The location was another draw. A real estate title closer, Mr. DeVoe travels throughout Long Island, New York City and Westchester County for work. “I can take a five-minute walk and be at the train station,” he said, “and be in Manhattan in 35 minutes.” And if he needs to drive somewhere, he added, the Southern State and Belt Parkways are minutes away.
Still, when a property-tax increase was imposed last fall, he said, it was “a little disconcerting.” Other residents and city officials were also dismayed at the increase, which some believed was precipitated by a tax abatement granted to the nearby Green Acres shopping mall by the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency.
The agency said a number of factors were involved. “The agency’s actions were not the cause of the tax increase,” said Fred Parola, the executive director of the agency. But now, he added, “there’s a new board in place and they are considering ways to remediate the impact on the taxpayers.”
What You’ll Find
The incorporated village of Valley Stream is surrounded by the villages of Malverne and Lynbrook to the east, the hamlets of Hewlett and Woodmere to the south, the hamlet of South Valley Stream to the southwest and Queens to the west. Valley Stream State Park is to the north.
The population, close to 38,000, is “very diversified,” said Lili Khachatourian, an associate broker with Century 21 American Homes in Franklin Square, a nearby hamlet. Rosa Taveras, a resident since 2003, said: “I have neighbors that are Hispanic, black, white, Asian. Everybody gets along.”
Many residential streets within the village’s nearly four square miles have a mix of Cape Cod– and colonial-style houses on modest-size lots. The main commercial area is on Rockaway Avenue, with bakeries, restaurants, a liquor store, a florist and a coffeehouse. But there are also empty storefronts.
New rental buildings are being developed nearby to attract young commuters, retain older residents and improve business. Two luxury rental buildings and a moderate-income one have been completed and another is in the works.
“This will strengthen our downtown, and by so doing, strengthen the community,” said Barbara DeGrace, special assistant to the mayor for economic development.
Village officials have been “very proactive” in supporting such developments, said Dominick Minerva, a lawyer who heads the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce board. “We’re at the beginnings of seeing the benefits.”
What You’ll Pay
And the school-tax dispute “has not affected the market,” said Henry Rojas, the owner-broker of Exit Realty Hillcourt.
Housing inventory is low, so home prices are strong, real estate agents said. Citing Multiple Listing Service data for the 12-month period ending Jan. 25, Ms. Khachatourian said the median sales price for a single-family house was $397,500, compared with $369,000 for the same period a year earlier. As of Jan. 25, there were 59 single-family homes on the market, from a $285,000 two-bedroom, one-bath Cape Cod to a $649,000 five-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath colonial, she said.
The Henry Waldinger Memorial Library and the Valley Stream Community Center are gathering spots, as isMitchell’s Restaurant on Rockaway Avenue. Come spring and summer, residents flock to the village’s 105 acres of parkland; the Arthur J. Hendrickson Park has a pool complex, walking and cycling paths, sports courts and a lake.
Most of the children in the village attend one of three elementary school districts (13, 24 or 30), encompassing 10 schools, from kindergarten through sixth grade. Some attend Hewlett-Woodmere School District 14, which goes from prekindergarten through 12th grade.
The Valley Stream Central High School District has 4,600 students: It includes Memorial Junior High School, Grades 7 through 9; Central High School, Grades 10 through 12; and North and South High Schools, Grades 7 through 12.
The average SAT scores for the class of 2016 were 471 in critical reading, 483 in math and 454 in writing, compared with statewide averages of 489, 501 and 477.
The Long Island Rail Road has three stations convenient to village residents: Valley Stream, Gibson and Westwood. Most peak trains from the Valley Stream station are scheduled to reach Pennsylvania Station in 32 to 39 minutes. A monthly pass is $252.
In 1834, Robert Pagan and his family immigrated from Scotland, ultimately settling in Valley Stream, said Guy Ferrara, president of the Valley Stream Historical Society. Mr. Pagan opened a general store and a post office, and named the postal area Valley Stream because of its topography.
In 1869, the first regular train service connected Valley Stream with the Rockaways; a depot was built in 1870. The village grew rapidly in the 1920s and was incorporated in 1925.