Buy Curious

What to know about buying in Todt Hill, Staten Island, a tony nabe with big houses, large lots, and swimming pools

  • Single-family homes predominate and usually come with a driveway, garage, and fenced yard
  • The houses range from Colonial to contemporary and sit farther apart than in other communities
  • It's a buyer's market, with prices generally running from $1 million to $3.5 million
By Nancy A. Ruhling  |
February 15, 2023 - 9:30AM

This four-bedroom, three-bath contemporary has been recently renovated and includes a sunroom and pool. The asking price has been reduced from $1.995 million to $1.945 million. 


The northeastern Staten Island community of Todt Hill, where Gambino crime family bosses Paul Castellano and Frank Cali lived and the Corleone family compound in “The Godfather" was filmed, is one of the most expensive in the borough. The hill the community sits on—the highest hill along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to Cape Cod—is part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Todt, by the way, is derived from Tod, the German word for dead, and supposedly refers to Staten Island’s Moravian Cemetery, not to any real or fictional crime-family misdeeds.

In this week’s Buy Curious, Xavier Lugo, an agent at Corcoran, and Jessica Taccetta, a broker at Gateway Arms Realty Corp., give us the inside story on Todt Hill.

The question:

I’ve heard that Todt Hill is a good place to buy if you’re searching for peace and quiet. What can you tell me about it?

The reality:

“It’s right in the middle of Staten Island, between the North Shore and the South Shore, so it has a suburban-urban feel,” Lugo says. “It offers the best of both worlds.”

Where is it?

The V-shaped community forms a point on the southern boundary with Todt Hill Road on the west and Richmond Road on the east. The eastern boundary continues along Fingerboard Road, Stonegate Drive, Alan Loop, Britton Avenue, Baltic Avenue, and Emerson Drive until reaching the Staten Island Expressway on the northern boundary.

Why would NYers want to move to Todt Hill?

Todt Hill is a good fit for those who like a suburban lifestyle, Lugo says. Given its proximity to the city—it’s a 45-minute drive with no traffic or about an hour on the express bus—makes it an ideal choice for commuters, he adds.

The properties, or what Taccetta calls “private, beautiful estates,” are another draw. “If you own an apartment in Brooklyn or Manhattan, you get more space in Todt Hill for your money, and you have access to all kinds of amenities, including golf courses.”

Where in Todt Hill should you live?

There are no named subsections in the community.

What are housing and pricing like?

The "extravagant" (per Lugo) houses, which Taccetta describes as "huge, detached, and high end," are typically renovated or custom-built and represent a variety of architectural styles. They also tend to come with driveways, backyards, and in-ground pools.

The lots are on the larger side and the houses are spaced farther apart than those in some of the borough’s other neighborhoods.

Most of the residences are single family, but there are some duplexes in the mix.

Although only six single-family houses are listed on StreetEasy, Lugo says it’s still a buyer’s market, with supply outpacing demand as mortgage interest rates remain high.

According to Lugo, single-family houses generally cost $1 million to $3.5 million and multi families and duplexes $700,000 to $1 million.

Rental units (in duplexes) run $3,000 to $3,800 per month for three- and four-bedroom spaces, he adds.

Is there a lot of new development? 

Other than buyers tearing down single-family houses to renovate, there is no new residential development.

What’s the transportation situation?

There is no subway service in Todt Hill but the S74, S76, S84, and S86 local buses and the SIM15 express bus run along Richmond Road.

Per Lugo, most of the residents have cars.

What is there to do?

The Richmond County Country Club has the distinction of being the only private country club in New York City and one of the oldest in America. In addition to an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert White, the first president of the PGA, it has tennis courts, a pool, fitness center, and two clubhouses.

Clove Lakes Park, which is a 10-minute drive from Todt Hill, has a restaurant and picnic areas, an outdoor skating rink, playgrounds, fishing areas, dog runs, a basketball court, and soccer, football, and baseball fields. Its 300-year-old tulip tree is famous in the borough.

Silver Lake Park is another nearby attraction that offers an 18-hole golf course, tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds.

What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?

The residential neighborhood is not known for its nightlife. There are however a number of restaurants, most of them on Hylan Boulevard, a nearby north-south artery.

Some of the more well-known dining choices include Campania, which serves coal-fired pizza and Italian fare; Nino’s, a fine-dining Italian establishment; Max’s Es-Ca, which pairs Italian dishes with live music and wine; and Violette’s Cellar, which has classic American cuisine.

The bakery Piece-A-Cake includes a café that serves breakfast as well as soup, salad, and sandwiches, and its sister bakery, the adjacent Cookie Jar, offers cookies and shakes.

Ralph’s Sports Bar Restaurant, which is nearby, is another local hangout.

How about grocery stores?

Key Food, SuperFresh, Met Food, and Viraj Grocery Store are right outside Todt Hill’s borders.

Check out these listings in Todt Hill.



8 Circle Road

Listed for $3.499 million, this 4,692-square-foot 1920 Colonial has five bedrooms, three full baths, and one half bath. Set on nearly an acre, the red-brick house has a great room, five fireplaces, a marble-floored foyer, finished basement and attic, slate roof, and a private drive with a two-car garage.



35 Andes Place

This 2,058-square-foot single-family house dates to 1975 and is listed for $1.099 million. It has three bedrooms, two full baths, one half bath, a kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and a dining room. Outside is a deck, fenced-in yard, driveway, and garage.



130 Old Farmers Lane

Built in 1988, this custom brick contemporary is 6,336 square feet and has four bedrooms, four full baths, and one half bath. Other features include a grand entry, two-story family room with a wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room, kitchen with a breakfast nook, finished basement, two-car garage, and central air. It is on the market for $1.399 million.



417 Ocean Terrace

This 4,065-square-foot custom split-level contemporary, built in 1960 and completely renovated in 2021, has been reduced from $1.995 million to $1.945 million. It has four bedrooms, three baths, a sunroom with a fireplace, and finished basement. The open kitchen has custom cabinetry, quartz countertops, an island, stainless steel appliances, and an oven with a warming drawer. Other features include an in-ground swimming pool, a patio, new retaining wall, and two-car garage.



531 Todt Hill Rd.

This single-family 1955 Colonial is listed for $1.649 million and has four bedrooms and four baths. Other features of the 3,431square-foot house, which was built in 1955, include a new kitchen, two fireplaces, a finished basement, circular driveway, two-car garage, and in-ground pool.

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. The Queens-based journalist frequently contributes articles to Brick Underground's Buy Curious column. 

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