Like the flames on the side of Awkwafina’s car in her new Comedy Central series, “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens,” Queens’ real estate market is on fire. Loosely based on the Golden Globe-winning actress’ life pre-stardom, her meteoric rise runs in tandem to her old ‘hood’s upswing. However, it’s not just crazy rich Asians that are fueling the spending spree. The 7 Flushing Local and Flushing Express, which bisect Queens and run from Flushing to Hudson Yards, has Manhattan and Brooklyn transplants showing love to the once shunned outer borough. So it’s no wonder that the Metropolitan Transport Authority chose to celebrate Awkwafina’s new show by having her read transit announcements the week her show debuted.
Awkwafina aside, it was inevitable that Queens would have its moment. With both Manhattan and Brooklyn becoming increasingly beyond the budget of many ordinary New Yorkers, the historically unloved and unfashionable borough has seen the pockets of many would-be Williamsburg hipsters and Midtown Manhattan workers giving it a second look. And what they have found, other than relatively affordable accommodation, are neighborhoods that are rich and varied in culture, with a thriving foodie scene to boot. Described in the New York Times as “New York’s most diverse borough,” its smorgasbord of different cuisines reflects its melting pot of residents. Greek, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Columbian, Bosnian — it’s all there. Queens’ elevation into desirability has in turn boosted its real estate market with housing prices rising everyday and luxury condos selling out faster than a roti shop on a cold day on Richmond Hill.
Here are some of the neighborhoods and the developments that are helping spark Queens’ real estate inferno.