Briarwood, NY, is a Middle class neighborhood and is known by some as the “hidden gem” of Queens because it has retained a low profile, despite its many positive features. Smack dab in central Queens, Briarwood is convenient to highways, the subway, LIRR, and buses. Families abound. They come for the tree-lined, quiet streets and schools. The neighborhood attracts successful immigrant families, but no one group predominates. Housing is a mix of single- and multi-family houses and apartment buildings.
To the south is Hillside Avenue (Jamaica), and to the north is the Grand Central Parkway (Kew Gardens Hills). Briarwood meets Jamaica Hills to the east at 164th Street, and Kew Gardens to the west at Queens Boulevard/Van Wyck. The Post Office considers Briarwood’s zip code (11435) part of Jamaica, but the neighborhood is distinct from downtown Jamaica, which is south of Hillside Avenue.
The two main drags are Parsons Boulevard, just south of the Grand Central, and Queens Boulevard between Main Street and Hillside Avenue. Both have take-out restaurants, Laundromats, 99 cent stores, and markets (there are more on Queens Boulevard). There is a Key Food on Queens Boulevard, which has a small parking lot in the back, and online grocer Fresh Direct delivers to the neighborhood.
Briarwood Real Estate
Prices have skyrocketed since 2002. One-family homes (often attached) are snapped up quickly. Prices start over $550,000 (for a fixer-upper) and go much higher. Multi-family homes begin over $900,000. One-bedroom condominiums (most on Main Street or Queens Boulevard) sell for $280,000 and up.
Briarwood is right off the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, and the Jackie Robinson Expressway (Interboro), and just down Main Street from the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.). When the Van Wyck is clear, it takes less than ten minutes to drive to JFK Airport.
Subways and Trains
Briarwood’s proximity to many transportation options is one of its strongest points. The express F subway stops at Hillside and Parsons, again at Hillside and Sutphin, and at the Van Wyck/Briarwood station at Queens Boulevard and Main Street (25 minutes to Lexington Avenue in Manhattan). The E train stops at the Van Wyck station late at night and on weekends. The LIRR stations in downtown Jamaica and Kew Gardens are also fairly convenient (20-minute walk).
Residents of Briarwood apartments are accustomed to taking the Long Island Rail Road from either the Jamaica Transit Hub at the southern end of town, or from the Kew Gardens Station just to the west. An LIRR train from Jamaica to Penn Station is a quick 20 minutes during the morning rush hour. Central Queens is notorious for its huge parks, but none are more famous than Flushing Meadows-Corona Park–the city’s second largest and host of New York’s two World’s Fairs. Briarwood is fortunate to be located centrally among Forest Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and the Kissena Corridor Parks, all of which are world class green spaces for recreation and relaxation..