Living In: East Hills, N.Y.: A Village Green Built With Recreation in Mind

Living In: East Hills, N.Y.: A Village Green Built With Recreation in Mind

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On May 2, the Karliks sold for $1.3 million the four-bedroom, three-bath house on a half-acre lot they purchased in October 2013 for just over $1 million in the Country Estates neighborhood.

15 CYPRESS LANE A six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath 2016 house on half an acre, listed at $2,888,000. 516-625-0944

Credit
Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

Needing space for out-of-town guests, in July the Karliks expect to close on a $1.6 million, six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath house on a third of an acre in what Ms. Karlik called a “more peaceful location” in the nearby Norgate neighborhood, within walking distance of the park. (They are staying with Jordan’s mother.)

A sizable yard, the esteemed Roslyn public schools and the park attracted Alexandra and Oleg Babekov to East Hills. After looking at houses in East Williston, Cedarhurst and Roslyn Estates, last September they moved with their two children from Jamaica Estates, Queens, to a $1.2 million, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath 1955 ranch on half an acre. “It is excellent,” said Ms. Babekov, 38, a real estate agent in Queens. “The neighbors are great and everyone is super friendly. The schools are awesome. It is super quiet. I feel like I am in Pennsylvania, but I’m 15 minutes away from Queens.”

Drawn by a better commute, Gil and Vicky Vilkas and their three daughters moved from Merrick, on the South Shore of Long Island, to a three-bedroom, three-bath house in East Hills eight years ago. They found a “warm, inviting, dedicated community of neighbors,” said Mr. Vilkas, 49, a lawyer. “It is more than loving our house and loving our location; we appreciate how just about every resident is committed to make our community better. They are active and engaged.” The village has its own roving private security force and private sanitation; street parking is not allowed.

East Hills is “very desirable,” particularly among professionals and businesspeople, said Michelle N. Cohen, an associate broker at Laffey Real Estate and a 40-year resident. “We are attracting younger people and keeping a lot of our senior residents,” who play bridge in the card lounge or work out in the fitness center in Village Hall, which is inside the park.

“The sense of community has gotten better because of the park and community activities that are held at the park,” Ms. Cohen said. “It has become a venue for social activity and interaction.”

Michael Koblenz, mayor for 25 years and mastermind behind the residents-only park, said there were no annual fees; costs are covered by village taxes. Programs include a Fourth of July concert with fireworks, a Halloween “Spooktacular,” book clubs and “chair yoga” for the older adults. In case of power failures, Mayor Koblenz outfitted Village Hall with a generator. Residents can charge their cellphones or shower in its Italian-tiled locker rooms.




Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center

 

East Hills

Village Hall

 


What You’ll Find

East Hills is mostly in the Town of North Hempstead, with a small portion in the Town of Oyster Bay. Roslyn and Roslyn Heights are to the west, Old Westbury to the east, Albertson to the south and Greenvale and Roslyn Harbor to the north. The Long Island Expressway cuts an east-west swath through the village.

Among the 2,300 single-family homes on quarter- to half-acre well-tended lots are center hall colonials, ranches and expanded farm ranches. Teardowns are plentiful. With about 40 applications pending, “we have a lot of new houses coming up,” Mayor Koblenz said. Among new construction, large, gambrel-roofed shingle-and-stone houses predominate.

Along Glen Cove Road, the main north-south thoroughfare, are a few pocket-size strip centers and professional office buildings. Antonette’s, a restaurant, offers live music, dancing and Italian fare. On the village’s northern edge, set back from two car dealerships on Northern Boulevard, are the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center and an office and industrial area.

What You’ll Pay

The 52 homes on the market range from a three-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath 1938 house on 0.44 acre, listed at $775,000, to a new $3.2 million five-bedroom two-story gabled house with five full and two half baths on 0.4 acre.

The average sales price as of April 30 was $960,250, down 8 percent from $1,043,750 a year earlier, said Richard Orent, an agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, citing data from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. “There is very little inventory,” he said.

Smaller homes, from the high $700,000s to just under $1 million, sell quickly, said Ms. Cohen of Laffey Real Estate.

73 REVERE ROAD A three-bedroom, three-bath 1948 house on a quarter-acre, listed at $1,198,000. 516-659-5220

Credit
Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

In the middle of the market, buyers from Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and other parts of the island “buy a house in the million or low million range and renovate,” Mr. Orent said.

New construction dominates the high end, said Susan Cherney, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Anything in a prime location with a good piece of property is $2.8 to $3 million,” she said. Homes in the Country Estates, Lakeville Estates and Nob Hill neighborhoods fetch the highest prices. New homes on smaller, flatter lots in Strathmore and Norgate sell close to $2 million; in Fairfield Park the price dips to $1.7 million.

The Vibe

At least once a month, Jen Grotas, 36, a school psychologist, takes her daughter Samantha, 5, and son, Alex, 4, to birthday parties with D.J.s and balloon artists at the Village Theater in the Park at East Hills, often rented by residents for private events.

Community parties at the theater in the park include “Into the Jungle” themes, with boa constrictors and baby crocodiles; “bubble shows” with human-size bubbles; and cartoon character breakfasts that in the not-too-distant future will also delight Ms. Grotas’s 3-month-old, Jordyn.

Since Ms. Grotas and her husband, Bryon Butts, a podiatrist, moved four years ago from a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment to a six-bedroom six-bath expanded ranch, they also bring their brood to the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center for weekly swim lessons and tap, ballet and gymnastics classes.

Jumbo cupcakes, pizza, Chilean sea bass, sushi and overstuffed sandwiches tempt at Kitchen Kabaret, a takeout emporium with bistro seating in a small strip center.

For evenings out, a multiplex theater and upscale restaurants like Kyma and Hendrick’s Tavern pepper the quaint neighboring village of Roslyn. “The only thing we lack is shopping centers and big retail,” said Mr. Orent. The Roosevelt Field mall and big-box stores are a seven-minute drive; Jones Beach is half an hour away.

The Schools

East Hills is in the Roslyn Union Free School District, which has 3,139 students. Pre-kindergartners, kindergartners and half of the district’s first graders attend the Heights School. The East Hills and Harbor Hill Schools serve first through fifth graders. Sixth through eighth graders attend Roslyn Middle School; Roslyn High School serves freshmen through seniors.

Average SAT scores for 2016 were 586 in reading, 617 in math and 592 in writing, compared with New York State scores of 489, 501 and 477.

With the graduation rate near 100 percent annually, almost every student pursues postsecondary education; more than 90 percent attend four-year colleges.

About 80 East Hills students attend the 1,735-student East Williston schools, and a few students go to Jericho schools.

The Commute

Riders on the 7:42 a.m. peak train from the Roslyn station, on the Oyster Bay branch of the Long Island Rail Road, reach Penn Station 50 minutes later, with a transfer in Jamaica. Monthly passes are $297. The 22-mile drive to Midtown Manhattan via the Long Island Expressway takes from 35 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.

The History

In the early 1900s, the area was dominated by the financier Clarence Mackay’s 648-acre country estate, four farms and a residential area known as Red Ground. In 1931, residents of East Hills, fearing that taxes would soar with incorporation plans in neighboring Roslyn, banded together and incorporated their own village.

Built on the former site of the Roslyn Air National Guard Station, the Park at East Hills opened in 2006. In 2000, after the base shut down, Mayor Koblenz sold the former Village Hall for about $3 million and bought the park property from the United States Air Force for the same amount.

Correction: May 10, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated the age of Elisabeth Karlik’s son. He is 3, not 2.

Correction: May 15, 2017

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to one of the high schools that East Hills students attend. The Wheatley School is a secondary school in the East Williston Union Free School District; Wheatley is not a district unto itself.

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