Ridgewood, Queens draws young professionals priced out of Brooklyn

Ridgewood, Queens draws young professionals priced out of Brooklyn

When crossing the Bushwick border into Ridgewood, it’s hard to tell when you leave Brooklyn and enter Queens.

The brick row houses, along with the coffee shops, kitschy bars and art galleries popping up throughout Ridgewood evoke a Brooklyn aura.

Due to the similarities, young professionals looking for a Brooklyn vibe in recent years have drifted into Ridgewood — which formerly has predominantly been a haven for German, Italian, Hispanic and Egyptian immigrants.

As many are priced out of Williamsburg and Bushwick, the low-rise apartment buildings, multi-family homes and townhouses in Ridgewood become the next-best choice, said Cono Natale, a licensed broker with Citi Habitats.

“You see a lot of younger people moving into the neighborhood because of the affordability and the convenience of getting into the city,” Natale said.

It takes about a 40 to 45 minutes to get to midtown from Ridgewood, which has access to the M train.

Residents don’t need to leave Ridgewood to run their errands, however. Along the commercial districts on Myrtle and Seneca avenues is a plethora of shops and restaurants, like Polish delis and Mexican eateries, which reflect the diversity in the area.

One staple, Muncan Food Corp, is an Eastern European butcher shop on Myrtle Avenue, opened in 1992 by the same family that runs a shop by the same name in Astoria sjnce 1978.

Families head to the local Grover Cleveland Park, on Stanhope Street between Grandview and Woodward avenues, for its playground and softball and handball courts. A wading pool provides a spot to cool off in the summer and is sometimes used as an ice-skating rink in the winter.

Ridgewood is becoming more like Brooklyn by way of the trendy new businesses popping up, too. The café and bakery Norma’s Corner Shoppe, for example, opened on Catalpa Avenue in 2012, and the bar and antique shop The Keep opened in 2014 on Cypress Avenue.

Nowadays, a seasonal bar on Cooper Avenue that opened in June 2015 by the team behind the Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday dance parties in Brooklyn, offers everything from beer and sangria to food, movies and beer pong tournaments. It will reopen for the summer on May 12.

There are trendy art galleries too, like Lorimoto on Hancock Street, which opened in 2013 and displays local artwork.

Anibal Cordero, 52, who has lived in Ridgewood for 28 years, said he appreciates the newer establishments in the area, especially the coffee shops.

“[They’re] good for kids to go in and get their homework done because of the free Wi-Fi,” he said.

But while rents are relatively cheaper than Bushwick and Williamsburg, Ridgewood residents, including Cordero, have noticed the cost of living rising in the neighborhood.

The median rent in Bushwick and Williamsburg in 2015 was $2,500 and $3,100, respectively, according to the listings site StreetEasy. Meanwhile, the median rent in Ridgewood was $2,300 last year, up from $2,050 in 2014.

The median sales price in Ridgewood in 2015 was $750,000, StreetEasy found.

Meanwhile, construction is underway on a 90-unit building at 16-14 and 16-26 Madison St., considered within Ridgewood’s boundaries by some, which developer Essex Capital is reportedly gearing toward artistic types with a shared workspace for residents.

Despite the changes, Vincent Arcuri Jr., chair of the local Community Board 5, said local residents maintain their community-oriented values and celebrate their diversity.

“Ridgewood is abuzz since it has been discovered by the hipster community,” Arcuri said. But, he added, “anyone interested in Ridgewood should be aware of the camaraderie of its residents [and] its multi-ethnicity.”

Find it:

Ridgewood sits between Flushing Avenue to the west, the train tracks just past Decatur Street to the east, Fresh Pond Road to the north and Cypress Avenue to the south, according to StreetEasy.

Dartunorro Clark