Nope. Skaneateles was close, ranking number 10 in Upstate New York, but CNY’s wealthiest ranks third, only behind Pittsford (Monroe County) and La Grange (Dutchess County). The answer will likely surprise any Central New Yorker.
Nestled southeast of Syracuse between Lafayette and Cazenovia, lies the town of Pompey, home to just 7,300 people. There is no major town center or business district. Instead, it is strewn with farms, dive bars, and country-style homes.
But then where is the money coming from? Near the town’s edge lies Pompey Pines, a neighborhood near Manlius, which is vastly different from the remainder of the town.
“You’ll see it’s a lot of trucks and trailers around here,” said Dan Neugebauer, owner of the Pompey Mall, a gas station and convenience store frequented by locals. “The money is up around Pompey Pines.”
Because the majority of the town uses well water, homes cannot be built on less than two acres. This results in the spaced-out country feel that most people think of when they drive through Pompey. Pompey Pines, however, is zoned differently than the remainder of the town and receives its water from the Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA), resulting in a close-knit neighborhood of large, spectacular homes. The landscaping of these homes alone is enough to increase property value by nearly 14%, as these lawns are crisply kept and decorated with plenty of shrubbery or flowers.
Neugebauer said that he wasn’t particularly surprised by his town’s especially high ranking, though he understands why it comes as a shock to many who have simply passed through, not knowing where the town lines end.
Pompey Pines is still being developed, with new streets and homes being built regularly. Just last year, two new homes in the neighborhood were sold for $635,000 and $575,000, respectively. Both of these sales registered as some of the most expensive home sales in the county.
The cost of living in the town, even in Pompey Pines, is relatively low. For rural prices, many of these residents are enjoying upscale suburban living and are able to revamp their properties with the money that they save.