Living In: Mamaroneck Village, N.Y.: A Low-Key Vibe on the Long Island Sound

Living In: Mamaroneck Village, N.Y.: A Low-Key Vibe on the Long Island Sound

- in Real Estate

Living in

An unpretentious place with a vibrant downtown and miles of coastline, the village is also surprisingly diverse, thanks to a wide range of housing.

It was on a Thursday that Jonathan and Ariel Treiber first saw the listing for the house in the village of Mamaroneck and fell in love. On Friday, they toured the property and made an offer. Over the weekend, knowing the market was competitive, they increased their bid twice. By Monday afternoon, despite 11 rival offers, the house was theirs.

In February, the Treibers moved from their Upper East Side rental to their new home: a 2,446-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial, built on 0.18 acres in 2011. They paid $1.425 million, $135,000 above asking.

Mr. Treiber, 36, is the chief executive of RevTrax, a marketing analytics company in Manhattan. Ms. Treiber, 36, is a stay-at-home mother to the couple’s daughters, who are 7 and 2. The Treibers were drawn to the area for its easy commute, strong schools and lively downtown. Specifically, they were drawn to Shore Acres, a community of about 200 homes surrounded by the Long Island Sound. “We sensed it would feel like a vacation all year long,” Mr. Treiber said.

The 3.2-square-mile village of Mamaroneck, in southern Westchester County, is bisected by the Mamaroneck River, with the western half in the town of Mamaroneck and the eastern half, known as Rye Neck, in the town of Rye. The village’s southern border is formed by six miles of Long Island Sound coastline, dotted with homes (some quite grand), beach clubs and the 44-acre Harbor Island Park. The park, with its beach, boat launch and stunning vistas, is a short walk from the train station along Mamaroneck Avenue, filled with shops and restaurants.

Relative to its neighbors, the village of Mamaroneck is a diverse community. Census data shows that of the village’s 19,423 residents, 22.4 percent are Hispanic and 7.2 percent are black; 28.1 percent are foreign-born. That mix appealed to Shanna and Naphtali Joseph when they moved with their daughters, now 9 and 7, from a Manhattan rental to the Orienta neighborhood.

“There are all kinds of people here,” Ms. Joseph said. “You hear different languages on the streets. At the schools, it’s like the United Nations.”

The bustling half-mile of shops and restaurants on Mamaroneck Avenue runs from the train station to Harbor Island Park. Favorite destinations include Miller’s toy store, family-owned since 1908.CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Ms. Joseph, 40, is an artist; Mr. Joseph, 42, is a financial analyst in Manhattan. In 2012, they paid $1.275 million for a 2,364-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial, built in 1938 on a quarter of an acre not far from the Sound.

The Josephs appreciate the village’s low-key vibe, as well as its proximity to the water. So do the Treibers, who spent time this summer paddling on the Sound in their new kayak and swimming in the Shore Acres pool, which “is at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the harbor, with the Sound on three sides,” Mr. Treiber said. “It really does feel special.”

Mary Stetson, a broker and founder of Stetson Real Estate, attributed the village’s socioeconomic and generational diversity to its wide range of housing options.

“It’s the housing stock that drives the character of our village,” she said. “We have everything from waterfront mansions to private beach communities, to thickly settled neighborhoods, to apartment complexes.”

According to figures provided by the assessors in the towns of Mamaroneck and Rye, the village has approximately 2,800 single-family homes, including a cluster of 19th-century Victorians. There are roughly 800 multifamily homes, 30 condominium and cooperative complexes with more than 1,560 units, and 88 rental apartment buildings.

843 TAYLORS LANE | A five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom Dutch colonial-style house built in 1929 on 0.66 acres, listed for $3.4 million. 914-381-7173CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Thomas A. Murphy, the mayor, estimated that an additional 159 units, primarily condominiums, are slated for or already under construction. Last April, aiming to curb development, village trustees placed a moratorium on new construction of residential buildings with more than three units. It is scheduled to expire in March.

“We are doing a cost-benefit analysis,” Mr. Murphy said. “We want to maintain our small-town feel.”

Ms. Stetson described the market in the village as “bifurcated.”

“It’s a seller’s market for homes under $1.2 million and a buyer’s market above $1.7 million,” she said, adding that the pattern has accelerated in recent months. The midrange, she said, is stable.

On the rental front, Katie Becker McLoughlin, an associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence, cited two new luxury complexes where residents pay as much as $9,000 a month.

According to data from the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, as of Oct. 15 there were 41 single-family homes on the market in Mamaroneck, from a two-bedroom, ­­­1,236-square-foot ­­­colonial built in 1940 on 0.12 acres, listed at $­­­439,900, to a ­­­seven-bedroom, 9,995-square-foot, Georgian-style house on the waterfront, built in ­­­1998 on 1.27 acres, listed for $­­­7,495,000.

810 SOUNDVIEW DRIVE | A four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom converted barn built in 1910, on 0.33 acres, listed for $1.675 million. 914-381-7173CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

There were 12 condominiums for sale, from a one-bedroom apartment for $425,000 to a three-bedroom townhouse listed for $1.995 million. And there were 11 cooperative apartments on the market, from a $104,999 studio to a $425,000 three-bedroom. There were also 40 rental homes and apartments, priced from $1,425 to $18,000 monthly.

The median sales price for a single-family home during the 12-month period ending Oct. 15 was $907,500, ­­­up from $825,000 during the previous 12 months. For condos, the median was $608,500, up from $395,000; for co-ops, it was $184,000, down from $216,750. The median rental was $3,100, compared to $2,700 the previous year.

The village of Mamaroneck is defined by the presence of the Long Island Sound. In warmer months, water-lovers can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding.

Then there is Mamaroneck Avenue, the village’s commercial center, with popular haunts like Sal’s pizza and Miller’s toy store, plus various restaurants and the soon-to-open, six-screen Mamaroneck Cinemas.

Nature lovers can explore the 35-acre Otter Creek Preserve, home to marine and avian wildlife. Culture seekers can choose from the Emelin Theater’s roster of music, comedy, dance, theater and film. Hot dog fans can visit the pagoda-style Walter’s, family-owned since 1919.

Residents gather for village-sponsored events at Harbor Island Park, like last weekend’s Halloween Spooktacular and the upcoming Turkey Trot and Gobbler Race.

727 BLEEKER AVENUE | A four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom Victorian house built in 1897 on 0.44 acres, listed for $1.325 million. 914-318-4973CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Ms. Joseph enjoys the options. “The community is small enough that we feel safe and embraced,” she said, “but big enough to feel possibility.”

Rye Neck is served by the Rye Neck Union Free School District, which also serves parts of the City of Rye. The district’s 1,597 students attend Daniel Warren Elementary through the second grade, F.E. Bellows Elementary for third through fifth grades, and then Rye Neck Middle and High Schools, which share a 57-acre campus.

The portion of the village that is in the town of Mamaroneck is served by the much larger Mamaroneck Union Free School District, which also serves the village of Larchmont and the unincorporated town of Mamaroneck. The district’s 5,607 students attend one of four elementary schools, followed by Hommocks Middle School and Mamaroneck High School.

Of the Rye Neck district’s fourth-graders who took the 2018 state assessments, 75 percent scored at levels 3 or 4 (the highest levels of proficiency) in English, and 76 percent scored at levels 3 or 4 in math. Among the Mamaroneck district’s fourth-graders, 72 percent scored at levels 3 or 4 in English and 66 percent scored at levels 3 or 4 in math. Statewide equivalents were 47 and 48 percent.

At Rye Neck High School, mean SAT scores for the 2016-2017 school year were 603 in reading and writing, and 598 in math. Mamaroneck High School’s equivalents were 586 in evidence-based reading and writing and 581 in math. Statewide means were 528 and 523.

Customers gather at Modern on the Rails, an Italian restaurant next to the Metro-North station, in what was once the train depot.CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Commuters to Manhattan, about 20 miles southwest, can catch Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven line at the Mamaroneck station. Rush-hour trains to and from Grand Central Terminal take between 33 and 46 minutes; a one-way peak ticket is $18 on board or $12.25 in advance, and the monthly fare is $268. Barring traffic, the drive on Interstate 95 takes about 40 minutes.

In the early 1920s, movie stars like Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore could be spotted strolling along Mamaroneck Avenue when they were not on set, shooting a scene with D.W. Griffith.

In 1919, Griffith, the pioneering and controversial American director, bought land from Henry Flagler at the tip of Orienta and built a sprawling movie studio that employed village residents as technicians, assistants and extras. There, he produced black-and-white silent films like “Way Down East,” starring Gish, and the Revolutionary War drama “America,” featuring Barrymore and Carol Dempster.

For several years, the village was known as Hollywood East until, besieged by debt, Griffith dismantled the studio in 1924.

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