Downtown, from the West Side Highway to the East River, from the tip of Manhattan to the Brooklyn Bridge and Park Place.
Easy access to transportation has brought a new wave of condo buyers into the Financial District, known to its residents as “FiDi.” Recent conversions of office buildings in the Financial District have generated lofts and apartments with high ceilings and modern amenities such as gyms, concierges, and advanced computer systems. Rental buildings have modern lounges for socializing and roof decks that go on and on, with views to match. The new luxury high-rises have joined such classic Financial District co-ops as 3 Hanover Square, a conversion of the former Cotton Exchange.
Living in the Financial District
Sleek skyscrapers hurtle up towards the stratosphere from cobblestone streets in the Financial District. This fast-paced section of Lower Manhattan is home to one of the world’s most iconic skylines. It bustles during the day as the heart of the nation’s financial markets, yet it offers a residential sense of calm in the evenings. Historic Stone Street’s restaurants buzz with happy hour deals and power lunches, and the waterfront offers an ever-changing calendar of cultural events. The Charging Bull statue stands proudly in front of Bowling Green, embodying the Financial District’s powerful legacy.
Working professionals are understandably drawn to the Financial District, but its modern condos and convenient public transportation make it attractive to a wide spectrum of residents. Nearly every subway line is accessible at the Wall Street and Fulton Street stations. Ferries to Governors Island and Staten Island are also based here for those commuting by sea. Residents enjoy sweeping views of the Upper New York Bay, and abundant recreation at Battery Park and the South Street Seaport.
Financial District real estate
The neighborhood’s easy access to transportation has ushered in new condo buyers. Luxurious apartment towers dominate Financial District real estate. Many of these occupy former banks or office buildings, which are now sophisticated lofts. The building at 3 Hanover Square, once the Cotton Exchange, is a prime example of a successful conversion. You can expect amenities like roof terraces, concierges and gyms in these new Financial District apartments. Rental spaces offer lounges and decks perfect for socializing and admiring river views. New developments like 101 Wall Street meet the increased demand for waterfront living.
Financial District history
Turn around any corner in the Financial District and you’re bound to spot a site of historic interest. Lower Manhattan is the birthplace of the city, and also carries national historical significance. George Washington's inauguration took place at Federal Hall in 1789. The area was originally established as New Amsterdam by the Dutch, to serve as a trading post for the Dutch West India Company. It became an important staging ground for the American Revolution, which was partly plotted at the local Fraunces Tavern. Wall Street has long been a center of commerce, named after a wall built in 1653. Traders formalized their business in 1792 when they signed the Buttonwood Agreement and established what is now the New York Stock Exchange.
Financial District restaurants
The neighborhood’s dining scene is transitioning rapidly. Outposts of Nobu, Jean-Georges and Momofuku are all on the near horizon, and there’s plenty of choice already available. At lunchtime, crowds spill out onto the sidewalks near the South Street Seaport and Wall Street, where casual chains dish up burritos, sushi and salads. Residents pick up lobster rolls and chowder from Luke’s Lobster or salami-stuffed panini from Pisillo, and find a bench to soak in the lunchtime scenery.
Stone Street bears the distinction of being New York’s first paved street. Restored brick buildings housing eateries of every variety frame its charming cobblestones. Adrienne’s Pizzabar, Beckett’s Bar and Grill, and Ulysses’ Folk House are just a few.
Financial District attractions
From museums and monuments to world-class parks, Financial District attractions draw throngs of visitors to the neighborhood. The Museum of American Finance, located in a former Bank of New York building, explains the inner workings of the stock market. Federal Hall, the Fraunces Tavern Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian are must-sees for history buffs.
The South Street Seaport’s transformation continues, with a revitalized Pier 17 on its way. The seaport district currently features more than 100 restaurants, cafés and shops, as well as a maritime museum and ice-skating rink. This picturesque waterfront district hosts film screenings, concerts and festivals, and is home to an interactive Imagination Playground. Battery Park is another hub for leisure and entertainment, with ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty departing regularly. Public artworks, a seafront promenade and an urban farm add to this park’s unique appeal. The Battery also features the enchanting SeaGlass Carousel, consisting of 30 fiberglass fish outfitted with LED lighting to create a magical underwater ambience.
One World Trade Center hosts the One World Observatory. Zip up to the top of America’s tallest building in a futuristic “Sky Pod” elevator. Take in the panoramic views and peer through glass floors down to the streets 100 stories below. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum sits at the former World Trade Center site, offering a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks.
Financial District shopping
Fashion emporium Century 21 offers discounted designer threads, children’s wear and home goods. It’s consistently packed with style-savvy New Yorkers sifting through its cavern of endless racks to find the best deals. A new shopping center at the World Trade Center offers a chic retail experience with global brands like Hugo Boss and Michael Kors. Specialty shops and boutiques take up the first five floors within 3 and 4 World Trade Center. There’s also a wealth of shops in the vicinity of the South Street Seaport. The Fulton Stall Market connects local farmers and producers with the Lower Manhattan community. Browse its indoor and outdoor stalls to find exotic spice blends, farm-fresh produce and small-batch condiments to stock your kitchen.
Financial District nightlife
Outdoor concerts and after-work specials keep Financial District bars hopping well into the evening. Many offer competitive happy-hour deals to lure in the business crowd. Stone Street is the epicenter of entertainment, with picturesque pubs and taverns tucked between the restaurants. Stone Street Tavern, a classic haunt that has retained its old-world charm, has a constantly rotating selection of craft beer on tap. Another traditional pub with an old New York vibe is the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog. Live piano music and absinthe cocktails enliven the upstairs Parlor, while the downstairs Taproom focuses on craft beer and bottled punch.
European Living by the Water
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What's In The Area: Financial District
Local tips and information for going out in the Financial District from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.All Financial District tips