Allendale, NJ: Affordable, walkable suburb 25 miles from Midtown

Lesley and Chris Jones see a bit of North Ferriby, the English village where they used to live, in Allendale, the manicured New Jersey suburb, where they planted their roots.

Miss Jones’ description of North Ferriby – “a cute little town” – also applies to their new surroundings. While northern Bergen County can’t match the bucolic Yorkshire countryside, Allendale, with some 6,800 residents across three square miles, claims its version of a pub: the buzzing Allendale Bar & Grill, in the heart of the city The city is three blocks long.

The Joneses’ career brought them to the United States in 2008. Mrs. Jones, 51, is a scientist and a stay-at-home mother to two daughters. Mr. Jones, 48, is vice president of research and development for a multinational consumer products company with offices in Bergen County. In 2018, after renting a home in the area and briefly moving back to Europe twice, the couple paid $1.32 million for a classic five-bedroom Dutch house that looks like a period house. Their former Edward was in England.

“What we like about Allendale is that it’s not too big and it’s walkable,” Ms. Jones said. “Everything is close by and you see people coming in, walking or biking, which you don’t necessarily see in towns like Upper Saddle River” – a nearby town where the family rented – “where there are no sidewalks and things are spread out more. “

Ms. Jones highlighted how long it would take to walk to sites: less than 10 minutes to their daughter’s middle school and five minutes to the high school they would attend; 12 minutes to the restaurant; 15 minutes to county-owned wilderness, a favorite hiking spot. “And if you’re exhausted from all you want to do in town,” she says, “it’s seven minutes to the train station.”

25 miles from Midtown Manhattan, Allendale has a median household income of $170,968 and is less diverse than the county as a whole, with 85.5 percent White, 11 percent Asian, 2.5 percent Hispanic Hispanic or Latino and 1 percent Black. Once covered with orchards and strawberry fields, the former summer resort area was largely developed after 1950. Housing styles range from Victorian to contemporary, with an abundance of homes. colonization and stratification. Many homes were redesigned on at least half an acre.

The mayor of Allendale, Ari Bernstein, who grew up in the county and has moved back to raise a family, said: “People care about what their homes and neighborhoods look like, and there aren’t many tears. shed tears. “This is a budget town, and we’re happy to be.”

Elissa and Michael Connors, 44 and 46, have a plan for six-tenths of the acre they bought when they closed last year on a five-bedroom ranch for $1.13 million: Upper West Siders ago will install a seasonal ice rink in the backyard for their two children.

Developing an additional three-bedroom apartment and partly due to the pandemic, the couple, who both work in finance, reached out to Bergen County because their 10-year-old son was playing in a mobile ice hockey team there. Hockey friends who lived in town helped convince the family to choose Allendale over the larger and busier Ridgewood, four miles away.

“The community is the best part of this move, because there are so many families with kids our age,” said Connors, who volunteers with the high school hockey team.

He described Allendale as “under the radar” because of its size: “We didn’t know much about it until our friends moved here. I always say, “It’s Ridgewood’s.”

Located just off 17th Street, a state highway and major shopping corridor, Allendale is bordered by Ramsey to the north, the Saddle River to the east, Waldwick and Wyckoff to the south and Mahwah in the West. The main arteries of Franklin Turnpike and Crescent Avenue run north-south and intersect, but it is West Allendale Avenue that serves as the city center. Brick pavement, decorative lampposts and classical architecture grace the compact commercial district, which is a mix of professional offices, restaurants and specialty shops. The New Jersey Transit terminal and commuter parking are adjacent. So does a strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket.

Two arrays of open space are the highlight. The 71-acre Crestwood Park features a private lake and three beaches, as well as sports fields and a revolving pavilion. And the 107-acre forest, wetland and waterfront known as Celery Farm has no amenities but walking trails and birdwatching platforms. Nearly 250 species have been sighted over the years.

“Some people see this as a park,” said Jim Wright, a nature writer and volunteer who helps maintain the Celery Farm and whose backyard borders it. “We gently said, ‘It’s not a park; It is a nature reserve. ”” The presence of ferrets and red-shouldered hawks, along with other wildlife, makes that clear, as does the ban on dog walking, biking, jogging and fishing.

“It may be within earshot of 17th Street,” Mr. Wright said, “but it is a treasure trove.”

Patricia Davis, an area resident and real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams Village Square Realty, in Ridgewood, said many Allendale buyers start their search in Ridgewood before “focusing on the train line” to Allendale, when they realized they could get more houses and land for their money, small town atmosphere and great schools. “

According to the New Jersey Multi-House Registry Service, 98 single-family homes sold in Allendale in 2021, with an average price of $885,000; in 2020 and before the 2019 pandemic, the median sales prices were $795,000 and $715,000 respectively. The median sale price of 22 units sold last year in the county’s eight apartment communities was $567,500.

A mid-February inspection of the multiple listing service found 12 properties on the market, ranging from a three-bedroom apartment, circa 1950s, selling for $515,000, to a centuries-old six-bedroom colony in France. country style, listed for $2.995 million.

In 2021, Allendale homeowners pay an average of $16,206 in property taxes, 30 percent more than the county average.

Although it’s not on the scale of Ridgewood, downtown Allendale supports a vibrant fine-dining scene with Italian, Japanese, Indian and steakhouse fare, along with pub-style fare. America at the 87-year-old Allendale Bar & Grill, or AB&G, the county’s de facto football and gathering spot and a popular spot for an after-drinking drink.

An even older local organization is Holiday Observera group of citizens formed out of patriotic fervor in the weeks following the end of World War I. The group organizes events such as Easter egg hunts, 4th of July celebrations and fireworks, Labor Day weekend watershows, and Halloween parades.

Fred Litt, a 42-year resident, a downtown business owner, and the author of a Allendale’s history. “Holiday watchers touch every aspect of life here.”

Public school students attend Hillside Elementary School through third grade, Brookside School fourth through eighth grade, and Northern Highlands High School. The high school, on Hillside Avenue in Allendale, enrolls 1,400 students and also serves the town Ho-Ho-KusSaddle River and Upper Saddle River. The average SAT score for 2019-20 was 614 in reading and writing and 631 in math, compared with 536 in each subject statewide.

While the high school is known for its academic rigor – 24 Advanced Placement courses are offered – it is also a football powerhouse. Last year, the Highlanders brought an undefeated record into the regional championship match, but failed.

In a referendum to be held on March 8, voters in the high school district will decide on an $8.83 million capital project plan that calls for the construction of makeshift homes and the renovation of buildings. sports fields, planetariums, television studios and interior spaces.

From the Allendale train station on the New Jersey Transit Main-Bergen County Line, the trip to Penn Station in Manhattan takes 60 to 70 minutes; fares are $11.75 one way or $336 monthly. From the Route 17 stop and ride in Ridgewood, ShortLine buses arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan in less than an hour; fares are $9.30 one way or $253.05 for a 40-trip, 90-day pass.

Allendale is named for Joseph Warner Allen, who surveyed the route of the Paterson and Ramapo Railroad, which began operations in 1848. Four decades later, Henry J. Appert, a Swiss immigrant, escaped out of the quagmire to grow onions and celery. Business – Allendale Produce Gardens, or “celery farm” for locals – wholesale markets and Campbell Soup Company provided. The county acquired the site in the early 1980s to create a nature reserve. The body of water at its center is Lake Appert.

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, Register here. Follow them on Twitter: @nytrealestate. Allendale, NJ: Affordable, walkable suburb 25 miles from Midtown

Fry Electronics Team

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