What to know about buying in Riverdale, the Bronx, where you can get more space and river views for your money
- Single-family houses typically sell for $1.2 to $4 million and they don’t come on the market very often
- Co-op prices run from $250,000 to $750,000; condo prices are around $650,000 to $1.5 million
The northwestern Bronx community of Riverdale, where legendaries including the Kennedy clan, Metropolitan Opera general manager Rudolf Bing, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, and astrophysicist/TV host Neil deGrasse Tyson lived, is like Manhattan lite.
If the urban/suburban commuter community looks familiar, it’s because it has had a starring role in a variety of films including “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1990) and “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006).
I’ve heard that Riverdale offers different types of housing at different price points. What can you tell me about it?
In Riverdale, you can indeed buy condos, co-ops, single-family, and multifamily houses, Vicenty says, adding that a wide range of prices make the community attractive for both first-time and established buyers.
Where is it?
Though most people agree that Riverdale is bounded by Westchester County’s Yonkers on the north, Van Cortlandt Park and Broadway on the east, and the Hudson River on the west, the southern boundary is in dispute. Some people declare emphatically that it’s the Harlem River; others insist that it’s the community of Spuyten Duyvil.
Why would NYers want to move to Riverdale?
In Riverdale, which Vicenty calls “a greenscape with an urban sensibility,” the houses are “historic looking, and you get more space and more views for your money than you do in Manhattan, which there is easy access to. It has a quieter feel than Manhattan.”
Buyers from other parts of the city are attracted by “the perfect blend of urban and suburban,” Kass says. “In the morning, you can hear birds chirping; you feel like you’re at the edge of the city while being right in it.”
The variety of housing types and elite private schools—Riverdale Country is in the neighborhood and Ethical Culture Fieldston and Horace Mann are in nearby Fieldston—are big draws for families, Kass says, adding that Manhattan College and the College of Mount Saint Vincent bring students.
Where in Riverdale should you live?
There are sub-communities in Riverdale, but not everyone agrees on what they are. Generally, the neighborhood is divided into three main sections: South and Central Riverdale, which are closer to the train and are more urban, are considered to reach as far as 241st and 242nd streets, while North Riverdale, which is more spacious and a little more suburban, tops out at around 263rd Street.
What are housing and pricing like?
Most of the housing in Riverdale dates from the 1920s through the 1930s as well as the 1950s and later. It’s a mix of traditional styles, notably Tudors and center-hall Colonials.
StreetEasy lists 289 single-family houses, condos, and co-ops for sale.
“With single-family houses, things don’t move fast,” Vicenty says, explaining that's because they are the highest-priced options in the community. “There’s lots of movement in the co-op market because the prices are lower.”
According to Vicenty, single-family houses typically sell for $1.2 million to $4 million, and they don’t come on the market very often—people who buy in Riverdale tend to stay for the long term.
Co-op prices typically run from $250,000 to $750,000, though three-bedroom units on the upper floors of the luxury high-rise development Skyview Riverdale, which has a restaurant, fitness club, Olympic-size swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, and a dog park on 23 acres, can command $800,000.
Condo prices are around $650,000 to $1.5 million.
Renters, who have the choice of leasing a unit in an apartment building, a condo or a multi-family house, can expect to pay $2,000 per month for a studio up to around $5,000 for a three-bedroom condo.
Is there a lot of new development?
Vicenty says there has not been much new construction lately, aside from the occasional multi-family house or the conversion of a single-family to a multi-family property.
What’s the transportation situation?
The No. 1 train serves Riverdale, as does Metro-North Railroad; shuttle buses on the Hudson Rail Link take commuters to and from the Metro-North station.
Several bus lines are also available: Bx1, Bx7, Bx9, Bx10, and Bx20 make local stops, and the BxM1, BxM2, BxM3, and BxM18 run express. The Bee-Line Bus System runs to and from Westchester County.
What is there to do?
Riverdale Park, which runs along the Hudson River, is the community’s main green space.
Van Cortlandt Park, on the border of Riverdale, has woodlands and wetlands, a historic house, stables, and a golf course, among other amenities.
Kass notes that the neighborhood is dog friendly and that some of the parks feature dog runs.
The public garden Wave Hill, which bills itself as “a garden of wonders,” is another popular attraction.
Riverdale Y offers a variety of athletic and cultural activities.
What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?
Popular dining spots include Salvatore's of Soho, an Italian café that offers pizza and pasta, Tin Marin Tapas Bar, which often has live music and dancing, Yukka Latin Bistro, Bronx Burger House, Mamajuana Cafe Prime, and the coffee shops earlybird, Savor Coffee & More, and ARTIZEN NYC, which is also a co-working space. Lloyd's Carrot Cake is another favorite.
How about grocery stores?
Check out these listings in Riverdale.
Listed for $4.1 million, this two-story house was built in 1910 and sits on a large lot in a cul-de-sac. It has six bedrooms, four full baths, original millwork, casement windows, and hardwood floors. The living room has a wood-burning fireplace, and the den and primary suite have gas-burning fireplaces. Other features include an eat-in kitchen, balcony, soaking tub, and two-car garage.
Sited on one-third of an acre, this two-story, 1930s center-hall Colonial has six bedrooms, three full baths, and one half bath. Other features include a library with built-in shelving, wood-burning fireplace in the living room, circular drive, two-car garage, and fenced garden and landscaping with mature trees. It is on the market for $2.295 million.
This studio co-op, described as the size of a one-bedroom unit, is in Skyview on the Hudson, a 437-unit building that dates to 1961 (and is part of the Skyview Riverview campus). Asking $285,000, the unit has smart-home technology, a terrace, and views of the George Washington Bridge, the Hudson River, and New Jersey’s Palisades. Indoor and outdoor parking is extra.
After being listed at several prices since the end of 2022, this one-bedroom co-op in Netherland Gardens is currently on the market for $199,000. The completely renovated unit has custom radiator covers, hardwood floors, and a kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and a dishwasher. Indoor and outdoor parking spaces are available to rent.
This two-bedroom, two-bath co-op, listed for $324,900, is in a 1962 building that has six stories and 54 units. The 1,100-square-foot unit has hardwood floors and a chef’s kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, including a dishwasher, and granite countertops. The building is dog friendly and offers bike storage.
Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.
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