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Queens Sunnyside: The charm of green in a pandemic

Like many New Yorkers, Jeff Dyke and Casey One wanted to get closer to nature during the pandemic. The couple, who had rented a one-bedroom apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were hoping for their first child in August. As the deadline approached, I began looking for a starter home near Manhattan but surrounded by greenery.

They were looking around the outer edge of Prospect Park, but couldn’t find a place they felt right. Then, on his way home by bike from Jackson Heights in Queens, Dyke came across Sunnyside’s Skillman Avenue. It is a lush residential and commercial boulevard lined with trees.

“It felt like a secret garden,” said urban designer Dyke, 34, who had never heard of the western Queens region. “It’s different from the other neighborhoods I’ve been to.”

Within days of the baby’s arrival, he and the city planner Wang, 36, moved to a two-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse near 39th and 48th Avenues, with 1.15 million. I bought it for dollars. Their new home is located in the northern part of the neighborhood of Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, one of the country’s first planned communities, built in the 1920s. Popular with growing families, it provides homeowners with a lush backyard and exclusive access to the 3.5-acre park.

Amy Fitzgerald, a couple’s broker and owner of Sunnyside’s Welcome Home Real Estate, said about half of this year’s clients were transplants from other Queens provinces and neighborhoods. She said the pandemic boosted sales, especially for properties with terraces and gardens.

Properties in Southern Sunnyside under Queens Boulevard tend to be cheaper than properties in Sunnyside Gardens.

Sophia Moncayo, 44, lives most of her life in the same two-bedroom, one-bathroom rental property on 47th and 48th Avenues. “The joke is that you live on the other side of the railroad track,” she said, citing the socio-economic differences between the two regions.

Originally from Colombia, Moncayo currently shares space with her husband, Michael Kim, 39, and two of her three children. A couple who own Glory Mix Martial Arts on the adjacent Woodside have seen a young family move to Sunnyside, gradually changing their dynamics.

“I don’t know if change is gentrification,” said Moncayo, who organizes food rations every other week for those in need during a pandemic, through the Mosaic Church. “For us, it was an improvement in the community.”

There aren’t many new developments on Sunnyside, but the redevelopment of Sunnyside Yard, a 180-acre railroad yard that cuts through western Queens and buffers the northern end of the neighborhood, has resulted in unsightly architecture, increased rents, and other public Take the resources you need badly from the initiative. The plan, announced this year by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Amtrak, requires 12,000 affordable homes, 60 acres of open public space, a new school and library.

Charley Mills, 42, an LGTBQ start-up investment specialist, said: “I don’t know the right path to development, but I and my friends want the community to join in. In 2017, Greenpoint Avenue and a three-bedroom co-operative in 39th place, a pension actuary. I bought it with my husband, Craig Chu (38 years old). “Many people here look at Long Island City and think it’s die-cut in all glass and steel condominiums. . “

Sunnyside has a small footprint in the west of Queens, adjacent to the Sunnyside Yard site to the north, adjacent to the Queens Midtown Highway to the south, and bisected by Queens Boulevard. Its small footprint means a lack of housing inventory.

“Sunnyside is a really niche housing market and there isn’t much movement,” said Jonathan Miller, an appraiser and consultant at Miller Samuel. “Alongside Long Island City and Astoria, it has always been seen as a hot market, if the market relies heavily on rentals.”

There is a big difference between what is north and what is south of Queen’s Boulevard. In the sunny side gardens on the north side, single-family homes and apartments are beautiful, but tend to be smaller, with some 18-foot-wide plots. David Eisenberg, a broker on the Sukenik Glazer team at Compass, said homes south of Queensbourgbird could double in size at significantly lower cost.

According to Eisenberg, these spacious rental properties often attract new people to the neighborhood, and some of those renters are buyers who don’t want to leave. He said it’s not hard to find a one-bedroom apartment for less than $ 400,000 in a nearby Art Deco co-operative building.

Over the last decade, rising demand from buyers priced from Manhattan and Brooklyn has pushed Sunnyside prices up, but still far from other provinces, according to Fitzgerald.

“House here is currently over $ 1 million, but in Brooklyn that price is almost double that,” she said. “You can get better value on the sunny side.”

Of the 95 homes for sale in mid-November, the average price was $ 666,600, according to information provided by Eisenberg. The cheapest 1961 Co-operative 5th floor studio was listed for $ 199,000. The most expensive three-story 10-unit pre-war building was listed for $ 2.4 million.

According to Eisenberg, four detached homes sold on average $ 1,032,500 in the third quarter of 2020. During the same period in 2019, 10 pieces sold for an average of $ 1,064,100. One co-operative unit sold for $ 395,000 in the third quarter of this year, while 15 co-operatives sold for an average of $ 448,796 during the same period last year. The average sales of the two condos in the third quarter of 2019 were $ 472,650, while the average sales of the three condo units were $ 452,164 in the third quarter of this year.

During the third quarter of this year, median monthly rent was $ 2,000.

Sunnyside is a diverse region with an active art scene and deep progressive roots. Known for hosting the first St. Pat’s for All Parade in 2000, bringing together the neighboring Irish and LGBTQ communities.

“It’s really incredibly international, but it feels like a suburban community,” said Lauren R. Bennett, a Corcoran Group associate broker who bought her first home on Sunnyside in 2018. ) Said. 300 square foot terraces on 49th and 43rd Avenues. “Everyone has a very friendly little town atmosphere and you will come across friends on the street.”

Mari Kamimura, 46, and her husband, Jacob Small, 46, moved from a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg to a two-family home that they bought at Sunnyside for $ 1135,000 in 2015. Kamimura said that the number of friends has begun to increase, and that the Facebook group with local mothers has more than 3,000 active members.

“There is a lot of mobilization here,” she said, pointing out that Alexandria Ocasiocortes is the local representative. “Everyone we know is partly involved in politics.”

Meals will find a variety of eateries, including the Mexican restaurant de Mole. Firefly Petite Cafe Bistro serving craft pizza and wine. American style gastropub, skill man. Dawa’s, American and Himalayan restaurants. Cemitas El Tigre, a Mexican sandwich shop. There is also the popular tapas bar Alcove.

The bar and cultural event space, Sanger Hall, hosts monthly craftsmanship craft fairs and drug shows.

PS150 Queens, one of Sunnyside’s largest public schools, enrolls 977 students from kindergarten to sixth grade (48% Hispanic, 26% Asian, 21% White, 1% Black). According to the Ministry of Education’s 2018-19 School Quality Snapshot, 65% of students meet English standards on state tests, while 48% and 69% of the city as a whole meet math standards ( 50% for the entire city).

PS 199 Maurice A. Fitzgerald School is a kindergarten and elementary school with 718 students (58% Hispanic, 32% Asian, 6% White, 2% Black). In the 2018-19 test, 51% met English standards and 49% met math standards.

PS 343 Children’s Lab School enrolls 405 kindergartens and elementary school students (58% Hispanic, 28% Asian, 14% Caucasian). In the 2018-19 test, 54% met English standards and 50% met math standards.

IS 125 Thom J. McCann Woodside enrolls 1,509 students from 6th to 8th grade (53% Hispanic, 39% Asian, 5% White, 2% Black). In 2018-19 state tests, 52% met English standards, compared to 47% for the city as a whole, 56% met math standards, but 41% for the city as a whole. did.

Queens Technical High School, which offers early career preparation and technical courses, enrolls 1,522 students from grades 9-12 (80% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 5% Black, White). Five%). In the 2018-19 SAT test, the average score was 943, but the city as a whole was 987.

With three stops along Queen’s Boulevard, Line 7 divides the neighborhood into northern and southern parts, the farthest of which is about a 10-minute walk from the train.

Several bus routes run on Sunnyside, including the Q60, Q104, and B24, which connect Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. The Q32 bus follows Queens Boulevard from Jackson Heights to Pennsylvania Station, and the Q39 bus connects Ridgewood and Long Island City and stops along 48th Avenue in Sunnyside.

The development of Sunnyside was triggered by the completion of the Queensboro Bridge (now Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge) connecting Manhattan with Queens and Long Island in 1909. The IRT Flushing Line, which is currently the 7th train, has started running from Grand Central Terminal. Queens Boulevard, a vast road through Sunnyside and Autonomous Region in 1917, was built in the segment from the 1910s to the 1920s.

“That’s what enabled large-scale settlement and conversion from farmland to the suburbs,” said Hayes Peter Mauro, an associate professor at Queensboro Community College and a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

Some of Sunnyside’s most famous buildings were built along Queen’s Boulevard in the 20th century, including the 2,000-seat Bliss Theater, which screened movies from the 1930s and 1960s. Sunnyside Garden Arena, a boxing and wrestling club on 45th Avenue and Queen’s Boulevard, attracted thousands of spectators from 1945 to 1977, when presidential candidate John F. Kennedy rallyed there in 1960. Opened.

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Queens Sunnyside: The charm of green in a pandemic

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