• Meanwhile, Across The Hudson…  

    10 minutes from Manhattan, Jersey City’s mega-development—Newport—provides families with notable value, lots of child-friendly amenities, and a welcoming community—not to mention the view

    By Lauren Vespoli
    The Laguna

    The Laguna

    Easy access to Manhattan, panoramic views of the city skyline, spacious two-bedroom rentals for under $3,000—there’s a lot to love about Jersey City, NJ. And with NYC-style attractions like the Mana Contemporary arts center and the restaurant Thirty Acres, opened by a Momofuku Noodle Bar alum, Jersey City has become a family destination in its own right and in recent years has seen explosive growth.

    “Jersey City is the fastest growing city in New Jersey, and we’re leading the state in residential construction,” says Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. By the end of 2016, according to Fulop, Jersey City will surpass Newark as the largest city in the state.

    But as more and more developers—driven by recent city policies—capitalize on the Jersey City’s natural assets, there’s one development, Newport, that both spurred the revitalization, starting in the late ’80’s, and is still growing with it.

    “As rising rents continue to put more pressure on renters…[there] continues to be increased interest in the area,” says Richard Wernick, Newport’s executive director of leasing. “I think other developers are probably seeing the success that we’ve enjoyed, and have identified opportunities to further develop in different areas and other surrounding neighborhoods.”

    For many who want the benefits of city life—walkable access to quality shops, restaurants, and parks; a vibrant arts and cultural scene—but want to avoid the hefty price tag that accompanies New York real estate, developments like Newport offer a very attractive proposition. A 10-minute PATH ride from the West Village, Newport’s first residential towers were built in 1986 and today, the development encompasses 13 residential buildings, eight office towers, 11 restaurants (with two more coming soon), a 1.2 million square-ft shopping mall, and the only urban beach on the Hudson, located within the 4.25-acre Newport Green Park. And with most of the residential buildings being on or near the waterfront, residents typically enjoy an incomparable view of the city.

    “Newport has been a destination for a long time now for people who are looking for an alternative to high rents and small apartments,” Wernick says. Eleven of Newport’s 13 residential buildings are clustered around the waterfront; the other two are located in Hamilton Park, about a 15-minute walk from the main cluster of properties. Two-bedroom rentals in Hamilton Park begin at $2,290, and three-bedrooms in the Parkside East and West and Waterside Square North and South buildings start at $3,590.

    Scene from Newport Green

    The carousel in Newport Green Park

    Amenities also vary by building. The Laguna, Newport’s newest tower completed in 2013, offers luxury amenities such as in-unit washer-dryers, a furnished roof deck—complete with a barbecue area—with impressive views of the Manhattan skyline, a modern residents’ lounge, a screening room, a fitness center, and a children’s playroom. Laundry facilities and a 24-hour doorman and concierge are available at every building, and for those residents who lack an in-building fitness center, there’s the centrally located Newport Swim and Fitness complex, which features a five-lane swimming pool and outdoor tennis and basketball courts, in addition to exercise equipment, fitness classes, and a sauna and steam room.

    Beyond the in-building amenities, another key point of convenience at Newport is the variety of commercial and community offerings available on the property, many of which cater to the bump and stroller set. In addition to the 50 shops at Newport River Market, which include major chains such as Target and Staples, there is also an on-property Carepoint Health Clinic—with a focus on obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and family healthcare—Wild at Play, the Newport equivalent of a New York Kids Club, and Pampered Pregnancy, a maternity-wear boutique.

    According to Wernick, this mix of commercial convenience and community amenities—alongside the Newport Green—offers Newport’s 15,000 residents something unique even within Jersey City: “It feels very community-oriented when you’re walking around,” Wernick explains. “It feels very neighborly.”

    Family programming for residents includes seasonal events like outdoor movie nights on the Town Square Plaza, and an annual beach party. This coming fall and winter, Newport will host a community pumpkin carnival and holiday tree lighting. Newport Green offers residents ample space for children’s play and recreation, with a 17,000-square-ft playground (which includes a splash pad), a 30,000-square-ft turf field, a carousel, an urban beach, and a boardwalk. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway provides easy pedestrian access to neighboring Hoboken. Despite the height of the residential towers, the Newport waterfront has its share of nautical charm, provided by the red and white striped lighthouse overlooking the Newport Yacht Club and Marina.

    Outside of Newport, there are plenty of cultural and community events for families in Jersey City. “We’re home to fun, educational institutions like the Liberty Science Center and Mana Contemporary, to name just a couple,” Fulop says. Fulop’s administration has also made family amenities such as parks and recreation programs a focus, with the 17.5-acre Berry Lane Park under construction and another 13 parks up for renovation, as well as expanding city recreation programming for kids, teens, and adults.

    Urban beach at Newport Green Park

    Urban beach at Newport Green Park

    Local public elementary and middle schools are also easily accessible from Newport, though the property is also home to two private schools—the River School, a nursery school for children ages 2 months to 5 years, and the Stevens Cooperative School, for children in grades K-8—which also take advantage of all the development has to offer.

    “It’s been a great relationship with the Newport area,” says Wendy Eaton, the director of communications at Stevens. “The Newport Green is a great place that our teams are welcome to utilize, we’ve been able to have our students participate in the Christmas tree lighting, [and] we are able to be a part of their community beach party.”

    But beyond the convenience of the property’s location and many amenities, it’s the overall feeling of community that Wernick believes makes Newport an appealing place to call home for a range of residents, from young professionals to young families to empty-nesters: “Rather than being a standalone building that’s part of any city, Newport really is its own community,” he says.

    For more information on Newport, visit newportrentalsnj.com!

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