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A pied-à-terre (French pronunciation: ​[pjetaˈtɛʁ]; French for "foot on the ground") is a small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual's primary residence. It may be an apartment or condominium.

The term pied-à-terre implies usage as a temporary second residence (but not a vacation home), either for part of the year or part of the work week, by a reasonably wealthy person.[1]

In 2014, The New York Times reported in an article headlined "Pied-à-Neighborhood: Pieds-à-Terre Owners Dominate Some New York Buildings" that "In a three-block stretch of Midtown (Manhattan), from East 56th Street to East 59th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue, 57 percent, or 285 of 496 apartments, including co-ops and condos, are vacant at least 10 months a year. From East 59th Street to East 63rd Street, 628 of 1,261 homes, or almost 50 percent, are vacant the majority of the time, according to data from the Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey."[2] The Times quoted a local New York State Senator, "'My district has some of the most expensive land values in the world—I’m ground zero for the issue of foreign buyers,' said State Senator Liz Krueger, whose district includes Midtown. 'I met with a developer who is building one of those billionaire buildings on 57th Street and he told me, "Don't worry, you won't need any more services, because the buyers won't be sending their kids to school here, there won’t be traffic."'"[2] Many of the buildings mentioned border Central Park and have become known as Billionaires' Row.

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  1. ^ Woolsey, Matt (May 11, 2007). "Choice Cities for a Pied-A-Terre". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  2. ^ a b Satow, Julie (24 October 2014). "Pieds-à-Terre Owners Dominate Some New York Buildings". The New York Times. p. RE1. Retrieved 11 July 2017.