Scarsdale, N.Y.: A Pricey Suburb With an Old World Air

Scarsdale, N.Y.: A Pricey Suburb With an Old World Air


Shaped like a wrinkled bow tie, Scarsdale, population 18,000, is squeezed between White Plains and Eastchester, but with a much more homogeneous look than those places. That’s not by accident. Beginning more than a century ago, the town has kept a white-knuckle grip on its growth.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

In 1915, it voted to become a village to prevent White Plains from annexing it — the state can change a town’s borders, but not a village’s — and in 1922, Scarsdale imposed townwide zoning, the rare suburb to do so. (Today, the town and village are conterminous.)

But efforts to create a virtual moat around the suburb weren’t always successful. In 1930, a justice ruled that Scarsdale had improperly rejected a developer’s plan for a rental complex by the Bronx River Parkway, noting that apartments made up less half a percent of Scarsdale’s housing stock, versus 9 percent in Pelham Manor, to the south.

That development, the red-brick Scarsdale Chateaux, an eight-building, 116-unit non-elevator complex that is now a co-op, squeaked through. But multifamily housing is still a rarity in Scarsdale, be it rentals, co-ops or condos. Christie Place, with 42 age-restricted condos, arrived in 2008. And there is the Heathcote, a 14-unit project in the Five Corners area. After struggling to sell its one- to three-bedroom units as a co-op, the complex is reincorporating as a condo for a second try, said Dawn Knief, a Compass agent there. The apartments, which start at $6,500 a month, are rented in the meantime, Ms. Knief said.

Mostly, Scarsdale offers handsome single-family homes, many from the 1920s and 1930s. Besides Tudors in various shapes and sizes, Italianate, Georgian and Mediterranean styles are represented, often on the same block, helping streets avoid a cookie-cutter look. Neighborhoods often align with school districts, like Greenacres and Quaker Ridge. Properties west of Post Road tend to have bigger yards — sometimes more than five acres — than those to the east.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times



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