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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I have lived in the area for over 5 years now, and second Publius' observations. There was a lot of positive energy and the vibe of new construction all over the place when I first bought in 2005, which has certainly slowed since the economy tanked. On my immediate street, it is mostly homeowners, and therefore mostly neat and reasonably quiet. One landlord on the block went with Section 8, and it created a nightmare of a situation that the rest of us have been working at tamping down for over a year. Other than that, and your usual opportunistic wandering thieves, I don't have many complaints, feel pretty safe, and like my neighbors.

Posted on: 2011/7/12 8:28
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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It does we just had a meeting this past Sunday.

Posted on: 2011/7/12 3:26
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Moving to Astor Place anyone familiar with the area? I also thought it had a neighborhood association but when I go to the site the last post was from 2006??

Posted on: 2011/7/11 18:41
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I've lived on Communipaw and it was very loud.
Some of the dead-end streets off Communipaw are so quiet its like being in the suburbs.

Monitor is nice. Suydam(sp?) is probably an interesting bet to buy on because there are plans to tear down the warehouses there and build market rate housing.

There are two new 2-family bldgs being built right now at 183 Pine St. if anyone is interested. Looks like they're getting brickface in front. Could be nice.

Check out streets like Whiton, which has a lot of trees and some good renovation gems.

miles

Posted on: 2011/6/24 12:56
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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sweet...which specific areas/streets are a better bet?

Posted on: 2011/6/24 0:03
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Have owned and lived in a row house on Pacific since 2006. Expectations initially of a rapid makeover of the neigborhood are not realistic now. However, slow and steady improvement seems to be what is happening- and maybe that is better. Strangely, I have lived all over Jersey City, including Paulus Hook and Hamilton Park and this is the only neighborhood I have never had any issue. One thing that has been a bit of a problem is that some of the landlords who formerly rented to yuppies have opted for Sec. 8 which can result in a nuisance in your backyard

Posted on: 2011/6/23 17:40
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I've lived in the lafayette neighborhood for almost four years now. We own a two-family. There are some great blocks and some not so great blocks just like any neighborhood. Things have definitely improved and now we have Maritime Parc and the beer garden that we can walk to, where before there was almost nothing restaurant-wise. Also Cesar's keeps saying they will reopen eventually. If you really want to investigate you should attend both the east district captain's meeting (there is one tuesday the 28th at the school on Bright Street at 7pm) and a morris canal redevelopment area coalition meeting (usually the first thursday of each month). You meet homeowners from the area and at the police captain's meeting you see that for the most part crime is actually lower in our neighborhood than in other parts of downtown.

Posted on: 2011/6/23 16:44
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I'm absolutely giving this area strong consideration for purchasing a house. This is a great conversation, additional input from owners would be great.

Posted on: 2011/6/22 16:45
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Thanks for your insight, Natalie. Very helpful information. I'd love to hear other opinions as well. Any owners out there willing to share?

Posted on: 2011/6/11 7:04
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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How is the neighborhood?
Do you feel safe?

Posted on: 2011/6/11 6:57
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I'm a renter @ the Foundry and have been looking at apartments here to buy. I think it's one of the best values in JC. However, there are problems, the windows being among the biggest thorns. They're nearly impossible to open and close. For the life of me, I don't know why they never addressed this problem. There's also been complaints about the plumbing though I haven't experienced any. They renovated the apartments for the most part with a lot of class, but cheaped out in other areas. The management company is here to stay for a good long while, which is a good and bad thing. For the most part, they're responsive, but sometimes you have to pull teeth. Still, I find it a good buy.

As for the area, I wouldn't change a thing except to have a decent deli nearby. For the most part, you have to hop in a car to go shopping no matter where you live in JC, so it's no big deal to me to travel an extra few minutes. I love the isolation and that it's not inundated with people and traffic. The park is a short walk away, the biggest plus. I rue the day they complete the Jersey Ave. extension (if that ever occurs), bringing a lot more traffic and people to the area. Call me anti-social, but I like the relative privacy and relative safety of the area (just don't walk to Pacific Ave. or beyond at night!).

Looking forward, the area will eventually become more built up and am sure there will be more services. There's a condo building that will eventually be finished next to the Foundry, on Monitor. There are also other construction plans from what I understand. This will likely increase property values if that's important to you.

Posted on: 2011/6/11 6:47
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I would be very interested to hear thoughts on living at the Foundry. I recently took a look at a couple of impressively large units there. It's a lot of apartment for the money. I understand the neighborhood's relative isolation to downtown and its transitional status.

How do owners at the Foundry feel about their homes? Are they happy with the space? Are they pleased with the trade-off of content/value vs. transitional status of the neighborhood?

I currently live downtown and am weighing all of these things as I look for another home in JC.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2011/6/10 8:47
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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What are you looking for?

Posted on: 2011/3/29 22:19
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I want to like this area and consider it when buying, but after driving through over the last couple of days, I'm not really seeing nor feeling it. There definitely are some pretty brownstones, but I didn't see much more. Maybe I'm not passing through the right streets/neighborhoods.

Any specific street and neighborhood suggestions are appreciated!

Posted on: 2011/3/29 22:05
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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My friends who live at the Foundry Lofts are buying their time until they finally open Jersey Avenue to through traffic. It will really help connect DT to that section of BL South of Pacific and help lure in more would be developers and home owners. If the owner of my apt. building turns it into condos I will be looking to buy over in that section for sure.

Positives:

- Proximity to Liberty State Park and the Science Center
- 1 miles from DT
- Freeway entrance nearby
- Light Rail in walking distance
- New outdoor pool with lanes for swimming
- Liberty Harbour development and shops in walking distance
- Low property taxes
- Affordable brownstones
- More and more people buying in that area who do care about their houses and their environment

Negatives:

Not a lot to walk to in the way of restaurants and shopping
Can't easily walk to the PATH Train
Issues with crime. Though I would say that crime is happening all over JC. Infact, out of the approximately 19,354 cities in the USA Jersey City is 25th for highest murder rate. So, unless you have your head in the sand we all need to remain vigilant even if you're strooling around Paulus Hook or Hamilton Park.

Posted on: 2011/1/21 20:47
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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google map link: Communipaw Ave. near LSP

yes, LSP=Liberty State Park

Posted on: 2011/1/20 11:32
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I keep seeing this reference, "Communipaw Ave. near LSP"
Can someone google map that for me?

I'm curious as to where this is, I assume you mean near Liberty State park?

I love these lofts but have heard the neighborhood is horrific.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/reb/2168367810.html

I currently live in Paulus Hook but its too expensive to do it long term

Posted on: 2011/1/19 18:53
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I live here with my wife and two kids and I think our block is great! Its a super quiet dead-end block off Communipaw Ave. near LSP.

It's not perfect, but I've lived here since 2000 and have seen some incremental changes.

Missing amenities is the biggest gripe as others have mentioned.

I actually ride a folding bike to Grove St. PATH every day as part of my commute. Its a 5 minute bike ride, but a 30 minute walk.

When retail comes to Liberty Harbor that will only be a 15 minute walk from us. We already like Zeppelin Beer Hall.

If you are looking for some nice brick townhouse or a single home on a 40 ft. lot that you could buy for 1/3 the price of downtown and renovate, Lafayette has possibilities. But its a lot of work.

I have seen lots of artists here because they need the space and the low rent to create their art. Artists don't need lots of amenities like cafes and bars. They can always trek downtown for that.

I would love to see more light industry zoning come here, so we could get carpenters, welders, mechanics, brewers, artisans and blue collar working types. But who knows.

Unfortunately we may be forced to leave JC altogether because of the horrid schools. Right now our only school age kid is in a private school but with two kids and one on the way, we will soon need a decent public school system in return for these property taxes.

Posted on: 2011/1/19 13:02
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Quote:

Totally agree with you on the restaraunt situation, we don't even have chinese close by over here, we order from Future which is downtown, most places do deliver down here but it would be a great asset for a little place to open up over here.


Don't know if you were around for the waning days of Caesar's at Communipaw & Whiton - a very solid little bar & restaurant - but it looks like it will be back:

http://hudsonreporter.com/pages/jersey_city_mag (p. 44-45 and 47)

*Really* great news.

Posted on: 2011/1/19 9:34
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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There's a fear mentality that many people gravitate to. Look at any newcast about a pending 1" of snow.
I was told I was going to be murdered and mugged for moving to Glenwood Ave.
and, there's parts of Newark that are downright suburban - my huzzy lived there for 8 years.

Posted on: 2011/1/19 8:44
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Quote:

trambone wrote:
Know whats great about B-L? My car has never gotten broken into. I've never had to park more then the next block over. I pay nothing for my condo.


+1. One morning a young guy rang our doorbell - we'd never seen him before - he looked a little scary. Turns out we'd left our car keys in the trunk lock while unloading the car of groceries the previous night, and he was returning them to us. And we've never parked more than 50 feet from our house.

Wish I could say the same as you for dog poop and noise, but one thing at a time.

Quote:

Instead of discouraging everyone to move anywhere besides downtown why not encourage them?


+100. Check everything out, and then pick the place that makes sense for you.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 21:04
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Know whats great about B-L? My car has never gotten broken into. I've never had to park more then the next block over. I pay nothing for my condo.

Its quiet. I am rarely woken up by outside commotion. I used to live downtown, I was woken up regularly by fights, drunken idiots yelling, or just small gatherings talking right under my window.

I notice a large lack of dog poo everywhere. I notice most of the sidewalks cleanly shoveled.

So while I don't live downtown, I'm part of the solution of helpping change the neighborhood. Instead of discouraging everyone to move anywhere besides downtown why not encourage them? Good, hardworking people who live honest lives might eventually make those who choose to live dishonestly uncomfortable.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 19:58
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Quote:

What I find strange is that people who live in Lafayette do not venture out at night on foot because "it's dicey", and yet overall they are "very happy".

Different set of requirements, I guess.


It's hardly the case that we're barricaded in our home.

Do we walk around our neighborhood at 2am? No:

1. It's kind of dicey at that hour, as mentioned
2. There's nothing to do in the immediate vicinity at 2am (or at any hour - see comments about lack of amenities)
3. My wife and I are in our 40s and walking around our neighborhood at 2am isn't our idea of fun

But we go out at night quite often. We'll either walk or drive downtown, or ride our bikes to Zeppelin. We usually leave by 7-8pm, so no problem there. Coming home, we're typically not in any shape to drive, so we'll either take a $6 cab or ride the light rail (and walk home from there). We allow ourselves the indulgence of frequent $6 cab rides because we're paying 40% of what we paid to live on Wayne Street.

It works fine for us, and we're happy where we are. It may not work for others, which I understand. Thanks!!

Posted on: 2011/1/18 17:21
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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You can come to the East District police meetings- fourth tuesday of every month (the next one is the 25th of Jan they are at the school on Bright Street near pathmark, 7pm) and see for yourself what crime is happening where- they hand out maps with crimes from the previous month mapped out. Also, if you live in Lafayette there is a great new restaurant that opened in Liberty State Park, Maritime Parc. We always complain about there not being anything within walking distance, and Maritime is and it's great. You can also walk to the Zeppelin beer hall over the little bridge to Jersey ave if you want something cheaper.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:00
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Quote:

FletchFletcher wrote:
Its absolutely absurd that good people have to be confined to their homes after dark because gangs of thugs roam the streets!!!


What I find strange is that people who live in Lafayette do not venture out at night on foot because "it's dicey", and yet overall they are "very happy".

Different set of requirements, I guess.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 14:49
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Quote:

cheese7 wrote:
If you aren't familiar with Jersey City, walk around the streets of your potential future neighborhood before you sign a lease. That really goes for anywhere you plan on moving, though.


+1. And do it at different hours. Rush hour to see who lives there with a job as opposed to hanging out, and 10-11pm to see if you feel safe.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 11:54
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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I also live on Communipaw near LSP and am getting the eff out of there. I moved to JC is 2004 and lived downtown til 2008. I moved to Lafayette hoping it was "up and coming" and happy to get more for my money. I am now heading back downtown. I have been threatened by groups of teenagers, my fiance has been mugged 4 times and I was chased down the street by a man. I've called the police and every time they come I hear the same thing, "What the hell are you doing in this neighborhood?"

If you aren't familiar with Jersey City, walk around the streets of your potential future neighborhood before you sign a lease. That really goes for anywhere you plan on moving, though.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 10:52
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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...[continuing on with recreation offered by the area], a brand new competition eight lane 25 meter pool, a seperate recreation pool with three water slides and fountains and sprinklers, and Berry Park recreation which iis under construction which will have basketball, baseball, soccer etc.

Finally, restaurants and stores are about the last to arrive. Look how long it took for Newark Avenue to start to turn around. However, I can walk from my house to Grove Street in 25 minutes, so while you can't roll out of bed for a latte, it is well within reach.

PS
The ugly houses at the north end of the the neighborhood were built as affordable housing in the 1980s. They spent a fortune tearing down historic row houses and then were prevented from buiding in a historic idion by the Federal Regulations. On the other hand, the houses were sold for a minimal down payment to people who became owners. The houses have a tenant who is a Section 8 tenant. Thus the owner had an income stream and an incientive to police his tenant. It was a brilliant way to inculcate middle class values and seems to have worked.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 10:32
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Firstly, on nomenclature: the area down the hill is Lafayette and up the Hill, Bergen Hill, and the area together is called Bergen Lafayette. At least that is my understanding. I have lived at Pacific and Lafayette Street since 2006 having moved from Hamilton Park. I have had absolutely no problem (I should spit or knock wood now, I suppose). I have floor to ceiling French Windows, the kids have left their bikes on the stoop inumerable times over night only to find them there in the morning, and a nice mix of new, veteran, and virually original stock residents get along pretty well. There have been some horrific incidents of violence but they all seem to be gang related. Lafayette is a bit isolated so there is not much through traffic of pedestrians. I half jockingly tell people it is like Paulus Hook in the early 90s when the place looked like the south Bronx but also was sort of cut off.

It should also be noted that Lafayette is in the East District so it gets very rapid police reponse. Bergen Hill is in the West, strangely enough which together with the South District are the most overburdened.

I have to disagree with the poster who says that Lafayetter Park and the whole area is dangerous after dark. I run in the evening and never have a problem. Both I and my wife take turns walking the dog at night and have never had a problem. There is some hanging out in the Gazebo in the park and probably drugs assocaited with it, but that is true of Hamilton Park and Van Vorst also. I would only say that it may be a little too quite because if you encounter an issue you are unlikely to have another neighbor at hand.

The neighborhood will surely be helped when Whitlock Cordage is opened. It is a pretty innovative reuse of a 19th century industiral site that has been mired in litigation since 2006., Reportedly, the state has stepped in to ensure that the project is completed. Penultimately, Lafayette has an abundance of recreation: Liberty State Park, Lafayette Park,

Posted on: 2011/1/18 10:26
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Re: Bergen Lafayette?
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Very interesting thread.
I have 2 comments/questions

1. While I don't live in this area, I've spent time in it. I agree that there is some stunning architecture. However, I don't feel the "artsy" vibe. Where is it? What is it? Are there a lot of open mic events or something?

2. I agree with the poster who said that people should not have to be confined to their houses after 8 pm. Any kind of Take Back the Streets movement going on?

Posted on: 2011/1/18 8:40
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