South Ozone Park, Long Island
South Ozone Park is a neighborhood located in the southwestern section of the borough of Queens, Long Island, New York. It is part of Queens Community Board 10. The neighborhood is surrounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Van Wyck Expressway, Belt Parkway, and Aqueduct Racetrack. South Ozone Park extends to the Queens neighborhood of Ozone Park on the west, which despite the name is not north of the neighborhood; instead Richmond Hill is on the north. South Jamaica lies in the east while Howard Beach is on the southwest. The latitude of South Ozone Park is 40.67N. The longitude is -73.819W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 26 feet.
The Native Americans of the Jameco and Rockaway tribes were the original inhabitants in the area. English and Dutch settlers took possession of the land in the 1660s, as part of a land grant by the Dutch West India Company. In the early 1900s, South Ozone Park was used to farm everything except potatoes “because the soil was too salty”. A change was happened as early as the 1880s when the developer of Ozone Park named Benjamin Hitchcock began marketing the area to the south of Ozone Park for its “revitalizing and healthful” breezes sweeping in from Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. There were also several small homes built in the former farm fields by promising potential home owners. Over the years South Ozone Park has retained its character as a community of single-family or two-family homeowners. Like the borough of Queens itself, South Ozone Park has seen a change in its racial demographics as neighbors from many shores now call this community their home.
The neighborhood is home to a more diverse population, with many African Americans, Italian Americans, Indians, Guyanese, and Hispanics living in the area. The racial-makeup of South Ozone Park residents comprises of 20% white, more than one-third are Black or African-American, nearly 13% are Asian and nearly 23% are Hispanic. The South Ozone Park Library has served and grown as a site of educational and recreational activity from the early years of South Ozone Park’s development until today. The neighborhood has several landmarks of distinction including Wilbur E. Colyer Square, Ancient Burial Ground of the Rockaway Tribe, Aqueduct Race Track, and Byrne Place. Aqueduct is known as the largest thoroughbred racing track in the country. There are also several religious institutions can be found in the neighborhood such as the St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church and the St. Anthony Padua Church. South Ozone Park sought to serve the lower middle-class with affordable housing within commutable distance of Manhattan. The best residential properties are quoted at over $ 1 million and there is no dearth of demand even at such high prices. Starter homes are available at around $ 300 thousand and small apartments can be rented at relatively gentle rates.