Montclair, Real Estate, and the “Brooklyn Triangle”

bkln to mtclr map - 2It’s not that we didn’t already know that Montclair is a cool place to live. I’ve heard it called the Park Slope of New Jersey, the Upper West Side of New Jersey, and even “Brooklyn West”. And the first wave of Manhattan emigres didn’t just arrive yesterday.

But now, apparently we’re part of the “Brooklyn Triangle”.

In this past Sunday’s New York Times, an article examining a trend of recreating hipster Brooklyn culture in outlying suburbs, said that real estate agents are talking about a “mass exodus from Brooklyn.”

Although most of the article pivots on Hudson Valley burbs, it did quote Alison Bernstein, founder of the Suburban Jungle Realty Group, which helps city dwellers pick the right suburb for their needs.

According to the Times, “She said that more than 85 percent of her business is coming from Brooklyn, with a notable spike in just the last year. Most focus on what she calls ‘the Brooklyn triangle’: the somewhat artsier suburbs between Montclair or Glen Ridge in New Jersey, Larchmont in Westchester and the Hudson River towns.”

Laura Rode, a broker/sales associate with ReMax Village Square, Upper Montclair, spends a good deal of time working with prospective buyers from New York City. “People come here out of Manhattan, Brooklyn, even the Upper West Side; once they have that second child, people often want to go straight to Montclair. It’s the urban suburb,” she said. “Montclair/Glen Ridge really is a perfect spot for folks from the city. They feel at home here and get so much for their dollar.”

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  1. I’m ready for the influx of Bay Ridgers…oh wait, they already went to Florham Park and East Hanover.

  2. I was bumming around at the 4th Ave Pub and Der Schwarze Kölner in Park Slope the other day, highly recommend.

  3. “mass exodus from Brooklyn.” You mean to escape the hipsters?

    A few years ago I joined hipster friends of friends for a movie at the Clairidge. After the movie they snubbed going to a bar for a drink after, “really a bar ?” or the coffeehouse “oh, a coffeehouse how cliché ” So we stood on the curb of Church St. talking while they rolled their eyes at everyone and everything that passed by. This from a couple whose annual income was whatever he could borrow off people. I’m still mad that I didn’t clunk their heads together.

  4. hrhppg, those are the same “hipsters” who think they’re all that, but up until 2 years ago didn’t know from the wilderness of Wisconsin.

  5. That article is hysterical. One guy bought a home in a town because he saw other people with tattoos there. Yeah, that’s some smart decision making right there.

  6. herbster – There you go again; another ethnocentric driven, (not so) hidden double entendre. What you really means is . . .

    I’m ready for the influx of Bed Stuyvers …oh wait, they already went to Newark and Paterson.

    I’m ready for the influx of Red Hookers…oh wait, they already went to West New York.

    I’m ready for the influx of Midwooders…oh wait, they already went to Livingston.

    I’m ready for the influx of Sunset Parker’s oh wait, they already went to Elizabeth.

    C’mon herb, we all know what you’re up to. Or are you going to turn it around and point it back at me for bring it up?

  7. No, i meant exactly what i said..I know a lot of co-workers and friends that now live in the FP, EH area that came from BR and surrounding area… matter of fact one is sitting next to me as I type. Just factual geographical shift like many residents of manalapan, marlboro came from Staten island…just like many people in west essex town originally came from newark..

  8. It doesn’t help that TV shows like “Mad Men” and “Girls” have been mentioning us in addition to the constant Times coverage. This desire to turn us into a place snob “New Yorkers” like the ones hrhppg mentioned will approve of will not work. The whole point of living in the city, as people like them see it, is to escape the supposed cultural ineptitude of the suburbs. Nor should we stoop to needing their approval. This is where you move when you get over that faux superior but in fact overly romanticized and downright touristy view of New York that feeds them.
    Please, no more people who act cool, just people who are cool.

  9. But you chose only to single out the Italians in this case?

    If you wanted to comment on “factual geographical shifts” why didn’t you mention any other ethnic groups in your first post?

    So full of it your eyes are turning brown!

  10. because spiro just mentioned geristen beach and sheepshead bay. I was throwing in another brooklyn nieghborhood where I know many people hail from and a place close by they moved…rangers tonight , try not to get me riled up too early please..

  11. I moved out to Baristaville 3 years ago from Brooklyn and like the others in this article I wanted to own, more space, and was quickly priced out of Brooklyn. I was in Brooklyn for more than 10 years. I don’t have kids. My husband and I are both employed, our parents aren’t paying our mortgage. In our Williamsburg days we may have been considered “hipsters.” We were drawn to this area by the charm, the green, the small businesses and by the fact that yes, it wasn’t such a shock to our system. There were other people from Brooklyn here, we could find good Ethiopian food. Isn’t that sort of comfort what everyone looks for? I don’t see why it’s so bad.

  12. redrum, I might be looking in all the wrong places, but if you think Montclair is absorbing Crown Heights folks, I am, so far, hard pressed to find any sizable number of locals who celebrate Jamaican or Lubavitcher culture in Baristaville. Where do you party anyway?

  13. spiro, I wasn’t referring to the ethic background of Crown Heights, but more the aesthetic of Nostrand Ave as is matches the empty storefronts, dilapidated buildings and shops that line Bloomfield avenue. I might be thinking more of Nostrand in Propspect Gardens, but lets not split hairs.

  14. I welcome the influx of transplanted new neighbors with ankle tattoos and an interest in ethnic cuisine. It’s an improvement over the original residents they replaced who tossed around words like the ‘N’ word and “shine” as if they were throwing popcorn to a dog, making me wonder what kind of a mistake we’d made by moving here. I hope when I retire out of NJ, I’ll find a similarly urbane and diverse community with half the property taxes.

  15. I think it’s time for Bloomfield to capitalize on the apparent cachet of Montclair by adopting a new identity: “East Montclair” (“East Upper Montclair”?), “Montclair Park”, or even “New Montclair”. It would easily add another $200k to our house values right off the bat!

  16. Hey redrum, no problem, I’m hearing you, but when it comes to “splitting hairs”, it’s a tough call with regard to choosing between dreadlocks and payuss

  17. Pork, with regard to Bloomfield, I’d go for “Dumbo”, (already used in Brooklyn near Vinegar Hill) but adjusted here as a short form for “Down Under the Montclair Baristanet Overload”.

  18. Just another episode of the resident NY media shills propagating the Montclair illusion of hipness, of not so excellent but at least diverse schools, of art frindliness. Suckering the Brooklyn saps(used do be the Upper West Side and Park Slope. Keep it going for real estate values uber alles. Urbanization ho!

  19. The part that made me laugh was where the agent quoted in the article talked about people “getting so much for their dollar” in this area. She needs to get out into the rest of the world more.

  20. And from where did all these so called Brooklynites come from…..Probably East Ticklebenny corner, just south of the rendering plant up the road a piece from the Church of the Quivering Brethren….Give me a break!

  21. Not mentioned in the article – the other point of the triangle is Montville. The path has been NYC, Montclair then West West!

  22. Kay, I think if the Republicans have their way, I won’t be able to afford retirement in SoCal. It’s still number one on my list, but Mexico is much less expensive.

  23. The Montclair Triangle appears to be that of Newark, East Orange, Irvington, Orange and Montclair, according to the politics of violent crime and the “successful” gun buy back program, with Montclair contributing more than half the guns.

    Montclair has always been an open and tolerant community for immigrants, so why not “hipsters from Brooklyn”. This fits well into the Town Council’s plans to “develop” Montclair into a “city” and out of debt by putting up high rise buildings, giving developers tax breaks, turning deeded public parks into municipal pump stations, and poor decisions regarding traffic, spending and investments.

    With the high taxes, spending still increasing, lack of transparency from those holding public office, and the deteriorating commercial and public services, Brooklyn should be on the lookout for the non-hipster emigration out of Montclair.

  24. I actually wish we had bought a place in Brooklyn, where the taxes on my friend’s $1mm house are about $3,500 per year.

  25. The key aspect of Montclair Socialism is that Someone else’s Means of Production is to be seized, and the Proletariat ends at an income level just slightly above that of the speaker.

  26. “I think if the Republicans have their way, I won’t be able to afford retirement in SoCal.”

    Since the California legislature has been under Democrat control for 50 out of the last 54 years I’m interest in your explanation on how R’s will hinder your retirement to SoCal.

    Sad to say Cali is a goner.

  27. ” WHAT??!! JG, I thought the plan was, we were crashing Conan’s place together!! boohoo!

    The Conans are considering a retirement home in the Yucatan, also. Merida is a very lovely city with an entrenched European influence. We would keep the place in Santa Barbara, of course. That is if we ever buy one…

  28. Since the California legislature has been under Democrat control for 50 out of the last 54 years I’m interest in your explanation on how R’s will hinder your retirement to SoCal.

    That’s only half the story, herb, as you probably know. In California, it takes a supermajority to get much done, and, as on the federal level, Republicans in the minority in Calif. blocked pretty much everything they didn’t like (it’s the mature way to govern!). It’s only since the last election that Democrats had a supermajority and are able to pass anything.

    Also, in the last 40 years, California has had more Republican governors than Democratic, so there’s plenty of bi-partisan blame to go around for the state’s fiscal state.

  29. …and it’s not the Republicans in California that JG is referring to, Comrade Herb: it’s the ones in Congress who want to occupy the White House and further destroy the economy and usurp everyone’s 401(k)plans and give the to The Rich. There are lots of (very rich) Republicans in California — many concentrated in the area in and around Santa Barbara. They just vote Democratic here because they hate to be wrong.

  30. But in all seriousness, it is sometimes difficult to comprehend that California’s fiscal crisis might have some of its very deep roots in the long-ago proposition that was aimed at capping property taxes. Be careful what you wish for, my friends.

  31. Aside from the Cranes, the Baldwins and the Dodds, most of the key decision makers in Montclair who set up the roads, trains, water company and churches came from Williamsburg Brooklyn, where they had gotten into trouble for being abolitionists.

  32. Thank god ” Montclair Emptynesters” are getting a few “beating hearts” to buy our houses at a reasonable price. Its been a loooooonnnng wait! Can’t wait to release the yoke of Montclair Property tax prison.

    I’d move to Brooklyn but there is no parking, minimal backyards and extremely uncomfortable summers.

  33. Your suggestion, JG, reminds me I have to take up Spanish while I still have 3 brain cells. Why did I ever learn French?

  34. The annual influx of NY / Hoboken / Jersey City families with kids is well known in the West Essex school districts. Houses with empty nest couples or singles become homes with young children.

    Lots of NY plates on cars at the Corrado’s in Fairfield, the Shop-Rite in West Caldwell, Parsippany Shop Rite, etc.

    Depending on where you lived before, you’re faced with the choice of paying high private school tuition or putting your kid into a good public school system in the suburbs. The last people to move onto our street came from Hoboken with their two toddlers.

  35. I’m counting the days my youngest is done with high school to escape the constant wasting drip of Montclair taxation. I feel for the older (and much older) neighbors that never went for the exits.

    The worm-hole in from Brooklyn was fine, but dang, the 50% increase in RE taxes in the past 7 years or so has been brutal. I look forward to the day that the public sector unions (talk about conflicts of interest in negotiating) have no more pockets to pick and the giant sucking sound of entitlement to other people’s money goes away…then I woke up.

  36. There are people who don’t have children and live here. If it weren’t for the 50% or so of the town that doesn’t have kids in the system, the tax situation would be much much worse. Let’s hope they don’t all move at once.

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