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Is Jersey City the New York Metro Area's Next Brooklyn?

A 10-minute commute to lower Manhattan has made this once dingy city into the fastest growing in the Garden State. Yet from an historic perspective, Jersey City was a "shrinking city," not unlike Detroit or Youngstown, until 25 years ago.
February 18, 2016, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"An influx of new arrivals priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn is helping make it the fastest growing metropolitan area in New Jersey, with some 262,000 residents in 2014, up nearly 6 percent from 2010, according to United States census data," writes Ronda Kaysen, the Ask Real Estate columnist for The New York Times. The city's population peaked in 1930 at 316,715.

Developers are rushing to build, with some 7,000 units of housing under construction and another 19,000 approved — more than in any other city in the state, according to the mayor’s office.

Central to the city's growth are two PATH subway stations. The Grove Street PATH station offers an incredible 10-minute to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub or 20 minutes to get to West 33rd Street.

credit: PATH

"The Journal Square neighborhood, which is in the center of the city, west of downtown and south of the Heights, is bracing for more change," writes Kaysen. "With the Jersey City waterfront and downtown nearly built out, developers are moving inland, plucking up parcels close to transit; the area around the Journal Square PATH station has become a prime destination."

There was no mention of the the city's third PATH station, Exchange Place. Per Wikipedia, "(a) high concentration of highrise office and residential buildings in the city are located in the district radiating from Exchange Place." The neighborhood is also served by the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line operated by NJ Transit.

Kaysen goes into great detail on the challenges, such as gentrification, increased traffic, facing particular neighborhoods, and schools: "After nearly three decades of state oversight, Jersey City will regain full control over its schools this spring."

To bring the 2016 presidential election into discussion, the city's second Trump development, Trump Bay Street, a 484-foot, 50-story, 447-unit rental skyscraper rental tower, will open at the end of the year. That's 665 units per acre. No mention if eminent domain was used.

The 55-story, 532-foot Trump Plaza Jersey City, completed in 2008 is the Garden State's fourth tallest building, and tallest residential building, as of January 2015 according to

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Published on Friday, February 12, 2016 in The New York Times - Real Estate
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