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Left to Right: Lycee Francais de New York, La Scuola d'Italia, and Ecole Internationale de New York Left to Right: Lycee Francais de New York, La Scuola d'Italia, and Ecole Internationale de New York
Families looking to buy apartments in the Big Apple often have a standard list of demands: a safe area, a family-friendly neighborhood, and space to accommodate their children. Maybe most important of all is the desire to be close to a top school. This idea is not a new one; after all, every parent desires to provide his or her child with a good education. However, this trend appears to be growing among international buyers. These parents are actively seeking homes that are close to international private schools, hoping to preserve their native language and culture within their children’s upbringing.
One area in particular in which new apartment buildings are benefitting from this trend is the Upper East Side, specifically in Lenox Hill. The neighborhood is host to Lycée Francais de New York, a renowned private and bilingual French school, and also La Scuola d’Italia, an Italian, English, and French tri-lingual multicultural school. Naturally, many international home-buying families are flocking to new residential developments in this area of the city, hoping to find the right international school for their children.
The Charles, images via Ismael Leyva Architects.
The Charles is within a five minute's walk to two of the top international schools on the Upper East Side.
The Charles at 1355 First Avenue is a development that is particularly benefiting from proximity to both of these schools. Frances Katzen, a lead broker for new development at Douglas Elliman, speaks of her experience selling to members of the international population. She has increasingly seen interest from these families, and several of her recent buyers have children who were accepted into either LFNY or La Scuola d'Italia. Katzen says, “The Upper East Side has always been a popular destination for families, and New York City has always been a multicultural mixing pot.” The Charles has it all: a sophisticated, European-friendly design and a location within five-minute’s walking distance to both international schools. The desirable combination yields the prime address for any European family looking to segue into American culture while preserving its native background. Plus, with the Second Avenue Subway expected to open this December, the Upper East Side is becoming an even more desirable residential neighborhood for any family.
The Charles is not the only new Lenox Hill condo where sales are positively correlating with proximity to these schools. Two condo conversions at 300 East 64th Street and 200 East 62nd Street have also had success in the neighborhood, and offer 1-bedrooms that are currently available starting from $1.05 million and $1.85 million, respectively. A new condo development at 1110 Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill joins the crew of successful buildings. It has just two remaining apartments for sale, both four-bedrooms and priced from $18 million.
A myriad of new developments also populate the areas around EINY and UNIS.
Another area in which the international influx is becoming increasingly prominent is NoMad, home to both Ecole Internationale de New York and the United Nations International School. Carlo Romero, a sales associate for residences at 88 & 90 Lex, attests to the interest in the property as a result of its location to these schools. These institutions, he reflects, “are not restaurants where you might go once or even twice a week if you’re a regular. They’re places you go twice a day if you’re dropping off and picking up your child.” The proximity, therefore, is not something sales associates like Romero has to market: it’s all buyer’s side interest. And, according to Romero, the interest in these nearby schools is not solely from international families, but also from those domestic families who wish to instill within their children an international perspective. "These schools teach a very international perspective," he says. "It's something all buyers who emphasize multicultural and global values want for their children."
88 & 90 Lex is the unique union of pre- and post-war buildings.
The residences at 88 & 90 Lex is a development that included the renovation of two existing buildings; a pre- and a post-war. There are a total of fifteen apartments for sale at 88 Lexington and 90 Lexington, priced from $2.085 million. Situated in the heart of NoMad, the development is near many developments in Gramercy Park and Kips Bay, and is also in close proximity to Ecole Internationale and the United Nations International School.

New developments in the area include 78 Irving Place where a 3-bedroom condo is listed for $6.475 million, The Abbey Condominium at 205 East 16th Street with a 3-bedroom condo for $2.75 million, the four-building Gramercy Square with studios starting from $1.215 million, 234 East 23rd Street with 1-bedrooms starting from $1.799 million, and finally 172 Madison Avenue with 1-bedroom condos starting from $2.3 million.
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Contributing Writer Katy Cornell Katy Cornell is a Long Island native with a passion for writing about real estate in the big city. She recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in English and is a frequent contributor to CityRealty's Market Insight and NYC real estate blog 6sqft.