Update: .NYC domains are generally available to the public starting today at 11am.

New York City is getting its own domain extension and starting on October 8, the .nyc address will be available to that elite subsection of the general public known as New Yorkers.

Like everything in the Big Apple, this address is exclusive. “That’s a requirement of .nyc — for any registration, you must be located in New York City,” said Jeff Neuman, VP of Registry Services at Neustar, the company that’s handling the domain’s registry.

Until today, early adopters were able to buy or bid for a coveted domain name before the big launch. But next Wednesday, the new URL address will be available on a first come, first served basis to qualified applicants.

The location-based URL address isn’t new. Las Vegas, London, and Miami already have domain extensions, and earlier this year both .berlin and .paris launched. But anyone can apply for those domains — not just residents.

And that is what is different about .nyc and why some are calling it “New York’s hottest new real estate.” Sure registering a .nyc is only $20, but that doesn’t include the rent you’ll have to pay in order to get it. The location specificity begs a lot of questions too, such as what happens when a domain holder leaves New York. Do they have to give up the domain name? It’s unclear, though Neuman tells me, “We actually validate a registered name has a valid NYC address.”

The movement has been brewing for some time. In 2009 New York City’s city council took up the cause for .nyc, seeking to find an appropriate entity to obtain and maintain the domain. Ultimately the council selected Neustar, which runs the top-level domains .biz and .us. In March of last year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers awarded the city the .nyc domain.

Already there are a few affiliated businesses and organizations that sport the extension, including Digital.nyc, which launched earlier this week. Digital.nyc is the city’s latest initiative to foster community in New York’s tech scene. Other domains include the Shubert Theater’s Shubert.nyc and Staten Island maker lab, Makerspace.nyc.

So far, .nyc has 10,000 registrants making it one of the bigger domain extension launches.

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