Historic Queens neighborhood becoming homebuyer hot spot

- A historic neighborhood in Queens has become a hot spot for new homebuyers: Addisleigh Park.

Nadine Morency-Mohs, a licensed real estate broker with Jaymore Realty, LLC and an Addisleigh Park resident said when you look at the community, right away; you see large Tudor revivals and large colonial homes. She described Addisleigh as a great peaceful community, with a suburban lifestyle, right within New York City.

What you don't see right away in Addisleigh Park is its rich jazz history.

This neighborhood, just Southeast of Jamaica, was home to countless African American entertainers and athletes, many of whom moved here from Harlem in the 1940s.

We visited Joe Louis' home, which was listed at $770,000 and is currently under contract.

Morency-Mohs said it has two lots, with over 10,000 square feet of land.

She said it's a great price, under a million dollars, compared with homes in Bayside, Jamaica Estates, and Northern Queens.

Addisleigh Park was declared a historic district back in 2011, thanks to its famous former residents, like jazz singer Lena Horne and The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald.

Number 42, Dodgers' second baseman Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball while living here.

And the list of legends goes on.

Morency-Mohs showed us Count Basie's home. The famous jazz musician had an Olympic-sized pool on his property. So many neighborhood children came and visited- his wife had to hire a lifeguard.

Today, Addisleigh's rich history, prime location, and reasonable pricing make it one of the City's hidden gems.

Morency-Mohs said a lot of her clients had never heard of it and ask both where is it and what is it? She tells them it's a great community where you'd find the land you're looking for without paying high property taxes, in New York City.

She also showed us a home once owned by Jackie Robinson's best friend. 

Morency-Mohs sold it in the low $400-thousands a few years ago.

The Tudor revival has nice architectural detail, stone, a slate roof, and is a corner property.

There are plenty of options in Addisleigh for $700,000 to $800,000 or less.

There are even opportunities for new businesses looking to capitalize on the neighborhood's unique history.

Harold Flake, the manager of Jazzy Wings & Southern Cuisine, was born and raised in Queens and said it has a character unlike anywhere else in New York.

“One of the things ingrained in the culture,” he said, “is jazz, thanks to the number of jazz greats who lived in the area.” Flake said when they recently opened the restaurant in this location, they wanted to pay homage to those individuals who made such a great contribution to society with great music. Music that makes you want to dance and makes you feel good.

One of the fascinating things about Addisleigh is that it was originally a 'whites-only' neighborhood with restrictive covenants preventing people from selling their homes to people of color.

Jazz pianist Fats Waller was one of the first black celebrities to move into the neighborhood.

Because of Waller, the courts ended up overturning those restrictive covenants, saying they were a violation of the 14th Amendment.

That paved the way for other amazing African American talents to move in.

Today, Addisleigh is a great value, and is conveniently located just 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, on the Saint Albans stop on the LIRR.

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