Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
NECKLACE: It’s not at all unusual in Throgs Neck for a property to have water views, as with this house facing the Throgs Neck Bridge. As one resident put it, “You feel blessed when everything is at your reach.” More Photos »
THE landscape in Throgs Neck, in the southeastern corner of the Bronx, has been transformed over the last several decades. Before, open fields flanked areas of three-season bungalows overlooking Long Island Sound and other expanses of water. Now the area is mostly bustling and built up — and sewn into the city fabric by expressways.
But when it comes to residents’ reasons for choosing Throgs Neck, they haven’t changed much at all. Largely a working- and middle-class neighborhood, home to many city workers including firefighters and police officers, it is relaxed and friendly — and those qualities have also made it magnetic.
In 1963, John and Theresa Scuoppo moved into a two-family brick home that they bought for $31,500, because they found the area quaint as well as convenient to their jobs in Manhattan. They live in the same home now.
In 1986, Jack and Marie McCarrick moved into an attached single-family home that they bought for $159,000, and knew they were in a family-oriented neighborhood easily accessible to many parts of the region. Mr. McCarrick had spent much of his childhood here, enjoying swimming off the shore. When he married, he said, he had no doubt where to look for a home. And the McCarricks have been in it ever since.
Last year, Felicia and William Frestan moved into a three-bedroom condominium with water views that they bought for about $300,000, thankful to find a friendly and well-situated neighborhood. Ms. Frestan, 54, a former postal worker who moved from just up the road in Baychester, says she plans to stay in her home “till the end of my days.”
“First, I fell in love with the area, then I fell in love with the apartment,” she added. “You feel blessed when everything is at your reach.”
Water is very much within reach — on three sides of the neighborhood. Although the beach-club atmosphere of the summer months dissipates each fall when the summer-only residents depart, brokers say the sea remains a strong pull for many buyers.
The two square miles of Throgs Neck are home to about 30,000 people, according to census data. The area has traditionally been an enclave for Italian-, Irish- and German-Americans, and that still is the case. But these days there are substantial numbers of African- and Asian-Americans, as well as Hispanic-Americans from a variety of countries, distributed throughout.
The area has also become more desirable because of a sharp drop in crime. In the 45th Precinct, which encompasses Throgs Neck, crime has fallen more than 30 percent in the last 10 years and nearly 70 percent since 1993, according to city statistics. “It’s rather idyllic here,” said Mr. Scuoppo, 83. “It’s not a hassle for commuting, shopping or education. That’s what makes it a congenial community.”
Still, communities require involvement. To protect the area’s perceived architectural congeniality during the real estate boom, the Throggs Neck Homeowners Association, which has about 700 members, had its work cut out. Developers were tearing down one-families and building much larger multifamilies on the same lots. As the buildings became bigger, traffic and parking troubles were popping up.
The group pushed for zoning changes to limit the size of future homes, and the city made those changes in 2004.
Residential construction these days is mostly stalled; the biggest development of any kind is on the far west side at Ferry Point Park, a 400-plus-acre former landfill. In January, the city approved a deal to have Donald J. Trump manage a new 18-hole golf course at the park. The course is to open next year, and green fees of up to $125 are planned.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
About the name Throgs Neck: Many residents, and the homeowner association, insist that the correct spelling is with two g’s, even though the city uses only one. But as the area is in fact named after an early settler who spelled his name John Throckmorton — no g’s at all — maybe there simply isn’t a correct spelling.
Shaped kind of like a stingray, with the State University of New York Maritime College as the tail, Throgs Neck has Eastchester Bay and the Long Island Sound on its east side, the East River to the south and Westchester Creek to the west. Layton Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard are generally considered to make up the northern border.
When it comes to the housing, name it and the neighborhood probably has it: single- and multifamily, detached and attached, brick and wood-framed, apartments, condos and bungalows. On the western side, there is also a large public housing complex.