By Swain Weiner
Hugging the south and west sides of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Woodside might be a land-locked neighborhood in Queens, but it’s directly benefiting from the renewal and expanse of the waterfront along the East River. Woodside enjoys a central location and excellent service from both the New York City subway as well as the LIRR and bus system.
Rezoning that occurred in 2006 on the corridor along Queens Boulevard has allowed developers to erect higher density properties and it is starting to take hold. Already, new rental properties like Icon 52 are being built to take advantage of this new opportunity. As well, there are two development sites sold that have recently been sold and will shortly begin construction. Given that occupancies remain high throughout the northwestern section of the county, you are unlikely to see significant increases in vacancy as a result of these new buildings.
As rental prices rise amongst the LIC towers, more young professionals and families are moving to Woodside. Cost is a big factor and is making many look for alternatives.
Walk-up apartments in Woodside remain popular for investors that are looking for ways to enter the Queens housing market. Pricing in 2013 trended up over 2012’s already-strong values, with the median price per square foot growing almost 10 percent year-over-year from $185 to $202. Woodside also enjoys healthy velocity with 13 properties changing hands at a median price of $1.925 million.
Woodside might lack the proximity to Manhattan and water views of more westerly Queens submarkets. However, it also offers lower asking rents, which appeal to the working class families. At the same time, commuters seeking more affordable living spaces are taking advantage of the excellent subway service in Woodside since it still allows for short commute times. As rents increase in nearby submarkets, Woodside is already benefiting from upward pressure. The community is positioned well for investors that are looking to get rental upside without a high cost of entry.