Once a quiet, unsuspecting block in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, Leonard Street is at the center of a great downtown rebirth. Named after Leonard Lispenard, whose family owned a significant plot of land south of Canal Street in the 18th century, Leonard Street evokes the neighborhood’s rich history while making room for some of the city’s most luxurious new properties. At the center of NYC’s cherished past and gleaming modernity, Leonard Street is Tribeca’s new “it” block.
56 Leonard: The “Jenga Building”
Looking at Manhattan’s downtown skyline, you can’t help but notice what everyone describes as the “Jenga building.” A luxury skyscraper nearly a decade in the making, the anticipation over 56 Leonard put this street on the map. Tribeca has always been known for its loft apartments, but the new building, designed by the renowned firm Herzog & de Meuron, signaled that residential style in Tribeca was ripe for evolution. Tribeca lofts that once cost several million were soon overshadowed by residences that cost double-digit millions. Currently, there is a penthouse at 56 Leonard on the market asking $61,000,000.
This evolution in development also changed notions of the typical buyer for this neighborhood. Home buyers at 56 Leonard are the same as those interested in buildings like One57 or 15 Central Park West. The way these other developments changed the fabric of Columbus Circle and Central Park South, 56 Leonard has changed ideas of what Leonard Street could become.
More New Development on the Horizon
There are many more developments coming to Leonard Street. A new sales office recently opened for 91 Leonard, developed by Toll Brothers City Living. Bringing 111 condominiums to the market, this luxury development blends an appreciation for the neighborhood’s history with elegant, modern touches and full-service amenities. As someone who lives in the neighborhood and works with clients seeking apartments in Tribeca, I have seen a very enthusiastic response to this new inventory. It speaks to Leonard Street as one of the neighborhood’s premier streets.
A luxury condo conversion at 108 Leonard is likely to come to the sale market in the next year. This development is converting a historic landmark building into 150 condos, continuing the trend of luxury development on this storied block.
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The Growing Leonard Street Restaurant Scene
With all this new development taking place, it’s no surprise that there is a burgeoning restaurant scene, too. One of the most awaited eateries just opened at 78 Leonard. Tetsu is the brainchild of chef Masa Takayama, bringing Michelin star-winning Japanese fare to the neighborhood. Two Hands, on the corner of Church and Leonard, has become one of the area’s hottest food destinations, bringing Australian fare, coffee and cocktails to the once-quiet street corner. You can always tell that a street is on the way up by the type of retail tenants it is able to attract.
A Product of History and Vision
Leonard Street is the product of the city’s rich past and desire to keep moving into the future. By blending old and new, Leonard Street continues to attract residents, business owners and visitors alike. While Tribeca has long been on the map for Downtown Manhattan buyers, Leonard Street’s success has amplified its audience, and it will continue to be a core driver of the neighborhood’s charm and character.
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