Buy Curious

What to know about buying in Maspeth, Queens, where you may see the Manhattan skyline from your backyard

By Nancy A. Ruhling | August 31, 2022 - 9:30AM

This two-family, semi-detached five-bedroom, three-bath brick house sits on a corner lot and has a private drive and backyard. It is asking $1.49 million.

Landmark International Real Estate

The western Queens community of Maspeth, the hometown of actor Vincent Piazza—who plays Lucky Luciano in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”—is a tree-lined, suburban-style setting.

The former swampland (the name, from the Mespeatches Indians who used to live there, means “at the bad waterplace”) is a commuter neighborhood—people drive to their jobs in Manhattan and Brooklyn via the Long Island Expressway and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. It's also culturally diverse.

In this week’s Buy Curious, Donna Demkowicz, owner/broker of Donna Demkowicz Real Estate Co., and Andrea Evans, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman, give us the inside story on Maspeth.

The question:

I’m thinking about moving to Maspeth because I’ve heard it’s less expensive than neighboring Queens communities. Is that true?

The reality:

“It’s not cheaper, but it is comparably priced,” Demkowicz says.

“Like much of Queens, Maspeth offers opportunities in real estate at a variety of price points for properties to rent or purchase. This holds true for both residential and commercial space,” Evans adds.

Where is it?

The community, which is bisected by the Long Island Expressway, is bounded by Woodside on the north, Ridgewood on the south, Elmhurst on the east, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn on the west.

Why would NYers want to move to Maspeth?

“It’s a four-mile drive to Manhattan," Demkowicz says. "In fact, it’s so close to Manhattan that from some areas, you can see the city skyline. It’s also a hop, skip, and a jump to Greenpoint.”

In addition to its proximity to Manhattan and Brooklyn, “Maspeth offers a good mix of single-family and multi-family housing for sale and for rent,” Evans says. “And it has a progressive vibe with new businesses and a variety of shops and restaurants opening to cater to the diverse community.”

Where in Maspeth should you live?

Maspeth Plateau, which used to be called Ridgewood Gardens and still has brick pillars bearing the name, is the most expensive section of the community. It starts at 65th Place and ends at 53rd Avenue. It includes the co-op complex Ridgewood Gardens, which has 371 units.

What are housing and pricing like?

The main housing options are attached and detached one-family and two-family houses, many of which were built in the 1930s. Some are framed are some are brick.

Typically, they have backyards, shared driveways, and parking places or garages.

The market is transitioning from the brisk bidding wars of a couple of months ago, Demkowicz says, adding that “every day there are price reductions as [mortgage] rates get higher.”

Inventory, though, is still scarce: There are only 24 houses, condos, and co-ops for sale in Maspeth at the moment, according to StreetEasy.

One-family houses sell for $750,000 to $1 million, and two families bring an average of $1 million to $1.4 million. Three families are rare, Demkowicz says, noting that she recently sold one for nearly $1.4 million.

The community has two small condo developments. Prices average $250,000 for studios, $400,000 to $450,000 for one-bedroom units, and $600,000 to $625,000 for two bedrooms.

At Ridgewood Gardens, the only co-op complex in the community, prices average $250,000 to $350,000 for one bedrooms and $400,000 for two-bedroom units. Three-bedroom units, which Demkowicz says “rarely come up,” sell for about $500,000, but “most of them need work because people have held onto them for such a long time.”

Although there are a couple of rental buildings, most of the apartments are in two- and three-family houses. One bedrooms generally are $1,600 to $1,900 per month, two bedrooms are $2,000 to $2,400, and three bedrooms command $2,600 to $2,700.

Is there a lot of new development?

Lack of land and zoning restrictions have kept new residential developments to a minimum. “There are not many double and triple lots left for developers to build on,” Demkowicz says.

What’s the transportation situation?

Although there are no subway lines or express buses in Maspeth, there are a number of local bus lines, some of which connect to subway stations. They are the B57, Q18, Q39, Q47, Q58, Q59, and Q67.

The Q67 connects to the E, R, and M lines at Queens Plaza and to the M in Middle Village. The Q18 connects to the No. 7 line.

What is there to do?

Maurice Park, also known as Frank Principe Park, is a prime gathering spot for residents. It has a baseball diamond with concrete bleachers that seat 1,000, two football fields, handball courts, a softball field, volleyball court, and children’s playground with a wading pool.

During the summer, the parking lot at Maspeth Federal Savings becomes an events center for concerts, car shows, and community fairs. 

What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?

The community has a variety of restaurants, including ones that specialize in Chinese, Mexican, Peruvian, and Japanese dishes.

Iconic spots include O’Neill’s, which opened in 1933 and serves burgers, sandwiches, soups, draft beers, and pizza; Connolly’s Corner, a bar and restaurant known for its brunch and live music; Patrizia’s, offering pizza and classic Italian dishes from a family-style menu; and Rosa’s Pizza, which has been family-owned and -operated since it opened in 1975.

Slide Bar-B-Q has great chicken and ribs and burgers and a full bar,” Evans says, adding that Asian-fusion Thai Mission "is a hidden gem that stays open late," and Zaab Zaab, whose name means ‘delicious’ in Laos, is known for fries and wings, beer chicken, and drunken noodles.

There are also several places to get sushi, including Ask Sushi, Wakamatsu, and Sakura 7. 

How about grocery stores?

Stop & Shop, which is right over the border in Elmhurst, and Key Food are the main supermarkets.

Check out these listings in Maspeth.

59-82 60th St.

This three-story, two-family semi-detached brick house on a corner lot is listed for $1.49 million. It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, hardwood floors, modern kitchens and bathrooms, a private driveway, one-car detached garage, and backyard.

72-03 45th Ave.

Built in 1950, this two-story, two-family semi-detached brick house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full basement with two entrances, and private backyard. It is listed for $1.39 million.

58-16 63rd St.

Listed for $768,000. this circa-1960 single-family semi-detached brick house has two bedrooms, one full bathroom, one half bathroom, a full basement, private driveway, and one-car attached garage in front. It also offers an updated kitchen, hardwood floors, and solar panels. 

62-15 53rd Ave., #6C

This two-bedroom, one-bath co-op is listed for $365,000. The elevator building has a live-in super, on-site laundry, and a package room.

61-62 71st St.

This two-story, two-family house has not been on the market since the 1960s, when it was built. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a finished basement with private entrance, and backyard. It is listed for $1,299,999,

Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.

Nancy A. Ruhling

Contributing Writer

In addition to her work for Brick Underground, Nancy A. Ruhling has written about real estate for a number of publications, including Mansion Global. She also has written features on various topics for over 50 online and print publications, including The New York Times, the New York Post, the Daily News, the HuffPost, New York magazine, Town & Country and Vogue.

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