Marine Park’s green space is a breath of fresh air


If you think you can’t have your own backyard, porch and a garage in New York City, Marine Park can prove you wrong, with real estate prices that are less expensive than other parts of the city.

In much of the area, iron gates line front yards, which are decorated with flowerpots and garden spinners, along tree-lined blocks.

Renee Shacalo, a sales broker at Citi Habitats who lived in Marine Park for more than 20 years, said it’s known for being clean and well-kept.

“You feel like you’re in a different world when you’re up there,” she said.

While the neighborhood is predominantly residential, it’s bordered by a business district along Flatbush Avenue.

The strip is speckled with basic necessities, including a 99-cent store, furniture stores, a pizza joint, a hair salon and a Laundromat. It also boasts Salvi Restaurant, a fine-dining Italian eatery and Marine Park staple that’s been around for 27 years.

Locals, however, said Marine Park is lacking in shopping and nightlife. For retail, they head to Mill Basin for Kings Plaza, an indoor mall with Macy’s, Best Buy and other big shopping outlets.

“If you want to do exciting things, movies and stuff, you have to go to the city,” said Mayer Sher, 51, a Hebrew Studies and math teacher who has lived in Marine Park since 1998.

But traveling to Manhattan can be tough since it takes about an hour to get to Union Square on the closest subways, and there are no train stations within the Marine Park boundaries. Instead, Marine Park residents need to take a bus to get to a train.

Instead of relying on public transportation, many prefer to have a car to get around.

Rockaway Beach in Queens is just a 30-minute drive, but for those who are looking for some fun closer to home, there’s an abundance of activities for all ages at Marine Park, after which the nabe is named.

The largest park in Brooklyn at 530 acres, it offers a summer concert series, playgrounds, cricket and every other sport court imaginable, fitness classes at the Carmine Carro Community Center, paddle boating, bike rentals and plenty of grasslands that are perfect for picnicking with family and hanging with friends.

Ed Jaworski, 72, said it’s a great area to walk. “You can see grass and trees and gardens and so forth. ... You can see trees and the sky, and you can breathe.”

Marine Park mostly offers attached and detached single-family homes, townhouses and small apartment buildings.

Houses in the nabe have distinct personalities — some have brick and others are Tudor-style — and are built close together.

“Everyone knows each other,” eight-year resident Dana Gencarelli said of her block. The fourth-grade teacher, 42 compared her neighbors to a family: “We’re close.”

Many homes feature porches, garages and yards, so real estate prices are reasonable for what’s included, Shacalo said. But they are creeping up, according to data from StreetEasy.

The median sales price in Marine Park was $469,000 in 2012, and rose to $560,000 in 2015, StreetEasy found. The median sales price in Brooklyn as a whole in 2015 was $560,000. But sales prices in the nabe are less expensive than in Manhattan, where the median was $976,594 last year.

Rental prices in Marine Park are a little cooler. The median rent grew from $1,938 in 2013 to $2,050 in 2015, StreetEasy found. The median rent was $2,500 last year boroughwide in Brooklyn, and $3,200 in Manhattan.

“You’re getting more bang for your buck out in Marine Park,” Shacalo said.

Residents said the neighborhood is a taste of suburbia in New York City.

“I’m not going anywhere for the next 10 years,” said Pete Libertos, owner of Oasis Diner at 2132 Flatbush Ave.

Oasis Diner

2132 Flatbush Ave.

Find all your favorite comfort foods at this classic New York diner.

Oasisdinerbk.com

Salvi

4220 Quentin Rd.

If you're looking for a wine-and-dine night out on the town, head to this upscale Italian restaurant.

Salvirestaurant.com

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Third & Seven

3622 Quentin Rd.

Enjoy a cocktail or cold beer around a table with friends while watching the game, or come for an event, such as Boogie night or karaoke. 718-336-6300

Bulls Eye Sports Pub

3121 Quentin Rd.

Come to watch a game, play your tunes on the jukebox or enter a darts tournament. Bullseyesportspub.com

eSavoy Lounge

2192 Flatbush Ave.

A hot nightclub with live DJs that is also known for its Caribbean food. Facebook.com/thenewesavoy

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Entenmann's Bakery Outlet

2220 Flatbush Ave.

Stock up on all your favorite breads, cookies and snacks at this Entenmann's store.

Entenmanns.com

Brooklyn Hobbies

3852 Flatlands Ave.

Shop for all things remote-controlled, including boats, helicopters and planes, in addition to Hoverboards and other toys.

Brooklynhobbies.com

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

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Marine Park

East 33rd Street and Avenue U

This 530-acre park has everything from a Salt Marsh Nature Center to a golf course and sports fields, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding, and miles of biking and hiking trails.

Nycgovparks.org

Hendrick I. Lott House

1940 E. 36th St.

One of the few surviving Dutch houses in NYC, built in the late 1700s, this historic site offers historical education and events such as yoga, live music nights and garden cleanups.

Facebook.com/LottHouse

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Buses:

B2, B3, B7 B9, B31, B41, B46, B100, Q35, QM4

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Median sales price: $597,500

Number of listings on market: 80

Median rental price: $2,050

Number of rentals on market: 24

(Source: StreetEasy)

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

The 530-acre Marine Park is undergoing several multimillion-dollar renovation projects, including landscaping and installations of new amenities.

For example, a $6.1 million bocce and sport courts reconstruction project that began nearly a year ago is on track to be completed by March 2017, according to the city Parks Department.

As part of the project, three new bocce courts are being installed at the Marine Park oval, which circles the northern part of the park between Fillmore and Avenue U, along with a fitness area complete with exercise equipment.

In addition, four basketball courts and 15 tennis courts are being renovated, according to the Parks Department, and landscaping will allow for new greenery. Amenities including picnic tables, drinking fountains and benches will be installed next.

"It's exciting because the facilities were run down and people had been asking for upgrades," said Marine Park resident and City Councilman Alan Maisel. "We're going to have a beautiful park restored, and people in general are very happy about it."

In another project further south at Avenue X, a $2.5 million renovation of Dr. John's Playground is scheduled to begin this fall. Plans include replacing children's play equipment, reconstructing the asphalt area and addressing drainage issues, according to the city Parks Department.

Other changes coming to the park include paving pathways in the golf course near Flatbush Avenue on the east side and along Gerritsen Avenue on the west side.

The projects are being funded by the city council, including Councilmember Maisel, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Alex Rizzo, 22, grew up in Marine Park and has worked as the general manager at Knapp St. Pizza, at 2157 Knapp St., for the past year. We chatted with him about his experiences in his home neighborhood.

What do you like about Marine Park?

The best thing is the people. Everybody seems to know everybody -- it's a really close-knit community. People walking [into the pizza place are] always smiling, everybody knows each other's names. It's just a wonderful neighborhood.

Has working here affected your opinion on it?

It's made it even better. Everybody seems to know my name now. I walk down the street and people say "hello."

What's the downside to the neighborhood?

The only thing that's a negative is the transit; it could be better. The closest train is at Kings Highway or Avenue U.

(Credit: Karis Rogerson)

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