With its diverse population, plethora of shops, access to subways and highways, and close-knit communities, Rego Park is quintessential Queens.
“It’s a thriving neighborhood,” explains district manager of Queens Community Board 6, Frank Gulluscio. “Every shop you could possibly want is right there, from the big-box stores like Costco across the board to the mom-and-pops. If you don’t want a house with a backyard and a front lawn, it’s the place to be — and for a young couple looking to build a family, its great.”
Robert Glinka’s parents became aware of these perks while searching for an apartment in Rego Park 22 years ago. For his mother, who had no interest in driving, everything she needed to raise her two children was within walking distance.
“Everything was so close for my mom — food, clothes, parks, the trains — it was all right in our backyard,” says Glinka. “The convenience, especially for the price, was amazing.”
While 2012 ignited a surge of high-end buildings such as The Contour
, and later, Millennium 99
, Harold Valestin, vice president of brokerage firm MNS, says the neighborhood is still very affordable, offering newcomers the option of either high-end condominiums or smaller-scale, less luxurious apartments and homes.
“Millennium 99 raised the bar on another level,” says Valestin. “That kind of development was never in Rego park—it was something you would see more in Manhattan, or [Long Island City] or Williamsburg, and that’s what drew a lot of people to that project because it was such a high-end project in a neighborhood people wanted to be in.”
Still, the neighborhood offers “an interesting combination of middle-, low- and high-income,” says Gullusico.
In fact, affordability has been one of real estate agent Lily Tran’s biggest pushes for her clients. That, and the good public schools in district 28, including P.S. 139 and P.S.175.
The neighborhood, which Tran describes as “family-centric,” is “a great option for people who have been priced out of Forest Hills but are still looking for a good school district,” she says. “Plus, it’s affordable compared to Long Island City, Astoria, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, because those are on the express train stops, whereas Rego is on the local train stops.”
For kids who’ve already grown up, however, there aren’t an abundance of hangout zones. “It’s not really for the millennial crowd,” says Tran.
Of course, for many residents, this is a good thing.
After living in Rego Park for 34 years, Pat Morgan has come to appreciate the sound of silence. “We’re not like Austin Street or Metropolitan Avenue with their late-night bars,” he says. “Rego Park closes down after a certain hour, which is very nice. Some people want to live where they can go to a bar until 3 a.m., and some don’t.”
Thankfully, those chasing the late-night party scene have to endure only a 10-minute walk to either the bustling streets of Forest Hills or the nearest train station.
“It’s a very low-key neighborhood,” says Tran. “It’s not where the hipsters are going — yet.”