While Manhattan and Brooklyn are usually the darlings of real estate brokers' end-of-the-year reviews and forecasts, there's a lot more to New York City than just those two boroughs. Things are percolating nicely across the East River in Queens, where developers are working on new residential projects to satisfy the demand for housing being voiced by young professionals and their growing families, new arrivals to this country, and businesses looking to spread out without breaking the bank.
Most people - both home buyers and entrepreneurs - cite the slightly-less-daunting prices in Queens as their primary reason for looking past the river and considering putting down roots somewhere other than Manhattan.
According to Norman Ellis of Ellis Group Ltd., a brokerage and development company based in Manhattan, "[Building in the boroughs] is an alternative to Manhattan prices; that's number one. I also think it's easier [to live and work] in the boroughs as well."
According to Charles Singer, director of market research for Rockrose Development Corp., the reason for so many eyes turning to Long Island City and beyond boils down to simple geography. "Well, basically there's no more room on the rock. Because of the excellent transportation facilities available in the form of the No. 7 train for instance - which is only one stop from Grand Central to Vernon Jackson and Long Island City," says Singer, "parts of Queens and Long Island are evolving into more upscale neighborhoods."
Leonard Jacobs of MPJ Realty, Inc. in Flushing agrees. "I think the activity in Queens can be attributed to the fact that people just can't afford to live in Manhattan anymore. I see a lot of young people who would have moved into Manhattan five years ago, but are now sinking their money into Queens. I see people bringing cash into Queens like we've never seen before. They're turning out these old apartments and making them new with complete renovations."