August 25, 2016
By Hana R. Alberts
The Bronx’s best-kept secret isn’t lion cubs at the zoo, rare blossoms at the botanical garden or Italian restaurants on Arthur Avenue. It’s a neighborhood called City Island that takes up less than half a square mile in the borough’s northeastern corner.
New Yorkers are flocking to the nautical nabe, known primarily for its seafood restaurants and marinas, for affordable real estate and a quaint community vibe. New residents — or “mussel suckers,” as natives (“clam diggers”) call them — include young families moving from Brooklyn and Manhattan looking for bigger homes, as well as empty nesters downsizing from tonier locales in Westchester or Long Island.
The Pertsovskys recently bought a three-bedroom, 3½-bathroom at On the Sound, the first new real-estate development on City Island in more than a decade. Thirteen of 43 units on the waterfront site, which have access to a gym, a clubhouse lounge, a pool and an outdoor esplanade, are still available, according to Jill Preschel, vice president of marketing of On the Sound developer Greystone. They range from $770,000 to over $1 million.
“When I wake up and walk the dog and go down to the diner, it feels like I am on vacation,” says Laura Clemente, an agent with McClellan Sotheby’s International Realty. She not only sells On the Sound properties but also moved there in July with her husband — giving up a larger house in Westchester’s Pelham Manor.
New developments like On the Sound are rare in the enclave, where real-estate listings are dominated by resales of charming older houses: bungalows, Victorians, cottages. For example, an adorable green-and-yellow two-bedroom at 369 City Island Ave. is on the market for $459,000, repped by broker Teddy Montee of DJK Residential — a mussel sucker himself as of 2014. There are swankier properties, too, like a two-bedroom duplex condo with updated appliances in a gated community at 3 Deepwater Way, asking $625,000, from Douglas Elliman’s Charles G. Brophy.