Jersey City, with all of its new apartments and luxe amenities, ‘has become a destination in its own right’
- Last Updated: 11:23 PM, August 15, 2012
- Posted: 11:07 PM, August 15, 2012
One of the best amenities (among many) that Nicole Daw can point to at the massive Newport development in Jersey City is the elephants.
“That’s where we meet a lot of people,” says Daw, who takes her 19-month-old daughter, Kylie, to the elephants when she and her husband Michael are looking for an easy bit of entertainment and a chance to chat with other parents.
To be clear, there aren’t real elephants in Newport, a complex with 12 luxury rental towers and one condo building that are home to about 15,000 people. Rather, these are metal sculptures of elephants in front of the Morton Williams grocery store that spit water out of their trunks, which everyone gets a kick out of.
“The kids splash around,” Daw says. Perfect for a summer day. And when the weather turns cold, “they take the elephants over to the side” and install a layer of ice for skating.
“It’s $3.50 to skate, unlimited,” Daw says. “When [the rest of] my family heard that, they said, ‘$3.50? — we’re moving here.’ ”
Of course, elephants are just one small part of life in Newport. With any development that brings in this many residents, there has to be more: Grocers (like the Morton Williams). Drugstores. (There’s a Duane Reade on River Drive South, the strip running through the heart of the complex.) Gyms. (There’s a swimming and fitness center.) Shopping. (The Newport Centre Mall and the Newport River Market have a Modell’s, Staples, Macy’s and JCPenney, to name just a few, and include more than 1 million square feet of retail space.) Entertainment. (A 12-screen AMC movie theater is also in Newport Centre. And Newport has a new 4¹/ -acre park.)
This is not just a place to take shelter, but a way of life — one could make that argument, at least.
For a long time, the appeal of Jersey City was that it was a quick PATH ride to Manhattan. For some residents, obviously, this is still a big part of the draw. “Proximity is still an incredibly important component” of how Jersey City sells itself, says Adrienne Albert, CEO of the Marketing Directors, which sold out the units at another megacomplex, Crystal Point, last fall. “Now it’s a place that has become a destination in its own right.”
“Newport is like a small town in itself,” says Nancy Spil, who came to Jersey City from Seattle with her husband and took a 1,330-square-foot apartment in AquaBlu, one of Newport’s rental buildings. “There’s a Target and there’s a Best Buy [nearby]. And it’s easier to walk than drive. By the time I get out my car and drive over there, I could have walked.”