Real Estate

Pound Ridge, N.Y.: A Rural Alternative to Nearby Commuter Towns

To see the modifications occurring in Pound Ridge, N.Y., an excellent place to start out is Meals Truck Fridays.

Homes on this rural city in northeastern Westchester County typically sit on a lot of two to 4 acres, providing loads of privateness (one motive celebrities reside right here) and nature views (greater than half of the land is preserved completely), however not, historically, a lot togetherness. The foodie occasion, which started in 2018 and takes place each week from Might to September within the city’s tiny however charming enterprise district, Scotts Corners, displays the need amongst newer residents, a lot of whom relocated from the town, for stronger group ties and livelier commerce.

“While you’re on three acres, you don’t actually see your neighbors,” mentioned Kevin Hansan, the city supervisor, who has lived in Pound Ridge for 25 years. “Meals Truck Fridays is an opportunity to get out and let the youngsters run round. That’s the entire thought, to create that group really feel. Then, if you’d like, you get to go residence to your two acres and by no means see anyone once more.”

Rebecca Wing, who was concerned in launching Meals Truck Fridays, got here to Pound Ridge in 2017 after falling in love with an vintage residence, “image good with black shutters.” Ms. Wing and her husband, Robert, who have been renting in close by Mount Kisco, paid somewhat over the asking worth of $525,000 for the circa-1804 home, which had been reworked by the earlier proprietor, an architect.

This spring, following the start of their third little one, the couple determined to commerce as much as a much bigger home and regarded neighboring cities in Connecticut, like New Canaan or Westport, however stayed in Pound Ridge due to the group.

They bought their residence for $675,000 to an all-cash purchaser and paid just below $1 million for a four-bedroom home in-built 1940 that wants beauty work however sits on three fantastically landscaped acres.

“We’d made buddies. Our kids are very joyful within the colleges,” mentioned Ms. Wing, an actual property developer who’s in town’s planning board. “I’ve a operating group that meets to run on the paths. We didn’t wish to hand over any of these issues simply to have a home that had more moderen updates.”

Sonya O’Donnell, an actual property agent with Houlihan Lawrence and a Pound Ridge resident, mentioned the city is particular, partly, “since you haven’t heard about it — it’s tucked away.”

With no practice station, Pound Ridge doesn’t get the discover of close by commuter cities like Bedford and Mount Kisco. It’s also geographically dispersed, with white-painted vintage farmhouses and extra trendy properties unfold over steep, rocky hillsides and valleys carved by glaciers.

“It’s somewhat bit extra nation right here, artsier right here,” mentioned Michael Kagan, who has spent a lot of his life in the neighborhood and is the president of the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy. “It continues to be actually rural.”

Ms. O’Donnell, who moved along with her husband to Pound Ridge from Brooklyn in 2010, mentioned: “We’ve had loads of effort to create an actual buzz. As a result of it was fairly quiet for some time. There’s a giant push from individuals who need extra life right here, and motion. I’ve seen it actually remodel within the time I’ve lived right here.”

With 19 nature preserves managed by the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy — seven of them with trails — one of the best ways to discover the 23-square-mile city could also be to hike it. A part of the 4,315-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, a park with wetlands, ponds and two rivers, additionally lies inside Pound Ridge’s borders.

The realm’s wetlands present ample alternatives for birders however not builders, Mr. Kagan mentioned, noting the restrictions for constructing inside 150 toes of wetlands and the final lack of buildable heaps due to the terrain.

The city’s industrial middle is Scotts Corners, which abuts the New York-Connecticut border. It’s extra sturdy than the downtowns in neighboring Bedford and Lewisboro, and, in Mr. Hansan’s view, accommodates “certainly one of every little thing that we want”: one grocery store, one fuel station, one ironmongery store, one dry cleaner, one bar, one Italian restaurant. And so forth.

For years, Scotts Corners was crammed with antiques shops and empty storefronts. However lately, the companies have gotten hipper and fewer utilitarian, with spots like The Kitchen Desk, Plum Plums Cheese and Booksy Galore. Final month, Jenn Streicher, a celeb make-up artist who not too long ago moved to Bedford from Los Angeles, opened a magnificence retailer in Scotts Corners referred to as Scout.

Susan Williamson, Booksy’s proprietor, moved to Pound Ridge 12 years in the past from Park Slope, Brooklyn, after she and her husband couldn’t discover a parking spot for 10 blocks in the future and determined they’d had sufficient. She took an opportunity, and 6 years in the past opened the bookstore, which turned a hub for locals and weekenders alike (a few third of the city’s 5,100 residents personal weekend properties).

“One motive I used to be capable of have a bookstore right here is the quantity of folks that work in New York — publishers, editors, finance individuals — after which they’re on the town through the weekends,” she mentioned. “There’s a particular hyperlink to New York.”

That big-city sophistication is exemplified by the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, a restaurant opened by the French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and by Pound Ridge Golf Membership, an 18-hole public facility designed by the “Picasso” of golf course design, Pete Dye.

Pound Ridge has historically been a rich group, and the pandemic has solely pushed costs greater. As Ms. O’Donnell of Houlihan Lawrence put it, “$650,000 is your least expensive home — a small residence, whole fixer.”

She added: “Your typical colonial that was $850,000 two years in the past is now round $1 million. I’m noticing that no matter something was a yr and a half in the past, add 20 p.c.”

As of June 1, the median sale worth for a single-family residence in Pound Ridge was $910,000, up 13.6 p.c yr over yr, in response to Houlihan Lawrence. Provide is down 52 p.c from a yr in the past.

Structure kinds vary from trendy modern to vintage properties and previous farmhouses renovated with a Scandinavian really feel. “These go the quickest,” Ms. O’Donnell mentioned. “In the event that they’re up to date, it’s a surefire bidding-war scenario.”

Current listings embrace a three-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath, Shingle-style home with a vegetable backyard and beehives on two acres, listed for $1.295 million; an architect-designed modern property on three acres overlooking a lake, with 5 bedrooms and a half basketball courtroom, listed for $3.495 million; and a 7,300-square-foot nation colonial with a chef’s kitchen that features a hearth, wood- and gas-fired Renato pizza oven and La Cornue vary, listed for $1.639 million.

There aren’t many new builds or developments within the space due to the zoning restrictions, and it’s uncommon to discover a residence on lower than two acres, a consideration for anybody who finds landscaping a frightening chore.

“You do get extra home, extra property, in Pound Ridge than you do in Bedford or a few of the bordering cities,” mentioned Mark Boyland, an agent with Keller Williams in Bedford, N.Y. “We’ve seen individuals promoting their home in Bedford and shifting to Pound Ridge. Individuals are realizing, ‘We truly get some extra bang for our buck right here.’”

Richard Gere, Mike Myers and Susan Sarandon are only a few of the celebrities who’ve lived in Pound Ridge, drawn to the privateness supplied by the massive properties, in addition to the peace and quiet.

“While you’re in Pound Ridge, you’re on the market,” Mr. Boyland mentioned. “Individuals are coming there as a result of they don’t need loads of industrial visitors, loads of noise. If somebody leans extra towards the outside, Pound Ridge can also be an excellent place to settle.”

To Ms. Williamson, Pound Ridge feels peaceable however not distant. “You come residence and you’ve got deer, rabbits — you’re in a pure surroundings,” she mentioned. “However in 10 minutes, I’m in Stamford and have Starbucks, if I need.”

Ms. Wing, the true property developer, has a brand new household residence near the New Canaan border, in what she referred to as “the off-the-beaten-path a part of Pound Ridge,” near the reservoirs.

However “we do loads of issues within the neighboring cities,” she mentioned, or in Scotts Corners. “Folks reside on these massive heaps and are in search of alternatives to come back collectively.”

Pound Ridge has one public faculty, Pound Ridge Elementary College, which serves kindergarten by means of fifth grade and supplies particular schooling. However the majority of Pound Ridge lies within the Bedford Central College District, and kids attend Fox Lane Center College and Fox Lane Excessive College, each in Bedford.

The latest commencement charge at the highschool was 85 p.c, in contrast with a statewide common of 83.4 p.c. Common SAT scores have been 620 in English language arts, in contrast with 528 statewide, and 620 in math, in contrast with 530 statewide.

Most residents ship their kids to public colleges, however there’s a personal possibility in Bedford, Rippowam Cisqua College, for prekindergarten by means of ninth grade.

Pound Ridge just isn’t a giant commuter city, however those that do commute to New York can drive the ten or so miles to Bedford Hills or Katonah, each of that are on Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem line. The journey to Manhattan takes about an hour and 20 minutes. Stamford, Conn., is 12 miles away and affords one-hour specific service on Metro-North and Amtrak.

Midtown Manhattan is about 50 miles away; the drive can take an hour or longer, relying on visitors.

Pound Ridge was as soon as generally known as Basket City as a result of it was a number one maker of straw oyster baskets utilized by fishermen on Lengthy Island Sound. The city was integrated in 1788. Effectively into the twenty first century, it retains its practically off-the-grid independence, Mr. Hansan mentioned: “We’re the top of {the electrical} grid. We’re used to being self-sufficient as a group. We don’t also have a visitors gentle.”

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