Some suburbs around New York City are becoming decidedly less suburban, as new apartment buildings and condominium communities close to mass transit help expand the downtowns of these villages and towns. Multifamily housing is also popping up near highways and main thoroughfares.
Young professionals seeking more space than they can afford in Manhattan or Brooklyn, empty nesters looking to downsize and leave the snow shoveling to others.
For example, The Ritz-Carlton Residences in North Hills is sandwiched between the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway, 19 miles from Midtown Manhattan. The development made sense for Eileen and Jerry White, who were the first to move in. They settled into a $1.2 million two-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath there, after selling the four-bedroom three-bath house in Great Neck where they had lived since 1972, for just under $1 million in April.
“I don’t miss anything about living in the house,” including the yard and steps, said Ms. White, 73, a retired homemaker. “I love living in an apartment. It is much easier. It’s valet parking. They take your groceries and put them on the kitchen counter. I don’t have any tension living here.”
It may not be within walking distance of a train station, but the complex has meet-the-neighbors cocktail parties at a resort-like 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, as well as doormen, wine coolers in the lounge, a 30-seat theater, a golf simulator, a banquet room, a gym, spin and yoga studios, indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, saunas and steam rooms and concierge services.
The buyers’ ages range from 25 to 79; some are relocating from Manhattan, though most come from within a 10-mile radius, Emily Bock, a project manager for RXR Realty, said.
Prices in the first phase of the development have been raised three times, now ranging from $1.5 million to $6 million. And there are 35 names on the reservation list for the 120 units in the second phase, which started construction in early November.
Mr. Rechler, of RXR Realty, said he saw the Ritz-Carlton Residences and another of his projects, Garvies Point in Glen Cove, as opportunities to “create an urban type lifestyle for suburbia while at the same time embracing the elegance suburbia has to offer,” adding that “people are looking for more of a full-service, highly amenitized version of living.”
The reinvention of suburban living appeals to empty nesters and professionals in their 40s and 50s. “It is people that don’t want to live in Manhattan or own the traditional suburban home,” Mr. Rechler said. “We are creating that alternative for them.”
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