The Local: FiDi–Now, More Than Ever, Almost 24-7

When Jongmin Park and his wife Soye moved from Battery Park City to a condo at 90 William Street three years ago, the conversion of the Financial District into a 24-hour retail and residential neighborhood was just beginning.

When they first arrived, all the restaurants and stores closed on the weekends and the neighborhood turned into a “ghost town,” he said. Things have changed so much since then that Mr. Park’s biggest complaint about living there is no longer a lack of amenities, but the nearly constant din of construction.

“This place used to be geared towards billionaires,” Mr. Park said Sunday, while walking two small, white dogs a block from his apartment. “Nowadays, there are more professionals and young people. Our friends actually come down here to hang out.”

Condos, rental buildings, restaurants and retail outlets have proliferated on and around Wall Street since September 11, turning what was once an undesirable place to live into a bona fide residential neighborhood, complete with a self-consciously trendy new moniker: FiDi.

But spend a weekend day walking around and talking to residents, and you’ll discover the same ambivalence to the area as a 24-7 spot as you might have found three or five years ago: The Financial District seems forever on its way to that round-the-clock residential and retail status, and not ever quite there yet.  read more »

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