Guest Blog: Staten Island Gems
Suburbanites - what do you if a new life change brings you to the big city? Be it a new job, business opportunity, or family situation, lots of people continue to flock to The Big Apple. New York City has grown by nearly half a million people since the 2010 census.
Once you’ve spent your whole life accustomed to green space and privacy, it can be a really tough adjustment to live in cramped apartments. And when it comes time to buy a home, the city is out of reach for most people anyway.
That’s why the Staten Island real estate market is so hot right now- for the price of a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, New Yorkers can own their own home with lots more space to move around.
As the most suburban borough, Staten Island contains a number of “hidden gem” neighborhoods flying under the radar of most New Yorkers. Today we’re going to reveal some of them to you! This article comes to us courtesy of RealEstateSINY.com, a Staten Island-based brokerage with lots content on its neighborhoods, even those little is known about.
Hidden Gem Neighborhoods in The Mid-Price Segment
The majority of properties in this segment are priced under a million dollars. If you want to keep your suburban lifestyle in one of the city’s more affordable high-end neighborhoods, these locales are your best bet.
Though we do consider Ward Hill a luxury neighborhood, we’ve elected to put it in the mid-price segment because this is the most affordable luxury neighborhood on Staten Island. One of several Staten Island neighborhoods named for the hill it sits on, Ward Hill stands out for its close proximity to the Staten Island Ferry, offering a free ride into Manhattan 24 hours a day. A ten minute bike or bus ride away from the boat terminal makes Ward Hill an excellent choice for city commuters.
Ward Hill offers a variety of different housing options from townhouses to Victorian and Tudor-style homes. Gorgeous views here span from the lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Though the northwest portion of Ward Hill contains some newer development, most of the neighborhood’s character dates back more than 50 years.
A small community unknown even to many Staten Islanders, Shore Acres is a neighborhood seated alongside the better-known Rosebank. Shore Acres is a dream for Brooklyn commuters as it is situated just above the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. This neighborhood borders the Hudson river with views as stunning as the homes are.
The area is a prime cultural destination because it is home to the former dwelling of famed photographer Alice Austen, now a museum and photographic art gallery. In the two adjoining neighborhoods on either side, you will find the Garibaldi Meucci Museum and Fort Wadsworth. New homes don’t enter the market often in Shore Acres; when they do, they are unlikely to stay there for long.
Similar to Ward Hill, Randall Manor is just minutes from the Staten Island Ferry and has many classic, stately homes on bucolic blocks such as Tysens Street. However, Randall Manor is probably best known for Staten Island’s cultural center: Snug Harbor.
Formerly a campus offering dorm-style housing for retired seamen, Snug Harbor’s sprawling grounds are an oasis in the bustling city. The cultural center contains 26 Greek, Italianate, Beaux Arts, and Victorian buildings as well as a botanical garden. Some of the attractions found here are the Art Lab, Staten Island Museum, Chinese Scholar’s Garden, and Noble Maritime Museum.
Have kids or planning on it soon? Families love Silver Lake Park, and the surrounding neighborhood of the same name. This North Shore locale is one of many large Staten Island parks spanning many acres (they don’t call it “The Borough of Parks” for nothing). Silver Lake Park gets its name from the reservoir offering tranquil water views plus wildlife like fish, turtles and ducks. Recreational activities abound here including a baseball field, golf course, tennis courts, dog run, and children’s play area.
Homes in the Silver Lake neighborhood range from high-rise apartments with magnificent park views to classic colonial-style homes. Nestled right alongside Ward Hill, residents here also enjoy a fast commute to the Staten Island Ferry.
Luxury Hidden Gem Neighborhoods
Our final two neighborhoods are premier spots in the luxury segment. Home seekers come here for grand homes, gorgeous views, and expansive lots.
Lighthouse Hill boasts what are arguably the most breathtaking views in all of Staten Island. As one of the highest points on the eastern seaboard, the namesake lighthouse here once provided a beacon of light to seafarers. Home of the Tibetan Museum, this affluent neighborhood is also a cultural destination for lovers of Eastern philosophy.
Hilltop properties grace the winding roads of Lighthouse Hill, the only Mid-Island neighborhood to make this list. Homes are generally of post 1970 construction, as new building codes allowed for safe luxury development on steep hills.
And last, but certainly not least, is the sole South Shore neighborhood we have included as a hidden gem: Richmond Valley. Though the South Shore is known for its safe neighborhoods and large opulent homes, Richmond Valley is one of the lesser known because it is so tucked away.
Richmond Valley is a former farming community from Staten Island’s rural days. Lavish center hall colonial homes are found here on quiet streets with very little traffic. Although further from Manhattan than other neighborhoods on this list, Richmond Valley borders Interstate 440 and has its own stop on the Staten Island Railroad. Drivers and public transit users alike have many options here.
It can be hard to adjust to pricey urban life, so these are some great alternatives to Manhattan or Brooklyn. Want to explore some more Staten Island neighborhoods? Click here for a full list: