along Park Slope’s Gold Coast, consider an apartment that borders prospect park’s East and Southern sides instead. These neighborhoods—Prospect Lefferts Garden, Crown Heights, Windsor Terrace, and South Slope—tend to be much cheaper than the old brownstones of Park Slope.

Since they are more affordable and filled with new developments as well as older co-ops, these neighborhoods draw a younger, more eclectic crowd than Park Slope. By buying property here, you can enjoy Prospect Park, the Prospect Park Zoo, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Public Library at a much lower price than can be found along Park Slope’s Gold Coast.

Is There a Manhattan Gold Coast Apartment for You?

Are you looking to buy an apartment in Manhattan’s Gold Coast? What about Brooklyn? If any of these neighborhoods appeal to you, be sure to tell your real estate agent so they can keep an eye out for new listings. And keep reading New Dev Rev to learn more about the best neighborhoods in New York City for you and your family.