Hartsdale’s Suburban Appeal
Rob Mathews and his 4-month-old son Bryan on East Hartsdale Avenue in downtown Hartsdale, N.Y. Photo: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal
Traffic jammed Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale, but two minutes off the commercial strip to the west are serene enclaves with well-kept houses of different eras and attractive condo and co-op developments. Two minutes to the east lies a small-townish, quiet thoroughfare of shops and restaurants.
Typical suburbia is the appeal of Hartsdale, a hamlet in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County: It’s close to the bustle but you’d never know it.
Jose and Lailany Rodriguez had rented an apartment in Greenburgh for four years, and with three young sons they were looking to purchase a home. They wanted to stay in the area because it is a convenient drive to their jobs in Manhattan. (They don’t travel during rush hour.)
Ridge Road Park
They bought a co-op in the northern part of Hartsdale for $240,000 in December, with three bedrooms and two baths, and a swimming pool and playground in the complex.
“My son can walk to Woodlands [middle school], we’re near Central Avenue for the bank and my kids’ haircuts,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “Our community is wonderful, safe. I like the cleanliness and it’s peaceful.”
Realtors say the easy commute by train to New York City, as well as good values and taxes lower than next-door Scarsdale, appeal to families looking for starter homes, empty nesters looking to downsize, and retirees and young singles drawn to the roomy apartments to rent or buy.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul J. Feiner said there is a major effort underway to create more sidewalks to make the town more pedestrian-friendly.
“A new blinking light installed at a crosswalk at Rockledge Road and East Hartsdale Avenue a couple of weeks ago is part of that,” he said.
In 2015, the average sale price was $531,025 and the median was $509,250 for single family detached houses in Hartsdale, according to the Multiple Listing Service.
Taxes for an average-price home are $11,000 to $12,000 a year, brokers said.
Greenburgh is reassessing residential and commercial property values for the first time since the 1950s, to spread the tax burden more fairly.
The reassessment is to be completed this year, and new tax rates will go into effect next year, Mr. Feiner said. He expects that the revaluation will result in one-third of assessed values going up, a third decreasing and a third remaining the same.
A development of 51 luxury rental units is being constructed near the Scarsdale Golf Club. There is a large stock of co-ops and condos, some dating to the 1950s, many a short stroll to the “downtown” and the train station.
Hartsdale is about three square miles, with a population of 5,293 in the 2010 census.
The old area of the town is high on Ridge Road, lined with stone walls and woods, and the site of parks and Odell House, a weathered wood and stone farmhouse from 1732, where General George Washington made battle plans with French general Count de Rochambeau against the British during the Revolutionary War.
On the main drag, East Hartsdale Avenue, old-style lampposts and benches dot the curve leading to the train station. There are appealing storefronts, individually owned shops like Indigo Chic Boutique, and eateries offering fare ranging from Mexican to Turkish to pizza. The windows of the famous Enrico’s of Hartsdale bakery are painted with seasonal scenes.
Most of the restaurants have outdoor seating in the summer. There is a New York Sports Club, part of the rejuvenation of the strip.
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Half the stores were vacant after the 2007-08 economic downturn, but soon all will be occupied. A realty office and a pub called The Irish Bank are set to open soon, Mr. Feiner said.
Schools: Hartsdale is part of Greenburgh Central School District. There is a Pre-K, three elementary schools and the Woodlands Middle School and Woodlands Senior High School. The average SAT score was 1418 in 2013, compared with the statewide average of 1463.
Parks: Ridge Road Park includes a special field for people with disabilities and Hart’s Brook Nature Preserve has walking trails. Nearby in Scarsdale is the Greenburgh Nature Center, a wildlife habitat refuge for indigenous species and migratory birds.
Transportation: Getting to Grand Central from Hartsdale Station takes 34 to 54 minutes on the Metro-North Harlem Line. Hartsdale is bordered by the Sprain Brook and Bronx River parkways, and close to I-287.
Dining: On East Hartsdale Avenue there is Vega Mexican Cuisine, Amendolas Pizzeria Trattoria, the Copper Kettle Café, Bagels and More, and the BosphoRus Restaurant.