On Washington Heights Monopoly: Hello, New Apartment Building at 573-575 West 161st Street


In which The Gay Recluse lives in an alternate reality.

For a long time we’ve kept an eye on the triple vacant lot at 573-577 West 161st Street, which we walk by  every day on our way to the 163rd Street subway station. In January, we were pleasantly surprised to see two of the three lots fenced off, leaving only 577 as an (illegal) parking lot.

Hi there, 573-577 West 161st Street!

Although five years ago (literally) we heard rumors about a church wanting to build, we didn’t expect much to happen, given that 1) we’ve never seen a construction project actually realized in this part of Washington Heights, and 2) the recession deterrent, which obviously looms large these days.

But! This morning our mind was blown to see a bulldozer rampaging through 573-575.

Woah! That’s a big piece of equipment!

And then! A quick jaunt to the Department of Buildings revealed that a permit has been issued for the construction of a brand-spanking new 17,000 square-foot/18-unit apartment building. Which seemed to prove that we weren’t in fact hallucinating! Plus the bulldozer was still there this afternoon on our way home from work.

Hey! Nice pile of dirt! Let’s hope the apartment building looks as good as the bulldozer.

All of this just seems to prove what we’ve long suspected: the real-estate market in this part of Washington Heights exists in a strange bubble that has nothing to do with the rest of the world. (Investors take note!) We’ll keep you posted on this alternate reality as it evolves.

5 Responses to “On Washington Heights Monopoly: Hello, New Apartment Building at 573-575 West 161st Street”

  1. 1 jonjason

    that is great news for the neighborhood!! Hopefully now it will continue with other parts as well. I just bought an apartment on 159th street between broadway & amsterdam and actually there are two vacant lots on my street as well. Any information on what is proposed for them?

    BTW: I absolutely love your site!!

  2. Thanks, Jon. I think those lots may have been where they were proposing to build a drug-rehab clinic (of all things), but that community pressure eventually turned some important people (who had initially rolled out the red carpet for it) against the idea. If you learn anything, please let us know. Thanks!

  3. 3 jonjason

    thanks for the response! I am glad to hear that the drug-rehab is not going to happen, that is the last thing the neigborhood needs. Do you have any information on community volunteering?ie: clean-up, etc.


  4. 4 jesus

    drug rehab as the last thing a neighborhood like washington heights needs? huh? how dare they try to help people out where they live!

  5. 5 jonjason

    ummmm,,,what??? I am all about helping people but considering the area has an existing drug problem the last thing people who have drug issues is to house them in an area where drugs are readily available in their own neighborhood.

    I suggest before you respond you may want to do some research.

    But I appreciate the attempt……

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