For years now, rumor has suggested that Long Island City will, before long, finally “arrive.” It is a phenomenon—that of the persistent but long-unrealized rumor—to which we’ve devoted some thought, albeit with a dose of skepticism. Newly-available evidence suggests, however, that at least one block of the neighborhood is ready for the big show—or that it is very nearly ready for the big show, or that it is preparing to be very nearly ready for the big show, anyway. The Observer has learned that Carrie Levin and William Perley, who for many years owned and operated the Upper West Side brunch favorite Good Enough to Eat, have just sold their 2,924 square-foot landmarked townhouse at 21-33 45th Avenue, in Queens, for $2.15 million, a record for the block.
“To be able to get a row house like this at that price puts this kind of living within reach for people who maybe can’t afford to live in the West Village,” said Miles Chapin, the Warburg Realty agent who handled the listing, and who has himself lived on the tree-lined block for 20 years. Record-setting as the price is, it’s nonetheless a bargain relative to comparable listings in neighborhoods—the West Village, for example—that long ago put down speculations about their social status.
It may also be a relative bargain for a historic townhouse in the neighborhood—few as they are: last September, another Long Island City rowhouse sold for $3 million.
“In some parts of town,” Mr. Chapin said, “you could almost add a zero to that number.” Where the zero might go, he did not speculate. But it wouldn’t much matter.
The buyer, a real estate designer and developer based currently on Manhattan’s east side, made a savvy pickup, Mr. Chapin told us. Currently home to multiple units, the house, which features rustic wood floors and exposed brick, is due for conversion to single-family configuration. With children in tow, the buyer will surely find the space handy—grassy backyard, too. (Ms. Levin and Mr. Perley raised three sons in the house: one attends a military academy, a second works as a chef in a Boerum Hill restaurant and the third recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest journey by motorcycle in a single country (China); the latter used to babysit for Mr. Chapin.)
Encouraging as all that is, the new owner, who works in both Manhattan and Queens, will likely be even more pleased with the commute. “Whenever we invite people for dinner, they always show up half an hour early,” Mr. Chapin said. “Everyone thinks it’s so far away, but it’s just 20 minutes!”