Elmhurst is experiencing an uptick in luxury developments and redevelopments.
The projects are giving the nabe a new look while enticing more residents to move into the neighborhood at a rapid rate because of its relative affordability.
Developers lately have been renovating older buildings into luxury apartments and condos, mainly due to the lack of available sites where new construction can be built.
Three major new projects include the Elm East at 86-55 Broadway, the 150-luxury unit Queens Pointe at 90-08 Queens Blvd. — the site of the shuttered St. John’s Hospital and The Continental Park at 87-10 51st Ave., a redeveloped co-op building which contains 153 units.
The buildings are bringing in new, younger residents from other areas but Myles Horn, a developer who partnered with ABC Properties and Fisher Associates to develop The Continental Park, said Elmhurst residents are also moving in.
“There was a pent up demand in Elmhurst for new product that’s not as expensive as the rest of the new construction” in the city, Horn said. “People are priced out of Manhattan, Brooklyn, [Long Island City] and Astoria now. There is no place for people who are middle class to buy something reasonable but Elmhurst is one of those neighborhoods.”
When The Continental Park hit the market in 2014, units sold in record time, according to Horn. More than 90% of the units initially available for sale were gone in four months.
“All of the three-bedroom apartments were scooped up instantly,” he said, noting that three-bedrooms sold for between $500-550,000, two-bedrooms for $400-500,000 and one-bedrooms for $350-400,000.
The projects have some asking if Elmhurst will soon become too expensive.
The area has recently seen a rise in home prices, which may or may not be attributed to the new developments. According to the Elliman Report, the quarterly survey of residential sales produced by the Douglas Elliman real estate firm, in the fourth quarter of 2014 sales in Western Queens, where Elmhurst is located, rose 20% from the fourth quarter in 2013.
Around the neighborhood, residents say they feel the new developments are causing prices to rise but some believe that long-time Elmhurst residents aren’t yet threatened with a costly burden.
“I don’t think we’re priced out yet but residents feel it’s no longer affordable as what it used to be, but we will deal with it accordingly,” said resident and Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic member, Phil Wong.