You can find co-op apartment buildings in almost every neighborhood in Queens. But you'll find that finding a great, new home in a Queens co-op boils down to two factors: location and quality.
It's a fact of life. If you want to live in eastern Queens -- the real suburban neighborhoods -- you can find co-ops in Bayside, Glen Oaks, and elsewhere, but the choice is limited. Those areas are dominated by single- and multi-family homes.
If you want to live as close to Manhattan as possible, Long Island City is a real option these days, but almost all of the new housing is condo. Since the area used to be primarily industrial, there are very few co-ops.
Central Queens is full of co-ops: Jackson Heights, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Elmhurst. However, most co-op buildings were built cookie-cutter style with little regard for aesthetics or even quality of life. They look like brick squares leftover from the Soviet Union.
For a co-op in Queens, Jackson Heights has to be your first place to look.
It's got the location -- close to Manhattan with plenty of subway and highway options -- and neighborhood quality of life -- safety, shopping, awesome restaurants, family atmosphere. And even more unique, the co-ops in Jackson Heights have a quality and diversity of architecture unmatched in other Queens co-op markets.
Many of the co-ops in Jackson Heights were built in the 1920s and 1930s as garden apartments with large, interior, park-like courtyards. The details -- like tile roofs, marble floors, and windows facing three, even four directions -- are way above the cookie-cuttter co-ops that push up against one another in other neighborhoods. The co-ops of the Jackson Heights historic district are both a treat for living and an architectural treasure.