NY Times’ The Hunt Comes to Jersey City

The Atlantic Newport Jersey City
Newport’s Atlantic

Last week NY Times’ The Hunt column found its way to Jersey City. Nastasya Tsultsumova, the subject of the search, is a 22 year old recent college graduate originally from Russia. She first planned to move to Brighton Beach to be among her fellow Russian speakers but after landing a job as an executive assistant in Jersey City, Brighton Beach became unrealistic.

With a target budget of $1,000 a month she realized she’d have to go the roommate route. Which leads to an interesting hunt in Jersey City for those of us unfamiliar with the current state of roommate dwelling in the city.

Turning to the ever-reliable Craigslist, she scheduled numerous appointments over one weekend.

Her first stop was in Union City where a bedroom in a 3-bedroom house was available for $750 a month. Not too keen on the transportation options in Union City, she moved on.

Next up was a unit at the Atlantic in Newport. This was the main bedroom of a 1-bedroom unit for $1,050 a month. Her roommates would be “two sisters [who] shared the large living room, which was divided with a shoji screen.” She got along well with the potential roommates but decided to continue to the other appointments she lined up.

The Gotham
The Gotham

The last unit she saw was a converted 1-bedroom at the Gotham. For the same $1,050 a month she would get the converted living room. Converted by a curtain. She preferred to have a door and declined the unit.

In the end she took the room at the Atlantic, sold on the privacy of a door and proximity to work.

This hunt shows an otherwise hidden demographic of Jersey City – roommates at luxury high-rises. It’s interesting to see these buildings being chopped up dormitory style. For all those who wonder who can afford the record breaking downtown rents, its seems the answer is roommates. Although impossible to know, it would be telling to see what percentage of these buildings are roommates.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who say they’ve seen a big change in their building composition over the last 3 years. From mainly families and corporate professionals to younger residents. I personally have seen an influx of “NYU” t-shirts and sweatshirts in my building. It’s scary to think NYU students can’t afford Manhattan anymore.


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