New York Times – September 27, 2017
By MARCELLE SUSSMAN FISCHLER
For 43 years, Lorraine Wendt, 79, loved her five-bedroom house on more than two acres in Lloyd Neck, N.Y. But as a widow, she wanted to downsize, though she couldn’t decide whether she preferred to be on the water or in a town.
In Glen Cove, a seven-square-mile, ethnically and economically diverse city on the North Shore of Nassau County, she found both.
“It’s city, but country, and it’s on the water,” said Ms. Wendt, who plays golf with a friend at the municipal Glen Cove Golf Club. “This is the most perfect, idyllic situation I could be in.”
In July, she put a deposit on a $700,000 one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath unit with views of Glen Cove Creek and Hempstead Harbor at the 167-unit Beacon, a condo complex under construction at Garvies Point. Twenty-two units have been sold, said Joseph V. Graziose, 55, a lifelong resident of Glen Cove and senior vice president at RXR Realty, the developer.
A mixed-use development on a cleaned-up Superfund site, where infrastructure and foundation work is underway, Garvies Point will have 569 condominiums, 541 rental apartments, a 1.1-mile waterfront esplanade, an amphitheater, three marinas, shops, a restaurant and cafe with outdoor dining, a dog park and more than 27 acres of open space and public parks. And next year, a completed ferry terminal will offer commuter service to Manhattan, Mr. Graziose said.
The new community “is something that will rejuvenate the area,” he said. “We had all this wasteland that was waterfront property.”
Across a small bridge in the downtown, RXR is tearing down abandoned buildings to make way for Village Square, another development with 146 apartments above shops and restaurants on a piazza.
“Glen Cove lost its character as a destination location, and now this will bring it back,” said Reginald Spinello, the city’s mayor, who since taking office four years ago has worked to get long-stalled projects approved, and to change the face of this city of about 27,000 residents. “We have a waterfront 20 years in the making, and now we have 56 acres of remediated waterfront property on the North Shore of Long Island that is back on the tax rolls after 30 years.”
The Glen Cove that Mr. Spinello, 65, grew up in was “a very vibrant place — our downtown was the center,” he said. But “as years went by, nobody wanted to shop in the downtown or went to the malls. Now, everybody wants a downtown.”
He added, “Glen Cove is transitioning to what it was: At one time, it was one of the gems of the Gold Coast.”
What You’ll Find
Glen Cove has “an urban-suburban feel,” said Debra Quinn Petkanas, an associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty and another lifelong resident. “It’s very much a city environment, or you can escape to Pryibil Beach or eat at the View Grill at the golf course, and you could be anywhere, Nantucket or on the East End of Long Island.”
Joanne Santoro, 70, who moved from a Mahwah, N.J., townhouse last November to a $519,000, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath expanded ranch on a quarter acre, said she likes the proximity to the trio of residents-only beaches. She also likes the sunsets in Morgan Park, dining at La Bussola and Sweet Mandarin, and Glen Cove’s “really nice downtown feel.”
Along School and Glen streets is the original home of the 91-year-old London Jewelers, as well as a Staples, several home furnishings stores, offices, restaurants, City Hall (housed in an old bank building) and a handful of assisted living facilities. Across Glen Cove Creek from Garvies Point, proposed waterside recreational amenities and other upgrades are being considered by the city for the playing fields and various facilities at the 19-acre John Maccarone Memorial (City) Stadium complex.
Dormered capes, ranches and colonials on quarter- to half-acre lots dot sometimes hilly streets. The lush estates area — north of Forest Avenue and along Dosoris Lane and Crescent Beach Road — has “the same feel as when all the wealthy people came here at the turn of the century, the Pratts, the Whitneys, the Morgans and Woolworths,” Ms. Petkanas said. “Most of their mansions remain in Glen Cove but have different uses” — as a YMCA, the Glen Cove Mansion hotel and conference center and the Webb Institute, an engineering college. At Welwyn Preserve, a 204-acre Nassau County park, a Pratt mansion is now home to the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center. Killenworth, another Pratt mansion, is a Russian diplomatic retreat.
About 130 homes occupy the nearby East Island, formerly known as Morgan Island for its owner, the financier J. P. Morgan, who used to land his seaplane on neighboring Dosoris Pond.
What You’ll Pay
Compared with surrounding North Shore communities, Glen Cove is a bargain. “In terms of affordability, you are getting a lot of house for your money,” said Jean MiMi Murphy, a saleswoman with Douglas Elliman real estate. Prices start in the $200,000s for co-ops and condos, and in the low $300,000s for houses. The majority of inventory is dormered capes, ranches and colonials from $500,000 to $700,000 on quarter- to half-acre lots. At the high end, homes on half-acre-plus lots typically trade from the $800,000s to around $2 million. A seven-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath 1890 mansion on six acres is listed at $3,350,000.
About 114 properties are currently on the market, Ms. Petkanas said, citing Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. Inventory is down about 27 percent from a year ago.
This year, the average sales price through Sept. 15 was $597,777, up 8.9 percent from the same period in 2016, when it was $548,899. Houses are also selling faster. The average number of days on the market this year is 94; in 2016, the average was 142.
Pre-construction prices at Garvies Point’s Beacon condominium complex begin at $575,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit and go up to $2,375,000 for a three-bedroom, three-bath penthouse with a roof terrace.
It was a big deal in early September when a ribbon-cutting took place at the newly redone AMC Glen Cove 6 movie theater downtown, on School Street, celebrating this $4 million multiplex’s new power-recliner seating, audio and visual systems and expanded menu, with items like chicken and waffle sandwiches. And in August, the upscale Meritage Wine Bar opened across the street.
“Everything starting has been doing well,” Mr. Spinello said. “Glen Cove took a long nap and now is waking up from a very long sleep.”
There are 3,190 students enrolled in the Glen Cove School district. Students in prekindergarten to second grade attend Deasy Elementary School; Gribbin Elementary School serves kindergarten through second grade. Grades three to five attend Connolly or Landing elementary schools. Students in grades six to eight attend R.M. Finley Middle School, and then continue on to Glen Cove High School for grades nine to 12.
The most recent mean SAT scores were 479 in critical reading, 503 in math and 468 in writing; state scores were 489, 501 and 477.
On the 2017 fourth-grade state assessment tests, 36 percent met standards in English and 37 percent met standards in math, versus 41 and 43 percent statewide.
The All Saints Regional Catholic School serves nursery school through eighth grade.
Commuters use one of three stops on the Oyster Bay Branch of the Long Island Rail Road in Glen Cove: Glen Cove, Glen Street and Sea Cliff. The peak-hour trips to Penn Station from the Glen Cove station at Pearsall Avenue and Duck Pond Road takes 62 to 67 minutes; most trips require a train change at Jamaica station. A monthly ticket is $297.
The North Fork Express commuter bus makes the 90-minute trip from St. Patrick’s Church to Midtown or Wall Street four times a day. A monthly pass is $249.
When it was founded in 1668, the village was known as Musketa Cove, a name that for outsiders conjured up images of biting insects. In fact, in the language of the native Matinecocks, Musketa (standardized as Musquito in 1818 by the village’s first post office) meant “place of rushes.” In 1834, to make the village more appealing as a summer resort for wealthy Manhattanites, the name was changed to Glen Cove, and in 1918, Glen Cove became a city.