With The L Train’s Pending Shutdown, Will Brooklyn Hipsters Trade Bushwick For Bayonne?

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the refinery tavern bayonne
The Refinery Tavern | Credit: The Refinery Tavern

Bayonne, once the New Jersey coast’s best-kept secret, is poised for a wave of urbanization. This rapidly gentrifying area is drawing New York and New Jersey young creatives reminiscent to that of Brooklyn’s Bushwick in the early 2000s.

Bayonne has recently turned into a real estate development hot spot with some exciting multi-family properties coming to the market. With rental rates well below Bushwick, Bayonne is fast-becoming the ideal neighborhood for spacious industrial-style living complete with coveted Manhattan views.

views of manhattan from bayonne
Views of Manhattan from Bayonne

In 2014, Bayonne began to change its attitude toward economic development as Mayor Jimmy Davis introduced a forward-thinking economic perspective to the area. His focus on progressive town planning and financial incentives are lifting the city from economic lulls. According to council records, over 3,400 units have been approved since 2010, the majority of which have happened after 2014 through individual re-development plans. This huge influx of real estate development is comparable to that of Bushwick, which has seen the construction or approval of approximately 1,300 residential units since 2014.

silklofts 154 Avenue E bayonne
SilkLofts

Despite Bushwick’s flood of development projects, the approval for a 900-unit conversion of the neighborhood’s local Rheingold Brewery, and plans for an additional 500 apartments at nearby Monteith Street have stirred community concerns of transport and affordability This has led many local young creatives to begin their search for an alternate location to call home. Cue Bayonne; A city where residents can afford their rent without having to sacrifice transport to Manhattan, nightlife or amenities.

Recent upgrades to Bayonne’s public transport system and plans drafted for a new ferry route direct to Manhattan’s 39th Street are dramatically changing the appeal of Bayonne’s transit corridor between 17th and 25th Streets, further adding to the city’s hype.

park bayonne rental apartments roofdeck
Rooftop lounge at Park Bayonne | Credit: Park Bayonne

Residential real estate located along this transit corridor has seen a massive boom, sitting safely anchored by easy access to Manhattan’s Financial District via the modern, eco-friendly Light Rail and the recently upgraded PATH system. So far, at least ten development projects have surfaced—from re-purposed industrial warehouses to new constructions featuring brick and glass facades. The highlight of these developments is the Silk Lofts building, a converted Brassiere warehouse boasting historic details and “post-industrial elegance.”

Among other developments catching the eyes of trendy Bushwick hipsters through offerings of lower rents and easy escape from the impending L train shutdown are Park Bayonne, Skye Lofts (North and South), and 175 West 7th Street. The latter is located on prime development land with iconic views of Manhattan to the east and the Bayonne Bridge to the south.

lot 13 bar bayonne
Lot 13 | Image via Facebook

As far as nightlife is concerned, Bayonne is on track to bring the “Gold Coast” back to life through huge re-zoning and structural changes centered around East 22nd Street and Avenue E. There is potential on every street corner to transform under-utilized properties into new-age retreats like Lot 13, voted by ‘Yelpers’ as the number one hipster bar in Bayonne. Driving through the “Gold Coast” streets, it is easy to see how in the not-so-distant future, many of the buildings in the evolving transit corridor will follow suit.

Bayonne by the numbers:

  • 22.8% between the age of 18 and 34
  • 0.0 Homicides per 100,000 people
  • Lower vacancy than Jersey City (7.9% and 14.5% respectively)
  • Average active rental price is $1,675 compared to $2,540 in Bushwick

Bayonne versus Bushwick rents:

bayonne bushwick rental comparision

Available rentals near East 22nd Street, Bayonne:

40 West 19th Street – 3 Bed | 2.5 Bath | 1,567 SQFT | $2,495

45 West 18th Street – 1 Bed | 1 Bath | 491 SQFT | $1,295

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20 COMMENTS

  1. With lies like that about Bayonne you know that this website is paid for by Developers. Bayonne right now is full of problems School system is working on the $6 million structural deficit, Mayor Davis financial incentives include gouging our school system and stealing structured future earnings and planning board is under investigation by the Department of Justice. Don’t get me wrong Bayonne will be great once we fix City Hall but only move here if you’re in it for the long haul

    • I think Bayonne some day will boom just because of the proximity to Manhattan but I agree overall don’t see a big surge of people looking to immediately move to Bayonne. JC still has ways to go, downtown has boomed but there are places like Bergen Lafayette and Greenville that have plenty of room to grow and I could see being more attractive at the moment than Bayonne.

      And there is already a big development boom going on in Newark. I could also see Newark attracting more people than Bayonne given it’s the largest city in NJ with ton of historic architecture and much more transportation with PATH there. And there are already some big name restaurants either there or planning to open there.

      So yes hope one day Bayonne becomes a hip spot but don’t see it now. I think this is more of a hail mary probably paid for by developers hoping some Brooklyn hipsters are reading the article and will get fooled into moving to Bayonne.

    • They been saying for the last 75 years at least that bayonne is going to be the next hoboken or this or that and it never happens. Bayonne politics and politicians are the worst! Only reason the last guy is out of jail is because he ratted everyone else out when they arrested dozens of hudson county politicians. now over 6 million is stolen from the school system. Give me a break. I tell you what though. It was going straight downhill since the recession in 2008. It’s nice to see it picking up now and moving in a better direction but I still don’t think its going to pop. Jersey city, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Queens etc. huge article just came out how they might be overdeveloping and that demand will not be enough to fill the building they are currently putting up so…. idk just dont think so but I do hope so.

  2. As a realtor, I disagree. I have had clients who preferred moving to Bayonne over Greenville/Newark because they perceive Bayonne to be safer and have better deals on rents. Though, I’d personally choose Newark over Bayonne, I have had quite a few clients that I couldn’t convince on that.

    I do think Bayonne doesn’t get enough credit- especially if you’re looking to buy. There’s a diverse range of housing stock, a 3 mile long retail corridor, and the convenience of suburban amenities like Walmart. Also, if the ferry terminal comes to fruition, it will have much better access to Manhattan than BL/Greenville or Newark.

  3. No parking, Walmart is a joke, re-evaluate for homeowners about to happen, Broadway is bust, traffic a nightmare,recent uptake in crime and dirty streets. Good Luck selling that

  4. Cannot resist to note that the first picture is outdated. The building on it is on 37th and Broadway now has big awning with “Refinery Tavern” sign for the beautifully renovated old pub there.

      • Hi Jenny and Geo – We just swapped out the first image so we could add one in of the new Refinery Tavern. Sorry for the confusion.

        • What? New developments went up on 3rd & Kennedy Blvd. Beautiful apartments, I agree. However, there’s also a bar on the corner that EVERY weekend the police are showing up to break up a fight. The projects are right up the street. And the element of life that comes out of there is awful. The. Ew development on Ave E, the Maidenform factory, is just feet away from the 18th street projects. Good luck renting one of those apartments and dealing with the trashy bar and projects.

      • Jenny, thanks for your comment. If you take a minute to actually drive or walk by 37st you will find the building that is indeed displayed on the first photo. Also thanks to the editor that replaced it with the updated one !

  5. Who the hell could possibly afford the rents noted herin—not everybody has a hipster job in New York get real Bayonne you are driving out “locals” folks who were born and raised there. Get your budget together and take out the people who move money from one pocket to another

  6. Hipsters don’t want to deal with cars, and Bayonne practically shoves them down people’s throats by requiring so much parking for new buildings. I think a lot of people displaced from New York will pass on those extra $200-$300/month for a garage space that are baked into the rent in Bayonne.

  7. Bayonne is missing decent stores and foody on Broadway. Need a Starbucks, couple vegan and tex-mex places. Some hipster bars and hooka places. Hipsters don’t own cars they walk or take transit. Broadway has to set up.
    Also need a good soccer bar and probably a gay bar.

  8. I LOVE how these websites have hipsters and others CONSTANTLY jumping through rental hoops, from one borough to another at ‘their’ convenience while raking in the dough that is more suitable to”owning your own property”, rather than renting tiny rooms where the areas revert back to type. The landlords and city love and thank You because you make their ‘jobs’ that much easier. I’d say Pennsylvania is very likely the next stomping ground? Grabbing my seat to see where this goes next. Smhatcmcase.

  9. I live there and hate it! Hipsters are environmentally friendly and Bayonne is a toxic smelly waste dump. Loud, not the nicest people, mostly mentally impaired (probably from the nasty smells in the air and car fumes, can’t park, too many punks, and unsavory people. If Bayonne could get hipsters in that would probably be the best thing. Maybe it would make it better but the city would have to pay them to move here. It is disgusting! However, if Brooklyn would just lower their rents like they used to be then I can go home!

  10. Are you funded by the Bayonne UEZ? Do you receive any money for advertising from the city of Bayonne or the county of Hudson?

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