From the Record:
Zaib Atyat purchased his first home in Paterson 20 years ago for $250,000. The three-family unit on the city’s south side offered a steady source of rental income and has progressively increased in value. Based on online calculators, Atyat, 47, estimates that his real estate investment is worth about $650,000 now.
“When I moved here, there was a lot of crime. Cars were stolen at night,” the immigrant from Jordan recalled. He lived near Paterson’s former Alexander Hamilton Public Housing Project, also known as Alabama Project, before buying a home.
From its past marred by urban blight, Paterson is emerging as a hot spot for real estate investment. Two of the city’s ZIP codes are among the fastest-appreciating areas for real estate sales in North Jersey, according to Zillow data between February 2020 and June 2021. The meteoric rise of Paterson’s two hot ZIP codes — 07501 and 07522 have seen appreciation of 32% and 26%. respectively — illustrates the shift in housing demands since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“You had Hoboken, Edgewater, now Paterson,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “We believe we are the new frontier.”
Paterson is close to New York City and near a number of highways, and it offers great diversity, Sayegh said. People are moving to Paterson because they are being priced out of New York City and other areas of North Jersey, he added.
The average rent price is $1,414 in 2021, 3% more than in 2020, according to RentCafe.com, with the average size of the apartment being 724 square feet.
“What we know as growth we recognize as a push out,” Imani said. “Working-class people are being pushed out.”
Sayegh doesn’t view the development as a push out or gentrification. The people who are moving into the city are immigrants: Dominicans, Palestinians and Bengalis, he said. They are being priced out of other areas, such as New York. The median household income in Paterson in 2019 was $41,350. Paterson saw apopulation growth of 9%, according to the 2020 census.