If we gave Manhattan neighborhoods human personalities, the meatpacking district may be the hip, in-the-know popular cousin and Central Park South would be the conservative Wall Street banker uncle, it would stand to reason that Murray Hill is our dear old grandma, very quiet but endearing; you wouldn't want to spend Friday night with her but she has frequently offers gems of wisdom and history.
Grandma might tell us the how the neighborhood got it's name. The Murray family were Quakers who settled and farmed the land that now stretches from 33rd to 39th streets east of Madison Avenue. The name persevered though the family is no longer with us.
Today, a gradual stream of young professionals are snatching up apartments in the brownstones that line the East 30s and co-ops in apartment buildings closer to the river and the 40s. Real estate is more reasonably priced than anywhere else on the island south of Harlem; and being that everywhere in the neighborhood is a short walk from Fifth Avenue and Grand Central, it's as sure as any investment. Perhaps Murray Hill will never be a part of the glitz and glamor of the meatpacking district but there is a gradual evolution is underway, with new apartment towers being built on 34th Street and the restaurant and bar scene on Third Avenue becoming spicier with each liquor license issued.
The boundaries of the neighborhood are: 42nd Street to the north, 27th Street to the south, and Fifth Avenue to the west. Some stretch Murray Hill's eastern boundary all the way to the East River, but historians generally place it between Third and Second Avenues, which allows for Kips Bay and Tudor City to remain distinct waterfront neighborhoods. Real estate agents occasionally stretch the southern boundary to 23rd Street, to eliminate a gap between Murray Hill and Gramercy. Park Avenue brings heavy two-way traffic through the area, but Third Avenue has more delis, bars, and shops. East to west, 34th and 42nd are the grandest and busiest streets.
Average Price to Buy
Most of the beautiful brownstones in the lower 30s are being held by the well-to-do families that have owned them for decades. But there are plenty of co-op spaces turning over continuously. Recent real estate sales show that the average listing price for a condo in Murray Hill is $940,075 with the median sales price being $840,000. The average price per square foot is $1,013.