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Revitalization perks up New Cassel, officials say

A sign welcomes visitors to New Cassel.

A sign welcomes visitors to New Cassel. Credit: Danielle Silverman

THE SCOOP New Cassel's downtown is thriving, thanks to revitalization, say community leaders in this Nassau County hamlet. "There’s a sense of pride in the New Cassel community that hadn’t been there," says Bishop Lionel Harvey, former chief executive officer of the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation.

The changes began about 15 years ago, Harvey says. New roadway medians and lighting have "beautified the area," says Harvey, pointing out that the community also now welcomes visitors with signs on lampposts in Haitian Creole, Spanish and English. “We tried to meet the needs of all the people that encompass the immediate area of New Cassel,” says Harvey, who presides over the First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury.

Developments in the area include the recently finished roadway underpass and pedestrian walkway at Urban Avenue at the Long Island Rail Road crossing, part of Metropolitan Transportation Authority's expansion project to build a third track for its main line in Nassau County, according to articles in Newsday. “It’s a great asset to the community," says Viviana Russell, a member of the North Hempstead Town Council. "We no longer have the grade crossing, which was problematic, not just for the railroad, but for the community." She says the changes should prevent fatalities there, train delays and traffic on Old Country Road, a main thoroughfare in New Cassel.

A 12,000-square-foot, three-story mixed-use building, which will have ground-floor commercial space and 10 one-bedroom apartments on the upper levels, is slated to open soon, says Russell.

“For years, this community has wanted a bank,” Russell says of the area around Prospect Avenue, a main thoroughfare. “And so now, we’re getting a financial institution in the form of a credit union, which is fantastic." A medical clinic is also coming, which, she says, is "always great to have in a local downtown community.”

Selfhelp Community Services, a company that provides home health aides, is moving into the last vacant spot of Gateway to New Cassel, a 19,740-square-foot, four-story development on Prospect Avenue where there’s already a restaurant, West Indian grocery store and barber shop, among other businesses, as well as 57 apartments above, says Russell.

The North Hempstead Housing Authority has repurposed the once-blighted property of the former Grand Street School into 77 one- and two-bedroom senior apartments, right next door to Magnolia Gardens, another affordable senior complex that will open in the spring.

“It’s beautiful,” says Russell. “It is top notch. Everything is high end. You would not think it’s an affordable housing initiative.”

Playground equipment at Martin "Bunky" Reid Park is being upgraded, says Russell, adding that North Hempstead Town will build a spray feature for children. Other parks in the community include Gateway Park and Swalm Park.

The community's Century 21 department store is slated to move to Roosevelt Field in Garden City in the spring of 2021, when its lease is up. “We will be redeveloping the site,” says Jordan Sanders, executive vice president of Sanders Equities, which owns the Old Country Road building. Plans have not been announced, he says.

Home sales in the area are steady, says Ray Bonilla, an agent with Platinum Winners Realty in Westbury.

“I’m selling houses over a half-million dollars in New Cassel,” says Bonilla, noting that most of the homes are Capes and high-ranches, with many split-levels and ranch-style homes as well. “The market is very strong.”

CONDOS AND COOPS 

There are no condos or coops on the market.

SALES PRICES

Between Oct. 1, 2018 and Oct. 28, 2019, there were 336 home sales in Westbury, which includes homes in New Cassel, with a median sales price of $475,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. The low price was $125,755 and the high price was $950,000. During that period a year earlier, there were 325 home sales with a median sales price of $465,000. The low price was $175,000 and the high price was $990,000.

OTHER STATS

Town: North Hempstead

Area: 1.5 square miles

ZIP code: 11590

Population: 14,321

Median Age: 32.1

Median household income: $88,289

Median home value: $334,300

LIRR to NYC: 42 mins.

Monthly ticket: $308

School district: Westbury

Sources, US Census, 2017 American Community Survey; LIRR

NOW ON THE MARKET

$479,000

This 1951 Cape has four bedrooms and one bathroom and is on a 70-by-100-foot lot. There is a wood-burning fireplace in the living room. Annual property taxes are $12,313. Listing agent: Jacob Nisim, New Age Realty Group, 516-877-7977

$459,999

There are five bedrooms and two bathrooms in this 1948 expanded Cape, which is on a 60-by-100-foot lot. The house has a one-car garage. Annual property taxes are $9,660. Listing agent: Ramon Bonilla, Platinum Winners, 516-997-3677

$599,000

Built in 1962, this split-level on a 50-by-100-foot lot contains an updated kitchen, central air conditioning and hardwood floors. There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Annual property taxes are $13,812. Listing agent: Nicholas Speirs, Alexander Madison Realty, 516-307-0800

RECENTLY SOLD

$430,000 

Address Whittier Street

Style Cape

Bedrooms 5

Bathrooms 2

Built 1948

Lot size 60x100

Taxes $6,808

Increased $10,010

Days on the market 167

$520,000

Address Ridge Drive

Style Split Level

Bedrooms 3

Bathrooms 2 ½

Built 1955

Lot size 60x100

Taxes $12,887

Increased $21,000

Days on the market 92

$697,500

Address Hollow Court

Style Split Level

Bedrooms 4

Bathrooms 3 ½

Built 1955

Lot size 68x105

Taxes $12,429

Reduced $17,500

Days on the market 162

WHAT'S FOR SALE*

Number of houses 143

Price range $225,000 to $1.299 million

Tax range $4,205 to $21,723

SOURCE: MLSLI.COM

*Includes all homes for sale in Westbury, which includes New Cassel on MLSLI.COM

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