What to know about buying in St. George, Staten Island, where you get more space for your money and easy access to the ferry
- Most single-family houses are prewar and typically sell for $550,000 to $850,000
- Two-bedroom condos average $550,000 to $750,000 while two-bedroom co-ops run $300,000 to $325,000
At the northeastern tip of Staten Island, St. George is the borough’s most culturally diverse community and the one most outsiders are familiar with because it's where the ferry terminal is located. St. George, home to the borough’s seat of government, is also known as Downtown Staten Island.
In this week’s Buy Curious, Desiree Darden, an associate broker at R New York, and Anise Levitas, an agent at M. Donato & Co. Real Estate Professionals, give us the inside story on St. George.
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Staten Island really hasn’t been on my radar much because it seems so far away, but I’ve heard there might be some good real estate deals in St. George. What can you tell me about it?
Housing ranges from single-family houses to condos in new developments and a few co-ops, Darden says, adding “there’s a price point for every socioeconomic level.”
Levitas agrees: "The values are unbelievable—you get much larger spaces for a lot less money.”
Where is it?
The community is bounded on the north and east by the tidal strait Kill Van Kull and Upper New York Bay, on the south by Tompkinsville, and on the west by New Brighton.
Why would NYers want to move to St. George?
Noting that most new residents come from Manhattan and other boroughs, Darden says St. George is an affordable alternative to those areas and a public-transit center, with the Staten Island Ferry station also serving as a hub for buses and trains.
“It’s a nice place to walk, all the restaurants are within driving distance, and depending on where in St. George you live, there are views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.”
It's also the closest Staten Island neighborhood to Manhattan, Levitas adds.
Where in St. George should you live?
There are several named subsections in the community.
Westervelt Avenue, a winding, block-long street, is defined by Victorian houses.
Fort Hill Circle is indeed a circle of large private houses in styles ranging from Tudor to modern. It also has some co-ops and condos and is the home of the St. George Theatre.
Bay Street Landing, the community’s most exclusive and expensive section, is a 13-acre gated development of loft-style warehouses that have been converted to condos and co-ops and is separated from the rest of St. George by the railroad tracks. "This area is attracting a lot of professionals—lawyers as well as doctors and nurses because it’s near the hospital—and police officers,” Levitas says.
Richmond Terrace, home of the Empire Outlets retail complex, is where much of the new development is happening.
What are housing and pricing like?
Most of the houses are prewar single families with some co-ops and a few condos.
Inventory is limited—only 23 single-family houses, condos, and co-ops are on the market, according to StreetEasy.
In the current market, Darden says, “If a property is priced well, in a desirable location, or has a unique quality, it will sell," adding, "2022 was extremely busy.”
According to Darden, single-family houses typically sell for $550,000 to $850,000, two-bedroom condos average $550,00 to $750,000, and two-bedroom co-ops, which tend to be less expensive because rentals are not allowed, tend to run $300,000 to $325,000.
Renters, who can choose between an apartment building or a two-family house, can expect to pay $1,300 to $3,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit, depending on location. “But these units are big—they are 1,300 to 1,400 square feet,” Darden says.
Is there a lot of new development?
There has been some residential development. One of the most talked about recent projects is Lighthouse Point, a mixed-use development next to the ferry that, when completed, will include housing, a hotel, restaurant, retail space, and an urban beach with recreational areas.
What’s the transportation situation?
St. George is the transportation hub of the borough. Its eponymous terminal houses the Staten Island Ferry, Staten Island Railway, and bus lines.
The ferry reaches Lower Manhattan in about 25 minutes. “If you buy 10 rides, it’s the same cost as the subway,” she says, adding that it connects to shuttle buses. “It’s magnificent not to have to ride the subway.” (Though during rush hour the ferry can be just as crowded.)
For drivers, the community is also about four miles from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which leads to Brooklyn and Manhattan.
What is there to do?
Something is usually happening along the waterfront, and residents frequently walk along the pier and check out the NYC skyline. Darden says this is a prime spot for watching the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show, too.
Empire Outlets, where stores and eateries include Gap Factory, Nordstrom Rack, Shake Shack, and Starbucks, is a prime shopping complex.
St. George Theatre is a performance venue that also screens films and hosts events.
The Staten Island University Hospital Community Park (a ballpark) is the home of the Staten Island FerryHawks, a professional minor-league team.
During the summer season, residents head to Lyons Pool, a free, outdoor, Olympic-sized public pool that Darden says is rarely packed.
What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?
The culinary choices of St. George reflect its diverse community and are all a short drive away.
Darden notes you can find restaurants serving Thai, Mexican, Spanish, and Sri Lankan food. “We also have some of the best pizza in the world,” she adds.
One of the more interesting dining spots is Enoteca Maria, an Italian wine bar and restaurant that features a rotating schedule of international grandmothers as chefs. “It draws people from Manhattan,” Darden says.
Other popular spots include Vinum (a Michelin-star bistro); Beso (known for its tapas); Don Cheech (an Italian-American eatery); Seppe Pizza Bar (for pies in a family-friendly setting); Sofia’s Taqueria (a taco and tequila bar); and Maizal (a Mexican restaurant that serves brunch).
Wait, there's more: On Minthorne Street, a prime gathering spot, Flagship Brewing Co. features a taproom, Flour & Oak has a modern Italian vibe, and O’Henry’s Publick House is a British-style pub with grub.
“There are always a lot of events—outdoor grilling, oyster fests, live music—on Minthorne,” Darden says.
Levitas adds that “the whole street is blocked off and tables are set up” during these productions.
How about grocery stores?
There are only two grocery stores in the community: Key Food and Western Beef.
“You have to leave to find others, but there are grocery deliveries,” Darden says.
Check out these listings in St. George.
10 Bay Street Landing #5E
Listed for $429,000, this 943-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath co-op is a waterfront unit in the southeast corner of the complex, with wall-to-wall windows affording views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Statue of Liberty, Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and Coney Island. It is in the Bay Street Landing gated waterfront, which offers 13 acres of lawns with tennis/pickle ball courts, barbecue areas, and a dog run. Other amenities include parking, package collection, and 24-hour patrolling security.
230 Daniel Low Terrace
Recently renovated, this two-story, single-family, 1920 detached house has four bedrooms and two baths across 1,324 square feet. Features include stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen, hardwood and ceramic tile floors, a full basement, and large backyard. It is being marketed for $629,000.
153 Bay St. #2K
This two-bedroom, two-bath condo is listed for $525,000. The 1,008-square-foot unit has a balcony, washer/dryer, central air, and water and skyline views. The six-story, 57-unit building features an elevator and roof deck.
10 Bay Street Landing #PHH
Listed for $718,000, this 1,250-square-foot, duplex penthouse has two bedrooms, one full bath, one half bath, an open kitchen with new appliances, and a dining area. Amenities include a glass balcony overlooking the living area, solarium-style windows, a spiral staircase to the upper area, a skylight, patio, and two designated parking spaces.
21 Egmont Place
Built in 1930, this two-story single-family house is listed for $750,000. The detached six-bedroom, three-bath residence, which is 1,884 square feet and located at the end of a dead-end street, features a front porch, wood-burning fireplace, full finished basement, greenhouse, private yard, and detached garage with a driveway.
Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.