As a long-time Tribeca resident and neighborhood expert, I know the buildings, community, local schools (my daughter attended PS 234), restaurants, transportation, parks, and other area amenities. Tribeca is the wealthiest zip code in New York by per capita income, and ranks fifth in the country according to Bloomberg News. Tribeca’s loft conversions and high-rise new developments are commensurately some of the most luxurious, large, and priciest in the city. It is home to a celebrities, entrepreneurs, and the upper echelons of American business.
Most of Tribeca’s buildings date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it was a center of the textile industry and the bread basket of the city. In its early days, the piers along the Hudson received barges of fresh meat, dairy, and produce from upstate and sold them at the Washington Market. The area fell into decline in the 1960s as its industrial base moved to the Hunt’s Point Market in the Bronx. Its current incarnation, as well as its name, dates from the 1970s. As it transitioned from manufacturing to residential, it was dubbed Tribeca or “Triangle Below Canal Street.” Like in neighboring Soho, artists attracted by large, cheap, loft spaces in manufacturing buildings helped revitalize the area, eyeing the stately, but neglected, cast-iron loft buildings with oversized footprints and large spaces. They reinvented the neighborhood and planted the seeds of modern Tribeca. In 1992 the first Tribeca Historic District was established to preserve the splendid architectural beauty of the area . The lofts remain, though they aren’t the bargains they once were. As a matter of fact, today they are among the city’s most desirable and priciest.
Unlike Soho’s repurposing into a retail shopping district, side-by-side with live-work lofts, Tribeca has stayed truer to its original low-key character. Nightlife in Tribeca is subdued and more of a destination for fine dining than late-night partying. There are restaurants and boutiques, but Tribeca remains relatively quiet and understated. The annual Tribeca Film Festival, which began in 2002 in response to the 9/11 attacks which impacted the area, has turned Tribeca into a global brand. It is bounded by Canal Street, the Hudson River, Broadway, and Chambers Street.