by Melanie Lefkowitz
Published: April 26, 2013
When Shawn and Betsy Elliott were trying to decide where on Long Island to live, she was drawn toward denser, close-knit towns with houses on small lots, while he preferred more spacious lots and a rural feel.
The couple eventually agreed on Woodbury, a hamlet within Nassau County’s town of Oyster Bay. Houses in Woodbury often are on 1-acre lots amid green and rolling hills, and the busy Jericho Turnpike offers a wide variety of upscale shopping and dining.
“Woodbury was the perfect compromise,” says Mr. Elliott, president of Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes & Estates. “You can have the land that you want if you want to build a pool, a tennis court, a pool house, but at the same time you still had your neighbors and the kids still rode bikes from house to house.”
The affluent community of some 9,000 people is about 30 miles from Manhattan, with easy access to the Long Island Expressway, Northern State Parkway and Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, in addition to Jericho Turnpike. There isn’t a Long Island Rail Road station within Woodbury, but commuters can travel to Penn Station in about 50 minutes from nearby Cold Spring Harbor or Syosset.
Real estate in the community can be pricey, with most single-family houses ranging from around $600,000 into the millions. According to Zillow.com, the median listing price in Woodbury in February was $999,000, a 5% increase from the same month last year.
Around half a dozen condominium communities draw empty nesters looking to downsize, as well as young families seeking starter homes. Taxes in Woodbury can be high—running around $20,000 a year for a house in the $1 million price range, brokers say—but are comparable with other affluent Nassau County communities. The town has a strong attraction for young families, particularly those with adults who grew up nearby. “I find a lot of kids who went into the city in their 20s, developed their businesses, created their livelihood and now they’re looking to come back,” Mr. Elliott says.
Another major draw for those with children, brokers say, is the fact that the community is part of the Syosset Central School District.
“You get the benefits of feeling like it’s a small town, but you get the benefit of the fabulous Syosset schools,” says Maxine Hollander of Realty Connect USA.
Woodbury has plenty of green space and recreational opportunities, with access to the town of Oyster Bay’s 600-plus acres of parkland. The nearly 50-acre Syosset-Woodbury Community Park is an all-season facility, with ball fields and pools as well as an outdoor ice rink and a popular sledding hill. Oyster Bay town beaches include Tobay Beach in Massapequa, with ocean swimming, a boat basin and a miniature golf course. On weekends, the beach and its facilities are open only to town residents.
The 18-hole Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course is at Jericho Turnpike and South Woods Road. The 20-mile Nassau-Suffolk Trail, part of the Long Island Greenbelt, passes through the area.
“It’s an amazingly family friendly place to live,” Ms. Hollander says.
Parks: The Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, a 46-acre park operated by the town of Oyster Bay, includes a playground, ball fields, an ice-skating rink and swimming and kiddie pools, as well as basketball, tennis and bocce courts. The 270-acre Stillwell Woods preserve, run by the county, includes bicycle and horse trails. The Planting Fields Arboretum, a 400-acre estate with gardens, hiking trails and historic buildings, is nearby in Upper Brookville.
Schools: The Syosset Central School District has an enrollment of about 6,600 students and includes seven elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school.
According to state data, 98% of students in the district who entered high school in 2007 met or exceeded state standards for proficiency in English four years later, compared with 80% statewide. In math, 96% of the 2007 group met or exceeded proficiency standards in 2010-11, compared with 81% statewide, the data show.
Dining: Most restaurants are situated along Jericho Turnpike, including Sage Bistro Moderne, a French restaurant; Butera’s, serving Italian cuisine; and Andrea’s 25, another Italian eatery. Nisen Sushi in Woodbury serves Japanese food.
Shopping: The shopping centers along Jericho Turnpike include stores ranging from upscale clothing boutiques to bagel stores and delis. A branch of Iavarone Bros., a gourmet grocery store and bakery, is in the Woodbury Village Shopping Center. The Fresh Market, a high-end specialty supermarket, recently announced plans to open. The Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station are a short distance away.
Entertainment: In the summer, outdoor concerts are held in Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, a concert venue on the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, is a short distance away.