BY LYNN EDMONDS
Malba is a little-known chunk of Whitestone, separated off from the rest of it by the Whitestone expressway. The 400-odd homes there are some of the most expensive in the borough. It is a quiet neighborhood, with no retail areas or public transportation, and plenty of lush, large trees and winding, sedate streets. At the same time, it’s accessible to Manhattan by car.
Malba gets its name from the first letters of the last names of the five men who developed the area: Maycock, Alling, Lewis, Bishop and Avis. The men were connected with the Royal Baking Powder Company and came from New Haven, Conn.
Another fellow in the baking powder business, William Ziegler, had originally bought163 acres of Malba but did not finish developing it. Like much of Whitestone, Malba features excellent views of the waterfront and particularly the Bronx-Whitestone bridge.
The developers envisioned the area to be part of Long Island’s Gold Coast, and they built a private beach, a dock for yachts, a gold club and a polo club in the area in the 1920s. Before the bridges, cars, airports, increased industry and population, the area was a resort spot that affluent New Yorkers flocked to for swimming and waters ports.
Now the area is home to business professionals year-round, and housed at one point William Shea, a lawyer and the namesake of Shea Stadium, and Mets player Roberto Alomar.
An article in the New York Times in 2011 cited the uniqueness of Malba properties because of the large lot sizes.
At the time, the article also said it was a trend for buyers to snatch up a $2.8 million or so home and the knock it down to build a mansion in its place.
Many of the homes in the neighborhood, mostly ranches, cape cods and colonials, were built in the first half of the 20th century. The newer houses tend to feature Mediterranean designs, the New York Times writes.
Malba has a neighborhood association, the Malba Association, which maintains public spaces including the beachfront.
Malba also now has a Yacht club and marina located on Malba drive.