Pleasantville, NY: A pedestrian village that ticks ‘all the boxes’

Erin Williams lived in a series of neighborhoods in Westchester with her husband and grade-school-age daughter several years ago before discovering Pleasantville, New York middle. They bought a house in Ossining, New York, but found the commute to Manhattan too long. Getting around the city is not that easy either.After selling their house and renting in Manhattan for a while, they moved in Tarrytown, New Yorkwhile looking for their next stop.

That’s when they stumbled upon Pleasantville, a village in the town of Westchester in Mount Pleasant. There, the family found a three-bedroom 1880s colonial home for $600,000 in a close-knit neighborhood of diverse cultural residents near the village center.

“It ticked all the boxes,” said Ms. Williams, a 40-year-old graphic novelist who likes the area’s walkability, school system and community. “We love our neighbors. One Korean lady blew snow down our driveway uninvited, and another Korean lady brought us cucumbers from her garden.”

Another attraction is the art world. The centerpiece of the village is the Jacob Burns Film Center, which has been attracting moviegoers in Westchester and beyond for more than 20 years. Three of the five screening rooms were recently remodeled, and a bar is planned to be installed, said Denise Treco, the center’s director of marketing and communications.

movie center “Put Pleasantville on the map,” It attracts a “very eclectic” mix of residents, including “creatives, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers,” said Compass associate realtor Hillary Landau.

She added that her clients from New York City and elsewhere in Westchester “want to walk into town, take the train and the farmers market.”

That should be easier come fall, when a state-funded project to widen sidewalks and add more walkable streets in the city center is complete, said village chief Eric Morrissey. . A 79-unit rental building currently under construction downtown will offer more housing — including market-rate and affordable apartments — just steps from the train station. (Other planned developments include some single-family homes on a 1.2-acre lot outside the village center that once belonged to the Heart of the Hudson River Girl Scouts.)

Loretta Chiavetta, an attorney for Coldwell Banker, wants her family to be like she did when she was a child Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, when she and her husband moved out of their Manhattan co-op 30 years ago. They moved to Pleasantville on the advice of a relative because Hastings was so expensive, she said. There, Ms Chiavetta saw “children in the street and bicycles on the lawn” and was mesmerized.

Her family lives downtown in a three-bedroom 1890 Colonial on Washington Avenue, within walking distance of restaurants, shops and the Metro-North station. Ms. Chiavetta still lives there with her husband and college-age daughter, and now has many clients seeking the same experience.

“There’s a lot from Brooklyn,” she said. “And I can see why – the charm of the house, the walkability of the village and the closeness of the city.”

Pleasantville occupies less than two square miles in the town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, about 30 miles north of Manhattan. According to 2021 census data, the village has about 7,400 residents, about 84 percent of whom are white, 14 percent Hispanic, 4 percent black, 4 percent Asian and 3 percent biracial. The median household income is $165,987.

The Village is known for its downtown Colonials, but the inventory also includes ranches, split-level and Cape Cod-style homes on a third of an acre or less. While larger homes on larger lots can be found further out from the village center, “you don’t come to Pleasantville to get an acre and a pool,” Ms. Landau said.

Club Court and Toll Brothers High-end developments Club Court and Pleasantville’s Enclave both offer townhomes, with Club Court adjacent to the nine-hole golf course operated by the Pleasantville Country Club. Foxwood offers apartments in a multi-complex, and Greenwood and Pleasantville Gardens also have garden apartments. As for co-ops, options include Commons, Pleasant Manor and Ledgerock Gardens. Apartment rentals include lofts along Washington Avenue and one- and two-bedroom units in Atwood on Vanderbilt Avenue.

With low inventory, high demand and rising mortgage rates, these are “very competitive times for buyers,” said Ms. Chiavita, co-host of the local real estate cable show “The Real Estate Connection.”

The median sales price for a single-family home fell to $652,500 in April from $784,000 a year earlier, according to a Coldwell Banker analysis of OneKey Multiple Listing Service data. Ms Chiavetta said this was partly due to higher-end sales and overall sales being lower than the previous year.

In April, 16 single-family homes were listed for sale in the Pleasantville ZIP District, including a three-bedroom, one-bath ranch home listed for $599,000 and a five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home listed for $3.999 million. Also listed are two three-bedroom townhouses ($1.99 million and $1.05 million) and several condos ranging in price from $240,000 to $429,900.

A loft on Washington Avenue can be rented for $4,800 a month, and a one-bedroom in Atwood on Vanderbilt Avenue can be rented for just under $3,000 a month.

In good weather, middle and high school students stroll from nearby campuses to Frank & Joe’s Deli and Black Cow Coffee Company on Wheeler Avenue in the center of the village. Diners filled the outdoor tables at Pubstreet and Fatt Root, the Asian food outlet that was recently featured in Westchester Magazine, while people dressed in brown ate on benches along Memorial Plaza Lunch. Cheese lovers praise Second Mouse Cheese on Manville Road. For casual dining, there’s Pleasantville Diner on Memorial Plaza.

On Saturday morning, the Pleasantville Farmers Market—considered by some to be the best in Westchester—draws huge crowds to Memorial Plaza. Popular annual events include the Pleasantville Music Festival, held at Parkway Field on July 8 this year, and Pleasantville Day, a celebration of village food, goods and services, held at Memorial Plaza in May.

Favorite spots for young families include the sports fields at Losell Park and Soldier and Sailor Park, and the swimming pool at South Nahagan Park. Mountain bikers can enjoy five miles of trails at Mount Graham Park off Highway 117. Indoor events are held at the Mount Pleasant Public Library on Bedford Road and the Recreation Center on Marble Avenue. Older residents gather at the senior center on Clinton Street. For table tennis fans, there is the Westchester Table Tennis Center on Tompkins Avenue.

The three schools in the Pleasantville Union Free School District have approximately 1,635 enrollments. Bedford Roads School serves students in grades K-4; Pleasantville Middle School and Pleasantville High School share a campus on Romer Avenue and serve students in grades 5-12. Some high school students are from Pocantico Hills, which has no high school nearby.

“The school is the center of it here,” said Tina DeSa, the superintendent of the school. “We care about kids, that’s why everyone wants to live in Pleasantville.”

According to the 2021-22 New York State Department of Education, Pleasantville High School has a graduation rate of 97 percent and students who are 73 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian, 2 percent black and 5 percent biracial. 4%. The district’s reported average SAT scores for the Class of 2022 were 618 in evidence-based reading and writing and 622 in math, compared with statewide averages of 534 and 533, respectively. This high school was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2021.

Pleasantville is also home to Pace University’s 200-acre campus.

Take the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line to Manhattan’s Grand Central Station in less than an hour. A one-way ticket purchased in advance is $14.75; a monthly pass is $322.

Only villagers and business owners can get an annual parking pass for $600. For non-residents, there are 12-hour and hourly parking spaces.

In the 18th century, Pleasantville was a farming area known as the Philipsburg Estate. Early residents included members of the Sint Sincks and Rechgawawanks Native American tribes, as well as Dutch settlers and Quakers.

In the mid 1800’s the village was known as Clark’s Corners. During the Civil War, it was a stop for the Underground Railroad. Past residents have included authors Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett, and actor Sidney Poitier. Reader’s Digest magazine, co-founded by a former resident, DeWitt Wallace, was based in the village before moving to the neighboring Chappaqua Later, went to Manhattan. The Usonia Historic District, a planned community designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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