THE SCOOP Visitors to the village of Centre Island — actually not an island, but a peninsula surrounded by Long Island Sound and Oyster Bay Harbor — have to wend their way to the end of Bayville Avenue, pass a village police hut and then drive along Centre Island Road, the one main road, which has no commercial activity. It’s one of the most private communities on Long Island.
Residents of the 185 homes in the village pay high annual taxes for that seclusion and security — they can range from about $50,000 to well over $150,000.
Most of the homes in the 1-square-mile village are custom-built brick mansions, grand Colonials, and cedar shakes built in the style of French chateaus, English estates and Hamptons designs, said Regina Rogers of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Prices range from $1.5 million for an entry-level home to $15 million for a luxury waterfront estate.
In Centre Island, you can watch the subtle day-to-day changes of life along the waterfront, notes Park Benjamin, a retired investment banker who has lived there 11 years. Many of the houses are on large plots of land either on the water or have water views.
“It’s just a very tranquil, nice place to be,” Benjamin said.
Though the village is remote, it’s close to the Town of Oyster Bay’s Centre Island Beach, just up the road on Bayville Avenue in adjacent Bayville. Residents can also access restaurants, shops and services in Bayville, as well as in Oyster Bay and Locust Valley.
The Matinecock Indians originally hunted and fished in the area. In 1639, the Earl of Sterling sold Centre Island to Mathew Sinderland for 10 shillings. Unaware of that deal, the Matinecocks sold it to the Dutch in 1650. The matter was decided in 1666 when the Town of Oyster Bay purchased the land.
In the late 1800s, Centre Island became a summer colony and saw the opening of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, which still exists today. Centre Island was incorporated as a village in 1926 after beach bungalows had started popping up after World War I.
Village trustees recently adopted regulations restricting the use of leaf blowers on weekends and permitting horse stables on private property, the latter to oblige Billy Joel, one of the many bold-faced names with homes in Centre Island. Other notables have included members of the Roosevelt and Pell families, as well as Rupert Murdoch and Sean Hannity.
CONDOS AND CO-OPS There are no condos or co-ops on the market.
SALE PRICES Between Sept. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022, there were seven home sales with a median sale price of $3.75 million, according to OneKey MLS. The low price for that period was $825,000 and the high was $9 million. During that period a year earlier there were eight home sales with a median sale price of $2.5 million. The price range was $1.2 million to $7.5 million.
SOURCES: 2020 Census; 2020 American Community Survey; OneKey MLS; LIRR, data.nysed.gov
Town Oyster Bay
Area 1.1 square miles
ZIP code 11771
Median age 57.2
Median household income $177,917
Median home value $3.925 million
Monthly LIRR ticket from Oyster Bay $277
School district, graduation rate Oyster Bay-East Norwich, 89%
Park Centre Island Beach Village Park
Library Oyster Bay-East Norwich
Hospitals Glen Cove Hospital, Syosset Hospital
NOW ON THE MARKET
Situated on a hill, this French country estate built in 1986 with 5,768 square feet of living space has five bedrooms and 4½ baths, with water views from every room as well as water access. It has a two-story front hall, a library with built-ins, and primary suite with a fireplace, balcony and office. The 3.2-acre property includes a pool and studio guest cottage. Taxes are $51,050. Regina Rogers, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-759-0400.
Built in 1997 and recently renovated, this 6,540-square-foot four-bedroom, 5½-bath French-chateau-style estate on 3.21 acres off Long Island Sound overlooks a bird sanctuary. It has a marble terrace, first-floor primary suite with two marble baths and a study; living room with a wet bar; butler’s pantry and gym. There’s also a pool and two-bedroom guesthouse. Private beach access comes with annual $1,400 HOA fees. Taxes are $61,332. Regina Rogers, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-759-0400.
At 6,600 square feet, this five-bedroom, 4½-bath English country-inspired estate features harbor views, a grand foyer with a bridal staircase, oversized living room with hardwood floors, large dining room with curved windows, and primary suite with a balcony overlooking the water. The 2.93- acre property includes a detached three-car garage. Taxes are $51,623. Lowell Ackerman, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, 516-674-2000.
Centre Island Rd.
Bathrooms 7 full, 2 half
Lot size 4.91 acres
+/- List price -$2.8 million
Days on market 485
Centre Island Rd.
Bathrooms 4 full, 2 half
Lot size 4.04 acres
+/- List price +$751,000
Days on market 87
Centre Island Rd.
Lot size 0.46 acre
+/- List price -$70,000
Days on market 117
ON ONEKEY MLS
Number of listings 7
Price range $1.95 million to $10.75 million
Tax range $49,776 to $93,657