Arden Heights, situated in the western part of Annadale on the South Shore of Staten Island, New York City, is a neighborhood that offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its rich history, beautiful natural surroundings, and convenient amenities, Arden Heights has become a sought-after community for residents looking for a peaceful suburban lifestyle. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fascinating history of Arden Heights, explore its unique features, and provide valuable insights for those considering calling this neighborhood home.
A Historical Perspective: From Bedell House to Arden Heights
Arden Heights has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The neighborhood was initially settled by the Bedell family, with Joseph Bedell and his wife, Hannah Dissoway, establishing their home in the area known as Marshland. The Bedell house, built in the early 18th century, played host to significant events, including a peace conference between various Native American tribes prior to the American Revolutionary War. The Bedell family’s generosity and the historical significance of their home left a lasting legacy in the community.
In the 19th century, Arden Heights, then known as Marshland, saw the emergence of several families, including the Benedict, Garretson, Jessup, Post, and Stuyvesant families. The neighborhood’s rural charm and large plots of land made it an attractive place to settle. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Arden Heights underwent significant development, with the construction of major townhouse complexes that transformed the area.
Map of Arden Heights
Arden Heights Today: Natural Beauty and Modern Amenities
Arden Heights is home to one of New York City’s largest protected wetlands, the 183-acre Arden Heights Woods. This pristine natural sanctuary features a forested hardwood swamp, kettle ponds formed by glaciers, and a network of streams and creeks. The wetlands serve as a natural flood-control system, reducing the need for costly man-made infrastructure.
The woods of Arden Heights are a sight to behold, with successional forests that undergo a multi-stage life cycle, transitioning from open fields to mature hardwood forests. The mature portions of the forests are teeming with diverse tree species, such as hemlocks, black cherry, and persimmons. These forests provide a habitat for various wildlife, including owls like the screech owl, saw-whet owl, great horned owl, and occasionally, the southern gentleman, the barred owl. Bats also find refuge in the woods, feasting on the abundant insect population.
In addition to its natural beauty, Arden Heights offers a range of modern amenities to its residents. The Village Greens, a planned urban development completed in the 1970s, features townhomes clustered around looped streets, providing a traffic-free environment. The Village Greens Homeowners Association ensures the community’s well-maintained appearance, with architectural guidelines and regular exterior inspections. The development also includes a shopping center, a New York City public elementary school, and a 16-acre common park with two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Education and Recreation: Nurturing Minds and Bodies
Arden Heights boasts a selection of schools catering to the educational needs of its residents. Public schools like P.S. 42, I.S. 75, and Tottenville High School provide quality education within the neighborhood. Additionally, several Catholic schools, including St. Clare School, Our Lady Star of the Sea School, and St. Joseph by the Sea High School, offer alternative options for families seeking a private education. Private schools like Eltingville Lutheran School, Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, and Francis School contribute to the diverse educational landscape of the neighborhood.
For recreation and outdoor activities, Arden Heights Woods Park is a haven for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike. The park offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking amidst the serene natural surroundings. The extensive trail network allows visitors to explore the different sections of the woods, immersing themselves in the beauty of the successional forests and discovering the enchanting kettle ponds.
Getting Around: Transportation Options in Arden Heights
Arden Heights is well-connected to other parts of Staten Island and Manhattan through various transportation options. The neighborhood is served by several local and express buses, providing convenient access to key destinations. The S74 and S84 local buses run along Arthur Kill Road, while the S56 travels along Arden Avenue and Arthur Kill Road. The S55 bus connects Arden Heights to the Staten Island Railway via the Annadale station.
Express buses like the SIM2, SIM23, SIM22, and SIM8 offer direct routes to Manhattan, providing a convenient commute for those working or exploring the city. Additionally, the proximity of Arden Heights to the West Shore Expressway ensures easy access to the wider Staten Island road network, allowing residents to navigate the island with ease.
Real Estate in Arden Heights: A Neighborhood of Diverse Homes
Arden Heights offers a diverse range of housing options, catering to various preferences and lifestyles. The Village Greens development features townhomes and detached homes, providing a mix of housing styles for residents. The meticulously planned layout of the Village Greens, with its looped streets and well-maintained appearance, contributes to the community’s charm and appeal.
Another prominent development in Arden Heights is Aspen Knolls, which initially intended to house Navy families but transitioned into a public housing development. Aspen Knolls offers one, two, and three-bedroom homes, complemented by community amenities such as playing fields and a community center. With its well-designed homes and family-friendly environment, Aspen Knolls has become a desirable option for those seeking a close-knit community.
Real Estate Market Overview
The Arden Heights real estate market largely consists of single-family homes in the range of $350,000 to $750,000. Home values have increased moderately in recent years, attracted by the quiet residential setting and access to Manhattan. Inventory is limited so homes usually sell quickly.
New construction is limited so most homes for sale are existing homes from the mid-20th century. Buyers can find modest 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom homes as well as larger luxury properties with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Overall, Arden Heights provides good housing value for families looking for suburban living on Staten Island. The market is expected to remain strong yet mellow as inventory constraints continue.
Demographics of Arden Heights
According to recent census data, Arden Heights has a population of approximately 15,000 residents. The neighborhood is primarily middle class with a significant percentage of civil service workers like police officers and firefighters residing in the community.
The median household income in Arden Heights is around $72,000. The population is ethnically mixed with a sizable Italian and Irish ancestry. Most residents own their homes rather than rent. Arden Heights has an educated population with over 70% of adults holding college degrees. There is diversity in age demographics with both young families and older retirees living in the neighborhood.
Community Spirit and Local Services: Living in Arden Heights
Arden Heights is a close-knit community with a strong sense of community spirit. The Village Greens Homeowners Association plays a vital role in maintaining the neighborhood’s appearance and organizing community events. The association’s efforts contribute to the overall quality of life in Arden Heights, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.
The neighborhood also offers a variety of local services to meet the daily needs of its residents. The Village Greens shopping center, located within the development, provides a convenient shopping experience, with a range of retail and dining options. Additionally, the New York Public Library operates the Huguenot Park Branch, serving Arden Heights and neighboring communities, offering a wealth of knowledge and resources.
Community Organizations in Arden Heights
Residents have opportunities to engage with the community through several local organizations. The Arden Heights Civic Association focuses on quality-of-life issues and hosts an annual civic fair. The Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center provides religious services as well as cultural activities.
Other groups include the Community Baptist Church, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Knights of Columbus which allow residents to connect through faith and social activities. The Wolfe’s Pond Park Conservancy organizes volunteer cleanup and beautification events at the park. These organizations help foster a sense of community identity in Arden Heights.
Shopping and Dining in Arden Heights
The central business district along Arthur Kill Road has a mix of dining establishments and retail shops. On a hungry day in Arden Heights, residents can grab pizza on Arden Ave at DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant or Lee’s Tavern Pizza. Chinese food options include Number One Chinese Kitchen, Happy Garden, and Royal Asian Fusion. For everyday necessities, Stop & Shop and CVS Pharmacy are conveniently located on Arthur Kill Road. The neighborhood also has delis, laundromats, beauty salons, and wine shops. Just outside Arden Heights, the Staten Island Mall provides additional major retail stores.
While chain restaurants and stores are available, much of the business district consists of family-owned shops and restaurants that give the neighborhood charm and character. The offerings meet most day-to-day needs of residents without having to leave Arden Heights.
Embracing a Tranquil Lifestyle: Choosing Arden Heights
Arden Heights, with its rich history, natural beauty, and convenient amenities, offers a tranquil lifestyle within the bustling city of New York. The neighborhood’s close proximity to the Arden Heights Woods, its well-planned developments, and its strong sense of community contribute to its desirability as a place to call home.
Whether you’re drawn to the serene natural surroundings, the diverse housing options, or the strong community spirit, Arden Heights provides a haven for those seeking a peaceful suburban lifestyle. Embrace the charm and tranquility of Arden Heights, Staten Island, and discover a neighborhood that offers the perfect balance between nature and modern convenience.
For more information about living in Arden Heights and current real estate opportunities, reach out to our team of experienced agents. We are here to help you find your dream home in this remarkable neighborhood.
The Arden Heights community prides itself on its rich cultural diversity, with a significant Jewish and Italian population. This diversity adds to the vibrant tapestry of the neighborhood, creating a unique blend of traditions, cuisines, and celebrations.
Greetings! I'm Dr. Andrew Stepanov, a passionate explorer of Staten Island's vibrant neighborhoods. Rooted in the heart of the borough as a devoted resident, I've dedicated myself to unveiling the unique history and experiences that define Staten Island. Through my blog, Staten Island Explorer, I aim to share insights into the rich diversity shaping our community. Come join me on a journey to uncover hidden gems, embrace diverse cultures, and revel in the beauty that makes Staten Island a place I am truly honored to call home.