Affluent and middle-class sections often rub elbows, although the more expensive areas are sometimes gated, like Premium Point, where large 19th-century houses are among the city’s priciest properties. Next door, in estate-studded Pryer Manor, inlets flow from Long Island Sound past windswept hills in an effect recalling the British moors.
But also on the waterfront is Isle of Sans Souci, a 1960s development in a homeowner association with ranch-style houses on quarter-acre lots, where prices, at least away from the water, can be more attainable.
French place names are not uncommon in a city founded by Huguenots, French Protestants fleeing Catholic persecution. But while fleur-de-lis emblems adorn the city, and the Eglise Baptiste d’Expression Francaise conducts church services in French, Spanish is the more common foreign tongue spoken today. About 30 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic, according to recent census figures.
“Ritzy places are spaced out without rhyme or reason, but each area has a good socioeconomic mix,” said Samantha DiPalo, 40, who grew up in the middle-class South Side and today lives in the Stephenson Park area, in a 1920s three-bedroom house she bought for $520,000 in 2019.
What has captivated longtime locals is the attention being lavished on the city’s downtown. Five years after a 279-acre rezoning made it easier to build high-rises, several new ones — all rentals, and most with some affordable units — are completed or close to it.
Now open is 360 Huguenot, a 28-story tower with 280 units, from studios to two-bedrooms. Projects currently underway include the first phase of 14 LeCount Place, a 27-story, 380-unit rental, and The Huguenot, a six-story, 60-unit building.
Closer to the Metro-North station is the red-brick NewRo Studios building, which opened in September, with some of its 73 live-work units reserved for working artists. Condos, a bit rare, are starting to shoulder in; one is Watermark Pointe, a nine-building, 72-unit complex at a former beach club.