Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Jamaica Estates not what it used to be
From the Wall Street Journal:
Long a prestigious pocket in east-central Queens, Jamaica Estates continues to command premium prices from those seeking to make the leafy enclave home.
Bounded by Union Turnpike to the north and Hillside Avenue to the south, the area historically drew politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries to its landscape of classic homes amid elm, oak and chestnut trees.
Recent years have seen new arrivals hailing from South Asia as well as a significant number of Bukharian Jews, who are drawn to the religious infrastructure in the neighborhood—including synagogues, kosher restaurants and shops.
Brokers say the draw for many in the Bukharian community are the large lot sizes for the homes in the area. That makes many of the homes candidates for being torn down and replaced with expanded homes to accommodate larger families.
The tear-downs aren't welcomed by everyone.
"The new McMansions are totally out of character, very ostentatious, very ornate," said Julia Shildkret, owner of Julia Shildkret Realty Group, who has been based in the neighborhood for 27 years. "Prices have sustained because of niche demand, but on the other hand the homes of the past are going away and the whole look of the neighborhood is changing."