From the NY Post:
When Jason Tsay and Michael Suchocki left artsy Chelsea for sleepy Bayonne, they thought the New Jersey city was on the cusp of a real estate renaissance.
Turns out they were a decade early. The couple moved in 2004, but it’s only now that the southernmost area of New Jersey’s Gold Coast is gearing up for thousands of new apartments and game-changing developments.
The modest town (pop. 65,000) at the bottom of the Hudson Waterfront — the stretch of Jersey areas across from Manhattan and Brooklyn that starts in the north with Englewood Cliffs, across the George Washington Bridge, and passes through Hoboken and Jersey City on down to Bayonne — has long held loads of potential.
A harborfront location and city views, easy access to Manhattan via Light Rail and the PATH, an abundant supply of developable land parcels: Bayonne has all the scaffolding for a construction boom. But legal battles, lackluster efforts and economic downturns have hampered its progress, even as neighbors like Jersey City and Hoboken have seen their fortunes soar.
Now, some 13 years after Tsay and Suchocki relocated there, there are signs that Bayonne’s time has at last arrived. The city is in the midst of a dramatic redevelopment of its Military Ocean Terminal, taken out of service in 1999, that will result in a massive rental complex along with retailers like Costco.
Meanwhile, smaller projects are proliferating around the town’s 22nd Street Light Rail stop, which connects residents to points up the Gold Coast and PATH trains running to Manhattan.
In all, Bayonne will see work start on around 1,000 residential units this year, says Joe DeMarco, the city’s business administrator. It expects to add another 2,000 to 3,000 apartments over the next five to six years.
“For a small little city, it’s humming,” DeMarco says.
To fill all those new pads, Bayonne is banking on the same factors that drew Tsay and Suchocki years before — proximity to New York City (about an hour on public transportation) and lower prices. Buyers can find single-family homes in Bayonne for around $400,000, significantly less than the $800,000 or more they’ll pay in Jersey City, according to Weichert Realtors agent Janice Hall. Bayonne rentals hover around $1,800 for a one-bedroom and between $2,200 and $3,000 for a two-bedroom. Similar units in Jersey City go for around $2,500 and $3,500, respectively.