Living In: Little Neck, Queens: City Perks on the Edge of the Suburbs

Living In: Little Neck, Queens: City Perks on the Edge of the Suburbs

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He described his neighbors as “similar-minded families with children and sometimes parents living with them.”

49-16 ANNANDALE LANE A four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath 2009 house on a 76-by-119-foot lot, listed at $3,980,000. 718-355-8788

Credit
Uli Seit for The New York Times

“It is very diverse,” he added. “It is very refreshing.”

Little Neck’s well-regarded school system, convenient location to major highways and lower property taxes were a draw for Nicholas and Tatiana Maldonado, who moved in January 2015 from a two-bedroom condo in Fresh Meadows, Queens, to a well-maintained 1936 Tudor in the Westmoreland section. The couple paid $842,000 for a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house, and proceeded to sand and stain the wood floors, update the windows, renovate the basement and add central air-conditioning.

“It’s very Long Island-esque but with the property values of the city,” said Mr. Maldonado, 38. “We thought Queens would be the best value in the housing market, as well as getting better public schools for our children,” ages 5 and 5 months.

The Maldonados — he works in medical sales, she is a nurse practitioner — said they also enjoyed the restaurants and cafes on Northern Boulevard, the main east-west corridor; Admiral Park and nearby Alley Pond Park; and the friendly, quiet atmosphere, which lets them spend a lot of time outdoors.

Caroline Petruzzi, 32, a graphic designer who bought a $210,000 co-op in November, said Little Neck “feels like the suburbs,” with single-family houses a block from her apartment. She enjoys being able to walk to restaurants, stores, the library, the Long Island Rail Road station and city bus stops. Her neighbors are friendly, she has a parking spot near her building and she got “a lot more for her money” than she would have in Manhattan or in Queens neighborhoods like Astoria or Forest Hills, she said.

What You’ll Find

The tree-lined streets of Little Neck, about 12 miles east of Manhattan, wind alongside Great Neck to the east and, at 248th Street, meld into Douglaston to the west. A salt marsh off Little Neck Bay stretches to the north. South of the Long Island Expressway, Little Neck borders Glen Oaks and the Grand Central Parkway.




Queens Library

at Douglaston/

Little Neck


Housing styles include a mix of modest Capes, bungalows, Tudors, colonials and elaborate mansions. There are some attached two- and three-family houses. Among the handful of co-op complexes are the seven-story, two-tower Valerie Arms and the 1,396-unit Deepdale Gardens complex, spread over 69 two-story buildings built in the early 1950s.

Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, which includes Little Neck, said that in the past few years, as older residents sold their homes, a largely Asian immigrant population has been buying houses, resulting in an increasing number of knockdowns and expansions. “There are many beautifully done homes, but very big, and some of them are getting more and more ornate,” she said.

Featuring balustrades and frilly railings, the new mansions extend nearly to the property lines in the prestigious Little Neck Hills, said Pattie Rifino, an associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

North of Northern Boulevard, in the 320-home Westmoreland section east of Little Neck Parkway, Tudor-style houses built in the first half of the last century predominate. Semiattached starter homes can be found in the Pines section, which extends west from Little Neck Parkway, the main north-south thoroughfare, to 248th Street.

What You’ll Pay

“Everyone takes care of their homes, and the houses hold their value,” said Toula Polios, the owner of Toula Polios Realty Group.

253-12 BRATTLE AVENUE A three-bedroom, two-bath 1965 house on an irregular 106-by-106-foot lot, listed at $899,000. 917-400-6673

Credit
Uli Seit for The New York Times

As of Tuesday, 39 single-family houses, 19 co-op apartments and seven two-family houses were on the market, according to Multiple Listing Service data. The highest-priced house was $3.98 million; the lowest, $725,000. Co-ops ranged from $142,000 to $359,000; two-family houses from $898,000 to $1.79 million.

In the past year, prices increased 5 percent to 10 percent because of supply and demand. “There is less on the market,” Ms. Rifino said.

According to city data, in 2016, the average sales price for single-family homes in Little Neck was $851,067. Two-family homes sold for an average of $1,108,048, and three-family houses for an average of $1,065,000. In 2011, the average sales numbers were $719,060, $698,125 and $887,000, respectively.

Rentals are scarce, Ms. Polios said, with only 15 units on the market.

Prices range from $1,625 a month for a one-bedroom in a co-op to $4,100 a month for a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath single-family house.

The Vibe

Janice Eubank, an associate broker with Laffey Real Estate, said that since she moved 33 years ago to what she calls “the last stop in Queens,” much has changed along Northern Bouvelard, Little Neck’s shopping and restaurant district. The longstanding Scobee Diner is gone, recently replaced by Bean & Bean, a coffee chain. What was once a movie theater has been carved into several retail establishments, including Happy Foot Spa, one of several massage parlors and nail salons. Among the stalwart food establishments are La Baraka, a 38-year-old French-Tunisian restaurant, and Il Bacco, a 25-year-old Italian restaurant with a roof garden. “We still have a great Memorial Day parade,” Ms. Eubank said.

Over the past three years, Mary Sze, 40, owner of the 10-year-old Red Lotus Bakery, added Moo Shu and Little Dumpling, part of a spate of new Asian restaurants. “The market needs it; there are more Chinese people coming here,” Ms. Sze said. Also part of the ethnic mix are Greek and Peruvian restaurants. Farther south, in a strip mall on Horace Harding Expressway, is a Denny’s, a chic children’s clothing store, a Starbucks, a pizzeria, a bagel shop and a Panera Bread.

Umbrella tables and chaise longues line the deck at the Tanenbaum Family Pool, on the site of a former private pool club that became part of the Samuel Field Y three years ago.

The Schools

Little Neck is part of Community School District 26. Children in kindergarten to fifth grade attend P.S. 94 or P.S. 221. At P.S. 94, 67.6 percent of students in Grades to 5 met state standards in English, versus 39 percent citywide. In math, 68 percent met state standards, versus 40 percent citywide. At P.S. 221, 70.5 percent of students met state standards in English, and 83.3 percent in math.

Sixth to eighth graders attend the 884-student Louis Pasteur Junior High School.

High school students attend either Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside or go to one of the city’s specialized high schools. At Cardozo, which has 3,646 ninth to 12th graders, the average SAT scores in 2016 were 482 in reading, 535 in math and 483 in writing, versus 446, 466 and 440 citywide.

The Commute

On the Long Island Rail Road, the 8:07 a.m. peak train to Pennsylvania Station from Little Neck takes 31 minutes. A monthly pass is $226.

The Q12 bus runs along Northern Boulevard from Glenwood Street near the Nassau County line to the Main Street subway station in Flushing. The Q36 goes from the Little Neck L.I.R.R. station to the 165th Street Bus Terminal in Jamaica.

Little Neck is a 25-minute drive to Midtown.

The History

In 1898, Little Neck became a dividing line between the city and the suburbs when Brooklyn and the western towns in Queens elected to become boroughs of New York City. Just east of Little Neck, the eastern part of Queens became Nassau County.

Farmers and fishermen populated the area in the 1800s. The small, hard clams that fishermen dug from Little Neck Bay and sold to restaurants became known as littlenecks.

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