Neighborhoods
Neighborhood overviews, housing stock, rental and square foot prices, and local news.
What you need to know before buying, renting, or investing.


Queens is the largest borough of New York City, covering 121 square miles or ___% of the city's territory. However, with 2.2 million residents, it is second in population to Brooklyn's 2.5 million. Queens and Brooklyn are an extension of Long Island, and some of the neighborhoods in eastern Queens (including Floral Park, Bellerose, and Little Neck) feel like suburbs-in-the-city with single family houses, large lots, and no subway connection to Manhattan. These neighborhoods more closely resemble adjacent Nassau County.

Queens consists of several distinct markets. Northwest Queens (Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, and __________) are closest to Manhattan and _____________. Northeast Queens includes some of the affluent, under-the-radar beach neighborhoods such as Whitestone and Malba. . Queens has three landmarked districts; Jackson Heights, Douglaston Manor and Hunters Point. (For contrast, citywide, there are 72 such districts). Enclaves like Forest Hills Gardens, Kew Gardens, Malba … and Bayside Gables were built for the wealthy and haven’t changed much. There is also a swath of Queens that is not accessible by subway; these neighborhoods (_______, ______, and _________) have a less densely-developed, almost suburban feeling within New York City, a reminder that the city grew in part by assimilating other cities and towns.

BY THE NUMBERS
Some of the central and eastern neighborhoods of Queens rival the commute times and schools of sought-after parts of Brooklyn, but at roughly 50% of the price, according to Citi Habitats. Meanwhile, Long Island City and Astoria prices are closing the gap to Brooklyn and Manhattan, and ____________.

According to Zillow.com, Queens real estate rates remain significantly lower than City averages, either by cost-per-square-foot measurements or by overall home listing prices. Both comparisons reveal that Queens rates are, on average, 30 percent less than City-wide figures, while the median rent in Queens is $400 a month cheaper than the City’s average rate.

While Queens is mostly residential, it has manufacturing around Long Island City and active storage and shipping facilities along the East River. New York City’s John F. Kennedy International and La Guardia airports are in the borough, which contribute to some of the noise and air quality issues (see below). ... three downtown business districts: Flushing, Long Island City, and Jamaica.

Today, Queens is regarded much like Brooklyn before its revival in the late 1990s: unfashionable, generic, a place to escape from rather than one to aspire towards. However, this perception is unfair to the borough, which has considerable draws that are still largely under the radar: the enclaves of Sunnyside Gardens, Broad Channel Island, the Rockaways, pockets of Victorian houses in __________ and ______________. There are also major draws like Citi Field, National Tennis Center, and MoMA P.S. 1, but these are still isolated and visitors tend not to stay and make a day of the borough. ["Lonely Planet" also picked Queens as the top place to visit in the entire country in its 2015 guide.]

[NOTE: lack of convenient public transit between Queens and Brooklyn (there had once been a trolley system between the two boroughs, but this was dismantled in_________). Today, residents must go from Queens to Manhattan to get to Brooklyn, or else have a car or go by taxi. With Brooklyn containing the new destinations for dining and nightlife, this access is critical - and the lack of similar areas in Queens is reflected in the lower average prices. REWORD


271st is the highest numbered street in Queens and also in New York City. As we have seen, Queens’ three easternmost towns were not included in the NYC consolidation plan in 1898 and broke off to form Nassau County the next year. It’s interesting to speculate that if Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay had remained in Queens and been consolidated into NYC, and the numbering system implemented in the 1920s had extended further east, how high would the numbers go as far as the Suffolk County border? In the 400s at least, and possibly 500. (http://forgotten-ny.com/2011/06/borderline-crazy-queens-nassau-ii/


Nassau County used to be part of Queens County before Queens became part of New York City. Many of the neighborhoods at the eastern [VERIFY] edge of Queens - including Bellerose, Floral Park, andNew Hyde Park - share a name with the adjacent neighborhood in Nassau County. Each of these Queens neighborhoods combines the suburban atmosphere of Long Island with the lower property taxes (although higher housing prices) of New York City.

Queens-Nassau line was originally in mid-Queens and was originally a town line that was promoted to city line status when the western Queens towns joined New York City in 1898. From the North Shore Towers-Long Island Jewish Hospital area, the line runs (roughly) southeast, then turns south and then west along Jericho Turnpike before yet another abrupt turn south. Here, the line bisects the mostly calm and placed precincts of Bellerose and Floral Park and actually divides them in rough equality between Queens and Nassau.

HOUSING STOCK
Queens offers, in general, _______ space, yards, and lower density ________. The market is ____% townhouses, ____% apartments (___% condo and ___% co-op), and ____% freestanding houses. [GET DATA FROM REAL DEAL DATEBOOK]. The housing stock of Queens is very visibly split between pre-war and post-war. There is very little historic landmarking in Queens - which is good for developers who can tear down properties, but less good for those who see value in those buildings and the atmosphere they create. Queens has pockets of pre-war buildings, including _______ and _________. However, the market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression and war rationing during World War II largely stopped real estate development. The borough - which still had considerable open farmland into the mid 1900s - was seen as ripe for development for the incentive-driven development at the end of World War II. (that combined with the racist redlining and ____ policies which steered white buyers away from city centers and which restricitve covenants which prohibited minority buyers fro moving to some suburbs - a shameful time in the history of the United States and New York City). However, the post-World War II developments is, unfortunately, what people most closely associate with Queens: bland, undistinguished brick rowhouses and ___________.

PRICING
The success of new development in Long Island City is spurring interest in the borough; new condos have been selling for more than $1,000 a square foot as of 2013, according to the New York Times. Prices range from highs of $_____/sq.ft or $____/sq.ft. in Long Island City, Douglaston, or Malba or to as low as $____/sq.ft. in [troubled] areas such as __________, __________, __________, among others. The average rental rate for a Long Island City luxury apartment was $53 per square foot in 2Q___, roughly the same as the previous quarter, according to data from Long Island City-based brokerage Modern Spaces... in Long Island City, where some high-end condos sell for more than $1,000/sq.ft. condo sales prices in Flushing range from $600 to $800 per square foot.
http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/development-kings-head-for-queens/

TITLE?
The borough of All in the Family is still the city's most middle-class borough, according to Crains: Almost 47% of Queens households make between $39,000 and $111,000. Staten Island comes in second, with 43% in that income range. And Queens has less than 15% of households earning less than $19,000, compared to 18% in Manhattan. However, Manhattan has the largest number of households earnings more than $110,000 at 33%.

Different pattern of revival. Queens may not follow the same pattern of revival (or gentrification, whatever you would like to call it) as Brooklyn, in part because of the different housing stock and because pockets of the neighborhoods have remained solidly desirable (and thus do not offer the bargains that could be found elsewhere).

Some of the neighborhoods of Brooklyn revived because they were inherently desirable - the historic buildings and proximity to Manhattan of Brooklyn Heights, or the gritty charm of Williamsburg (since converted into _______). Some of Brooklyn's emerging neighborhoods (like Bedford-Stuyvesant or Crown Heights) may skip the nightlife/young artist phase and go more towards the Park Slope model. The question is whether Queens will follow, and if so, what neighborhoods will revive first. The different sections of the borough ... parts that are closest to NYC ... Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, etc. ... the advantages of short commutes, affordable rents, and __________. By contrast, eastern queens is almost entirely suburbs-within-the-city. The question of limited transportation access ... A number of neighborhoods in Queens are within the flyover zone for LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, so the noise issues ... Also, a number of neighborhoods were built as affluent enclaves and have retained their character and value over the decades - Douglaston, ... Jackson Heights and Sunnyside Gardens are historic districts. Enclaves like Forest Hills Gardens, Kew Gardens, Malba … and Bayside Gables were built for the affluent and haven’t changed too much in the last century or so.

Significant opportunities for developing rentals, and condos tend to follow. As of 2013, land prices in Queens are more affordable than those in Brooklyn or Manhattan, so it is still economically viable to develop rental buildings. With housing prices on the rise in Queens, in part due to proximity of some neighborhoods to Manhattan (_______, ________, and __________), larger developers are drawn to the borough. Unlike Manhattan and Brooklyn, where there are few large development sites remaining, there are sizable development sites zones for large-scale development. In addition, these are often single-parcel properties rather than needing to be assembled out of multiple parcels. And in Long Island City, there are few height restrictions on new development.

According to The Real Deal, statistics on Queens’ new development are hard to come by, since the city’s largest brokerage firms don’t track transactions in the borough. Queens is slated to see the construction of more than 8,000 units of new residential housing in the next three years, according to Aptsandlofts.com. That figure is roughly on par with the pace of building in Manhattan, where approximately 5,350 new rental and condo units are expected to come online in the next 24 months. CITE ... using records from the city’s Department of Buildings as well as news reports and information from sources, The Real Deal identified more than 60 new apartment buildings with at least 10 units in the pipeline for Queens. While most are in Long Island City, neighborhoods like Astoria, Ridgewood and Flushing are also seeing residential construction.

However, 421a tax abatement programs are largely unavailable. According to The Real Deal, in recent years certain areas of Queens, including large chunks of Long Island City, have been added to the city’s list of 'geographic exclusion' areas for the 421a program, which means that the valuable tax abatement is not available to developers in those areas unless they make 20% of their units affordable.

Queens street numbering system can be scary at first. Unlike the rest of New York City, the Queens street grid following the "Philadelphia system," in which an address like 30-30 30th Avenue means that it is 30th Avenue between 30th and 31st Streets.

Air quality issues from highways, industry, airports, and power plants (especially in Astoria and Long Island City). According to the Queens Chronicle land prices and rents used to be very low in western Queens, and as a result, power companies located many facilities there. Power plants release a lot of airborne pollutants, including _____ and ______. Queens also has a relatively large industrial base in comparison to the other boroughs, and a study [LINK] by the Environmental Protection Agency listed Queens as the worst-performing borough in the city in terms of controlling toxic emissions in terms of the amount of chemicals released into the land, air and water. The study cites locations across Queens, but most are located in Astoria and Long Island City, including the now-closed Charles Poletti Power Plant (Astoria) and Airgas Refrigerants (Long Island City).

The borough’s poor air quality also raises health concerns, especially with children. A 2008 study by the New York City Department of Health showed that child asthma rates in Queens remained steady from 2000 to 2008. In contrast, child asthma rates in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island decreased over the same period of time. Living within 500 feet of major roads can increase asthma and hospitalizations. Traffic congestions contribute to hot spots of air pollution. In Queens, Long Island Expressway and Grand Central Parkway are heavily congested major roadways. Cars and trucks stuck in this traffic emit up to 3x more pollution than moving vehicles. By 2027, traffic traveling through the outer boroughs to Manhattan is expected to grow by at least 27%.

http://www.nycedc.com/sites/default/files/filemanager/Resources/Economic_Data/borough_update/QueensBoroUpdate_June2013_final.pdf

GOOD SOURCE FOR GENERAL QUEENS INFO
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/osdc/rpt3-2007queens.pdf