Marine Park, Brooklyn lacks retail options, but offers sprawling green space

If you think you can’t have your own backyard, porch and a garage in New York City, Marine Park can prove you wrong, with real estate prices that are less expensive than other parts of the city.

In much of the area, iron gates line front yards, which are decorated with flowerpots and garden spinners, along tree-lined blocks.

Renee Shacalo, a sales broker at Citi Habitats who lived in Marine Park for more than 20 years, said it’s known for being clean and well-kept.

“You feel like you’re in a different world when you’re up there,” she said.

While the neighborhood is predominantly residential, it’s bordered by a business district along Flatbush Avenue.

The strip is speckled with basic necessities, including a 99-cent store, furniture stores, a pizza joint, a hair salon and a Laundromat. It also boasts Salvi Restaurant, a fine-dining Italian eatery and Marine Park staple that’s been around for 27 years.

Locals, however, said Marine Park is lacking in shopping and nightlife. For retail, they head to Mill Basin for Kings Plaza, an indoor mall with Macy’s, Best Buy and other big shopping outlets.

“If you want to do exciting things, movies and stuff, you have to go to the city,” said Mayer Sher, 51, a Hebrew Studies and math teacher who has lived in Marine Park since 1998.

But traveling to Manhattan can be tough since it takes about an hour to get to Union Square on the closest subways, and there are no train stations within the Marine Park boundaries. Instead, Marine Park residents need to take a bus to get to a train.

Instead of relying on public transportation, many prefer to have a car to get around.

Rockaway Beach in Queens is just a 30-minute drive, but for those who are looking for some fun closer to home, there’s an abundance of activities for all ages at Marine Park, after which the nabe is named.

The largest park in Brooklyn at 530 acres, it offers a summer concert series, playgrounds, cricket and every other sport court imaginable, fitness classes at the Carmine Carro Community Center, paddle boating, bike rentals and plenty of grasslands that are perfect for picnicking with family and hanging with friends.

Ed Jaworski, 72, said it’s a great area to walk. “You can see grass and trees and gardens and so forth. … You can see trees and the sky, and you can breathe.”

Marine Park mostly offers attached and detached single-family homes, townhouses and small apartment buildings.

Houses in the nabe have distinct personalities — some have brick and others are Tudor-style — and are built close together.

“Everyone knows each other,” eight-year resident Dana Gencarelli said of her block. The fourth-grade teacher, 42 compared her neighbors to a family: “We’re close.”

Many homes feature porches, garages and yards, so real estate prices are reasonable for what’s included, Shacalo said. But they are creeping up, according to data from StreetEasy.

The median sales price in Marine Park was $469,000 in 2012, and rose to $560,000 in 2015, StreetEasy found. The median sales price in Brooklyn as a whole in 2015 was $560,000. But sales prices in the nabe are less expensive than in Manhattan, where the median was $976,594 last year.

Rental prices in Marine Park are a little cooler. The median rent grew from $1,938 in 2013 to $2,050 in 2015, StreetEasy found. The median rent was $2,500 last year boroughwide in Brooklyn, and $3,200 in Manhattan.

“You’re getting more bang for your buck out in Marine Park,” Shacalo said.

Residents said the neighborhood is a taste of suburbia in New York City.

“I’m not going anywhere for the next 10 years,” said Pete Libertos, owner of Oasis Diner at 2132 Flatbush Ave.

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