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  1. #61
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Default Murray Hill

    Another Place Named for Those Murrays

    By ALISON GREGOR



    Slide Show

    THE Murray Hill on the East Side of Manhattan isn’t the only neighborhood of that name in the city; another one, in Queens, is just east of downtown Flushing. It took its name from members of the same Murray family, which at one time owned a vast plant nursery there, as well as houses on both sides of the East River.

    But history alone, it seems, is not enough to keep a New York neighborhood firmly on the map. The area has become home in the last decade to large numbers of new immigrants. As a result, many residents don’t know the name; they may even say with conviction that it’s across the river.

    One longtime resident whose memories of the neighborhood validate its history is John C. Liu, the city comptroller — but he acknowledges that that history has more or less faded from the collective consciousness. “I feel both privileged and disturbed that I might be one of the last remaining links to the history of Murray Hill,” said Mr. Liu, who lived here for several years as a child and lives about eight blocks away today.

    In his eyes, the neighborhood’s center is the Murray Hill station of the Long Island Rail Road; from there it stretches in all directions about three to five blocks. By this definition, it would cover about two-tenths of a square mile.

    But the area’s perimeter provokes broad disagreement — which itself can perhaps be seen as a sign of declining neighborhood awareness. The most expansive definition, covering almost 1.5 square miles and encompassing about 36,000 people, has the western boundary at Parsons Boulevard, the southern edge along Sanford Avenue and Northern Boulevard, the northern border on Bayside Avenue and the eastern along Utopia Parkway.

    But some put the eastern border about halfway that far east, at 154th or 155th Street. For them Murray Hill makes up only the southwestern quadrant of the more inclusive map, and at least historically this view has traction, as this quadrant was the site of the Murray family’s original land.

    Still others, among them area real estate brokers, consider Murray Hill as consisting only of the Broadway-Flushing Historic District and Bowne Park area — not even the Murray Hill Long Island Rail Road station. That area is also often called North Flushing.

    For Mr. Liu, it’s not that the buildings have really changed — there are still the same apartment buildings, laundromat and candy store — but that the residents have. Decades ago Murray Hill was populated largely by Irish, Italian and some Greek immigrants; today’s immigrants are Korean and Chinese.

    Northern Boulevard, a commercial thoroughfare, reflects that population change in much of its signage, which is in Korean as well as English. Between 149th and 154th Streets, it is home to some of the area’s most popular Korean barbecue restaurants.

    “The Korean businesses really took over Northern Boulevard,” said Nancy Comerford, a broker/owner of American Heritage Real Estate, who lives and works in the area, “and the Chinese businesses took over Main Street in Flushing. Eventually the two streets intersect.”

    Murray Hill can be congested at times, and it can be hard to find parking. But it generally has a slower pace than downtown Flushing. “This area is in high demand,” Ms. Comerford said, “because you’re so close to the railroad, to the buses, to the shopping.”

    WHAT YOU’LL FIND

    Hong Xia Ge, who moved from downtown Flushing about two years ago after buying a 1925 three-bedroom colonial, particularly appreciates Murray Hill’s tranquillity. She learned about the area through her real estate agent, Jessica Huang of the Energized Realty Group. Ms. Ge’s house, on a 40-by-100-foot lot on 150th Place, is a few blocks from Bowne Park, where she likes to jog, but it also gives her good access to the commerce in downtown Flushing. She declined to say what she had paid for the house, but the asking price on record for that listing was $699,000.

    “I like the Murray Hill neighborhood — it’s very quiet,” Ms. Ge, who is originally from China, said through an interpreter. “We’re close to the park, and also, I can go to the downtown Flushing supermarket, and it’s very convenient.”

    The area around the Murray Hill train station has mainly multifamily buildings, with rentals, co-ops and condos. The historic district around Bowne Park has primarily single-family homes, with a few multifamilies here and there.

    One of the area’s strongest attributes is the ease with which residents can get to neighboring points of interest, like Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Kissena Park, said Huang L. Kuo, a sales associate at Re/Max Team in Jackson Heights.

    “There’s so much around you,” he said. “You could hop in the car, and in 10 minutes you’re close by the larger parks, and the Queens Botanical Garden and other places.”

    WHAT YOU’LL PAY

    “Murray Hill has come back quicker than some other neighborhoods” since the 2008 global financial crisis; prices on co-ops and houses are strong, said Judy Markowitz, a broker and owner of the Energized Realty Group, who lives and works in the area. But there has been quite a bit of condo development in the neighborhood around the station, so condo prices have been falling.

    The median price for a condo is about $337,000, down from about $381,000 in 2007. The range for a one-bedroom co-op is $145,000 to $150,000; for a two-bedroom co-op, $150,000 to $200,000, Ms. Markowitz said.

    The average sale price of a house — with 20 sold so far in 2012, and another 15 to 20 in contract, she said — is just over $710,000.

    There are roughly 22 single- and two-family houses for sale, along with 22 condos and 25 co-ops, Ms. Markowitz said, citing the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

    Prices can be high for the houses in the historic district around Bowne Park, many of which were built in the early to mid-20th century and include Tudors, colonials and ranches, agents said.

    A single-family attached or semi-attached house would sell in the mid-$400,000s, while a two-family would start at $750,000, said Vincent J. Gianelli, a broker and owner of Re/Max Energy the Du-Rite Group, which has operated in Flushing for 60 years. At the top of the range, larger single-family detached houses can reach $2 million to $3 million, he said.

    One-bedrooms rent for about $1,100, two-bedrooms for $1,500, and three- or four-bedrooms for $1,800 and up.

    THE COMMUTE

    The Long Island Rail Road has stops at Broadway and Murray Hill; the trip to Pennsylvania Station in Midtown takes about 20 minutes. The Flushing-Main Street station of the 7 subway in downtown Flushing is less than a mile from most points in Murray Hill, and the Nos. 12, 13 and 28 buses are among several that go from parts of Murray Hill to downtown Flushing. There is also the QM3 express bus to Manhattan. The drive into Midtown takes about 20 minutes with minimal traffic, Ms. Markowitz said.

    WHAT TO DO

    One of the largest shopping centers in the area is Murray Hill Plaza, on Northern Boulevard at 156th and 157th Streets, which has the popular Korean market HMart and other shops, as well as dining options like Sukarak, a casual Korean restaurant.

    Another small niche of excellent Korean barbecues is by the Murray Hill train station, around 41st Avenue between 149th Place and 149th Street, Ms. Markowitz said.
    Bowne Park has almost 12 acres, shaded by American elms, oaks and weeping willows, with a small pond used seasonally as a boating area and ice-skating rink. The park also has a playground and basketball courts.

    Bocce ball courts are frequently used by the Italian-American families of Murray Hill, said Marion Bommarito, who has lived here 26 years, citing a nephew as a participant. Other parks in the general area include Flushing Fields (also called Memorial Field), which has a track and tennis courts, and Margaret I. Carman Green-Weeping Beech Park, where the Queens Historical Society is housed in the historic Kingsland homestead. It originally stood in Murray Hill, at about 155th Street and Northern Boulevard.

    THE SCHOOLS

    Part of School District 25, Murray Hill has strong elementary and middle schools, as well as a broad selection of parochial schools like Holy Cross High School and St. Andrew Avellino School.
    Among the public schools are No. 22 Thomas Jefferson, which got an A on its most recent progress report, with 71.6 percent of tested students showing mastery in English, 84.6 in math.

    SAT averages in 2011 at the Flushing International High School in Murray Hill were 312 in reading, 416 in math and 315 in writing, versus 436, 460 and 431 citywide.

    THE HISTORY

    The Murrays’ nursery stretched south of Northern Boulevard to Roosevelt Avenue, covering almost 110 acres, said Richard Hourahan, a collections manager for the Queens Historical Society. It was a downhill trip to what is today Flushing Creek, where products were loaded onto barges to float into Manhattan.

    The nursery, along with others in the area, left its legacy in a number of avenues with names like Jasmine, Quince and Laburnum.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/re...rays.html?_r=0

  2. #62
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    Default Springfield Gardens

    Side by Side, Yes; Carbon Copies, Never

    By C. J. HUGHES




    Uli Seit for The New York Times
    In a place where some blocks seem more like the suburban Springfield in “The Simpsons,”
    the city has sought to protect the low-slung profile so much in evidence along 160th Street.


    More Photos »

    JAZZING up the look of homes comes with the territory in Springfield Gardens, a midsize middle-class enclave in southeastern Queens 14 miles from Manhattan.

    Its Capes, with their basic triangle-on-a-rectangle forms, were probably carbon copies of one another when built 60 years ago. But in the years since, they have accrued a wealth of individualizing details.

    There is circle-patterned siding in grays and browns, evoking stone walls in the country. There are dove, lion and elephant figurines, white as alabaster, animating the tops of fences. And then there are the bright chrome and gold railings, glittering like mirrors. All of which helps guarantee that no two properties end up too much alike.

    In many ways, putting an expressive stamp on the area has also been an act of celebration on the part of the African-American population that migrated here from Manhattan and Brooklyn from the 1940s through the ’60s. Trading cramped apartments in run-down areas for roomy spreads in just-built neighborhoods bordered on a cathartic experience, some veterans of that era explain.

    “It was really opening up racially back then, and it was exciting to be here,” said Julia Rinehardt, who in the 1950s, after her wedding, decided to say goodbye to her Harlem rental and relocate to Springfield Gardens.

    Ms. Rinehardt’s two-family colonial, built in the 1920s, provided plenty of space to raise three children. But it also, she said, connected her to her history: before World War II, when her family moved to New York to find work, they had had a similar house in Jacksonville, Fla.

    True to neighborhood form, the six-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath house is colorful. The squash-toned top stories are paired with a henna one below. And red and white paint stripes the brick wall out front.

    In 1957 the house cost $17,000, said Ms. Rinehardt, 89, who worked for the city’s Department of Social Services. Today it might bring $400,000, she said, basing her estimate on a recent appraisal.

    Civil servants also flocked to Rochdale Village, a 5,860-unit Mitchell-Lama co-op that opened in 1963 and was the country’s largest until Co-op City went up in the Bronx some years later.

    Sprawling across a 20-building campus, Rochdale was founded with strict rules to guarantee affordability. Even today, the top allowable income for a family of six in a three-bedroom is $148,000.

    In the early 1960s, Nesbitt Benjamin was living in an apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He was tantalized by Rochdale’s stated mission to provide a clean, safe and racially homogeneous environment.
    In 1964, for a $5,000 down payment and about $125 a month, Mr. Benjamin was awarded a two-bedroom one-bath apartment at Rochdale, with a terrace that provides views of Coney Island.

    At first the racial balance was impressive: of the seven units on his floor, white families lived in four, and black families in three. Today there’s a white family in one unit, and black families in six, roughly in line with the mix in the area, but any ebb in diversity is hardly a reason to leave.

    “It has been a joy to be here,” said Mr. Benjamin, 80, who is retired from a career with the Transit Police. “This is the best place in the world.”

    WHAT YOU’LL FIND

    The diamond-shaped neighborhood, which covers nearly three square miles, is crisscrossed by busy boulevards.

    In between are quieter blocks, lined with sidewalks, trees and a few lawns; some seem more like the suburban Springfield in “The Simpsons” than any New York City place. Indeed, one half expects to meet a resident who lives on the corner of Maple and Main, rather than 140th Avenue and 170th Street.

    On two occasions, in 2005 and again in 2011, the city rezoned parts of the area to preserve its low-slung profile, though developers have made incursions. Newer multifamilies with four units packed under one roof face 141st Avenue, for example, across from more spacious standalone properties.

    The population of 52,000 is about 90 percent black, according to census data. Many are from the Caribbean, or have relatives who are; Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad are well represented.

    Twenty years ago, violent crime was severe, though it has mellowed somewhat. In 1993 there were 39 murders in the 113th Precinct, which also covers higher-crime South Jamaica; in 2001 the number was 10, according to New York Police Department figures. Last year there were 17, and this year 16 so far.

    Residents point to the positive trends. And many praise the Springfield Gardens United Methodist Church, a parish that dates to the late 1800s. Its pastor, Cecil B. Stone, they say, has led a push in the last two decades to get more young parishioners to attend college.

    WHAT YOU’LL PAY

    In mid-November there were 98 homes for sale in the 11413 ZIP code, which covers about half the neighborhood; the average list price was $364,000, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

    The properties ranged from a detached one-family colonial, near busy 147th Avenue, at $129,000, to a detached two-family colonial, with seven bedrooms and three and a half baths, at $650,000. Separately, at Rochdale, one-bedrooms start at $7,200, with about $700 in monthly charges.

    There were dozens more listings for sale in the Springfield Gardens section of the 11434 ZIP code, with similar features and prices, according to the listing service. Taken together, the two zones had at least 150 homes on the market. But one wouldn’t glean that by driving around, because for-sale signs are almost totally absent.

    The signs more in evidence are the red-and-white ones advertising “Cash — We Buy Houses,” and their presence may hint at why sales aren’t more prominently advertised: brokers say many owners are selling under duress, having fallen behind on mortgage payments, and they don’t want to advertise their predicaments with signs.

    Many of those troubled loans, which stem from subprime mortgages, have earned Springfield Gardens and its surroundings a dubious distinction, housing data reveal: one of the most foreclosure-racked parts in the city. In fact, during the depths of the recession in 2009, hundreds of new foreclosure filings were recorded there monthly. Moreover, neither of those years saw any single-family home sales in the neighborhood, according to data from Paul Miller, a sales agent with Cross Island Real Estate.

    Things on the foreclosure front have settled down — more or less. There were 42 new filings in October, versus 5 in October 2011, according to RealtyTrac, the data company. But a RealtyTrac analyst pointed out that recent citywide numbers are up, too, and that the spike largely means years-old cases are finally making their way through the court system.

    So far this year 12 houses have sold, at an average of $299,000, which suggests “the market is on its way back up,” Mr. Miller said. And assuming buyers can get loans, they can afford “a house where your family can have a backyard, near nice parks, shopping and public transportation,” he added.

    THE SCHOOLS

    Public School 52 teaches 560 students through fifth grade. On state exams this year, 42 percent of third-graders met standards in math, 52 percent in English, versus 49 and 49 citywide.

    About 870 students attend the Catherine and Count Basie Middle School for Grades 6 through 8. But Springfield Gardens High School graduated its last class in 2008, after problematic years with knife fights and shootings; it is now home to four smaller, specialized schools. The more traditional August Martin High School, where crime has also been an issue, enrolls 1,000 students.

    SAT averages there in the last academic year were 371 in math, 377 in reading and 360 in writing, versus 461, 434 and 430 statewide.

    WHAT TO DO

    Attractive parks, Baisley Pond and Springfield, bookend the neighborhood, though Hurricane Sandy downed many of their old oaks.

    Restaurants offering Indian-style roti, the flatbread popular in the Caribbean, turn up on Guy Brewer Boulevard, which was named for a broker who encouraged blacks to relocate from Harlem in the 1940s, according to historical accounts.

    And Rochdale has two public shopping malls.

    THE COMMUTE

    Springfield Gardens is served by the Locust Manor stop on the Long Island Rail Road. Six trains are available on weekdays between 7 and 9 a.m., though Sandy has temporarily put a stop to the 7:46. The trip to Pennsylvania Station takes 26 to 32 minutes. Monthly fares are $193.

    Bus service includes the x63, which runs express to Manhattan. Passengers who board at Baisley and Merrick Boulevards arrive at East 57th Street about an hour later.

    THE HISTORY

    Ponds in the area once supplied Brooklyn with drinking water, funneled through pipes along Conduit Avenue. Rochdale went up on the site of the former Jamaica Race Course, a popular mile-long track that opened in 1903 and ran its last horse race in 1959.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/r...ealestate&_r=0

  3. #63
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    Default

    Indo-Caribbean Content, Victorian Style

    By VERA HALLER



    Slide Show

    RICHMOND HILL, in southeastern Queens, is the ultimate study in New York diversity. It is a place to eat Caribbean cuisine, shop for Bollywood movies, worship at a Sikh temple and stroll through streets lined with Victorian-era houses, a slice of pure Americana.

    Extending down the south slope of Forest Park, the neighborhood evolves from the quiet streets just off the park, where the old wood-framed homes are found, to vibrant “Little Guyana” along Liberty Avenue, its southern border with South Ozone Park.

    “There are churches next to mosques next to mandirs,” said Richard S. David, the executive director of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, a social service agency that works in the neighborhood. (A mandir is a Hindu temple.)

    Ivan Mrakovcic, the president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society and a vice chairman of Community Board 9, says he also sees religious diversity near his home in the Victorian section, where an Orthodox synagogue sits near Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches.

    Mr. Mrakovcic moved to Richmond Hill in 1994, finding it more affordable than Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he had originally looked in order to be close to family. The way he describes it, the area offers both urban and suburban living. “You can have a vegetable garden and mow the lawn, but the J train is three blocks away and it’s a short walk to the park,” he said, also noting that the Rockaway beaches are a 20-minute drive.

    According to 2010 census figures compiled by the city Planning Department, Richmond Hill covers about three square miles and has nearly 63,000 residents, including Asians (27.4 percent), Hispanics (36 percent), whites (11.2 percent), and blacks/African-Americans (11.1 percent).

    Among those populations are the neighborhood’s Indo-Caribbean residents: Guyanese immigrants of South Asian ancestry who began settling in the area in the 1960s, Mr. David said. Now, the community includes second- and third-generation Americans.

    “A lot of people are renting basements or housing family members,” said Seema Agnani, the executive director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, a housing agency that works with South Asians in New York City. “All floors of those homes are occupied.”

    For immigrants especially, housing space has been particularly limited by the foreclosure crisis, which hit hard in parts of Richmond Hill. “People fell prey to predatory loan practices and many refinanced during the height of the high interest rates,” Ms. Agnani said. Financial troubles were compounded when homeowners who held service jobs or who worked in construction saw their incomes drop.

    “It was really a loss of income together with the bad loans that pushed a lot of homeowners over the edge,” Ms. Agnani said, adding that the housing market is slowly improving.

    It is south of Atlantic Avenue, in an area also known as South Richmond Hill, that Guyanese-Americans have settled in large numbers. There, homes are smaller and more closely spaced.

    Liberty Avenue serves the Indo-Caribbean population with its many small businesses: sari stores, Guyanese bakeries and restaurants, and fish and vegetable markets. Colorful wares and clothing are displayed on sidewalks, which bustle with shoppers.

    According to Mr. David, Sikhs took root here during the height of the real estate market in the early 2000s, when some Guyanese-Americans in the area moved to Florida, Pennsylvania and other states and often sold their homes to Sikhs. The city’s largest Sikh temple, the Sikh Cultural Center, is at 117th Street and 97th Avenue.

    WHAT YOU’LL FIND

    The area is low-rise, made up of single- and multifamily homes with a smattering of apartment buildings. The northern part has larger houses, many of them fine examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture, adorned with gables and inviting verandas.

    The historical society has unsuccessfully petitioned the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate a historic district in the northern part. Mr. Mrakovcic said a new petition would seek to cover a smaller area between Forest Park and Myrtle Avenue.

    Homeownership turnover in this microneighborhood of Richmond Hill is low, especially since the downturn of 2007 and 2008, said Mitra Hakimi, a real estate agent who works in Richmond Hill and other Queens neighborhoods. She said some owners were testing the market now, putting their houses up for sale to see how much buyers would be willing to pay.

    Inventory is more plentiful below Atlantic Avenue. Some homes share narrow driveways that lead to free-standing garages that abut backyards of neighboring properties. This part of the neighborhood is lined with block after block of neatly kept homes, most with aluminum siding in white and light colors and well-tended front gardens.

    WHAT YOU’LL PAY

    Home values suffered during the mortgage crash. “Before the 2008 financial crisis,” Ms. Hakimi said, “you couldn’t find a property under $250,000; It didn’t exist. Now you can easily find one.”
    According to a search of properties in Richmond Hill on the Multiple Listing Service last month, 159 properties — predominantly single- and multifamily with some mixed-used buildings — were for sale.

    On the high end was a six-bedroom Victorian with a formal living room and a home office, listed for $779,000.

    The least expensive was a four-bedroom listed at $150,000, as a short sale, in which a bank sells the property because the mortgage debt has surpassed the home’s value. It was one of 43 short sales on the list of 159.

    Prices are still depressed compared with levels before the crisis. According to Ms. Hakimi, a house that sold for $470,000 in 2004 would very likely sell for $100,000 less now. Rooplall Phagu, an agent with Family Choice Realty in Richmond Hill, said he saw a similar trend. A large two-family home listed for $480,000 to $550,000 would have sold for as much as $650,000 before 2007, he said.

    Ms. Hakimi added: “It is a price-driven market. Nobody is going to overpay. They want to buy, but at the right price.”

    THE COMMUTE

    Richmond Hill is well served by the subway system, which has elevated lines running along two avenues. The rides to Manhattan are direct, if long. The northern part of Richmond Hill has J trains along Jamaica Avenue. A trip to Grand Central Terminal from the 104th Street station takes about an hour and requires a transfer to the 6 train at Canal Street. The A train has a branch that runs along Liberty Avenue ending at the intersection with Lefferts Boulevard, the center of Little Guyana. The journey from the Lefferts Avenue stop to Times Square takes about an hour.

    Residents also can take a bus to the nearest Long Island Rail Road stop in Kew Gardens; the trip to Penn Station in Manhattan takes 17 minutes.

    WHAT TO DO

    Residents of northern Richmond Hill have easy access to Forest Park, which has a golf course, a horseback-riding school and equestrian path, a historic carousel, playgrounds, ball fields and trails for hiking and running. Shopping and eating on Liberty Avenue are also popular. Mr. David says Guyanese-Americans who live in the Bronx and Brooklyn come to Liberty Avenue to do their grocery shopping. Ms. Agnani added: “On the weekend, it’s very thriving on the streets with music and food. The diversity of our city — it comes out very clearly there.”

    The commercial area in northern Richmond Hill along Jamaica Avenue has experienced the loss of longtime businesses like Jahn’s ice cream parlor, which closed a few years ago. A shopping center being built along Hillside Avenue at Lefferts Boulevard promises the arrival of a Dunkin’ Donuts, a rare fast-food presence in the neighborho

    THE SCHOOLS

    Richmond Hill High School, with about 2,500 students, got a C on its most recent city progress report. Its combined SAT average last year was 1156, versus 1325 citywide. The neighborhood has a number of elementary schools, among them Public School 90 Horace Mann School, which has 860 students and got an A on its most recent progress report. No. 66 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has 500 students and also received an A. For middle school there is No. 137 America’s School of Heroes, which has nearly 2,000 students and got a C.

    THE HISTORY

    A mural depicting the neighborhood’s beginnings in the late 19th century can be found inside the Queens Library at Richmond Hill on Hillside Avenue. The American artist Philip Evergood painted it in the 1930s with funding from the Works Progress Administration. Covering a wall above the fiction section, the work shows three scenes: a crowded and squalid immigrant neighborhood in Manhattan; a group of prosperous real estate barons surveying plans for a new garden community near a railroad stop; and a bucolic scene of trees, homes and happy mothers and children in the newly created Richmond Hill.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/r...ref=realestate

  4. #64
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    Douglaston


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    ~Corey

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    Forest Hill Gardens



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    ~Corey

  6. #66
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    That "contemporary" looks horrible. $1.6 million?


    Belle Harbor, Queens: The Good, the Bad and the Beach

    By VERA HALLER


    Sasha Maslov for The New York Times
    The main attraction, and the main source of concern since Hurricane Sandy last year, is the waterfront, which flanks Belle Harbor on two sides.


    164 Beach 138th Street A five-bedroom five bath contemporary with ocean views, listed at $1.6 million

    More Photos »

    Normalcy seemed to reign in Belle Harbor during a recent patch of hot, steamy weather. Children rode bikes and played ball on quiet streets. Residents, carrying folding chairs and towels, headed out to swim at the public beach, which runs the length of the neighborhood.

    But the serenity was moderated somewhat by the buzz of rebuilding that persists in Belle Harbor, which was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy last year. Nearly nine months after the storm, crews were hammering away at houses, landscapers were coaxing gardens back to life and Dumpsters remained parked on streets for material still being cleared from homes.

    Beachfront properties were destroyed and houses flooded, either to basement level or higher, residents said. Homes on Beach 130th Street were destroyed by a fire that broke out after the storm.

    Market activity since Sandy reflects the gap between the appeal of a seaside enclave and anxiety about its vulnerability, on a strip of land between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic. On the one hand, brokers report interest, as people want to live near the beach. “We’re selling everything we get right now,” said Lisa Jackson, who owns Rockaway Properties, adding that her agency had closed on 19 houses since January. On the other, some shoppers seeking a piece of paradise worry that the cost of flood insurance will rise once the Federal Emergency Management Agency completes a review based on surveys done after Sandy, a process that officials say could take a couple of years.

    Dan Repetti, a salesman for a school photography firm who lives in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, wants to buy in Belle Harbor despite cost concerns. “It’s beautiful,” said Mr. Repetti, who recently married. “Once you pass over the Marine Parkway bridge, it’s a whole new world.” Yet he acknowledged that a sharp increase in insurance costs could strain his finances and make it hard ever to sell the property.

    Ms. Jackson says many homes in the area already cost their owners $458 a year in flood insurance. If FEMA deems these properties at even higher risk, she added, annual costs could rise into the thousands.

    But Mr. Repetti noted that with agencies expanding flood zones to include areas like Bergen Beach — opening them up to the possibility of high premiums — he might as well buy in Belle Harbor, where he always wanted to settle. He hopes to find the right property by the end of the year.

    The area, which covers a little more than a square mile, offers obvious charms. Streets are tree-lined, and many houses have wraparound porches adorned with flowers. Neighbors know one another, and the beach is at most a few blocks away.

    Brokers say buyers’ desire to live here often outweighs fear. “Some people are scared but people still want to be here,” Ms. Jackson said. “It doesn’t feel like you are in the city. It’s our own little world, very quiet, very peaceful.”

    Robin Shapiro of Robin Shapiro Realty, who lives nearby in Neponsit, said the market was even active right after the storm, with demand for rentals among displaced residents. “If you are afraid,” she said, “this isn’t the place for you.” What she points out to clients is the proximity of this beach community to Manhattan. “That’s what it’s all about.”

    What You’ll Find

    According to the 2010 census, the two tracts that cover Belle Harbor have about 7,000 residents, 92 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic, and the rest Asian and African-American. The housing stock is mostly single-family homes in a variety of styles — a beachfront contemporary, an 80-year-old shingled colonial, a brick Tudor or a showy large house recently built on a tear-down lot.

    Ms. Shapiro says about 40 houses are currently for sale. Most are being sold by older residents, who did not want to face the expense and inconvenience of repairs, or whose children convinced them that Sandy necessitated a move to higher ground.

    Some have been repaired and retrofitted with new boilers and heating systems; others are being sold as is.

    What You’ll Pay

    Prices have fallen since Sandy. Brokers estimate that they are 10 to 30 percent lower than before the storm. Just how much a property is discounted depends on different factors; discounts are not as steep on repaired houses.

    Also, some sales have been in cash, because banks will not approve mortgages on homes whose kitchens are not fully functioning or whose walls are not finished. Ms. Jackson says some buyers, seeking such a property so they can redo it to their taste, receive a larger discount because they are paying in cash. Four of the 19 sales her agency completed this year were for cash, she said.

    Current listings range from a large beachfront property listed at $1.9 million to smaller homes on the bayside that sell for $550,000 to $650,000.

    “Higher-end houses are having a harder time finding their value,” Ms. Shapiro said. “People looking for a bargain don’t want to pay in the $800,000s, and people who own those houses don’t want to go down too low. They can’t come down too much because these houses have value.”

    She illustrated her point by telling the real estate tale of a home on the beach block of Beach 141st Street. Before Sandy, it was listed at $1.05 million. Then its owners dropped the price to $999,000. Today it is listed at $899,000. Buyers are looking to knock that down to $800,000, which owners are not ready to accept.

    But as for homes in the $500,000-to-$600,000 range, they are “going like hot cakes,” Ms. Shapiro added.

    What to Do

    The beach defines the neighborhood, which has plenty of swimmers, fishers, walkers and joggers. During the summer months, rules that prohibit street parking on weekend days guarantee residents the beach almost entirely to themselves. Beach 129th has a charming shopping district; nonchain shops include a pharmacy, a grocery, a bakery, a barber and a dry cleaner.

    The Commute

    Commuters have different options, but they all take time. The Transit Authority recently restored A train service to the Beach 116th Street/Rockaway Park station, the subway stop closest to Belle Harbor. From there, a trip to 42nd Street in Manhattan takes about 90 minutes. Some residents drive to the B and Q subway stop in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, which takes about 15 minutes; they park in a municipal lot and take the train, shaving about half an hour from the trip to Midtown. Also, there is the ferry service added after the storm knocked out the subway. It is available at least through the end of the summer. The trip to Wall Street from the Beach 108th Street ferry terminal takes 50 minutes and costs $2 one way. The QM16 express bus to Midtown is yet another option.

    The Schools

    The Belle Harbor School, Public School/Middle School 114, teaching through Grade 8, has about 770 students; it is in the center of the neighborhood. According to the Department of Education’s most recent progress report, 81 percent of tested students reached or exceeded proficiency on state tests in English, 83 percent in math, versus 47 and 60 percent citywide. The public Scholars’ Academy, in Rockaway Park on Beach 104th Street, starts at sixth grade and has 1,140 students. SAT averages last year were 504 in reading, 541 in math and 500 in writing, versus 496, 514 and 488 citywide. Another option is the school at St. Frances de Sales Church in Belle Harbor, which teaches through Grade 8.

    The History

    Belle Harbor was developed as a residential area in 1907 by the West Rockaway Land Company, according to the Encyclopedia of New York. The company divided the land into lots for single-family houses, and installed sewers and sidewalks. It also sold land to the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, which today has an imposing white building overlooking Jamaica Bay at Beach 126th Street.

    The superstorm is not the only tragedy to have befallen the area. In November 2001, just two months after the 9/11 attacks, American Airlines Flight 587 crashed there, killing all 260 people on board and 5 on the ground.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/re...the-beach.html

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    Far Rockaway


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    Edgemere




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    Arverne





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  9. #69
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    Default Bayside

    Bayside: A City Suburb With Enclaves

    By ALISON GREGOR


    Niko J. Kallianiotis for The New York Times
    The Throgs Neck Bridge is the backdrop for this building, one of many in the 60-acre
    Fort Totten Park, whose centerpiece is a Civil War fortress.

    More Photos »




    There was a time in the early 20th century when Bayside rivaled nearby Long Island havens for the affluent and celebrated — for instance Sands Point, a North Shore enclave often associated with Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby.”

    Then came construction of the Cross Island Parkway in the late 1930s, effectively cutting Bayside off from the water. That set the area on a different course from North Shore communities like Douglaston and Little Neck, which still have grand waterfront estates.

    But Bayside bounced back. Today it is an upper-middle-class community where single-family homes predominate; it has excellent schools and ample parks — an archetype of suburbia, but within the boundaries of New York City.

    “People who want to live in Bayside really want to live in Bayside — that’s all there is to it,” said Betsy Pilling, a lifelong resident and the broker/owner of Pilling Real Estate, which has been in business in Bayside for 40 years. Ms. Pilling described Bayside residents as homeowners with a strong civic interest who are “paying a lot of money, so they have to be motivated to want to live here.”

    Detached three-bedroom houses start at $600,000 or so; there are few, if any, affordable housing options, so buyers tend to be affluent, brokers said.

    The area was settled in the 1600s by English land grantees, evolving by the mid-1900s into a neighborhood that attracted prosperous Irish-, Italian- and German-American families. In the last two decades, Korean- and Chinese-Americans have been its fastest-growing ethnicities, many moving east from the Flushing area, said Daniel Algar, the broker/owner of East Coast Realtors in Bayside.

    It is a neighborhood of enclaves — among them Bay Terrace, Bayside Gables, Weeks Woodlands and Bayside Hills — strung together by the vibrant shopping strip along Bell Boulevard. Each enclave could be defined as a neighborhood in itself, but residents typically see themselves as Baysiders first.

    Each enclave developed in a different era, and in the early 2000s, all were in danger of becoming overrun by sprawling new single- and multifamily homes — until impassioned Baysiders came together and pushed through a rezoning proposal, said Jerry Iannece, the chairman of Community Board 11, which covers Bayside.

    Alison McKay, a resident of the Bellcourt enclave for eight years, owns one of the few remaining Victorians in the area. The director of the Bayside Historical Society, Ms. McKay says she treasures the four-bedroom house. “It’s really pretty,” she said. “I’m the third owner, and the second owner did a lot of the renovation, so it’s got central air.”

    While Ms. McKay would not say how much she paid, Mr. Algar says homes like hers would sell in the low $800,000s, as attractive single-family homes are always in demand.

    “If an owner is truly looking to sell, and the house is priced within the correct range,” he added, “it will go almost overnight. If it’s priced right on the money, you’re going to get close to if not above asking price.”

    What You’ll Find

    Bayside, which takes up a rather large chunk of northeastern Queens, is generally described as being bounded by the East River and Little Neck Bay to the north, Union Turnpike to the south, the Cross Island Parkway to the east and, to the west, Utopia Parkway and Francis Lewis Boulevard.

    The enclaves that define Bayside each consist of detached single-family homes, though there are some co-ops and condominiums: Bayside Gables is a gated community with contemporary and Tudor-style homes, while Bellcourt is an area of mixed architectural styles. Weeks Woodlands has two-story colonials and Tudor houses, while Tall Oaks has one- and two-story colonials, Tudors and ranches.

    To the north is Bay Terrace, built in the 1950s and ’60s with garden apartment co-ops and two-family homes; nearby is a more recent, gated development called Bay Club at Bayside. The Oakland Gardens area tends to have more ranches, “splanches” and Capes, along with some co-op developments and two-family homes.

    “If you’re in Bayside, any way you throw a rock, you’re in good shape,” Ms. Pilling said. “You’re in a really nice neighborhood and a good, solid community.”

    Mr. Iannece, who lives in Bayside Hills, a 1930s community of colonial, Cape and Tudor-style single-family homes with lawns, says Bayside residents take fierce pride in their communities. Houses in his neighborhood start around $625,000 and can run into the $700,000s; its ambience is defined by grassy, meticulously landscaped malls and streets lined by mature trees.
    “We’re passionate about our neighborhoods,” Mr. Iannece said, “whether you’re from Bayside Hills or Weeks Woodlands or East Bayside.”

    What You’ll Pay

    In mid-September, Bayside had about 95 single- and multifamily homes on the market, along with 335 condos and co-ops, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. The most expensive enclave is Bayside Gables, where the average price of a single-family home is more than $1 million, and there are homes worth $2 million and up.

    One-bedroom condos are priced in the high $300,000s and up, while two-bedrooms start in the mid-$500,000s, said Maria Carr, an agent in the Bayside office of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
    Co-ops can provide a cheaper alternative, with smaller one-bedroom garden apartments starting at $150,000, and two-bedrooms starting at $225,000, Mr. Algar said. Yet there are also co-ops priced as high as $600,000, depending on size, the development and the amenities, he said.

    The Commute

    Bayside residents laud the ease of commuting on the Long Island Rail Road’s Port Washington line, which takes under 25 minutes to arrive in Manhattan. Conversely, driving in often-heavy traffic can take 90 minutes, residents say, and express bus lines aren’t much faster, including the QM 2, 3 and 20. Local buses include the 13, 16 and 12 lines.

    What to Do

    Bayside has several green spaces, among them the 46-acre Crocheron Park adjacent to 17-acre John Golden Park, offering baseball, basketball, tennis and playgrounds. For golfers, 110-acre Clearview Park has an 18-hole course, and 657-acre Alley Pond Park has a driving range and miniature golf. The Alley Pond Environmental Center is a nonprofit educational organization that children in particular enjoy.

    Fort Totten Park is 60 acres on Little Neck Bay surrounding a preserved Civil War fortress. Besides the battlements, it has an outdoor pool, soccer fields and a nature center, and around Halloween it has “haunted lantern” tours of the historic Water Battery.

    The Schools

    Perhaps Bayside’s biggest attractions are its school districts, Nos. 26 and 25, frequently the highest-rated in the city, with some schools among the best in the state. Bayside’s Public School 188 Kingsbury and P.S. 203 Oakland Gardens were recently ranked the 13th and 15th best-performing schools on state tests, according to the New York City Department of Education.

    Bayside High School and Benjamin N. Cardozo High School are popular. SAT averages at Bayside last year were 462 in reading, 523 in math and 464 in writing, versus 434, 461 and 430 citywide. SAT averages at Cardozo were 480 in reading, 545 in math and 489 in writing.

    Parochial options include Sacred Heart School of Bayside, which offers prekindergarten through Grade 8. Bayside is also home to Queensborough Community College.

    The History

    Bayside was a pleasure-ground for actors, directors and producers in the theater and movies of the early 20th century. Pearl White, the star of “The Perils of Pauline,” used to stroll down Bell Boulevard leading a small white pig on a leash.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/re...-enclaves.html

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    Default Beechhurst

    Beechhurst: Stepping Out of Whitestone’s Shadow

    By ALISON GREGOR
    December 17, 2013


    Emon Hassan for The New York Times
    Much of Beechhurst’s housing stock is single-family homes; some of the pricier ones can be found on Riverside Drive, which runs along the shore.




    Emon Hassan for The New York Times
    160-11 10th Avenue
    A four-bedroom three-bath colonial home with two half baths, listed at $1,988,800.

    Residents of Whitestone, Queens, like to say that the only people who call the waterfront enclave at its northeastern corner “Beechhurst” are the people who live there — no one else differentiates between it and the rest of Whitestone.

    But that may be giving short shrift to this 70-block area, which has a storied history going back to the early 1900s and a closely integrated sense of community among its approximately 7,600 residents. To some, the charms of their colonial, Cape, Mediterranean, Victorian and Tudor homes remain unsung, along with those of their high-rise waterfront co-ops with copious amenities and views of the Throgs Neck and Bronx-Whitestone Bridges. They rave about their private beach on the East River.

    Anthony Carollo, a resident since 2005 and the broker-owner of Carollo Real Estate, says the area remains unknown to a lot of outsiders because, geographically, “there’s no reason to visit the neighborhood unless you live there.”

    “There’s no through traffic here,” he added. “You’re surrounded by water, so it’s a nice quiet little area; it’s a little sleeper of a community.”

    Barbara Gordon, a longtime resident of Cryder House, one of the area’s most expensive waterfront co-ops, and a real estate agent with Century 21 Bay Benjamin, also described the neighborhood as off the radar. “This area is a beautiful community with well-kept, immaculate homes, and I always say I live in Beechhurst,” she said. “However, I’ve noticed in my ads recently that some people don’t know it, so now I also put Whitestone.”

    In Ms. Gordon’s view, this lack of awareness is unfortunate, as Beechhurst has a lot to offer, particularly Cryder House, which has 237 large co-ops in a 20-story high-rise with its own beach and dock.

    Census data show the population as down by about 3 percent from 2000 to 2010. Even so, brokers said, there have been newcomers, among them young professionals and “snowbird” retirees, who head to Florida in the winter. Enough have arrived to diversify this middle-class area — which has long been Irish- and Italian-American, and especially popular with the families of police officers and firefighters.

    William Kwok, 27, a Flushing resident buying his first home, conducted a three-month quest that ended in Beechhurst. A native of Long Island, Mr. Kwok said he had been looking for a similar slice of suburbia in the city, without the high taxes.

    Once he discovered Beechhurst’s array of single-family homes, he spent time looking with his parents and eventually found a three-bedroom 1920 colonial. He bought it for almost $700,000 in August.
    Mr. Kwok says the location near the Cross Island Expressway is perfect for commuting to his job as a city employee; he has also been impressed by his affable, welcoming neighbors.

    “Beechhurst does make the effort to try to make everyone come together,” he said, adding that once he had moved in, he immediately went to work renovating. That passion for perfection is one he shares with many. Nelly Andrushenko, a resident and the broker-owner of Power Realty, said this was one quality that stood out about Beechhurst: “People take such loving care of their properties.”

    What You’ll Find

    Beechhurst, which occupies roughly the northeast quarter of Whitestone, is frequently seen as bounded by the Cross Island Expressway, the Throgs Neck toll road, the East River and 154th Street, though some stretch the neighborhood to include the area bounded by Clintonville Street and 10th Avenue.

    The majority of the housing is single-family, though there are two-families here and there, Mr. Carollo said. Beechhurst was rezoned in 2005 to stymie a trend of demolishing smaller, older houses to build oversized properties. Although many buyers are still in the market for teardowns, the regulations limit the size of the home they can build, Ms. Andrushenko said.

    Its most exclusive area is Robinwood, a roughly 23-block southeastern area that has its own security guards, and homes on large lots, some 100 by 100, Ms. Andrushenko said. Those looking in wealthy neighborhoods like Malba, also in Whitestone, and Bayside Gables in neighboring Bayside, frequently ask about Robinwood, she said.

    Along the waterfront, Beechhurst has a string of co-op apartments and condominiums in high-rises and townhouses. In addition to Cryder House, there is LeHavre on the Water, with 1,032 units; Cryder Point, with about 360; the Towers at Beechhurst, with about 90; Wildflower Estates, with about 30; and Beechhurst Shores, with nearly 50.

    What You’ll Pay

    Of the almost 40 houses that went on the market in Beechhurst this year, 20 of them have closed, said Judy Markowitz, the broker-owner of the Energized Realty Group. The cheapest was an attached two-bedroom home, which sold for $539,000; the most expensive, on Powells Cove Boulevard near the waterfront, went for $1.35 million, she said.

    Brokers corroborated that the least expensive sales, typically of attached homes, are in the $500,000 range; but as for the top of the market, they said, it can reach $3 million, especially for a string of gated homes on Riverside Drive along Beechhurst beach and some homes in Robinwood.

    Although the area’s housing weathered the housing crash, the co-op market has struggled, brokers said. Of 75 co-ops listed this year, only 17 have sold, with an average listing price of $214,500 and an average sales price of $207,963, Ms. Markowitz said.

    About 49 of the listed co-ops expiredor were pulled, she said, “indicating that while over all the market has strengthened since 2009, the co-op market here is still oversaturated with inventory.”

    The Commute

    Many make the 20-minute commute into Manhattan by car (it’s about 45 minutes in heavy traffic). There is no subway in Beechhurst, but residents can hop the local Q15 bus to Flushing for the Long Island Rail Road or the 7 subway. The QM2 express bus gets to Midtown in about 45 minutes.

    What to Do
    Beechhurst Beach is maintained for local use by a group of homeowners, Mr. Carollo said. Also nearby in Whitestone, Boosters Beach is open to Beechhurst residents; a family membership is $200 a year, plus an initiation fee of $100. The 55-acre Little Bay Park on the eastern edge of Beechhurst offers a dog run, ball fields and a shoreline bike path.

    Beechhurst has shopping plazas at 154th Street with Key Food and Waldbaums supermarkets. Restaurants include Due Ponti, on an old yacht club site with views of both bridges, and Logan’s Cafe, in the co-op complex at LeHavre on the Water.

    The Schools

    Beechhurst falls in District 25, one of the city’s top school districts. Public School 193 Alfred J. Kennedy got a B on its latest city progress report, with 49.2 percent of tested students showing mastery in English and 60.9 percent in math, versus 47 and 60 citywide. There are also parochial schools in Whitestone, like St. Luke’s, for prekindergarten through Grade 8, which is close to Beechhurst.

    After Junior High School 194 William Carr, there is Bayside High School, where SAT averages last year were 462 in reading, 523 in math and 464 in writing, versus 434, 461 and 430 citywide.

    The History

    An early 20th-century waterfront real estate development named after a grove of beech trees, the area evolved into the westernmost portion of the glitzy North Shore of Long Island in the 1920s, said Jack Eichenbaum, the Queens borough historian.

    With early residents like the vaudeville star Harry Richman and the actress Mary Pickford, Beechhurst had its share of estates, the most prominent of them Wildflower, a neo-Tudor with elaborate brickwork built in 1924 by Arthur Hammerstein, the Broadway producer and uncle of the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

    Today the home is part of a condo conversion and townhouse complex called Wildflower Estates.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/re...ref=realestate

  11. #71
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    Default Woodside

    Woodside, Queens: An Affordable, Convenient Triangle

    By VERA HALLER
    MAY 28, 2014


    Credit Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

    Slide Show


    In March, the Icon 52, a new building on Queens Boulevard in Woodside, opened to renters. Its 66 units were marketed as affordable luxury apartments with amenities that included a roof deck with views of Manhattan.

    Six weeks later, the apartments — which ranged from studios renting for $1,500 to $1,700 a month to two-bedrooms renting for $2,350 to $2,600 — had all been taken, according to Greg Kyroglou, a salesman for Modern Spaces, a real estate company that handled the Icon 52 rentals.

    “We work a lot in Astoria and Long Island City, where a lot of people have been priced out,” Mr. Kyroglou said. “We found they’re willing to go to Woodside. If you’re getting the same type of apartment that you would find in Long Island City and it’s $1,000 cheaper, you’re going to be willing to move.”

    Some buyers also have been discouraged by the high price of real estate in nearby neighborhoods and started to look in Woodside, said Lisa D’Amico, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. They “cast a wider net and end up in Woodside,” she said. “They are moving along the subway line, and I think Woodside is just beginning to be discovered.”

    Ms. D’Amico sells co-ops in Woodside’s Boulevard Gardens, a Depression-era complex of 10 buildings on 11 acres with gardens, lawns and a playground.


    32-58 54TH STREET
    Two-family with a two-bedroom unit and a three-bedroom unit, listed at $940,000.
    Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

    “We’re right on the Astoria border and blocks from Long Island City in this great little triangle,” she said, “but at prices far less than you would pay in those two neighborhoods.”


    50-28 64TH STREET
    One-family attached home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, listed at $589,000.
    Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

    Despite the nascent interest spilling over from nearby areas, Woodside is at its heart an affordable and vibrant immigrant community.


    55-25 31ST AVENUE
    One-bedroom one-bath co-op in the Boulevard Gardens complex, listed at $225,000.
    Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

    After a wave of immigration of Irish, Germans and Italians in the early 20th century, the area more recently has attracted arrivals from Central and South America and from Asia. Here you find Ecuadoreans, Colombians and Chinese among other nationalities. Filipinos also have congregated in Woodside, creating what is known as Little Manila, a strip of Roosevelt Avenue from 62nd to 71st streets lined with Filipino shops and restaurants.

    Ana Chan, an associate broker with Wagner and Kelly Real Estate, said diversity is one of the first things people notice when being introduced to Woodside. “In one day, you can talk to people of eight or nine different nationalities,” she said.

    Robert Graziano, 47, a computer programmer and musician, said he bought a one-bedroom co-op in Woodside last August after looking in Sunnyside and finding it too expensive. While the affordability of his new home was what drew him to Woodside (he paid $170,000 for a 700-square-foot apartment), he enjoys the neighborhood’s international atmosphere.

    “Being a musician-artist type, I have lived in areas with hipsters and I love that, but I also like to see families, and here you have the Filipino community, Ecuadoreans and some Colombians,” he said. Before moving to Woodside, he rented in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.

    Mr. Graziano is also seeing some changes in Woodside. “In the supermarket,” he said, “there is the aisle with Goya products but also one with microbrew beers.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/re...er=rss&emc=rss

  12. #72
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    Default

    Downtown Flushing: Where Asian Cultures Thrive

    By VERA HALLER


    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    Slide Show

    People who live and work in downtown Flushing sometimes call it “the Chinese Manhattan.” Both downtown Flushing, in north-central Queens, and Manhattan are centers of commerce, transportation and finance, and both have shiny new buildings with expensive and sought-after condominiums.

    “Where else but Manhattan are you going to find a place that stays up 24/7,” said Councilman Peter Koo, who represents Flushing and lives downtown. He also owns several pharmacies there. “It’s really convenient. You can do anything imaginable in a 10-block area.”

    Downtown Flushing is known for its restaurants, bakeries and Asian specialty stores and its easy transportation into Manhattan. The No. 7 subway line ends at Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, in the center of the neighborhood, and the Long Island Rail Road has a station near the No. 7 train. Dozens of bank branches do business on the main avenues, and a new shopping mall, the Shops at SkyView Center, is fully rented out to national retailers.


    133-38 SANFORD AVENUE, #15C
    A two-bedroom two-bath condo in a new building, listed at $1.08 million.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    The neighborhood has the feel of an Asian city. During the morning rush hour, hawkers sell Chinese-language newspapers to commuters heading to the No. 7 train. Colorful fruit and vegetable displays add to the area’s character.

    Residential life centers on a five- to six-block radius around the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Brick apartment buildings, some dating to the 1920s, line side streets, along with newer condominium buildings that offer views of Manhattan in the distance, beyond La Guardia Airport.

    Real estate agents say that notwithstanding the congestion and noise, many people want to be in the middle of downtown Flushing’s action.

    From a real estate perspective, “Queens, in general, is really taking off” and “Flushing is the epicenter,” said Michael Dana, the president of Onex Real Estate Partners, the developer of the Shops at SkyView Center as well as of Sky View Parc, the luxury condos above the center at College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. All 448 Sky View Parc condos have been sold, and early next year construction will begin on a second phase, adding 250 more units by mid-2016, Mr. Dana said.

    Another sign that developers are bullish on Flushing is a big project that broke ground earlier this year: Flushing Commons. On a five-acre site that was a parking lot, it will include a town square, commercial space and 600 residential units. The first phase is set for completion in 2017.

    Downtown Flushing’s appeal as a residential neighborhood lies in its concentration of Asian life and culture. While Chinese predominate, there is a sizable Korean community, with its businesses centered around Union Street.

    Real estate agents say people seeking to live in the area include Chinese-Americans moving from other New York neighborhoods, new immigrants looking to be close to relatives, wealthy Chinese buyers investing in property to rent out and empty-nesters downsizing from suburban homes.

    “They would rather be in a two-bedroom apartment in Flushing than a house on Long Island where they feel isolated,” Councilman Koo said. “Everything is here, and they can speak the language.”

    What You’ll Find

    The 2010 census put the population of Flushing, encompassing an area beyond downtown, at 72,000 — 69.2 percent Asian, 14.9 percent Hispanic, 9.5 percent white and 4.2 percent African-American. A 2013 Department of City Planning report that looked at new immigration patterns found about two-thirds of Flushing’s population was foreign-born.


    41-25 KISSENA BOULEVARD, #6M
    A two-bedroom two-bath condo in a 1964 building, listed at $699,000.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    Most properties for sale downtown are condominiums, ranging from modest units in older buildings to million-dollar-plus apartments in newer ones.

    Wesley Yeager, 64, a consulting engineer, put a deposit on a three-bedroom penthouse in 2009 at Sky View Parc before the complex was built. Living then in suburban New Jersey, he wanted to move to New York City for his work. He was seeking value for money, and wooing his companion, Dr. Qinghong Huang, who is Chinese and has an internal medicine practice in Elmhurst.

    “My thought was to buy a really nice place where she would feel comfortable,” Mr. Wesley said. The couple moved into the Flushing condo, which cost $1.25 million, in 2012.

    “I came to Flushing and fell in love with the community,” he said. For Dr. Huang, he added, it is “the best of both worlds — foods of her childhood and freedoms of America.”

    What You’ll Pay


    136-05 SANFORD AVENUE, #2J
    A recently renovated one-bedroom one-bath condo, listed at $265,000.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    A search in late September of downtown Flushing listings on the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, which covers Queens, turned up only a few dozen properties. Inventory is tight, said George Fang, an agent with RE/MAX Universal Real Estate who works in downtown Flushing. “If the price is right, it is going to sell.”

    Sales prices range from $192,000 for a one-bedroom one-bath co-op in a 1957 brick building on Barclay Avenue to $1.28 million for a six-bedroom duplex in the new Kings Development building on Prince Street. In the middle are one- and two-bedroom apartments in older buildings selling for $250,000 to $500,000.

    On the high end of the rental market is a four-bedroom penthouse in the sleek Arcadia Condo building on Main Street that Fanny Wang, a sales representative with the Wing Fung Home Realty Group, said she is seeking to rent for $7,000 a month. One-bedroom condo rentals in Victoria Tower on Sanford Avenue, where she is a listing representative, range from around $2,200 to $2,500 a month.

    Mr. Fang said he believes prices in downtown Flushing now exceed pre-recession levels. He said a two-bedroom apartment that sold for $230,000 to $250,000 in 2007 would be priced now at $250,000 to $300,000.

    The Commute

    The No. 7 subway line is the main conduit to and from downtown Flushing. An express No. 7 train during the morning rush hour takes around 40 minutes to get to Times Square. The Long Island Rail Road is another option; trains from the Flushing Main Street station take around 20 minutes to Penn Station. About 20 bus lines serve the neighborhood and transport commuters from outlying areas to the No. 7 line. Major highways and airports are in proximity to the neighborhood.

    The Schools

    Public School 20 John Bowne, at 142-30 Barclay Avenue, has 1,437 students in prekindergarten through Grade 5. It received a B on its latest Department of Education progress report. Students at Flushing High School, which has 2,400 students in grades 9 through 12, recorded average SAT scores in 2013 of 397 in critical reading, 424 in math and 383 in writing, compared with citywide averages of 437, 463 and 433.

    What to Do

    The shops and restaurants of downtown Flushing are a huge draw for residents and outsiders alike. Some of the most interesting excursions are to mini-malls tucked into buildings off Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. For example, the New World Mall has stores selling groceries, cosmetics, housewares and electronics on its upper floors. In the basement is a huge food court where dozens of stands sell stir-fries, soups, dumplings, bubble teas and hand-pulled noodles. The Shops at SkyView Center is a more modern and Western-style mall where shoppers can choose from any number of national retailers and restaurant chains.

    Downtown Flushing is within walking distance of the Queens Botanical Garden and is one subway stop from Citi Field, where the New York Mets play, and the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open is held. For cultural events, Flushing Town Hall presents a rich program of global arts.

    The History

    Flushing was the site of the drafting of a document believed to be one of the earliest in American history proclaiming the right to religious freedom. The document, the Flushing Remonstrance, signed by a group of 30 local residents in 1657, was a response to a decree against Quakers by Gov. Peter Stuyvesant.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/re...ealestate&_r=0

  13. #73
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    Default Sunnyside

    Awesomely amazing photos of Queens neighborhoods, Nexis .



    Sunnyside, Queens, ‘Mayberry’ Near Midtown

    MARCH 18, 2015
    By VERA HALLER


    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    Slide Show

    Sunnyside, in western Queens, is a stark contrast to the gleaming glass residential towers rising in nearby Long Island City. Here is an old-fashioned New York neighborhood of squat prewar apartment buildings, rowhouses and shopping streets that still have mom-and-pop businesses.

    “We call it Mayberry,” after the small town portrayed in the 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” said Amy FitzGerald, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.
    “People are very friendly,” said Ms. FitzGerald, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband 16 years ago from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

    Ciaran Staunton, a resident since 2001 and the owner of Molly Blooms pub in Sunnyside, said residents were quick to rally around community issues such as repaving a local street. “People come together because this is a good neighborhood and we want to keep it good,” he said.

    Sunnyside’s boundaries correspond roughly with those of ZIP code 11104, an area of nearly one-half square mile with a population of around 27,000. The neighborhood is perhaps best known for its Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, one of the first planned communities in the United States. Built between 1924 and 1928, this enclave feels like an old English town, with its gabled brick townhouses, verdant courtyards and pathways weaving between buildings.


    41-48 47TH STREET A two-family townhouse in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, listed at $1.2 million.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    Strolling along the streets of the Gardens district, one might imagine that time had stopped somewhere back in the early 20th century, but that would be an illusion. Sunnyside has not been immune to change brought about by a growing interest in Queens among New Yorkers priced out of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Property prices and rents have been rising in recent years, real estate agents say.

    Janet Gallagher, 68, a retired lawyer, is among the recent arrivals. A longtime renter in Park Slope, Brooklyn, she found herself out of a lease five years ago and looking for a new place to live.

    After renting in Sunnyside, she recently bought a one-bedroom co-op there that she plans to move into soon. “It looked like a viable, real neighborhood with a very mixed population, and it’s convenient to Manhattan,” Ms. Gallagher said.

    While Sunnyside retains some of its identity as a historically Irish-American neighborhood, it has a broader mix these days. A 2013 Department of City Planning report, “The Newest New Yorkers,” said foreign-born residents of the area encompassing Sunnyside, Hunters Point and West Maspeth included Ecuadorean, Colombian, Chinese, Korean, Bangladeshi and Mexican immigrants.

    More change may be coming to Sunnyside. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his State of the City address last month a plan to build more than 11,000 units of affordable housing at Sunnyside Yards, the rail depot adjacent to the neighborhood.

    City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district includes Sunnyside and who lives in Sunnyside Gardens, said residents were “rightly concerned” about the effect of such a project on services like the already crowded No. 7 subway train.

    “Just about every Sunnysider needs to get on that 7 train” for work, he said, “and it is increasingly unreliable.”

    What You’ll Find

    Real estate in Sunnyside is predominantly a mix of six-story apartment buildings from the early 1940s, many of which have been converted into co-ops and condominiums, and attached rowhouses of varying sizes. Inventory is extremely tight. A search on March 12 of the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, which includes Queens, showed 15 properties for sale in Sunnyside

    “Competition for whatever comes available is fierce,” said Nilo De la Torre, a real estate agent with Century 21 Sunny Gardens Realty. One-bedroom co-ops and condos are the most widely available. Larger apartments and houses are more scarce, Ms. FitzGerald said, especially in the Sunnyside Gardens district.

    What You’ll Pay

    The high demand for properties has steadily pushed up prices. For example, Ms. FitzGerald said one-bedroom co-ops — now selling for up to $325,000 — were going for $250,000 a couple of years ago. Studios that sold for $110,000 are now fetching up to $175,000, she said.
    In the Sunnyside Gardens area, single-family, three-bedroom townhouses are selling in the low $800,000s, and two-family townhomes in the mid-$900,000s; the very rare three-family home to come on the market can sell for up to $1.2 million, Ms. FitzGerald said.


    43-33 48TH STREET, #4I A one-bedroom one-bath condominium under renovation, listed at $479,000.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    Outside Sunnyside Gardens, home prices range from around $700,000 for a single-family home to $850,000 for a two-family house to about $1 million for a three-family rowhouse, she said.

    Rental prices, too, have risen, said Mr. De la Torre. One-bedroom apartments typically rent for between $1,750 to $2,100 a month, compared with $1,600 to $1,800 a month three years ago, he said. “Many people who have lived in Sunnyside for a while wouldn’t be able to afford their apartments if they started looking for something now.”

    What To Do

    Along busy Queens Boulevard, residents can find a Starbucks, a White Castle fast-food restaurant and a Key Food Fresh ’n’ Save Marketplace. More commercial activity happens along Greenpoint Avenue and on Skillman Avenue, which are filled with local food markets, restaurants and bars, coffee shops and other small businesses. “There is no shortage of places to meet people and hang out,” Ms. Gallagher said.

    The Thalia Spanish Theater, on Greenpoint Avenue, is bilingual, sometimes alternating performances in English and Spanish, and also presents music and dance.
    The community comes out for annual events like the St. Pat’s For All parade, held in early March. Residents also congregate at the Greenmarket on Skillman Avenue and at local playgrounds.


    50-21 39TH PLACE, #2G A one-bedroom one-bath co-op in a 1961 building, listed at $214,800.
    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    What the neighborhood lacks is a large public park. Sunnyside Gardens Park, a three-and-a-half-acre private park, is open to membership by residents of Sunnyside Gardens only.
    The Schools

    In September, Sunnyside welcomed a new elementary school, Public School 343 the Children’s Lab School, with prekindergarten and kindergarten offered this first year. Additional grades will be added each year until the school serves students through Grade 5.

    Other schools in Sunnyside include P.S. 150 Queens, which offers a gifted and talented program. It has around 1,240 students in prekindergarten through Grade 6. Results from the Department of Education’s 2013-2014 Elementary School Quality Snapshot showed 43 percent of its students met state standards in English, compared with 30 percent citywide, and 63 percent met state standards in math, compared with 39 percent citywide.

    The other large public elementary school in the neighborhood is P.S. 199 Maurice A. Fitzgerald School, which has around 1,000 students in kindergarten through Grade 5. Its Quality Snapshot showed 33 percent of the students met state standards in English and 50 percent met state math standards.

    The Commute

    The No. 7 subway train serves the neighborhood at two stations — 40th Street-Lowery Street and 46th Street-Bliss Street. A trip from the 46th Street-Bliss Street station to Grand Central Terminal takes 15 to 20 minutes.

    Manhattan-bound No. 7 trains, especially during the morning commute, are often packed by the time they get to Sunnyside. Residents also have had to contend recently with weekend service shutdowns for track repairs and signal upgrades.

    The History

    The architects of Sunnyside Gardens were influenced by the English garden city movement, with its ideals of “health, open space, greenery, and idyllic community living for all,” according to “The Encyclopedia of New York City.” In the 1940s, the Gardens district attracted artists and writers who moved there from Manhattan to raise families, and the area became known as the “maternity ward of Greenwich Village.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/re...r-midtown.html

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