Bellerose is a quiet, tree-lined suburban Queens neighborhood -- it's easy to forget there's a parkway running through the middle of it. The neighborhood surrounds the Cross Island Parkway, which provides easy access to other parts of the city and Long Island. It has always been a family neighborhood, with parks and good schools, and active community groups. The taxes are low (NYC property taxes), and the schools are in the city's best school district.
Bellerose sort of sounds like suburban Nassau County, and it has two namesakes over the border. South of Jericho Tpke, there are two separate Belleroses in Nassau: the tiny hamlet of Bellerose Terrace, just east of the Cross Island, and the bucolic Bellerose Village, which is in between Bellerose Terrace and Floral Park Village.
Like neighboring Floral Park, Queens, Bellerose has changed more rapidly since 1990s compared to its Nassau County kin. What had been a typically German, Irish, and Italian neighborhood has seen an influx of Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, and other more recent immigrant groups. You'll see the Queens-style diversity in the range of shops and restaurants along Hillside and Braddock Avenues. Perhaps the most striking example of old and new is at one block off the Cross Island, where a Sikh gurdwara (temple) is next to a VFW post with a vintage personnel carrier in its front yard.
Transportation - Mass Transit and Highways:
For mass transit, there are no subways stretching to Bellerose, but there is an express bus to Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road from the Bellerose station (in Nassau). It's about a half-hour train ride to midtown.
Bellerose LIRR Station (Commonwealth Ave and Superior Rd, 5 blocks south of Jericho Tpke, Bellerose Village); Q79, Q46, Q43 buses provide connections to subways, and the X68 is an express bus to Manhattan.
Bellerose has the Cross Island Pkwy, and the Grand Central, LIE, and Southern State are nearby.
English settlers first came here in 1656. The area became part of Queens County in 1683, after the British defeated the Dutch. It was farmland known as "Little Plains" until the early 1900s, when developer Helen Marsh built a model community and a railroad station (in 1911) in western Nassau, calling it Bellerose (now known as Bellerose Village). The Queens neighborhood adopted the same name as it expanded during the building boom of the 1920s.
Bellerose Real Estate:
Single-family houses predominate. Mainly they are detached Colonials and Cape Cods, many of which were built between 1930 and 1950 and stand on 30 x 100 lots. There are Tudors and other larger homes on larger lots, mostly between Commonwealth Boulevard and Little Neck Parkway. There are also attached homes, apartments, and condos. According to the New York Times, about 71 percent of the homes are owner-occupied, and 22 percent are occupied by renters.
According to Abbott Realty's Rita Filoso, a real estate agent in Bellerose and Floral Park since 2003, a typical Bellerose three-bedroom home in 2009 sells in the high $400,000s. The taxes are a median of $2,800 (but as high as $5,000 for new construction). Filoso credits the neighborhood's continued appeal to its family concentration, suburban look, and lauded school district -- from which her own children graduated.
Bellerose Playground, 85th Avenue between 248th and 249th Sts; Breininger Park (fka Braddock Park), Braddock Ave and 240th St.
Alley Pond Park is in nearby Glen Oaks, on Winchester Blvd, north of Union Tpke.
Bellerose's 18,000 or so residents are mostly families. Many are of German, Irish, or Italian descent. About 14 percent are Hispanic. Nearly a third of the population is Asian, mainly South Asian. The median income is about $60,000.
New oversize buildings on small lots is a growing issue. Local civic committees are fighting to enforce the zoning laws.
The New York Times ran a great article recently about the ethnic tensions in Bellerose ("The Great Divide").
North: Creedmor State Hospital grounds (Glen Oaks)
South: Braddock Ave and Jamaica Ave/Jericho Tpke (Queens Village, Bellerose Terrace, Bellerose Village, Floral Park Village)
East: Little Neck Pkwy (Floral Park, Queens)
West: Grand Central Pkwy (Hollis Hill)
Hillside Ave, Jamaica Ave/Jericho Tpke (east of Cross Island Pkwy, Jamaica Ave becomes Jericho), Union Tpke, Braddock Ave