Forest Hills

Queens

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Quick Profile

Nestled in the heart of Queens, Forest Hills is primarily a residential area that offers the calmness of suburban living alongside the whirl of the big city. The contrasts are sharp. Take a stroll through the idyllic Forest Hills Gardens and you’ll find tree-lined streets and homes with manicured lawns. Cross the LIRR train tracks that slice through this neighborhood and you’re in a different world, one dominated by apartment complexes that straddle both sides of Queens Boulevard, one of the busiest and widest commercial streets in the city. 

Forest Hills is first and foremost a community that has stood the test of time. It is a haven for families, young adults and retirees alike. It’s the kind of place that you visit for an outdoor summer concert and never want to leave. Who wouldn’t find the low-rise Tudor styled apartment buildings along Tennis Place and Burns Street alluring.

Plainly put, one can get anywhere from Forest Hills in a reasonable amount of time. Accessible transportation is a core virtue and not surprisingly, the introduction of subway lines to Forest Hills in the mid 1930s changed the neighborhood forever. By 1940, the population swelled to 32,000, more than three times the local population just twenty years earlier. Today Forest Hills is home to about 85,000 people and transportation is a key checkbox. You can not only commute to Manhattan below ground, but above ground as well via the LIRR from Station Square. The LIRR can deliver you to Penn Station in 15 minutes or eastward toward the Long Island beaches in forty.   

Forest Hills High School at 110th Street between 66th Road and 67th Road anchors the far northern edge of Forest Hills, covering multiple city blocks. Fanning out from the high school are entire blocks of tree-lined streets with single-family homes. In contrast to the Gardens, these blocks are a mix of older and newer homes, even some McMansions.

There are two main streets that run through Forest Hills. Austin Street is an endless retail strip of local and national stores, many of which seem to be carved out of the tudor buildings that they occupy. Restaurants are aplenty and reflect the diverse cuisine of the neighborhood’s inhabitants. Queens Boulevard, once deemed the “most dangerous road in America,” is a 12-lane road (could be as wide as 16 lanes in some places) that represents the impact and consequences of urban sprawl. Queens Boulevard is literally a 7.5 mile sprint to and from the city through the heart of Queens.

As can be expected, the older variety of multi-family buildings in Forest Hills are largely low-rise prewars, typically five and six stories. They are split between co-ops and rental buildings. The newer post-war buildings, have grown taller as housing needs have changed. Most of these high-rise structures align Queens Boulevard and stand from 20 to 30 stories tall.  

Destination Spots

Forest Hills Stadium. Forest Hills Stadium, the cornerstone of the Westside Tennis Club, is a historic reminder that from 1915 through 1978, this locale was the center of the tennis universe. The WTC played host to the U.S. Open as Forest Hills became synonymous with world-class tennis. The stadium has since been transformed into a 14,000-seat venue for the summer concert circuit. As a side note, the Beatles arrived here by helicopter in 1964 and held two sold-out shows.

The Peter Parker House. If you are one for comic books and superheroes, you might want to stroll over to 20 Ingram Street in Forest Hills Gardens. This modest two-story house was home to Peter Parker, the photojournalist alter-ego of the iconic Spiderman.

Forest Park. Forest Park, one of the city’s largest parks, covers some 543 acres and offers all types of recreational activities, including multiple hiking and biking trails. This beautiful, sprawling greenspace was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, most famous for his design work on the city’s most famous playgrounds, Central Park and Prospect Park. While you’re here you must visit the Forest Park Carousel, one of two remaining hand-crafted wooden carousels designed by the D.C. Muller Brothers carousel manufacturing company.

Forest Hills Gardens. Could be the finest and most exclusive urban development in the entire city. Start out at Station Square and walk along Greenway Terrace into the gardens. No matter in which direction you veer at the fork, you will enter an enchanting subdivision of winding roads aligned with pristine Tudor style homes, all with matching red clay roofs and exquisite greenery. Forest Hills Gardens, which covers some 175 acres, represents one of the first planned communities in the United States and was modeled after similar garden communities in Britain. Today, the private enclave thrives under the watchful eye of the community homeowners association as homes in this very special place continue to be prized.

Austin Street. Take a break from your Amazon habit for a day and walk along Austin Street, the main retail drag in Forest Hills. It’s retail like it ought to be. Mix in some lunch at any one of the ethnic restaurants along the way.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop. Saddle up to the counter in this classic fountain parlor and order two straws for you and your date. Eddie’s Sweet Shop at Metropolitan Avenue and 72nd Road opened in 1925 and has been serving homemade ice cream to generations of Forest Hills residents ever since. Everything about this iconic corner shoppe is vintage. You will not be disappointed.

What You Might See

Unique bands and buskers giving impromptu performances on Austin Street and in the Forest Hills greenspaces and parks.

High-end handcrafted items at the annual Forest Hills Festival of the Arts in the summer and the Shop Forest Hills Festival in the fall.

Accidents on Queens Boulevard. Proceed with utmost caution as you walk, run or drive across or on this very busy and dangerous road. Do not text or talk on your phone; just keep your head up and pay attention.

What You Don’t Know

Forest Hills was originally known as Whitepot, and was purchased from Native Americans for three white clay pots by Englishmen who discovered the area.

In 1917, President Teddy Roosevelt gave a rousing speech on July 4th at Station Square in which he questioned the loyalty of German immigrants to the country and the war effort. The speech, later known as the 100% American Speech, called out on Germans to offer their full allegiance to America or be sent back to their country of origin. Quoting Roosevelt, “Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.”

Living in Forest Hills

What We Love

We love the history of Forest Hills and walking into Station Square and feeling as though we have entered a movie set from another era.  

Taking the LIRR into Penn Station and traveling above ground instead of below. It’s a bit more costly, but for those who wish to pamper themselves, this small vice is well worth the price.

The parks and recreational facilities. One can spend a day at one of two parks, Forest Park on the south side or Flushing Meadows-Corona Park which borders the north side. No matter the activity, you can probably find it at one of these splendid city parks. 

Neighborhood Statistics

Inventory
Last 12 Months
Forest Hills
All Sizes
Last 12 Months
Inventory
251
YOY32
Avg Listed Price
$599K
YOY6.65%
Median Listed Price
$487K
YOY3.49%
APPSF
$766
YOY3.92%
Average SF
966 SF
YOY3.21%
Days on Market
111
YOY12

Available Listings