The Guidas, who had been living in a rental apartment in nearby Hartsdale, knew Elmsford well. For 10 years Mr. Guida has been the general manager of Casaletto Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in the heart of the village; Ms. Guida works there as a hostess. When they needed more space after the birth of their first child, they began house-hunting.
“We looked in Port Chester, White Plains, Tarrytown,” Mr. Guida said. “We found that Elmsford was very reasonable when it came to value. You’re not going to get anything comparable anywhere else.”
Ms. Tricarico, who grew up in Elmsford, married the boy next door and raised her family in the village, described the population as predominantly blue collar and more ethnically diverse than many Westchester communities. The 2010 census noted significant percentages of African-American, Asian, Hispanic and white residents.
Some families, like the Tricaricos and the Fuccis, settle there for generations. “Even though we’re surrounded by highways and industrial parks,” said Robert Williams, Elmsford’s mayor and a 37-year resident, “we try to hold onto our small-town feel.”
What You’ll Find
Mom-and-pop businesses form a hub around the intersection of Routes 9A and 119, and continue along 119. The village’s residential streets extend north and south of 119.
Data from Elmsford’s building department indicated that the village contains roughly 750 single-family houses and 200 multifamily houses, mostly modest colonials, capes, Tudors and ranches on small lots. To the east, a pocket of more expansive (and expensive) homes overlooks the Knollwood Country Club.
In addition to a 10-unit condominium complex, there are approximately 600 rental apartments. The majority are in three complexes, including two luxury buildings, the 81-unit Apex at 290 and the brand new 95-unit Elm, which Ms. Tricarico, the leasing agent, said is targeted to millennials and empty-nesters. There are no co-op complexes.
What You’ll Pay
Phyllis Lerner, a broker and owner of William Raveis Legends Realty Group, said most Elmsford homes sell in the $200,000 to $600,000 range. The exception is the Knollwood neighborhood, where prices can run into the millions. She said houses are selling quickly and inventory is low.
On Feb. 9, 11 single-family homes were on the market, ranging from a 384-square-foot, one-bedroom cottage built in 1923, listed at $159,000, to a 936-square-foot, 1918 two-bedroom colonial, being sold with a commercial property for $1,100,000.
The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported that the median sales price for single-family homes for the 12-month period ending Feb. 9, 2018, was $377,400, down from $383,750 during the previous 12 months.
Current rentals at the Apex are $2,699 to $3,375 a month; at the Elm, they are $1,950 to $3,740. The median apartment rental for the 12-month period ending Feb. 9 was $2,100, up from $2,075 during the previous 12 months.
Mayor Williams called Elmsford “a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone.” Residents gather for annual village-sponsored activities including a Memorial Day parade, Kwanzaa celebration, menorah lighting, Christmas tree lighting and Elmsford Day.
Dining, shopping and recreational options abound. Along with Casaletto, restaurants include RaaSa, for Indian food; Shiraz Kitchen, for Persian; and Pete’s Saloon, a popular hangout since 1977. Bed Bath & Beyond marks the village’s eastern border, while Sam’s Club sits just beyond the northern border.
Minutes away are the Westchester Skating Academy, offering indoor ice skating; the Westchester Broadway Theater, a long-established dinner theater; and the Greenburgh Multiplex Cinema. The 14.1-mile South County Trailway passes through Elmsford, where the final installment of the bike and pedestrian path was recently completed.
Elmsford is served by the Elmsford Union Free School District, which also serves several adjacent sections of Greenburgh. The district’s 1,021 students attend Carl L. Dixson Primary School for prekindergarten through first grade, Alice E. Grady Elementary for second through sixth grades and Alexander Hamilton Junior/Senior High. Grady and Hamilton share a campus; Dixson is a few blocks away.
On Elmsford’s 2017 fourth-grade state assessments, 44 percent of the students met English standards and 48 percent met math standards; statewide equivalents were 41 and 43 percent. For Hamilton’s 2017 graduating class, mean SAT scores were 536 in evidence-based reading and writing and 504 in math; statewide means were 528 and 523. Marc P. Baiocco, superintendent of schools, said the district has a 96 percent graduation rate.
As there is no train station in Elmsford, Metro-North Railroad commuters can drive 10 minutes, either southeast to catch the Harlem line at White Plains or northwest to catch the Hudson line at Tarrytown. Rush-hour trains between White Plains and Grand Central Terminal take 33 to 59 minutes; monthly fare is $268. Rush-hour trains between Tarrytown and Grand Central take 36 to 57 minutes; monthly fare is $311.
During colonial times, the land that is now Elmsford was known as Storm’s Bridge, a reference to a bridge over the Saw Mill River near a tavern built by a member of the prominent Storm family. In the early 19th century, the area was called Hall’s Corners after a wealthy resident who bought the tavern. Elmsford adopted its current name around 1870, in recognition of a large elm tree that stood near a ford across the river, used as a landmark by George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Old-timers enunciate both syllables: Elms-ford. “You can tell who has grown up here,” said Marilyn Catucci, a 74-year resident, “by how they pronounce the name.”