Bergen-Lafayette Boom: Where Is The Market Headed?

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pacific avenue bergen lafayette
Pacific Avenue

As Jersey City’s price crunch continues to push residents into neighborhoods that are further from Downtown, a few spots like Journal Square have been pegged as the “next” areas for revitalization. But a more centrally located option in Bergen-Lafayette has a lot going for it and isn’t as far removed.

brownstones bergen lafayette jersey city

If you could describe an area of Jersey City as having “good bones,” Bergen-Lafayette would qualify. It features established retail space along Communipaw and Pacific Avenues, various historic properties, and several Light Rail and bus stops. Liberty State Park’s greenery acts as a literal front yard for the neighborhood, which is still undervalued price-wise compared to other emerging regions like The Heights.

oak pine bergen lafayette
The OAK on Pine
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A shift in the area’s dynamics has been well documented, from the opening of Berry Lane Park to The OAK on Pine, a new restaurant from the folks behind Sam A.M., and then there’s the massive SciTech Scity project which will drastically alter the landscape near Liberty Science Center. Approved developments are also plentiful and a few have broken ground, but vacant buildings and lots are still probably too prominent a fixture, especially on side streets.

scitech scity liberty science center jersey city
Scitech Scity | Credit: Liberty Science Center

However, owners in Bergen-Lafayette are starting to see significant value appreciation, as the median price for condos and co-ops in the neighborhood has increased 89% since the beginning of 2016. The median price for 1-4 family homes has also gone up to $477,000, a 173% increase from 2016’s first quarter. It’s important to note, though, that both percentages are susceptible to large swings as the neighborhood tends to see so few transactions.

the foundry lofts jersey city
The Foundry

Christoph Schluender, a Bergen-Lafayette property owner who started his own brokerage firm in 2006, notes that inventory for sale in the neighborhood is low and might not get more plentiful despite all the new approvals. While new condominiums will be coming to The Foundry complex, almost everything else approved or under construction in the neighborhood is rentals, meaning a surge in properties listed for sale appears unlikely.

baker building 234 sudyam jersey city apartments
Baker Building

However, Schluender thinks rental properties like the Baker Building will help with appreciation anyway, as Downtown’s values have gone up despite their new construction also skewing towards rentals. “The new residential projects in the pipeline will increase the current gentrification,” says Schluender. “Rents and sales prices will most likely continue to go up and the borders of the neighborhood will continue to expand.”

424 Whiton Street

Schluender also notes the Bergen Hill subsection of the neighborhood is seeing renovation projects pop up at some of its historic properties and thinks there is an opportunity for buyers looking for a fixer-upper that have been priced out of Downtown.

“The old real estate adage of ‘buying the worst house on the best block’ still applies, in my opinion,” Schluender says.

312 pacific avenue under construction
312 Pacific Avenue

The neighborhood also has a few notable redevelopment projects like Canal Crossing and lots along Garfield Avenue are prime for revitalization. While the build out time of newer developments remains to be seen, the Bergen-Lafayette renaissance, barring major citywide trend shifts, appears here to stay.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. For an up and coming neighborhood, I sure do walk over a lot of crack viles on a daily basis. The violent crime doesn’t seem to be affected by the idea of being up and coming either. It’ll be nice to have a restaurant when OAK opens, though.

  2. My husband and I have been living in the area for over three years and even in that short time have seen significant positive changes. There is still progress to be made but that is why it is called “up and coming”. I have to say though, our neighbors, many of whom have been in the area for decades, are all amazing and just as eager for change. Also, the police are very responsive and and are working hard to address the core issues with violent crime. The key is getting more people active in the community who care. There is already a strong community of people who care here now and hopefully the new development will bring more in. At the end of the day, there are challenges but that also brings opportunities.

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