Looking for a new place to live? This top Long Island realtor says to check out Rockville Centre.
Self-described as a “South Shore gal,” Tiffany Balanoff ABR, PSA, RENE, SRES, SRS, Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Long Island, was raised in the area, and still spends her time going to restaurants in Rockville Centre, shopping in Merrick, and enjoying the beaches in Long Beach. Her parents still live in the area as well.
Over the last eight years working in real estate, Balanoff said Rockville Centre is one of those communities that is unlike any other.
Neighborhoods with vibrant, downtown areas and everything in walking distance are becoming popular living destinations. According to reports, the more walkable a community is, the happier the residents are. They often feel more socially connected, as well as physically and mentally healthier.
In Rockville Centre, there are dozens of high-quality restaurants, retail stores, entertainment venues and more, all within walking distance of each other.
“Park Avenue, to me, is really the heart of town,” Balanoff said. “It’s the Rockville Centre strip — that’s where you’ve got your restaurants, bars, nightlife and shops. And the train station is right there.”
Tiff’s Tips #1: If you’re in the mood for Italian food and specialty cocktails, Balanoff recommends dining at Mangia Bene. For an enjoyable rooftop experience, plan a night at Rooftop 32 at Kasey’s Kitchen and Cocktails. Balanoff also suggests a new sushi spot called Rozu, and is “obsessed” with the Village Cheese Shop and Vine and Branches.
Tiff’s Tips #2: For families looking for more kid-friendly activities, there is also a movie theater on North Park Avenue and Maple Lanes Bowling Alley. Hempstead Lake State Park and Lister Park also have great ballfields, biking and hiking trails and playgrounds for visitors to enjoy.
Tiff’s Tips #3: Balanoff said Lister Park is where the community hosts the best 4th of July fireworks show in the area and the Rockville Centre Recreation Center is a go-to spot for avid pickleball players.
The Rockville Centre train station is located in the center of town at 55 Front St. and passengers can get to Penn Station or Grand Central in under 40 minutes.
Balanoff said Rockville Centre is ideal for homebuyers looking to shift toward suburban life, but still want that urban feel.
“I’ve had clients move from Manhattan to Rockville Centre and it was an ease of transition,” Balanoff said. “Giving up the city lifestyle is not an easy thing to do, so when you live in Rockville Centre, you can get that suburban life and still jump on the train for a quick trip to the city — you don’t have to miss out on it.”
Tiff’s Tips #4: Aside from the close proximity to Manhattan, Rockville Centre is also only 15 minutes from the white sandy beaches of Long Beach, and less than 30 minutes from the Jones Beach Amphitheater where you can see great concerts, Balanoff added.
Balanoff said Rockville Centre is constantly giving back to the community, and that’s often through its plethora of family-friendly events.
Rockville Centre recently held its popular mini music festival called Playing on the Porch where live bands perform on porches, decks, front yards and driveways for free throughout the village. The event also raises money for the South Side High School Scholarship Program.
The Mayor’s Golf Outing on Sept. 28 is another charitable Rockville Centre event held at the Rockville Links Club. Balanoff plays in this outing every year. “It’s important to not only enjoy the community you live in but to give back to it. When I play in the Mayor’s Golf Outing I get to do both!”
Park Avenue in Rockville Centre is completely closed for Eat Shop Rock where attendees can sample food from different restaurants, shop at various stores and enjoy live musical entertainment.
Tiff’s Tips #5: A summer event close to Balanoff’s heart and one she sponsors is the annual Cornhold Tournament for Charity, hosted by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 279 in Rockville Centre. The event raises money for the Rockville Centre Breast Cancer Coalition, as well as several other local charities.
“This is a newer event for Rockville Centre but it is gaining some major momentum. We’ve got food, beer from local breweries, and live music. We stepped it up another notch this year and added a bouncy house for the kids, and integrated the use of an app for the tournament which seemed to have attracted some pros to join the tournament. It was really exciting. It is such a fun and exciting day for everyone and it is for a great cause.”
Balanoff said if any small business owners are looking to move into the area, the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce is incredibly supportive of the local economy.
A supportive chamber leads to a successful business, which just means great options — like restaurants, shops, and events — for all residents of the community.
In addition to hosting events and meetings to help entrepreneurs make connections in the village, the Rockville Centre Chamber is “actively promoting” the neighborhood businesses. They also serve as a liaison to the local Village government and through this role the chamber is able to serve as the “voice” for the business owners and residents.
“I’ve never seen a chamber of commerce this active,” Balanoff said. “They’re really focused on promoting local businesses on social media.”
“The homes in Rockville Centre I find to be very special,” Balanoff said. “There are a lot of Tudor-style homes and these older homes have so much history in them, even if it’s just someone’s personal family history.”
A single-family house Balanoff currently has listed on the market at 40 Stratford Rd. is one she describes as a model of Rockville Centre’s historical homes.
“It’s such a mix of this classic, Rockville Centre style, which is like stained glass, a lot of brick,” Balanoff said. “And at the same time, it’s modernized on the inside in a way that blends the old and the new seamlessly together. The houses around here are just gorgeous.”
Balanoff also notices most people who live in Rockville Centre, stay in Rockville Centre. For example, 45 percent of individuals looking at this specific listing already live in the area.
“Once we get you in, we're not letting you go,” she said.
Interested in moving to Rockville Centre? Contact Tiffany Balanoff at 516.410.6671 or visit her website to see all her latest listings.