Buy Curious

What to know about buying in Ridgewood, Queens, an up-and-coming community that's attracting artsy singles

  • 'It's like what Williamsburg was 10 years ago before the chain stores'
  • Prices are average for Queens but inventory is scarce
By Nancy A. Ruhling | October 12, 2022 - 9:30AM

This two-bedroom, two-bath duplex is in a pet-friendly co-op building with a shared backyard. It is asking $599,000.

Compass

The Queens community of Ridgewood, where Tommy Ramone, the founder of The Ramones, lived (and died), is a diverse area that’s just coming on the radar and into its own.

It's drawing artsy singles—priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn—who are transforming the neighborhood into a cool scene.

In this week’s Buy Curious, Donna Demkowicz, owner/broker of Donna Demkowicz Real Estate Co., and Eugene Litvak, an associate broker with The Litvak Team at Compass, give us the inside story on Ridgewood. And for more information on the community, see Brick Underground’s "Insider's Guide to Living in Ridgewood."

The question:

I’ve heard that Ridgewood has become a mecca for a new generation. Is that true?

The reality:

“Yes, it’s a hip, trendy area that’s popular with younger people, particularly those who are artsy,” Demkowicz says.

Litvak adds that “it’s the Williamsburg of Queens—it’s what that Brooklyn community was like 10 years ago when it was a home to artists and before it was [commercialized]. It’s more chill than Manhattan—it’s a cool, calm, hip place to live. It’s not about clubs, it’s about restaurants and beer gardens.”

Where is it?

Ridgewood historically straddled the Queens/Brooklyn boundary. Arbitration Rock, a boulder that dates to 1769, still marks the border between it and Brooklyn’s Bushwick.

The community is bordered by Maspeth on the north, Middle Village on the northeast, Glendale on the southeast, and the Brooklyn communities of East Williamsburg on the west and Bushwick on the southwest.

Why would NYers want to move to Ridgewood?

Noting that Ridgewood is “an up-and-coming area that’s energetic and evolving,” Likvak says that its middle-of-the-borough property prices are an incentive for incoming New Yorkers. “It’s uncharted territory, and people want to get in on the ground floor.”

Demkowicz adds that “there are a lot of restaurants and bars, and there’s always something to do.”

Where in Ridgewood should you live?

There are no named subsections in Ridgewood, but there are 10 national historic districts and four landmarked districts designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

What are housing and pricing like?

Prices are dropping because it’s now a buyer’s market, Demkowicz says, even though inventory is really scarce: There are only 11 single-family houses and condos on the market, according to StreetEasy.

The community is comprised mostly of six-, eight- and 12-family buildings, along with some one- and two-family homes. Most of the housing stock is 100 to 150 years old and is either brick or frame.

Until recently, six-family buildings were in high demand, Demkowicz says, but now “they are sitting around” and the one-family and two-family houses, “especially those with parking, driveways, and garages, are the most desirable because parking is always difficult.”

Single-family houses with parking and a garage typically sell for $750,000 to $850,000, two families go for $1.5 million, and six-families that generally were $2 million to $2.2 million, with the price determined by the rent roll, are now bringing $1.5 million to $1.6 million, Demkowicz says.

There are some condos. One-bedroom units are about $500,000, and two bedrooms are $650,000.

Litvak notes that 1671 Summerfield Condominium, a five-story, 28-unit development completed in 2021 raised the bar for condo prices and expectations.

“There’s nothing else like it in Ridgewood,” he says. “It’s a beautiful, brand-new building, and units are priced at over $900 per square foot. There are no other comps in the community.”

Renters have a choice of mixed-use buildings with stores on the ground floor, and some apartment complexes. One bedrooms usually are $1,800 to $2,100 and two bedrooms are $2,400 to $2,600, Demkowicz says.

“Apartments don’t stay on the market,” she adds, “and there have been bidding wars for them. Rents are ridiculously high because Ridgewood is near the subway.”

Is there a lot of new development? 

“There are a lot of new single-family houses, condos, restaurants, and stores being built,” Litvak says. “They are all small boutique projects. It’s exciting because of all the buildings going up and the changes going on.”

What’s the transportation situation?

The L and M lines serve the community as do the B13, B20, B26, B38, B54, B57, Q38, Q39, Q54, Q55, Q58, and Q67 bus lines.

What is there to do?

There are several parks, playgrounds, and green spaces in the community. They include Grover Cleveland Playground, which is behind the high school of the same name and has basketball and handball courts as well as softball fields.

The Footlight, an arts and performance event space, is another popular attraction.

What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?

Almost any kind of food you want—Italian, Peruvian, Chinese, Mexican, Polish—is available in Ridgewood.

The community’s legendary dining spots include Antica Trattoria, which serves traditional Italian fare, and Corato Pizza, whose menu includes deep-dish and Sicilian pizza along with other Italian dishes.

Other popular restaurants include Super Pollo, which has Mexican food and rotisserie chicken, Julia’s, a café that is known for its Sunday brunch, and Rustico, a traditional Italian dining spot.

Rudy’s Bakery & Café, open since 1934, serves traditional German favorites like Bienenstich, strudel, and Black Forest cake as well as newer sweet and savory treats.

Bridge & Tunnel Brewery, Queens Brewery, Evil Twin Brewing, and the German pub Gottscheer Hall are local hangouts. So is Nowadays, a taproom and eatery with a backyard and DJs.

How about grocery stores?

In addition to supermarkets Stop & Shop, Foodtown, and CTown, Ridgewood residents have the option of shopping at smaller, local places such as Valentino Food Market, a family-owned, open-air fruit and vegetable grocery store.

Check out these listings in Ridgewood.

1832 George St., #1B

This two-bedroom, two-bath duplex co-op, listed for $599,000, has an abundance of natural light, a queen-size primary bedroom, washer and dryer, dishwasher, hardwood floors, and a shared backyard. The pet-friendly building, which dates to 1931, has six units on three stories.

21-18 Rene Ct.

Built in 1910, this attached two-family house has 2,886 square feet, five bedrooms, and two baths as well as an eat-in kitchen and a private backyard. It is listed for $1.198 million.

1926 Madison St.

This two-story, four-family house, built in 1930, is listed for $1.45 million. The 2,750-square-foot residence has eight bedrooms, four baths, exposed brick, and hardwood floors. The bottom two units have been updated.

1671 Summerfield St., #3B

Listed for $499,000, this one-bedroom, one-bath unit is in the new 1671 Summerfield Condominium development. It has an open floor plan, hardwood floors, central air, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and oversized windows. The pet-friendly five-story building, opened in 2021, has 28 units, an elevator, a virtual doorman, gym, and garage parking. 

63-15 Forest Ave., #1A

Recently renovated, this three-bed, two-bath duplex condo is listed for $760,000. It is located in a three-story, 11-unit gated building that dates to 2007 and comes with assigned parking, a laundry room, storage in the basement, and a rack for two bicycles. 

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

Nancy A. Ruhling

Freelance Journalist

Nancy A. Ruhling has written for over 50 digital and print publications, including The New York Times, HuffPost and Mansion Global.

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