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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Just moved from downtown to McGinley Sq (Bergen Hill, specifically, Astor Pl). We LOVE it up here! So I definitely second JSQ over the Heights mostly bc of the distance to the PATH. There's such a small area of the Heights that's w/in a mile of the PATH that it really limited our search in the Heights. All of JSQ and pretty much everything north of Communipaw is w/in a mile of the PATH. There are parks, as someone already mentioned. Hopefully Berry Lane will open soon enough.

But in terms of best buy, I'd definitely choose JSQ. There will be much more development here bc of the proximity to the PATH. If you look at most cities (even Brooklyn), that's how it worked there, too.

Posted on: 2014/10/21 3:12
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Oh yee of little knowledge, there are several parks in Journal Square: The triangle SIP Park outside of the Culinary Arts Institute with it's cool water feature and well done landscaping, LaPonte Park, Boyd Mc-Ginness Park, part of Lincoln Park, and the one that's outside of #11 School, the oldest continuous operating school in America. That one's not the best but it is a park. There are two new parks in the works. One at the corner of Montgomery and Bergen Aves. being built by St. Peter's University and one that'll eventually be behind the Path Station. Someone told me that Reservoir #3 is technically in Journal Square but I'm not sure if that's true.

There are plans in the works for the Apple Tree House with community gardens and a museum.

Journal Square also has six banks withing walking distance of the Path Station which has transportation to all parts of the City and to Newark Liberty Airport(with a transfer).

No other ward boasts a University and a community college within walking distance to the Path Station.

Add to that the Loew's Theater, the incredible food and shopping in Little India, plus the new thirteen screen movie theater on Montgomery, and I think we have the other neighborhoods beat for best transportation available, the quantity of restaurants, and recreation. Well, maybe not recreation, but it's not as bad as it could be.

Posted on: 2014/10/21 2:27
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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I rented for 12 years downtown and when I was ready to finally purchase something.... I found myself already completely priced out. As of this summer I am a happy resident of the Western Slope neighborhood in the Heights.
I work in midtown and take the jitney down JFK to JSQ to get there, easy as pie.
I have a parking space for my car, a front and rear yard, all of the walls of my home are mine and mine alone and I have absolutely lovely neighbors. All for the price of a 4th floor walk-up, 500sf studio, with a 15 minute walk to the train that I could have settled for downtown.
My neighborhood is by no means hip or happening and probably wont ever be, but I enjoy what that means for my peace and quiet. Besides I can always get downtown or further east up here in no time to enjoy all that stuff....

As far as tips go, for your car - look for a place with parking. As far as good streets or blocks go - its hit or miss, spend some time in the areas where you see things you like, sometimes the vibe is unmistakable as far as good or bad.
As far as architecture and tree lined streets, the more you look around the more hidden gems you will start to notice up here, not the same as downtown's brownstones, but certainly unique and sometimes you'll find a real beauty hidden underneath all this vinyl siding we have...

Do it! Good luck!

Posted on: 2014/10/21 1:16
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
The biggest hurdle to JSQ becoming popular with families is that there are simply no parks. The Heights is well served with them, and as several posters have pointed out, the bus service isn't bad.

Architecturally both areas are block by block, or fractions of block. Drive, or better yet bike, around and get a feel for the neighborhoods. Probably the biggest single feature that distinguishes any neighborhood in the Heights is the Congress St elevator, with easy access to the light rail, Shoprite and Hoboken. Other than that it's particular house vs proximity to park vs proximity to shopping & dining. If you don't plan on kids I guess the park goes lots lower than the others.



the biggest hurdle for any part of JC outside of GV and BL is there are no good public schools.

Posted on: 2014/10/21 0:32
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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We love our part of the Heights...Webster Avenue. We have been here 12 years and have made lots of wonderful friends. I have really never felt unsafe here in all those years, even walking home fairly late alone from the light rail. Let's see...the sunday farmer's market, ModCup coffee, cheap Mexican food items, The Corkscrew Bar, the fact that I have both a front and back yard, my 20 minute commute to Manhattan, the fact that my block has neighbors from Poland, Mexico, France, India, Croatia, and Italy....all of this works for me. Good luck with your search!

Posted on: 2014/10/20 23:22
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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If all you're looking for is a return on your investment 20 years from now, buy in JSQ.

For every other reason, go to the Heights. So many young couples & families downtown are getting priced out and are going up the hill.

Besides, the prices to buy in the Island are already likely beyond your means if you're having problems with downtown prices. Anyone selling in that neighborhood is either holding on or asking for a lot.

The Heights has FOUR parks, JSQ has none. Heights has bus transit, lightrail access, dollar buses and a -- get this -- 15-25 minute walk to JSQ if you so desire, depending on your location. Fulop has also publicly stated he wants the bike share program IN the heights, because it's a place that's not already on top of a transit hub like CC BLVD and JSQ.

The Reservoir is already a gem and will eventually be one of the highlights of all of JC.




Posted on: 2014/10/20 22:42
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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The biggest hurdle to JSQ becoming popular with families is that there are simply no parks. The Heights is well served with them, and as several posters have pointed out, the bus service isn't bad.

Architecturally both areas are block by block, or fractions of block. Drive, or better yet bike, around and get a feel for the neighborhoods. Probably the biggest single feature that distinguishes any neighborhood in the Heights is the Congress St elevator, with easy access to the light rail, Shoprite and Hoboken. Other than that it's particular house vs proximity to park vs proximity to shopping & dining. If you don't plan on kids I guess the park goes lots lower than the others.


Posted on: 2014/10/20 22:32
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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I live on Beach St in the Heights (I guess it could be also considered Western Slope as it just west of JFK) and it meets my needs of being just on the outer edge of walking distance to JSQ (1 mile walk or take the jitney bus there) and close enough to 1/9 that my wife can drive to work in Paramus without too much city streets traffic. We also can get to Leonard Gordon park/Pershing Field/the reservoir which while not being Central Park could meet your needs for running/dog walking etc. There is room for improvement in the restaurant area but Little India is not far off and Central Ave has some choices. Most houses also have some kind of deck/small backyard as well which can be nice.

I believe there are 2 houses that recently went on market on my block so may be worth looking to evaluate what is out there.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 22:29
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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JSQ is the better investment IMO since both developers and the city have started to invest heavily in the area and they're better transportation options than the Heights. Also you will see that real estate agents are listing homes for the same or more money than pre-recession prices in the Jeights while you can get some deals in the JSQ area. Schools suck in the entire city so you're better off sending kids to private school to get a good education.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 22:12
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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I'm surprised no-one has said you need to be armed to the teeth moving to the Heights or JSQ.

My dimes worth would be to seek a place with off street parking if you have a car and my other tip relates to cars parked in the street - Snappy newer cars often means a safer neighborhood, as people are less reluctant to leave cars on the street if its a bad one!

Other then that, all areas are great - JC only has small pockets of 'problem areas'

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Posted on: 2014/10/20 22:07
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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I have lived on Mercer and Varick for the last 6 years and LOVE it but my husband and I recently bought in the Heights by Riverview Park. We were looking at buying vs renting and the prices downtown are just crazy. I am very sad to leave Mercer St, but think that the Heights will be the next area to really increase in value. You can get a lot more there for the money and I think that they will really start to build a lot now that the area has been rezoned. It is definitely not as pretty as DT or has as much around it, but I feel that it will get better. I will be commuting into the city each day and will either take the bus to the path or the jitney's into PA (haven't figure out which is better).

It will be an adjustment to life in DT but I really think that it will be a great investment. The reservoir just got funded to become an amazing park in a few years, Washington Park seems to have everything (dog runs, huge playground with a water section, basketball courts, etc) and the views from that part of town are great.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 21:49
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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I also like the island, its close to dtjc and its near the PATH. The island can be pricey but its so near everything. Good Luck! if you like brownstones then the Marion section would be the best fit for you in JSQ.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 21:05
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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The heights around Riverview Park and around Congress where the light rail elevator is are gentrifying now. I saw a lot of young parents with strollers at the Farmers Market in Riverview. It looked like Hoboken there. Of course, go down almost any side street and you see vinyl siding galore but there are some pretty pockets like Ogden, certain stretches of Sherman where I live and Webster etc...I take the Jitney into city every morning for $3.00 and I'm there in 20 minutes. I love the jitneys.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 21:00
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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JSQ will be developed sooner than the Heights. In terms of investment, JSQ is the better deal. Once those large rentals come up, more upscale businesses will come to JSQ.

Being close to the PATH is huge.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:52
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Brownstones? Not really...but you can find a lot of neat buildings. Of course there are the pink brick Staten Island two families. (No offense to anyone from SI of course)

The Heights is definitely a bit more "gritty" than DTJC. JSQ is hit or miss. Magnolia and the streets around it are pretty nice... But I am happy to take the grit with my cheap rent. =) I pay $1100 for a 2 bedroom with a yard right between Heights and JSQ. Fancy? Nope. Architecturally stimulating? Definitely not. Big yard and cheap rent? Hell yeah!

I am actually currently looking to buy as well...I have a good realtor if you want her info...its certainly a different part of JC. But the good part is when you want the restaurants of DTJC you can get there quickly. When you don't want to live in a 500 ft. studio, you can do that too!

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:43
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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check out the area known as "the island". Its right up the hill (past the cemetary) from downtown. Two of the main streets there are Elizabeth and Henry street. We have friends that have moved to that location and enjoy it. Definitely more bang for the buck, but a very short walk to downtown, zoned for PS5 (if kids are in your future), a diverse neighborhood, and appears to be up and coming.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:43
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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In Journal Square, I’d recommend:
- Cottage St
- Van Reipen Ave
- Magnolia Ave (Summit Ave to Waldo Ave)
- The Island (Chestnut, Elizabeth, Wald and Trenton)

Good luck.

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:41
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Quote:

mle267 wrote:
The 87 bus runs to Hoboken on a very regular schedule. There is also the 119 that goes into Port Authority, as well as the dollar vans ( I know some people hate them, I love them) run on Kennedy Blvd. So that helps a bit if you stay in the Heights as opposed to JSQ. Heights would get my vote- There are some great neighborhood associations etc...


Thanks, I used to take those dollar vans to work everyday when I was younger! Never had a problem with them.

I guess I'm looking for more recommendations on areas / streets that are desireable to live on within those districts. Love the tree-lined feel of the DTJC brownstones. Do those exist in JSQ and the Heights?

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:31
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Re: Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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The 87 bus runs to Hoboken on a very regular schedule. There is also the 119 that goes into Port Authority, as well as the dollar vans ( I know some people hate them, I love them) run on Kennedy Blvd. So that helps a bit if you stay in the Heights as opposed to JSQ. Heights would get my vote- There are some great neighborhood associations etc...

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:26
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Considering a move from DT to JSQ or Heights - any tips here?
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Hi all,

The GF and I are currently living in DTJC, specifically on Mercer and Barrow (one of my favorite blocks I've ever lived on). We love downtown, love the growth, neighbors, restaurants etc. Now normally this is pretty much meeting all the check marks for purchasing a home, but it feels like that spike has happened way before we were ready and aren't getting a lot of bang for the buck.

Thinking longer term, we are considering purchase a home in the Heights or JSQ area. GF works in the city so the JSQ PATH seems like a better choice, but I'm not very familiar with the neighborhoods, streets, safety, restaurants, etc. I know the Heights has that damn elevator, then light rail, then PATH... seems a bit of a pain. I drive to work so I'm not concerned.

We are willing to take a cut in the neighborhood amenities knowing downtown is the "hot" spot right now, but just want to have an idea of where we might want to look that has the big growth potential while also being a nice place to live, walk the dog, parks (dog park!), walk to eat, jog, etc.

Really appreciate the community's help here!

Posted on: 2014/10/20 20:16
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