A new loft-living scene is beginning to take shape in the trending Queens neighborhood of Long Island City. The draw? More space and lower price tags than comparable units in Manhattan—and all just a quick subway ride away, according to Corcoran associate broker and LIC expert Hanifa Scully.
With her husband, Scully bought a converted loft in the neighborhood more than a decade ago after not finding what she wanted in Manhattan. “The lofts in this price range are much larger than those in Brooklyn and Manhattan,” Scully says. “LIC is also much more conveniently located than Brooklyn, and the commute to the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Midtown is definitely much easier.” (The 7, E, F, M and R lines all run between Queens and Manhattan.)
Once Scully began exploring listings in Queens, she became fond of the neighborhood—not just for its practicality, but for its architecture, history and charm. “My husband suggested that we check out Queens since he had heard much of the area had been rezoned and now had European-looking buildings with style and soul,” she recalls. “I was specifically taken by the old Eagle Electric building from the 1920s in Long Island City. While [our unit] was being built, we rented in Long Island City for six months and have been there ever since.”
“The diversity of the neighborhood makes it interesting—you don’t need to travel to experience other traditions, customs, and cuisines,” Scully says. “If you’re looking for uniqueness, come to Queens.”
Here are some of Scully’s top picks for Queens neighborhoods to explore:
One of the first Queens neighborhoods to attract Manhattanites, Astoria still offers plenty of “diversity,” according to Scully. Her go-to spots here include the Greek restaurant Agnanti Meze, Dave & Tony Salumeria and S & J, which serves traditional Moroccan cuisine in a homey setting.
Long Island City:
Favorite local haunts include the cozy and authentic Italian restaurant Levante, organic-food purveyor LIC Market and the Japanese restaurant Sapps—Scully swears by its unagi. Also on her list is the new bookstore, Book Culture, on Jackson Avenue, which she says is perfect for stationary and distinctive gifts.
Site of several new hotels and rooftop bars and restaurants, like Penthouse 808, the neighborhood is becoming a foodie destination.
According to Scully, this could be Queens’ next hot spot, with a burgeoning restaurant and retail scene. “We’ll continue to see consistent growth there—more interesting shops and art galleries will come.”
Find your home in Queens here.