Many people are attracted to Long Beach - "the city by
the sea" - for its sand, surf and bay. The allure of seaside living keeps this
real estate market hot.
"We've got the location," said Ramona DeBenedetto, owner-broker of Beach to
Bay Realty, citing the ocean as the primary draw. "Plus, the airport is
nearby," she added, referring to John F. Kennedy International, "and we're one
hour away from one of the best cities in the world."
Homes are never too far from the water on this barrier island, which spans
a half-mile wide from the Atlantic Ocean to Reynolds Channel. The oceanfront is
popular for its 2.2-mile-long boardwalk, lined by high-rise condos and co-ops.
Homes on the west end have direct beach access, and some bay-front properties
have floating docks.
Areas near the water can be densely housed; neighborhoods leading to the
city's interior are tree-lined. House styles include bungalows, Colonials,
ranches, high-ranches, contemporaries and Tudors, generally priced from
$300,000 to $2.5 million, DeBenedetto said. Prices have gone up roughly
$200,000 from four years ago, she said, noting the number of closings so far
this year has surpassed those in 2002.
There's a good deal of construction as well: Many of the smaller houses are
being expanded, and new condo complexes are being built, such as the Meridian
on West Broadway. The seven-story, 36-unit luxury building, where prices range
from $749,000 to $1.580 million, should be ready for occupancy by the end of
the month, said Joyce Coletti of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Long Beach is one of only two cities on Long Island (the other is Glen
Cove). Much of the community's evolution is owed to William Reynolds, a state
senator who developed Coney Island's Dreamland park. In 1906 Reynolds and other
investors acquired the oceanfront from private owners and the rest of the
island from the Town of Hempstead, so he could build a boardwalk, homes and
hotels. Reynolds had Mediterranean style-homes built on the north side, where
he also had the island dredged to create a channel.
Today, the city continues to attract summer residents and tourists. The
summer population just about doubles, said Mary Giambalvo, the city's public
relations director. A long list of summer festivities includes arts and crafts
fairs and concerts on the boardwalk.
The Long Beach Recreation Center on Magnolia Boulevard and West Bay Drive
offers amenities and programs for all ages, including a skating rink, two
swimming pools and a weight room.
A few parks have been renovated, and new restaurants are coming into town.
The city has hired consultants to help plan the city's future, Giambalvo said.
Residents can attend workshops to stay informed or access www.longbeachny.org.
Students attend the Long Beach school district.
AT A GLANCE
Area: 2.1 square miles
Median age: 41.2*
Median household income: $65,257*
Median home value: $528,000**
LIRR to NYC: 51 to 59 minutes at peak times
Monthly ticket: $203
ZIP code: 11561*
Sources: Claritas 2005, U.S. Census, Long Island Rail Road
*Includes Lido Beach
**Based on sales in the past six months per Multiple Listing Service of Long
IF YOU WANT ... TO BUY
Starter: Ranch, 2 to 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 30-by-60-foot lot.
Trade-up: Colonial, contemporary, high-ranch, some two-family homes, 3 to 4
bedrooms, 1 1/2 to 2 baths, 30-by-60-foot or 40-by-100-foot lots.
Luxury: Colonial, contemporary, Tudors, split-level, antique- historic and
two-family, 4 to 6 bedrooms, 2 to 4 baths, garage, 50-by-100-foot to
Price: $690,000-$2.5 million (waterfront and new construction starting at
Condos: Studio, $195,000; 1-bedroom, $269,000; 2-bedroom, $375,000;
3-bedroom, $600,000; new $750,000-$1.5 million.
Co-ops: Studio $149,000; 1-bedroom, $225,000; 2-bedroom, $345,000.
Town houses: Three-bedrooms, $700,000 and up
Year-round houses are $1,600 to $3,500 a month. Summer rentals $6,000 to
$45,000 for the season.
Oregon Street, $375,000, 3-bedroom ranch, 1 bath, partial basement,
30-by-60-foot lot, brick-shingle, 78 years old, taxes $5,000.
Nevada Avenue, $480,000, waterfront, 3-bedroom cottage, 1 bath,
30-by-60-foot lot, frame, 77 years old, taxes $3,850.
Harding Avenue, $535,000, 4-bedroom two-story home, 2 baths, 40-by-57-foot
lot, siding, 58 years old, taxes $6,729.
Magnolia Boulevard, $750,000, 4-bedroom Colonial, 2 full baths, 2 half
baths, fireplace, detached 2-car garage, 60-by-100-foot lot, stucco, 81 years
old, taxes $8,581.
East Bay Drive, $1,037,500, bay front, 3-bedroom contemporary, 2 1/2 baths,
fireplace, 2-car garage, 40-by-120-foot lot, cedar, 16 years old, taxes
SOURCE: Ramona DeBenedetto, Beach to Bay Realty