From the NY Times:
Elizabeth and Nick Flint were apartment hunting in Brooklyn two years ago when a friend suggested they consider Jersey City instead. The couple, who were renting in Williamsburg, wanted to buy a place.
“By the time we found something in Brooklyn, it was like 13 stops on the L, so we started to look at other places,” Ms. Flint said. They soon realized that Jersey City had a vibrant downtown with an accessible waterfront. It was also a short commute to Manhattan.
The Flints focused on Jersey City Heights, at the city’s northern end. “We found this area of the Heights that was untapped,” said Ms. Flint, 36, a yoga instructor. The sleepy enclave had a mix of one-, two- and three-family homes and large apartment buildings. While some blocks were handsome, others seemed rundown.
The couple, who now have a 3½-year-old son and a newborn daughter, paid around $385,000 about a year and a half ago for a house with three bedrooms, two and a half baths and a small yard on Jefferson Avenue. Ms. Flint misses the energy of Williamsburg; where she lives now “kind of reminds me of Greenpoint five years ago,” she said, referring to the Brooklyn neighborhood.
The Heights is one of many neighborhoods in Jersey City drawing people priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“As Manhattan becomes increasingly more densely populated, people are migrating to the next stop,” said Michael J. DeMarco, the president of Mack-Cali Realty, which is building 6,000 residential units near the Jersey City waterfront, including M2 at Marbella, a 311-unit rental opening this month. “Now they’re looking across the water and saying, ‘Isn’t that a lot closer than Bushwick or Williamsburg?’ ”
Countless restaurants are now downtown. Whole Foods Market plans to open near the Grove Street PATH station in 2020. “Everywhere you look around, there is something new happening,” said Nicole Sorgentoni, 33, a jewelry buyer for Loft who pays $2,320 a month for a one-bedroom in 70 Columbus, a luxury rental downtown.
Steven M. Fulop, the 39-year-old mayor, said of the city, “We’ve kind of hit our stride.” He and his fiancée, Jaclyn Thompson, are renovating a Victorian rowhouse that they bought last summer in the Heights.