By Grace Cassidy
When Douglas Elliman agents Thomas Tripodi and Enzo Morabito brought the six-bedroom, six-bathroom home at 139 Bayside Drive to the market in July, the property’s $11.5 million listing price marked a new high for a home on Long Island’s Atlantic Beach. It also sparked some speculation that this small, sleepy barrier island beach community could become “the new Hamptons.”
With a population of less than 2,000 inside a single square mile of land, however, this perfect slice of summer escape could only ever be itself.
Although Tripodi has characterized Atlantic Beach as “the Hamptons without the commute,” the Long Beach-based agent and principal of the Tripodi/Shemtov Team knows there is little chance it will become a South Shore version of the East End.
“Atlantic Beach doesn’t even have the possibility of getting overcrowded,” he said. “There just isn’t the space to do so.”
But with its close proximity to the city, more than half of its square mileage on beachfront and a vintage vibe from its assortment of private beach clubs where generations of families have maintained cabanas, Atlantic Beach is uniquely appealing for home hunters.
Because only a few areas are zoned for businesses, most of the town is residential. Long a draw for second-home buyers from Long Island towns like Rockville Centre and Garden City, it saw a population rise during the pandemic similar to other vacation spots. More and more, said Tripodi, prospective buyers are coming in from the city—and from a different generation.
“A lot more people live in Atlantic Beach full-time now,” Tripodi added. “The average age used to be in the late 50s and early 60s, but since the pandemic a lot of young people and families have moved in.”
With limited inventory and many owners passing down homes to their children, those who are able to buy in the small town consider themselves lucky.
“It’s very quaint,” Tripodi explained. “But exclusively quaint.”
For example, the commercial district comprises, according the New York Post, just “[t]hree restaurants, three delis, two bars, a newly opened cafe and boutique, a boardwalk and a post office.” (Tripodi is partial to Gio’s Atlantic Beach, which bills itself as a “new take on Long Island Italian Dining” and is located a block from the ocean beach to the south and the bay to the north.)
And the old-time establishments like the New York Beach Club, the Sands Beach Club and the Catalina Beach Club preserve Atlantic Beach’s retro chic and classic boardwalk summer feel.