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Neighborhood Guide: Jackson Heights, Queens

The overlooked enclave boasts affordable co-ops with private gardens.
Remember when you had to head to Brooklyn because you were priced out of Manhattan? Those days are long gone. With the Brooklyn boom reaching its peak, Queens has never been as appealing for families looking for good value for their money. To that end, an oft overlooked enclave is Jackson Heights, which is best known for older (read: affordably priced!) co-op style apartments, many of which have private gardens.
“Jackson Heights has a reputation for being a great area for middle class New York City families thanks to relatively affordable homes, decent transportation options, and lots of kids in the neighborhood,” says Joseph Hermon ofOxford Property Group, a brokerage spanning all five boroughs with over 350 agents.“It's a super diverse neighborhood and if you're looking for some food culture, Jackson Heights is a great place to sample authentic Venezuelan arepas, the tastiest Indian food, and tons of other specialties that are worth a train ride if you don't already live there.”
Hermon says he’s been selling a lot of small buildings in Jackson Heights to ex-Brooklynites who have money to spend, but are priced out of houses in Fort Greene and Williamsburg and want a solid investment. “The commute to the east side of Manhattan can take under 15 minutes on a good morning, which sure beats waiting for the L train and spending over $2 million for a row house in need of major repairs.”
Thalia McGuire, 37, is a dental hygienist who moved into her coop, which she shares with her husband and two kids, two years ago. “I always knew I would end up here when I started my family, but it’s nice to see the neighborhood gaining in popularity while still remaining authentic. There are so many beautiful, historic houses here and I love that I can still support mom and pop-type businesses, unlike in more gentrified areas.”
While you can snag a one-bedroom co-op for around $300,000, Hermon says if you’re seeking a family home or a multi-family investment property, you’re looking at closer to $1.3 million. “This may sound like a lot, but it’s a steal when compared to neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Generally speaking, the houses closer to the 7 train fetch the most because convenience is king, and they can also be rented for the highest prices.”
As for rentals in the range of $2100-$2200, you’ll get a one-bedroom rental on the higher end – think stainless steel appliances and a freshly renovated bathroom — but it's not unusual to get lucky and find a spacious one bedroom apartment near the train for less.
What It Costs
$572,000 median sale price
$470 average price per square foot
$2,400 median rent per month
Local Hangs
Jackson Diner
Don’t let the name fool you, Jackson Diner isn’t where you go for pancakes and eggs; they serve some of New York’s best Indian food. Better yet you’ll be stuffed to the brim for under $15. Aside from their exceedingly affordable buffet they have a long list of dishes you can order a la carte including tandoori chicken, dosas, kababs, and worth every-carb naan bread. 7-47 74th Street, Jackson Heights, jacksondiner.com
Arepa Lady
The Arepa Lady is somewhat of a local celebrity in Jackson Heights. Starting off small, she sold her gooey, buttery, cheesy confections from a food cart on 79th and Roosevelt, but with high demand came a brick and mortar restaurant where you can now get her famed buttery disks along with other Colombian specialties like empanadas. The Arepa Lady’s cart is still out Fridays and Saturdays and is in arm’s length of the brick and mortar eatery.77-02a Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, arepalady.net
On the Market
For Sale
3536 76th St. #425 $268,500 0 beds 1 bath
This sunny oversized garden view studio has aspectacular layout complete with a sleeping sectional, dining area, windowed galley kitchen, raised dining area, spacious windowed bath and a large living area. Anchored by beautifully refinished hardwood floors, this highly functional home has preserved many of its prewar architectural charm. It has ample closets, a sizable dressing area off the bath and west-facing views of the building's private garden. It’s located in an elevator building just minutes from the Roosevelt Avenue express trains. Aside from the shared private garden, there’s a children's playroom, bike room and extra storage.Contact: Armen Meschian, CORE, am@corenyc.com, 917-848-6928
For Rent
3565 86th St #2B
$1925 per month 1 bed 1 bath This large, newly renovated one bedroom apartment has pre-war details and is located on a beautiful tree lined block. Also on deck: high ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, onsite super, elevator, and laundry. The spacious bedroom can fit a queen bed plus furniture. Eat in kitchen with dishwasher and new appliances are also included and the apartment is conveniently located near public transportation, shopping, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Contact: David Bucci, Compass, dbucci@compass.com
New in the Neighborhood
For years it was a rent controlled apartment complex, but last year Washington Plazare-opened its doors as an swanky new co-op development by Delta Management. It’s a six-building, 190-unit complex (each building as its own lobby) with 53 renovated apartments. There’s also an 1,850-square-foot penthouse unit with a Manhattan view and many of the apartments have nearly nine-foot ceilings and large closets (some of which are walk-ins). The Art Deco property, from the 1940s, is U-shaped around a central garden and pond.73-12 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights

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