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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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Like any part of JC the Heights is highly variable block to block. It's not a single neighborhood, its an area of town about 1.5 x 1 miles. I've been living near Congress & Palisade for a little over 2 years and have had no problems.

Be smart and check out the surrounding area of any building you're being shown at different times of day to get a sense of the vibe.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 17:51
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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Actually Bowers & Webster can be rough. There have been a few murders in that area. Crime became so bad the corner store put a buzzer in so you couldn't just walk in, you had to knock first. He wouldn't buzz you in unless you looked non-threatening.

Even with that set up he was robbed so he sold the place, not sure if the new owner operates it the same way.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 16:55
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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I live on Sherman Pl and this particular block (west of Summit) is very safe and has been for many years.

http://www.starledger.com/str/indexpage/crime/neighborhood.asp

The Star Ledger JC crime map is an interesting took. Plug in any address and you see the crime history.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 16:48
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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the crime issues generally get less as you move west of palisade and central - although a recent robbery at gunpoint a few blocks from my house might have some on edge. still, if youre looking to buy, consider the kennedy blvd area of the heights (anywhere from observer highway all the way to the city line). most places along here and a +/- 2 block area are safe, and have easy access to JSQ and NYC (especially the western slope /sparrow hill neighborhood). this area is more houses and less condos, though, so not sure if that plays a role for you.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 16:02
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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Quote:

njscottie wrote:
I'm 24 and was considering buying a condo in the heights in the area of Webster/Bowers. Can anyone tell me anything about this area?

I've heard everything from there being constant street gangs to muggings at the light rail. What is the quality of life really like?

Pretty much EVERYONE I talked to told me to avoid the Heights like the plague. These people however all live in nicer areas and here "Jersey City" and think its like a future world where there are neighborhood wars.

I've asked on some other forums and received replies like "get a gun, you'll need it" or "why not Hoboken?" If I could afford Hoboken, I'd go to Hoboken.

Can anyone provide honest feedback on this area without being so brutal?


It's very diffcult to "candycoat" something of this nature, take it from someone who grew up in the heights and lived there for 30+years, I have seen the change and it is not pleasant.

I would definatley take the other poster's advise and sit in yr parked car for a few hours after the sun goes down and at various times of the week, if you trully want to see what the picture holds.

Good Luck

CK

Posted on: 2008/3/10 15:21
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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I've lived in the heights for 24 years. The quality of life has changed. I used to feel safe walking the streets. However, after reading the JJ I no longer feel safe. I use to live on Fleet and Concord. Towards the end of my stay there I felt very afraid and would rather get in my car and shop at a big supermarket than go to the corner store. Honestly if you have a car, I would suggest you go down there a few times on a Friday night and a Saturday night and kinda park for like an hour or so in dif areas around your condo. Just to kinda see for yourself what type of people come around.

Teenagers are getting very aggressive, but I also started noticing that even the 9-13 crowd has been getting a little crazy. I decided to move the nite that I woke up and found some 10 year old literally climbing my security gate in the kitchen to break into my apt. I screamed so loud that I startled them all and I heard them running! A neighbor witnessed the entire thing.

So my 2 cents are for you to be careful and really check out the neighborhood. The block you are speaking about isnt so bad. Normally it can be a bit deserted. But again check it out for yourself. Remember the park is right around the corner and with summer approaching the ball game changes!!

Best of luck!

Posted on: 2008/3/10 13:28
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Re: how dangerous is the heights?
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I lived on Palisade for 2.5 years and never had a problem. The crime there is very often drug related between people who know each other or are rivals. Not so much random muggings. I felt safe (male, late 20's). Just use common sense like anywhere else

Posted on: 2008/3/10 13:27
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how dangerous is the heights?
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I'm 24 and was considering buying a condo in the heights in the area of Webster/Bowers. Can anyone tell me anything about this area?

I've heard everything from there being constant street gangs to muggings at the light rail. What is the quality of life really like?

Pretty much EVERYONE I talked to told me to avoid the Heights like the plague. These people however all live in nicer areas and here "Jersey City" and think its like a future world where there are neighborhood wars.

I've asked on some other forums and received replies like "get a gun, you'll need it" or "why not Hoboken?" If I could afford Hoboken, I'd go to Hoboken.

Can anyone provide honest feedback on this area without being so brutal?

Posted on: 2008/3/10 13:05
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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Quote:

gungirl_newyork wrote:
I moved here over a year ago. I really love it. It's so convenient. The comments about a sense of community certainly rings true. I'm a single female and I was the only tenant in my building for about two months when I first moved in (it's a renovated townhouse). I was informed of a murder down my block at a deli located around Webster and Ferry. My neighbor from next door checked on me, making sure I was ok.

I wondered if they caught the gunman who shot the deli owner at this point.


Yes. I do believe both were identified not sure if they caught both and the other one is still at large. There is a thread here somewhere wit the news coverage.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 2:54
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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I moved here over a year ago. I really love it. It's so convenient. The comments about a sense of community certainly rings true. I'm a single female and I was the only tenant in my building for about two months when I first moved in (it's a renovated townhouse). I was informed of a murder down my block at a deli located around Webster and Ferry. My neighbor from next door checked on me, making sure I was ok.

I wondered if they caught the gunman who shot the deli owner at this point.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 2:35
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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I agree that Jersey City Heights is a working class neghborhood; it is also improving in my opinion.

I also agree that crime is out of control in Jersey City, in general, and it is a problem in the Heights. I blame the useless Democrats and the liberal judges who don't keep the thugs and felons in jail where they belong.

Posted on: 2008/2/6 5:00
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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The hieghts is what it is ......plain and simple. I have lived in the height almost my whole life , until i recently moved. The western slope is getting worse and the congress st light rail area is getting a hundred times better than what it was . Gangs prey on mexican workers getting off there late night shifts from hoboken restaurants . It is a fact that needs to be addressed. the value of the homes go up in direct correlation to the value of homes in hoboken which in turn are directly affected by the value of the homes in the city. Rents are cheap because the sheep like slum lords wont fix there properties and just want to keep there properties rented instead of investing in fixing them up and asking more from the "poorer" yuppies who are willing to pay for new apts....

what type of neighborhood is it ???????

the same neighborhood it has been for the past 40 years a working class neighborhood.......

your relationships with your neighbors are what make all the difference.


Posted on: 2008/2/6 4:33
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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I'm a renter not an owner, therefore I have no reason to "sell" the Heights as a great place with lots of potential. A poster asked what type of neighborhood the Heights is and as an 8 year resident of the Heights I gave my opinion.

Ok it was 2 murders on Bowers instead of 3, I now feel much safer (I live on Palisades/Bower). There have been other murders in this neighborhood over the past couple of years, the killing of that entire family, the woman/owner of the deli etc. There was also a few major beatings on South and Congress where I believe the assailants were never caught.

Burglaries are out of control. When I first moved here the corner store on Bowers and NY Ave operated as any normal store. The owner was robbed at gun point so many times in the course of a few weeks you now have to knock and be buzzed in ( i haven't been there in a while he may have sold it already, after the other deli owner was murdered in the heights he mentioned he wanted to leave).

This isn't a hidden agenda, just look at the crime stats or open the Jersey Journal on any given day.

I think in general Jersey City has a serious crime problem, more so than other cities of a similar size. It's something that needs to be recognized if something is going to be done about it.

The original poster asked for opinions on what kind of neighborhood the Heights is, they didn't ask for opinions on what kind of potential neighborhood it could be or how it would be for a long-term investment real-estate play.

In my first response I also played up a few things I like and enjoy about living here and currently have no plans on moving.

Posted on: 2008/2/6 3:20
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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MATHIAS

I have a feeling you either are just not an optimistic person or you have a hidden agenda.

The heights has seen drastic improvement over the past few years for several reasons. The realestate market has been the main factor. Housing prices are holding firm considering whats going on in the market. Rents are actually going up. I know 1st hand because Im a landlord. Since the lightrail elevator has been in service I have seen the quality of tenant improve and rents go up as well.

Get your stories straight.
As far as the killings off of bowers. It was 2 separate killings not 3.

1.The shooting on the corner was on 4th of july 3 years ago when there were tens of thousands of people congregating at the park for the firework display in NYC. It was also gang related and they knew each other. Cops caught the guy.

2. As far as the home invasion baseball bat incident. The owners son had a party and asked some kids to leave, they came back with some friends and the son hit an intruder in the head and he later died. That building has since been converted to 3 luxury condos priced at $350k plus.

The entire area is gentrifying and next round of the realesate boom this area will be substantially improved.

A little advice try to be more positive. You remind me of debby downer from SNL

Posted on: 2008/2/6 0:39
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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re: the bus service
Been noticing a lot more new (how's that for code?) residents taking the jitneys/vans/immies . My hunch is that the low ridership on the buses has something to do with that. Regardless of the reasons, what's heartening is how quickly/strongly the local neighborhood associations and the CASID have banded together (with current administration) to rectify the situation.

I would agree with Croft that it has gotten better. The crime map is useful, up to a point. It's a bit brittle as it caps out at 50 incidents per query. However, not any of the homicides Mathias mentions are in the database - the db doesn't start until '06. When I requested all homicides in 2006 to the present (pegged to an address in the Heights), the search retrieves just one incident in the Heights, with the rest of the entries elsewhere.

Been here a while, so I'm no Pollyana, but I do think it's gotten better. The Reservoir has caught on strongly and I've noticed an increase in the number of stroller-moms/dads heading to the park. Heck, several listers actually complained about the 99cent stores on Central Avenue. That complaint was being made on this board about downtown JC's Newark Avenue not too long ago.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 22:12
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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the heights is a nice place to live...but i think it also depends on where in the heights you’re at. 4 years back, i lived at franklin and sherman...didn’t necessarily love living there, but i was also getting ripped off by some new york rental company (long stupid story)
my boyfriend and i ended up moving to where we’re at now in ’05, congress and palisade, and it couldn’t be better for a lot of reasons! mostly, the ease of the commute into the city (although i personally don’t love the light-rail, and the 87 must be the worst bus in jersey transit!), nice people around, the value, and having a backyard is amazing...
central ave is not fabulous, and there are TOO MANY 79-99 cent stores, but it seems over the past years, it has gotten a little better. it would be nice to see central ave something similar to washington in hoboken, just not so much like a meat market!
stupid s**t happens everywhere, so really it’s all what you make it no matter where you live. since we are owners, we’ll be here awhile...

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:55
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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Quote:

croft wrote:
i've been here for almost 26 years now, it's gotten so much better than when i was growing up here.


I used to come to the Heights in the 80s and early 90's to hang out with friends. I always remember it being a great neighborhood and never felt threatened. But that could be because i was living in the Paterson, NJ area or that other areas of JC seemed so much worse at the time relative to the Heights.

I'm not sure you are correct about those bus lines. People I talk to are pretty upset about the cancellation in services. In fact I believe there were several community meetings about it where people expressed their outrage to the local politicians.

When transportation services are cut back or canceled its a definite signal about the neighborhood. Besides the Heights the only other section where bus service is being stopped or scaled back is Greenville. Of course the biggie is the 99s which brings people to NYC, rerouting and scaling back that service means less people from the area need that service to NYC. The light rail and 87 are poor substitutes. Both the light rail and bus to Path are more expensive and take more time unless you work near the WTC.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:35
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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CapnJon wrote:
Mathias i know you've been here a few years longer than us, but i completely disagree with your view of the last few years....

i think the large number of murders you referenced was that one dude who killed a whole family...



There were about 3 murders just on Bowers alone. This was about two summers ago. In one incident young kids ran into someones home and beat another kid to death with a bat. In another incident someone was shot to death on July Fourth after doing something with fireworks near the park I forget what the third one was.

There were also a few brutal beatings on Congress, some guy coming out of a bar was subject to a bat attack, i remember flyers up asking people who may have witnessed anything to go to the cops.

Every couple of weeks you can read in the Jersey Journal about people coming off the elevator on congress getting preyed upon.

Anyway I think the crime map link tells the story about crime in the Heights better than me. Check out the map and it shows it to be a high crime area.

Quote:

CapnJon wrote:
as for real estate prices dropping? i'm pretty sure that's not accurate either... in the heights, in the past few years... not much has dropped, and if it has, it's been because of the housing market, and not the neighborhood.


Four years ago the building I was living in was receiving asks near $700,000. It sold last summer for just under 500K. I follow rent listings in the area as a hobby and they have gone down in the last 2 years by about 200 a month. You still get a few posting high rents but they are in the minority. In contrast Hoboken rents have not gone down at all.

In general I think the responses to the question on what kind of neighborhood the Heights is will receive different responses from renters than owners.

There has been talk of Jersey City becoming the next Hoboken for as long as I can remember but again the main obstacle to that happening as I see it over the last 8 years is that there needs to be a serious change in how this city is governed & managed.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 17:17
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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My wife & I just celebrated our 1st year here in JC & the Heights specifically. We're off Bowers between Palisades & Central. I must say that so far that I love it. I would characterise myself as the yuppie. (But I hate that term). When shopping for condo's we looked at downtown & Hobo but couldn't find the same value that we found up here. You simply get more for less. This area is definitely a diamond in the rough. I see so much potential in the area but it's not there yet. The commute to the city for me is straight forward. We haven't had the opportunity to go to Pershing Field yet but plan to. People are friendly.

Enough about the good, now the bad. Too many 99 cent stores on Central. (But there are good businesses). There is crime (but so does downtown). Streets are dirty sometimes (need garbage cans on EVERY corner). I wish I spoke Spanish because there are a lot of native Spanish speakers here. But I do love the diversity in terms of people & culture.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 16:28
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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The heights has gotten a lot better. I moved in in '05 and in 2+ years, it has improved drastically from my view-point. I believe the current housing market is what is keeping prices down. Although I would love to see Central Ave in the same ballgame as Washington in Hoboken, I prefer the Heights to Hobo, and I have lived in both places. Hobo is a dark vertical city that defines the word gluttony. The Heights is a neihborhood that gets less Hood by the day. Palisades is kind of a sad story because there aren't many aves in the state or surrounding boros that can boast a Manhattan view -- Palisades has tons of potential, as does Central, which seems to be getting better. My question about Central is, why do we need 400 99cent stores? I use one or 2, and they serve its purpose, but why so many? On the flip-side, Central seems to be updating itself, as there is a new, beautiful corner retail spot a couple blocks north of Bowers - the yellow bldg.

A gripe of mine is the city needs to put garabge cans on some corners -- the heights has a lot of litterers that do not give a F. Dog stuff is an issue too. Also, parking is pretty easy, but was a lot easier a couple years ago.

All in all, I am glad I moved here. I work in the city and my commute is easy and cheap. I have a lot of space and my apt would probably be 50% - 100% more in Hobo -- which looks like Co-Op City by the GW. Crime seems more petty and the cops are pretty good. The aluminum siding's gotta go, though, as it is hiding pretty decent architecture.

Good luck on your move as you will cleary not be in KS anymore. You picked the right spot as this is a real-deal urban sitch, with a lot of good things going for it, which should keep getting better.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 15:33
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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i've been here for almost 26 years now, it's gotten so much better than when i was growing up here... i've had so many people try to jump and mug me as a kid walking home from school or from the park in daylight.....now, you can at least walk around in daylight without worrying about someone telling you to run your pockets on the avenue or near christ hospital. sure, there's a lot of crime around, but i see a lot less gang members hanging out on franklin and palisades ave now than i did 10 years ago. when i worked at the corkscrew on congress & webster, i met so many new jersey city residents, almost all working class and "yuppies" who had just moved in around 2006... it was really cool finding out people were coming from all over the united states to live in our area because of the cheaper rents and convenience to manhattan and hoboken.

the popular bus routes that were cancelled (minus the 99s) were really not good bus lines to begin with. i've gotten offered crack and pot as a teenager on the central avenue bus line at 3pm in the afternoon. central avenue really doesn't have many quality stores to shop at, so the bus line was kind of useless. the only people riding it were the people who actually used it to get to place to place (usually not many since that line dropped you off in the not so nice parts of jersey city after journal square), old ladies going to the avenue for 99 cent shopping or shady people who were either homeless or did their drug runs on it. it was probably costing the bus company more money to run it than they were making....also, a lot of the people who have moved in seem to have their own vehicles for their recreation/shopping, so that might be something good despite the parking problems. 10 years ago, none of my neighbors drove, most of them were fairly poor and to be quite honest, most of them were dealing drugs on our corner. now that everything has gone condo, we're seeing more working class folks and families moving in.


and the view from the park on palisade is awesome!

Posted on: 2008/2/3 8:32
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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Mathias i know you've been here a few years longer than us, but i completely disagree with your view of the last few years....

i think the large number of murders you referenced was that one dude who killed a whole family...

and as for yuppies moving out? in the past three years... i see more and more young, professional, artists, musicians... when i walked to the elevator in the mornings three years ago, i didn't see anyone like that...

now the elevator is full every morning with all types of people - from blue collar to white collar... every ethnicity, nationality, economic background... you name it, there's something going on...

as for real estate prices dropping? i'm pretty sure that's not accurate either... in the heights, in the past few years... not much has dropped, and if it has, it's been because of the housing market, and not the neighborhood.

and as far as i'm concerned, hoboken can keep building all those "fancy" condo highrises all they want, because we all have unique homes... their dime a dozen joints make our places increase in value...

not to mention, the next few years, in the blocks near the elevator, we're getting a community pool, movie theater, etc....

hooray for the heights!

Posted on: 2008/2/3 7:55
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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As someone else said the Heights is a big area.

I have lived on Palisade Ave for 8 years. There are lots of burglaries and muggings in the area and a couple of years ago there were quite a number of murders and very brutal beatings between Central & Palisade.

The neighborhood has gotten worse in the 8 years I have been here. I've noticed less yuppie types moving in and lots moving out. Most of the people moving up to the heights are displaced downtown residents due to gentrification.

I would say the first couple of years I was here the Heights got better but then that declined about 4 years ago. You can see it in the rents, which have gone down considerably in the last 2-3 years. Real Estate prices have also dropped. Popular bus routes have been canceled and further cuts are possible.

You can check this site to see what the crime is like in the area:

Crime Map

Definitely rent before you buy. I think Jersey City needs serious governmental reform before it makes sense to buy in the area. The inefficiencies and corruption rampant in this city and county will ultimately be paid for by taxpayers.

That said there are some great things about living here. The reservoir is awesome, the views from the park on Palisades are incredible, Ginos Pizza on Central Ave is excellent and with the elevator on Congress it's now a simple walk to Hoboken.

Due to pressure by residents there is a real chance to make some change in this city. Just from following local developments the Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop, who seems like he might run for mayor, represents a ray of hope for the city.

Posted on: 2008/2/3 1:35
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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Quote:

Kramer wrote:
Hello, I hope I'm not making a big mistake, but I am moving to Jersey City in about a month. I have an apartment in the Heights on Beacon ave. Does anyone have an opinion of that neighborhood. Thank yo in advance.


Welcome to the neighborhood. It's a huge area, sounds like you picked a nice slice of it. There are tons of helpful neighborhood associations. Once you're settled, check 'em out as they're a super helpful source of info. You should also check out the Heights website: JCHeights.com to get some of the basics. Definitely check out the Reservoir in the spring/summer - can't be beat.

Posted on: 2008/2/2 16:49
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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I've lived in the area for almost two years and don't mind the area. I was originally from the Journal Square area of JC but got accustomed to JC Heights. Shopping is ok on Central Ave., easy access to Hoboken, Newport etc.

We are going to be neighbors as I live in between Summit Ave. and Kennedy Blvd on Hopkins! Feel free to PM me, maybe we can hit some local spots in Hoboken and Downtown JC! Welcome!!!

Posted on: 2008/2/2 1:44
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
#36
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VIVA LOS HEIGHTS!

You are moving about 3 blocks from me. It is a great neighborhood- lots of families and people from everywhere. My upstairs neighbors have a whole dog mafia thing going on- I am sure you will see lots of people and their dogs, both at Pershing Field and "Mosquito Park" . There is a deli at the corner of Beacon and Summit Aves. Max, the owner, makes fantastic breakfast sandwiches and his large cappucinos are only $1.50!

Grocery shopping is a bit of a pain. The Stop and Shop is not the best. However, after growing up in Hoboken, and seeing what that has turned into, I will never leave the Heights!

Safety- just use the same caution you would anywhere. Lock your car doors, and your house. Welcome to The Heights!

Posted on: 2008/2/2 0:52
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
#35
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Kramer wrote:
Thanks for all the info! The apartment building is between Collard and Summit Ave. Because we are relocating from Kansas with no employment, it was either this or Harlem. We also have 2 large dogs. We walked around the neighborhood some while we were there on vacation and loved Pershing Field for the dogs. I hope we can find other areas for dogs, like a dog park or something. Anyway, I think I feel a lot better about moving to JC!


Hi there, I have only lived here for two months, but you are two blocks from my house, feel free to hit me up for whatever limited local advice I can offer once you move to town. Welcome aboard! Your block is nice and quiet, and you've got great parks and a fire station nearby. Just watch out for the overzealous parking nazis.

Posted on: 2008/2/1 20:50
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
#34
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Quote:

Kramer wrote:
Thanks for all the info! The apartment building is between Collard and Summit Ave. Because we are relocating from Kansas with no employment, it was either this or Harlem. We also have 2 large dogs. We walked around the neighborhood some while we were there on vacation and loved Pershing Field for the dogs. I hope we can find other areas for dogs, like a dog park or something. Anyway, I think I feel a lot better about moving to JC!


Kramer

I know exactly where that is, yeah, that part of Beacon ave is pretty quite and yr a stones throw from Pershing field as well .

Your also close to "Five Corners", theres a very good public library there as well and other establishments .

Good Luck

CK

Posted on: 2008/2/1 19:59
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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Thanks for all the info! The apartment building is between Collard and Summit Ave. Because we are relocating from Kansas with no employment, it was either this or Harlem. We also have 2 large dogs. We walked around the neighborhood some while we were there on vacation and loved Pershing Field for the dogs. I hope we can find other areas for dogs, like a dog park or something. Anyway, I think I feel a lot better about moving to JC!

Posted on: 2008/2/1 18:30
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Re: What kind of neighborhood is the Heights in Jersey City?
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I prefer the Western Slope section of the Heights. Very quiet. If only it had those Ogden Ave views!!!

Posted on: 2008/2/1 15:41
We are what we pretend to be. So we must be careful what we pretend to be - Vonnegut
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