Sea Gate

Brooklyn

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It is estimated that more than 11 million people live behind walls in gated communities in the United States. The first place that privilege could be exercised in New York City was Sea Gate. The neighborhood on the eastern tip of Coney Island traces its roots back to a developer named Norton's Point Land Company that bought all the land west of 37th Street on Coney Island in the 1890s. Norton built a casino where the Coney Island Light now stands and sold parcels to people named Vanderbilt and Dodge and Morgan. The social aristocracy enjoyed their summer resort community so much they banded together and bought out the Norton people. A private corporation called the Sea Gate Association was incorporated in 1899 and the city's first residential wall went up with gates at Surf and Neptune avenues. The gates are still there and access to the half square mile neighborhood, 832 single-family houses and 5,000 residents is still restricted. The Victorian and early 20th-century Mediterranean style houses set on large lots in Sea Gate are far from unobtainable with a median price of around $500,000. But residents do pay 13 percent of their accessed property value each year for sewers, beach maintenance, street repairs and the community's own sanitation and police departments. Residents can enjoy two small parks and the private beach on three sides of the neighborhood. There are no stores, no services and no schools on the other side of that wall. All of those mundane intrusions on the good life must be retrieved from Coney Island next door. There is no public transportation into Sea Gate, but several buses nearby. By Doug Gelbert

Neighborhood Highlights

Buses:

B36
B74
X28
X38

Rental Prices:

$1,488 ― $2,083

Sales Prices:

$357,000 ― $500,000

Landmarks:

Lindy Park

School Districts:

21

Police Precincts:

60

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