It may sound like it’s some distance from the bustle that is Manhattan, but the town of Montclair in Essex County is an easy commute into the city. With the arrival of new luxury apartments, Montclair is becoming more inviting for commuters.
Montclair is a town of about 38,000 that sits in the northern portion of Essex County, New Jersey, about 30 minutes north of the county seat, Newark, and roughly 40 minutes from Midtown Manhattan’s Penn Station.
Montclarion at Bay Street Station is a new luxury building at 25 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair that has forty 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for rent, to go along with the 7 penthouse apartments. The first floor of the building contains 1,200 square feet of retail space. The complex name is in reference to the proximity of the nearest train station.
The new complex has Jersey City style amenities that are comparable to the likes of The One Jersey City on First Street, including a fitness center, parking garage with bike racks, and a rooftop patio. The interior of each luxury unit includes hardwood floors in the living room, stainless steel kitchen appliances, in-unit washer/dryer sets, 9′ ceilings, and individually controlled central heat and air. This pet-friendly complex has applied for an LEED certification from the USGBC. For the convenience of the tenant, Montclarion II, as it is known in the area, has a resident portal on their website in order to pay your rent online.
Market rate apartments at Montclair II start at $2,250 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $2,650 per month for a two-bedroom unit. There are two units in the complex that have been designated as affordable housing.
The new complex is the second housing project in Montclair to be donned with the Montclarion name. The first, Montclair I, was built just over 30 years ago at 10 Pine Street in Montclair. The original Montclarion complex has 56 recently upgraded rental units, six of which are designated as affordable housing through the year 2048.
Luxury apartments in Jersey City have become the norm. Residents of such luxury buildings as the One Jersey City have access to quality living conditions, including luxury amenities and incentives. When looking for 2 bedroom apartments for rent, most individuals are searching in Manhattan or Jersey City. However, other areas are opening up to the idea of luxury apartments, including Montclair, a unique neighborhood of Essex County.
Only around 38,000 people live in Montclair, and new construction has been taking place to provide new luxury apartments in the area. Montclarion at Bay Street Station recently started offering apartments for rent a few weeks ago, with developer Richard Polton expecting the building to attract many people including millennials and commuters. The apartments are similar to what you will find in Jersey City or Brooklyn, but are located in Montclair, which is a great place to live, and people want to live there.
The apartment complex is in line with the city’s plans for redeveloping the eastern entrance to their commercial district. Other projects on the agenda include a five-story mixed-use development that will be located next to the apartment complex.
New development will hopefully improve the streetscape and continue to bring about positive change to the region. The Montclarion apartment building provided more than $100,000 to the local town and will include two affordable units.
The one bedroom apartments at the Montclarion at Bay Street Station will be in the 700 square foot size range and will have a monthly rent price of around $2,250. Two bedroom apartments will have 1,100 to 1,500 square feet of space and will have a slightly higher cost of $2,650. The building offers several amenities including a business center, rooftop lounge and workout room. Parking is also included. Upon construction, the building began to see a waiting list take shape for interested renters.
PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) is the rapid transit train system and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekday hours, PATH operates four train services, using three terminals in New Jersey and two in Manhattan. Almost every PATH station is served by a train every two to three minutes, for a peak-hour service of 20 to 30 trains per hour.
Grove Street is a station on the PATH system and located at the intersection of Grove Street, Newark Avenue and Railroad Avenue in the Downtown neighborhood of Jersey City, New Jersey. According to Wikipedia, the Grove Street Station opened on September 10, 1910 and has been operating ever since. In 2015, the Grove Street Station serviced about 5.5 million customers, or 18,098 customers per day on an average Monday through Friday work week.
There are several apartments near the Grove Street PATH Station that contribute to those numbers. However, there are three outstanding luxury apartments near the PATH worth highlighting – The Morgan at Provost Square, Grove Pointe Apartments and The One.
The Morgan at Provost Square is at 160 Morgan Street, Jersey City, NJ and offers studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units with unrivaled views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. The Morgan also offers resort-style living and urban-style luxury that lies within the beautiful community. The Morgan boasts an outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, outdoor entertainment area with fire pit and TV, and rooftop garden. Floor plans start at $2,100 per month and The Morgan is pet friendly.
The Grove Pointe Apartments is where class meets convenience, and the closest of the three to the Grove Street Station. Grove Pointe was built in 2009 and is 29 stories tall with 458 units. Grove Pointe is a luxury mixed-use building situated at 100 Christopher Columbus Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07302. In addition to luxury leased apartments, Grove Pointe offers stylishly designed and fully equipped furnished quarters for short-term rentals.
The One Apartments are located at 110 First Street, Jersey City, NJ. The One brings rental housing and neighborhood amenities to the city’s burgeoning Arts District. The 36-story building offers a mix of 400+ Studios, one-and two-bedroom luxury apartments and the best of resort style living. There’s also a stunning rooftop sun deck providing more spectacular views of the Hudson River and sparkling Manhattan at night with a swimming pool and cabanas for your relaxation.
With all of those people coming through Grove Street on a daily basis, I am glad I work from home.
One of the most important steps to finding and renting a new apartment (or buying a house, for that matter) is determining how much you can afford to pay. This may seem, to many of you, like common sense. We have all been in situations where we want so badly to move that we forget to stop and be rational.
Recently, while looking for a new place to live, I came across this video from a guy that says his name is Joe Shmoe. His short 2-minute video reminded me of how important it is to create your budget before you go looking for apartments, whether it be out and about in the city or from the comfort of your couch, searching online. As a rule of thumb, your net monthly income should be 2.5 times higher than your monthly rent. In other words, if your rent is $2800 a month, your net income should be $7000. I know that is not the ideal situation for everyone, but it is a good reference point.
Once you have established your price point, then you can go searching for places that you like that fit into your budget. I would recommend doing an online search using Google or Bing, and creating a list of 5-10 places where you would like to live. Remember, you are searching for a place to call home, and hopefully that means for an extended period of time.
After you have your list, then you can go check out the neighborhood of each address. It it recommended to make 3 trips to each location. One in the daytime, Monday through Friday, so you can observe the daily routine. The second trip should be a daytime visit on Saturday. That is when everyone would be home, and you can get a feel of how people in the community hang out, and interact. The third trip should be on a Saturday night between 10pm and 11pm. You are making this trip to make sure the community is a safe place for you and your family.
If you are satisfied with the neighborhood after your three visits, go ahead and schedule an appointment to see the available apartments in the building. As “Joe Shmoe” said in his video, don’t use the word ‘budget’ when talking to the rental agent. They are usually trained to upsell the clients, and get you to spend more money than you have available.
In my recent search, I found a listing for a brand new apartment in New Jersey with a fitness center, swimming pool, movie screening room, and a whole lot more. Apartmentguide.com indicates that a studio apartment at The One Jersey City starts at $2895 per month. Just a little out of my price range.
Have you heard the terms ultra luxury and uber luxury? Do you have any idea what the difference is? They both sound like degrees of luxury that I cannot afford. Uber as defined by internetslang.com means ultimate or best. So, uber luxury would then be defined as the ultimate or best in luxury. Ultra luxury is defined by yourdictionary.com as providing an extremely high degree of luxury.
In any case, recent developments in downtown Jersey City have been described using these two adjectives. As New Yorkers exit the city, looking for newer and better places to live, they just might find what they are looking for on the West side of the Hudson River, more specifically in rental units in Jersey City.
Downtown Jersey City is considered to be the area Southeast of Monmouth St and 9th St. It’s a little difficult to give you the exact boundaries because the area is shaped a little like the state of Louisiana. Basically, the area consists of Hamilton Park, Historic Downtown, and Paulus Hook.
In this area alone, there are or have been at least a half dozen new developments in the last few years. In 2016, it was announced that Strategic Capital would be moving forward with developing an ultra-luxury condo project called Park and Shore at 75 Park Lane in Jersey City. Recently, there has been mention of a new multifamily mixed use building at 110 First Street in Jersey City, called TheOne, that is supposed to be ready for move in around the middle of May or beginning of June.
Advertised as New Jersey uber luxury rentals, VantageJC, should have the first phase of their complex ready for occupancy in the spring. Phase one will be a 44 story tower with about 450 rental units, an onsite garage, and a 5 story podium base that will eventually connect to the phase two tower.
Most of these New Jersey ultra luxury rentals that are being developed in Jersey City will come with Manhattan style amenities, and have views of the Hudson River, lower Manhattan, and Liberty State Park.
As I sit here thinking about retirement, I can only wonder if I have made the right investment choices throughout my working career. Is investing in IRA’s and contributing to my companies 401K plan going to be enough? Is it too late to look at investing in real estate as a source of income after I retire?
If I purchase a condo or co-op now, it would likely take me 15 years to pay it off. That would be just in time for me to retire. Depending on my purchase price, and the condition of the area that I purchase in, I could likely get $2000 a month in rental fees.
With the money coming in from my fort lee rentals, plus my retirement benefits, I think I could just barely squeek by. Keeping in mind, I would need to put away 10% of the monthly rent I receive from a tenant, and put it towards maintenance and upgrades to my property.
Now, granted, my investment property isn’t going to be anything like those new Bergen County luxury buildings that are going up in Fort Lee. If I would have invested properly from the time I was in my early 20’s, maybe my retirement benefits could get me a year at The Modern in Fort Lee. That place is like a luxury vacation rental. I was checking it out, and am impressed with the how they incorporated all of the exterior amenities into the cost of the apartment.
Modern luxury apartments
Just in case you are unaware, The Modern is a brand new luxury hi-rise at 800 Park Ave in Fort Lee. The 47 story glass tower offers studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments for rent. The apartments have open floor plans with 9 ft ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows (with solar shades), white oak hardwood floors, large kitchens with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops.
As if the units are luxurious enough, the benefit package you get will astound you. Starting with the interior amenities, you have a resident lounge with 2 large screen TV’s, a mini movie theater, a golf simulator (which I don’t understand), and a fitness center with spin bikes, Life fitness equipment and free weights.
Outdoors they have a swimming pool, a playground for kids, basketball and volleyball courts, and a large green lawn with a giant screen tv.
Studio apartment rentals start around $2400, 1-bedrooms for just under $2900, and a 2-bedroom will cost you a minimum of $3990 per month.
There are many hi-rise luxury apartment buildings being developed in New Jersey. It could be due to the lack of available space just across the river in Manhattan. This leads to more industry competition, and in some ways benefits the consumer.
In order to stay competitive, the leasing companies need to add additional benefits to attract tenants. A couple of benefits that attract the most consumers, in my opinion, would be a swimming pool and a fully equipped fitness center. Other benefits that are nice, would be a game room, screening room, and children’s playroom. I am just not sure how much use I would get out of them.
One of the buildings I am referring to is the new development at 110 First Street, Jersey City, NJ. Built in 2015, The One Jersey City, has a long list of tenant benefits including a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studio, swimming pool on the roof deck, small movie theater, golf simulator, playroom for the kids, an outdoor deck with cabanas, fire pits and bbq grills.
The fitness center has cardio equipment, free wights, brand name exercise equipment and a yoga studio. The complex is currently offering complimentary yoga classes for its residents. While the pictures on the website of these apartments with fitness center in New Jersey makes the area seem a bit small, I found a video that gave me a better idea of just how much room is in the fitness center.
As I read through the information I have given you, it may seem like I only care about what luxuries the apartment is offering. Some people may think that is a bit shallow or pretentious. Let me assure you that I am also concerned with the actual living conditions of the building. I am not one to need fancy things. I grew up the middle child in a middle class family in the Midwest.
To me, the rental rates are reasonable for the amount of space you get with each different floor plan. For a 600sqft Studio apartment, you will pay just over $2900 a month, a 750sqft one bed/one bath starts at under $3000 and goes as high as $3300, and you could rent a 2 bed/2 bath that is 2078sqft for $4500 a month.