Living In: Yorktown Heights, N.Y.: Progress and Preservation

Living In: Yorktown Heights, N.Y.: Progress and Preservation

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That is one reason Erin and Andres Alvarez chose to remain in the hamlet when they realized that the cottage they had moved to in 1999 was no longer big enough for them and their two sons. Last summer the Alvarezes bought a five-bedroom contemporary for $425,000. Besides the good schools, they appreciate the wealth of outdoor offerings, like swimming at two town pools and the sandy Sparkle Lake beach, and bicycling along the North County Trailway, a 22-mile-long paved pathway.

And they have developed strong friendships and a feeling for the community. Of the summer concert series held at Jack DeVito Memorial Park, Ms. Alvarez said, “Even if we went on our own, we would absolutely run into, and catch up with, a lot of people we’ve gotten to know.”

Much is happening in Yorktown Heights in terms of development and revitalization, according to Michael Grace, Yorktown’s town supervisor. He cited the restoration of the former Yorktown Heights railroad depot, once a station on the New York Central Railroad and now a local, state and federal landmark. He mentioned the pending construction of a rental apartment complex aimed at both millennials and older adults, touting the value of an intergenerational community. He spoke of aesthetic improvements — replacing burned-out streetlights, hanging dozens of flags with Yorktown’s motto, “Progress With Preservation” — to engender pride. “You create the character of the town through its physical appearance,” he said.

What You’ll Find

Yorktown Heights’s socioeconomic diversity is reflected in its housing options. Most are single-family raised ranches, split-levels, Cape Cods and colonials, along with some pre-Revolutionary homes. There are a few condominium complexes and rental apartments.




FRANKLIN D.

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Railroad Depot

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In the southern portion of the hamlet, “the lots are larger and the homes are more expensive,” said Wayne Kokinda, a broker with William Raveis Real Estate.

Yorktown Heights’s commercial center bustles with small businesses and strip malls. The hamlet, bordered to the south by the expansive New Croton Reservoir, contains thousands of acres of parkland.

What You’ll Pay

Data from the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service indicate that as of Monday there were 92 single-family homes on the market. They ranged from a one-bedroom, 680-square-foot ranch built in 1929 on less than a fifth of an acre, listed for $157,500, to a 7,758-square-foot, four-bedroom estate built in 1800 on 20 acres with pool and pond, listed at $12 million.

The median sales price for single-family homes during the 12-month period that ended June 7 was $430,000, up from $411,000 the previous 12 months.

The Vibe

While Yorktown Heights does not have a quaint downtown, it does provide shopping convenience, with local stores like Turco’s grocery and national chains. The surrounding areas are a quieter mix of residential neighborhoods and parks, including the Turkey Mountain Nature Preserve, which affords scenic vistas from its summit, and Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, where visitors can swim in a gigantic pool and fish in two bodies of water.

1583 CENTRAL STREET A five-bedroom, three-bath split-level house built in 1958, with 2,800 square feet on a third of an acre, listed at $624,900. 914-552-0936

Credit
Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

Farm produce and other treats are sold at the county-owned Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center and the family-owned Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm and Meadows Farm. Alpacas roam the fields of Faraway Farm.

Among dining choices are Jewel of Himalaya for Tibetan fare, and Peter Pratt’s Inn, set in an 18th-century former barn.

As for culture, the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center houses Yorktown Stage, which presents musicals and children’s theater; the Westchester Ballet Center for the Performing Arts, offering dance classes; and the Yorktown Museum, featuring displays of Yorktown’s history.

The Schools

Most Yorktown Heights residents send their children to Yorktown Central School District schools: Brookside Elementary and Mohansic Elementary for kindergarten through third grade, Crompond Elementary for Grades 4 and 5, Mildred E. Strang Middle School for Grades 6 through 8, and Yorktown High School.

On 2016 third- and fourth-grade state assessment tests, 52 percent met English standards, compared with 38 percent statewide, and 59 percent met math standards, compared with 39 percent statewide.

About 1,200 students who live in the northern part of Yorktown Heights are served by the Lakeland Central School District. Its 5,800 or so students attend one of five elementary schools, Lakeland-Copper Beech Middle School and either Lakeland or Walter Panas High School.

In 2016, average SAT scores for Yorktown High School were 533 in critical reading, 558 in mathematics and 538 in writing; for Lakeland High School, 519 in critical reading, 517 in mathematics and 508 in writing; and for Walter Panas High School, 514 in critical reading, 513 in mathematics and 506 in writing. Statewide equivalents were 489, 501 and 477.

The Commute

There is no train station in Yorktown Heights, which is about 40 miles from Manhattan. The Croton-Harmon and Cortlandt Metro-North Railroad stations, on the Hudson line, are 15 to 20 minutes away, as is the Mount Kisco station on the Harlem line. Rush-hour trains between Croton-Harmon and Grand Central Terminal take 45 to 71 minutes; to and from Cortlandt 52 to 58 minutes; and to and from Mount Kisco 51 to 68 minutes. The monthly fare is $311 from Croton-Harmon and $369 from Cortlandt and Mount Kisco.

Yorktown has three free Westchester County park-and-ride commuter lots, including one that connects with the Bee-Line bus to the Croton-Harmon station.

The History

In April 1781, the Continental Army’s First Rhode Island Regiment was stationed at the Davenport House in Yorktown Heights. The unit was made up of freed slaves and Native Americans led by colonial officers. The men were charged with defending Pines Bridge, a strategic crossing over the Croton River.

On May 14, the British waged a surprise raid, defeating the unit and killing many soldiers. A planned monument commemorating the event, called the Battle of Pines Bridge, will feature three eight-foot-tall bronze soldiers: one African-American, one Native American, one European-American. The Davenport House, built in 1750, still stands on Croton Heights Road.

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