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Private green space and an enclosed-community feeling are hard to come by in Manhattan, but Peter Cooper / Stuyvesant Town (commonly referred to as "Stuy Town") comes close. Bounded by 23rd Street and 14th Street, Stuyvesant Town stretches from Avenue C to 1st Avenue and contains 110 red brick, cruciform-shaped buildings with 11,250 apartments. The 80-acre residential community is divided into Stuyvesant Town proper at 14th Street to 20th Street, and Peter Cooper Village at 20th Street to 23rd Street.
Conceived by Robert Moses in the early 1940s, the development, meant to create the feeling of country within a city, was designed as affordable housing for returning World War II veterans and their families. Construction began in 1945 by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which replaced the 18 city blocks that once housed the Gas House District.
Apartment buildings in Peter Cooper Village are 15 stories, while those in Stuyvesant Town are 12 and 13 stories. The no-fee units range from one bedroom to five and all have been recently renovated in two finish packages, classic or modern.
Stuyvesant Town has abundant outdoor space and beautiful landscaping. In fact, the residential buildings themselves comprise only 25 percent of the site. It closely borders the East River, and to its west is Stuyvesant Square, the historic two-block park. In the center of the complex is Stuyvesant Oval, a fountain surrounded by sprawling grass where holiday celebrations, a weekly greenmarket, and summer film-and-concert series are held. There are also basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and bocce courts, as well as a new ice skating rink.
Many residents have lived in Stuy Town since its early days and enjoy rent control. It's also become a popular home for young families, as the grounds contain five themed playgrounds and Oval Kids, a program center and caregiver service. In recent years, New York University has leased several buildings for use as dorms, giving rise to a large college population, as well.
A draw for residents of all ages, the complex has its own security team and each building is monitored under 24-hour surveillance. Other amenities at Stuy Town include a fitness center, lounge, six parking garages, and laundry rooms within each building.