SO MUCH FOR PRECONCEIVED — or rather, outdated — notions. I hadn’t been to Jersey City in probably ten years, so when I went there yesterday (a distance of 7 whole miles from my home in Brooklyn) to visit a friend, my first reaction on driving through the streets was a surprised “This is NOT BAD!”
In fact, it’s pretty great. There are plenty of grubby areas inland, but the waterfront sections, with their sparkling views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, and many blocks around, have been totally spiffed up. It’s not just hi-rise city, either. Fine blocks of 19th century row houses in the historic neighborhoods are likewise in good shape, which means we’ve missed the boat on real estate investment.
For better or worse, depending on your P.O.V., Jersey City has gentrified, and it happened while I wasn’t paying attention. Walking around with my friend Joe (for as long as we could stand in the bitter cold), we passed a brick row house, right, with a nice Greek Revival doorway, colorfully painted, and a ‘For Sale’ sign. “It’s probably over a million,” Joe said. Said I, ever the victim of wishful thinking. “I’m guessing 899K.” Joe quickly found the listing on his iPhone. He was close: the ask is $1.15M, in ‘as is’ condition.
Of architectural delights, there are plenty. They’ve been hiding in plain sight all this time. Have a look.
Born and raised in Jersey City–it didn’t look like THAT in the ’60s and ’70s! Still, the property taxes in Jersey are so awful. I thought about going back maybe ten years ago, but the property taxes were a deterrent, to say the least. Even at its worst, I did notice on long walks with my Dad as a little kid that there were some beautiful buildings. Glad to see they are getting the attention they deserve.
Oh no! Your camera was stolen! Did you use a lock? I use a TSA lock on all my checked in luggage now. A friend who used to work for the TSA told me that there is nothing that can cut through those locks. Bummer.
Such beautiful features & signage on those buildings. Thanks for showing your great photos, it’s wonderful to be able to see buildings & housing that are from another country.
Best wishes for a joyful & safe 2012.
PS. sorry about your camera
Great fun! There’s plenty more to see and another great meal at Light Horse Tavern, or one of the other great local restaurants, awaits our next adventure!
JC is gentrifying but it is nowhere near as far along as most areas of Brooklyn. This is reflected in price per sq ft on rowhouses. Taxes and quality of life issues are problems. As nice as downtown is getting, the rest of JC is pretty rough. If the sketchy local govt can ever get things right, JC has a chance. Also, big property tax revaluation happening right now which has a lot of downtown owners nervous. Prop taxes have roughly doubled in the last decade.
There are some nice pockets of rowhouses/eclectic spots if you are willing to venture over on the PATH… PS if you really want to find some rowhouse gems check out Bergen Lafeyette area of JC. It’s not near the PATH, but some really nice rowhouses can be had for under 400K…