The City of Elizabeth is in the midst of a real estate boom that has seen property values increase dramatically over the past decade, spurring a wave of new construction and renovation across its diverse neighborhoods. The Star Ledger newspaper reported that Elizabeth’s average home sales have grown an astonishing 78.8 percent in only four years.
Mayor Chris Bollwage noted that new residential construction has also doubled over the past few years.
“My administration has been building toward this goal,” Mayor Bollwage said. “When you take a holistic approach to government – reducing crime, creating jobs, cleaning streets, fixing potholes, rebuilding parks – property values will rise.”
The City has a number of governmental programs designed to help homeowners and investors. The Elizabeth Home Improvement Program administers a First Time Homebuyers program and a variety of grants for rehabilitating one-to-four family units, rentals units, units for the disabled, and a senior fix-it program.
For its children, the current administration has renovated 80 percent of its playgrounds over the past decade and has added three new libraries, six basketball courts, three Little League fields, two new soccer and football fields on the waterfront, and a new soccer field and baseball field at Kenah Field adjacent to Kellogg Park.
The City of Elizabeth continues to be a thriving urban center, but one with a suburban feel and plenty of greenery. As New Jersey’s fourth largest and safest city, Elizabeth provides a unique variety if distinct neighborhoods. From the mansions of Westminster to the affordable rentals near transit- there’s something here for everyone.
ELIZABETHPORT: Nowhere has this transformation been as dramatic as in the City’s oldest neighborhood - Elizabethport, where the City has already opened the doors on many new homes in its $90 million HOPE VI housing development.
The Port is also benefiting from new development at Portside Commons, Broadway Village, and Marina Village. The Urban Enterprise Zone program has provided walking police to patrol the area, and there’s a new library and human development center, and community center.
Perhaps the most diverse place in the City, Elizabethport is a collection of old world Elizabeth, new America, and a mix of colonial-style houses and apartment houses that stretch east of Routes 1 & 9 to its shores.
ELMORA: Bordering Union Township, this beautiful oasis of greenery and well-kept homes in considered by realtors to be one of the hottest neighborhoods to live in all of Union County. Divided into Elmora Hills, a mix of colonials on beautiful tree-lined blocks, and Lowe Elmora, a mix with some two-four family homes, this neighborhood is served well by Elmora Avenue, which has some of the finest stores and boutiques in the City.
A few of the City’s most luxurious high-rise building complexes- affording views of the New York skyline- dot the edge of this neighborhood and are convenient to the Midtown NJ Transit Train Station.
PETERSTOWN: Affectionately known as the “Berg” by its old-timers, this hidden alcove is located just south of Elizabeth Avenue, and maintains an Italian influence through its restaurants, delis, and cafes. Peterstown has clean, quiet streets and has many affordable housing opportunities with a “village” feel. The area contains the historic Union Square, home to produce stands, meat markets, fresh fish and poultry stores.
The area is also home to the Peterstown Community Center, which contains a new library, and has activities for seniors, adults, and children. It is located off the banks of the Elizabeth River, with a stunning view of Elizabeth’s downtown, and is a good place to watch the sunset.
FROG HOLLOW: A small community of homes just west of the Port, and south of Elizabeth Avenue, Frog Hollow contains older style, affordable homes, rentals and some quality restaurants in a working-class community. The statue honoring former Mayor Mack on Elizabeth Avenue is a landmark in the community. Frog Hollow is also convenient to the Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park.
NORTH ELIZABETH: This community contains many larger one and two-family homes that have been rebuilt over the past decade. The neighborhood has easy access to New York and Newark via its own NJ Transit Train Station, Routes 1 & 9 and the NJ Turnpike. North Elizabeth also features many well-kept apartment houses and condominium units on and around North Avenue that are home to professionals who work in New York or the area. The City also recently opened a new multi-purpose community center here.
WESTMINSTER: Home to the City’s largest residential estates - a mix of Tudors, Victorians, ranch houses, colonial split levels and more - this neighborhood borders Hillside and contains many distinctive properties. It is also home to a new public school, considered one of the finest in the City’s system.
The Elizabeth River runs through Westminster culminating in a dramatic splash of greenery and rolling hills off of North Avenue, near Liberty Hall. Residents use this area for recreation, whether it is at the newly christened Phil Rizzuto Park area, or for bird watching or for sunbathing by the river.
BAYWAY: This neighborhood is located in the western part of the City and borders the City of Linden. There are unique ethnic restaurants, bars, and stores along Bayway Avenue, and a variety of houses of worship. Bayway is also convenient to the Goethals Bridge that connects to Staten Island. Housing styles are older and well maintained. There are many affordable two to four-family housing units, and multiple apartments complexes.
KEIGHRY HEAD: This community is located close to Midtown, containing affordable one and two-family homes, and apartment houses, convenient to the Midtown shopping district, and transportation.