How safe is LeFrak City in Queens, New York?
November 13, 2012 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: How safe is LeFrak City (in Queens, New York) currently? More detailed questions inside.

I just got approved for an apartment there, on the side by the expressway, in the Brazil complex. I know that LeFrak used to be really bad in the 80s and 90s but it seems to have gotten a lot better. There are a ton of stores like the Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Applebee's, a huge movie theatre, etc. right there, which seems to me as if it's really a promising neighborhood/complex. The leasing office also told me that a lot of young professionals live there. Is that true?

I read that there was an attack there last summer, but in a complex of 5,000 apartment units, those seem like decent odds to me. Surely more attacks than that go on in the "cool" places of the city, like the LES, and I feel very comfortable on the LES.

Does anyone have any insight about the tenants or the safety of the area?

To tell you a little about myself, I am a 25 year old white female. However, I was raised by a father who was a cop, so was taught from a very young age to be always aware of my surroundings. I've lived in the city for over two and a half years now, in Hell's Kitchen and in Alphabet City, which always had sketchy characters hanging out, but I still absolutely loved living in those areas and always felt safe. It is time for me to get my own place without roommates (this is non-negotiable) and I have capped my budget at $1,100, so LeFrak works out very well in that regard. I will say that I feel infinitely more comfortable around LeFrak than I do when I'm in BedStuy, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Bushwick, Stuyvesant Heights, Red Hook, and even that really industrial and isolated section of Gowanus. How does this place compare? Is it a bad idea for me to move here? Will the six-minute walk from the subway at either the Rego Park or Woodhaven stop be bad at night?

Thanks for any information on any of my questions!! Any other information/thoughts on LeFrak City also welcome!!
posted by slide to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
Looks pretty safe: Crime Statistics for the 110th Precint
posted by Hactar at 10:02 AM on November 13, 2012

(Standard disclaimer about NYC underreporting of crime statistics applies)
posted by Hactar at 10:03 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

(I also can't speak for the complex itself, but I did run crime statistics before moving to NYC- I live in Bushwick, just east of Williamsburg and just north of Bed-Stuy, but then again I am male and 6'3")
posted by Hactar at 10:07 AM on November 13, 2012

I'm a similar demographic, and would not live there. You can get a nice place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for that price, and it's a much, much, much nicer area.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on November 13, 2012

I used to live on the south side of the LIE from LeFrak City, so I can't speak to the comfortableness/safety aspect of that particular area, but I can say that getting home at night was a pain in the butt because my bus stopped running after midnight and it was damn hard to find a cab. A lot of times I just walked the mile down 108th to get home.

I lived in Bushwick in 2004 off the Morgan Ave L and felt safe most of the time. But not as safe as I did when I lived in Astoria. And it was way easier to get home at night.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:21 AM on November 13, 2012

If you're going to live out by there, just get an apartment in Rego Park or Elmhurst. While I'm sure it's an exaggeration, Lefrak's been referred to as privately owned housing projects. $1100 would get a studio in Rego Park, possibly Forest Hills if you're willing to walk further to the train.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 10:48 AM on November 13, 2012

Also, I don't know how developed your social/support networks in the city are yet, but unless you've got friends in there, I'd suggest someone your age and (relatively) new to the city to select a neighborhood that's better equipped for a younger person to socialize in.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 10:53 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I am a 25 year old white female.

Stop right there.

You will be a visible minority in LeFrak. Although this in itself is not a problem, it will make you stand out. That's where the danger lies. No doubt. I cannot recommend no matter the political sensitivity around such counter suggestions, especially considering other options are available to you... especially select neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

(ask your dad on the issue of minority being more subject to Crimes of opportunity, to Double check)
posted by Kruger5 at 11:07 AM on November 13, 2012

I looked it up because I didn't know what it was... it's 2 blocks from where someone I know grew up (in a middle-class multi-family building)! That area definitely felt a whole lot safer to me than where I come from in Alphabet City. As far as I can tell it looks to be a very diverse place (said acquaintance is Chinese, and I've seen lots of representation from many races around there). And Queens Mall and the subway are so close! So it's not like you are isolated. Unless the area changed substantially in the last few years or something I'd say it's probably fine to live in this neighborhood - don't know much about the LeFrak development itself though.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 12:29 PM on November 13, 2012

For what it's worth, LeFrak is right by the Long Island Expressway, which may be difficult to cross as a pedestrian. I wouldn't try from the 63rd Dr-Rego Park stop, for instance.
posted by mlle valentine at 12:42 PM on November 13, 2012

For the same amount of money and maybe -- two minutes?, five minutes? -- more on the train, you can have an apartment in Forest Hills, which is not perfect, of course, because no neighborhood is, but I can guarantee you that there are NO questions on Askme about its reputation and safety.

Forest Hills is safe, boring and stable. It's not the funkiest place in NYC by a long shot but it's not a place where you'd have any worries about walking home from the train at night.

LeFrak City is questionable.

Go with the safe, boring and stable.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know about dangerous, but it doesn't seem like a very appealing place to live, to me. Yes, there's a Gap. But do you really feel like you'd enjoy living there? Are there places to eat and drink? Grocery stores that sell food you want? What's the commute like, realistically?

LeFrak tends to be the butt of jokes among my NY native friends, even those who've lived in extremely un-hip neighborhoods. I mean, the slogan is "live a little better." Just a little? Really?

Shit, I just moved to East Los Angeles, and I'd want to be fucking IN LOVE with LeFrak City before I moved there.

Seconding whoever suggested you look in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, maybe Forest Hills, or some other "safe but boring" far-outer-borough area, if budget is your biggest concern.
posted by Sara C. at 8:25 PM on November 13, 2012

it looks to be a very diverse place (said acquaintance is Chinese, and I've seen lots of representation from many races around there)

Diversity in Queens is its own particular kind of beast.

I was out that way (Elmhurst, maybe?) helping a friend -- who happens to be a Jewish guy -- with a project that involved loading stuff out of his car. We were doing a sort of assembly line to get it unloaded so that the car was always supervised, and for a moment I was alone on his block. Some Russian dudes walked up to me, looked me up and down*, and blatantly asked what I was doing with "that Jew".

So, yeah, diverse is nice, but it's complicated in Queens. It's definitely worth thinking about what your ethnicity or presumed ethnicity will say about you to strangers in the neighborhood.

*I tend to be taken for Russian or Polish in New York a lot and it gets me into interesting situations like this all the time.
posted by Sara C. at 8:30 PM on November 13, 2012

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