Downtown Jersey City has transformed over the past decade. Fueled by much of Wall Street’s back-office operations migration west across the river — such as Goldman Sachs, which built the tallest building in the state in 2004 — the city is shedding its unflattering reputation and becoming more of a bona fide sixth borough with a thriving arts scene, bars, and a large supply of affordable luxury apartments connected to the city by ferries and the PATH train.

New development

Jersey City has its fair share of stalled projects, like the high-profile Rem Koolhaas 52-story tower near the historic powerhouse, as well as the second tower at Trump Jersey City. Despite the slowdown, the rental market has been particularly strong, and developers have pressed ahead on many projects unlike other areas in the state. A ceremony for The Monaco — two 50-story rental towers on the corner of Washington and Sixth streets — was celebrated in May. The development is filling a large gap in Jersey City’s skyline between Newport and Exchange Place. These buildings will feature over 500 units, a parking garage, outdoor heated pool, and amazing city views. Leasing is set to start at the end of the year. Another super-premium 15-story rental, 225 Grand, opened its doors less than a month ago, and has already inked 49 leases with a total of 348 residences. Amenities include a parking garage, rooftop pool and fitness center, right next to the Marin Boulevard light rail station. Prices for studios start at $1,564, and two-bedrooms at $2,363.


Renter’s market

Condo sales are starting to make a comeback, according to Jacqueline Urgo of The Marketing Directors Inc., who has sold 25 units at Crystal Point since April 1. But for those looking to dip their toes in, downtown Jersey City is full of options for renters, and offers more space and better amenities than Manhattan or Brooklyn. Most of the waterfront buildings, like 70 Greene, Avalon Cove and Marbella, feature pools, garages, doormen and gyms. Rents at Avalon range from $1,895 for a one-bedroom to $3,850 for a four-bedroom. Jersey City also boasts one of the few places in the metro region where you can rent on a pier. The Pier House, Harborside Plaza 1, stretches out into the Hudson with amazing views. Rents start at $2,260 for a 740-square-foot one-bedroom.