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Jersey City: Economy

Jersey City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Jersey City, which is located in the heart of the New Jersey/New York City metropolitan area, experienced an economic renaissance in the 1990s, and the growth trend continues into the 21st century. Traditionally dependent on sectors such as transportation and distribution, the city is now focusing on what they've targeted as FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) businesses. There has been an incredible 500 percent growth in these types of businesses in Jersey City since 1993. High rent, taxes, and utility costs in adjacent Manhattan have prompted many New York firms to relocate partial or entire operations across the Hudson River to Jersey City, creating what is known as "back office space." Since the early 1990s, many major firms have relocated or begun new operations in Jersey City. The phenomenon is so marked that Jersey City's new state-of-the-art corporate developments are being called "the sixth borough" and "Wall Street West." Jersey City has no city income tax, no corporate or payroll tax, no commercial rent tax, 30 percent lower utilities than New York City's Con Ed, and rent on Class A office space is about a third less than in Manhattan. The Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC), a nonprofit corporation formed in 1980 by the city council, is the main business proponent of the city and administers most of the business incentive monies and job training programs. JCEDC is dedicated to revitalization that benefits residents as well as companies through its citywide commercial reconstruction program called HUB, for Holistic Urban Building.

Items and goods produced: electronic products, steel products, soaps and toiletries, cork, cosmetics, chemical products, cans and bottles, paint and varnish, various processed foods, coke, graphite, shoes, slippers, and sandals, elevators, lamps, automobile and aircraft parts, oil refining equipment, clothing, and chocolate

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC), administers business loans and Small Business Administration micro-loans through its subsidiary Community Lending and Investment Corporation (CLIC). CLIC has apportioned 195 loans since its beginning and created and retained 3,022 jobs in the community, and helped reinvest $55 million, resulting in more than $4 billion in capital investments. Besides CLIC, the JCEDC oversees several other main programs including the Construction Management Department, which oversees all building projects from large to small, and the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which promotes development in designated sections of the city. Qualifying businesses in the UEZs are eligible for tax incentives, marketing assistance, financial counseling, and reduced unemployment insurance. Certified Zone retailers get a reduced sales tax of three percent, which is reinvested in further business development in the city. Two programs under the Urban Enterprise Zone have improved quality of life in targeted neighborhoods. Special Improvement Districts (SID) is in commercial districts citywide. Neighborhood business and property owners organize under the Business Improvement Districts (BID) program; they are private nonprofit organizations which obtain for their communities things like supplemental security and street sanitation. JCEDC also maintains a Business Information Center which offers very small businesses technical assistance and financial advice.

State programs

Programs funded by the state of New Jersey are for the most part administered at the local level by the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. The state of New Jersey's Economic Development Authority (EDA) runs two programs for expanding or relocating businesses. The Business Employment Incentive Program offers grants to those companies that create jobs in New Jersey; grants can equal up to 80 percent of what would be the state income taxes for new employees. Companies must create at least 25 new full time permanent jobs, except for new technology businesses like the biotech industry, which need to create only 10 new jobs. Bonus incentives exist for businesses that generate 500 jobs or invest more than $20 million. Businesses must maintain location in New Jersey for at least one and a half times longer than the duration of the grant, which can be up to 10 years. The Business Relocation Assistance Grant program helps businesses that move to New Jersey as well as companies that move within the state to bigger facilities. Applicants must be approved by the state Treasurer, and greater consideration is given to jobs which pay more than one and a half times higher than minimum wage. In 2004, the EDA funded 10 projects in Hudson County, including three in Jersey City proper, with total funding exceeding $46 million. EDA provides a wide range of other services as well, in the forms of tax credits, bonds, grants, and real estate development which focus on brownfield renewal and other such development where there would otherwise be none. There are 24 other financial assistance programs offered by EDA; several of these programs focus on aiding women and minorities in joining the business world.

The New Jersey Urban Development Corporation provides lower-than-market loans to developers and businesses seeking to construct facilities in urban areas, including small business incubators. The New Jersey Division of International Trade helps companies dependent on international commerce with advice and access to trade missions and foreign trade shows. The New Jersey Small Business Development Corporation network specializes in business planning and growth strategy, loan packaging, and help in selling goods and services to government agencies, help to entrepreneurs in commercializing new technologies, linking up companies to local manufacturers who serve as mentors, and counseling for companies regarding overseas trade.

Job training programs

Several job training programs are available at the state and local level. New Jersey's welfare reform program, called Work First NJ, assists people on welfare in becoming self sufficient through education and job training. Another state funded program offered by New Jersey Economic Development Authority is the Entrepreneurial Training Institute (ETI), an intensive eight-week course that teaches aspiring new business owners about basic business operations and building a financial plan; ETI also helps them get financial aid upon graduation. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides several programs. Under the Department of Labor, Workforce New Jersey operates several One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state, two of which are in Jersey City. The One-Stop Career Center is a resource for both employers and job seekers which integrates job training, job placement, and unemployment services. The Urban League of Hudson County started with a job training and placement program for seniors, and now offers a wide range of job training and related social services, such as child care assistance.

Development Projects

The most recent major redevelopment projects in Jersey City are divided into the areas of Downtown and the Waterfront, Journal Square, the HUB at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, the Warehouse District Artist in Residence program, Saint Peter's College/McGinley Square Area Improvement project, residential development, and various commercial and industrial developments.

The Colgate Center is a waterfront development that contains nine office towers, a residential building, and a marina with ferries to Manhattan. 101 Hudson in Colgate Center is currently the tallest building in New Jersey, and Goldman Sachs has purchased other Hudson Street property with plans to erect the future tallest building in New Jersey. Notable tenants of Colgate Center include Merrill Lynch; Lehman Brothers Holdings; Hartz Mountain; Essex Water-front, LLC; Lord, Abbett, and Co.; American Express Travel Related Services; National Discount Brokers; and Datek Online. On the drawing board to be added to Colgate Center are two more residential complexes, a helicopter pad on a pier at the marina, a 798-space parking garage, an outdoor pool and a gym.

Harborside Financial Center is another waterfront development with five million square feet of office space and approval for more commercial space as well as residential units, North Pier Apartments with a stunning view of the harbor and lower Manhattan, and the new Hyatt Regency Hotel. Major tenants of Harborside include Deutsche Bank, DLJdirect Holdings, TD Waterhouse, Exodus Communications, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Dow Jones, the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants, SunAmerica Asset Management, Garban Intercapital America, Forest Laboratories, and TradeWeb.

Five luxury hotels have opened in the city since 2000: the Hyatt Regency at Harborside; Candlewood Suites, just north of Harborside; the Courtyard Marriott, located by the Newport/Pavonia PATH subway station; a new $60 million Hilton; and a Doubletree Club Suites which is also near Harborside Financial Center.

Grove Street is an area under much development recently, with a 306-unit luxury apartment complex with adjoining office tower and commercial and retail space; the Christopher Columbus Towers, under construction in 2005; and the sale of the International Financial Building for more than $152 million by Mack-Cali Realty to a joint venture of German companies. Major residents of the International Financial Building are PCN Bank, NTT Data Communications, and Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette. The Newport area is another spot of major development in the downtown and waterfront of Jersey City. Between the Newport Mall and the Newport Tower, (presently the second tallest building in New Jersey) there are 4.3 million square feet of office space, 7,000 residential units, 1,200 hotel rooms, and 300,000 square feet of commercial space, attracting such tenants as the FDIC, Sears and JCPenney, Brown Brothers Harriman, Sterns, Filene's, First Chicago Trust, and USA Network.

Recent renovations in Journal Square, in the heart of the city, were done at the historic Loew's Theater, 26 Journal Square, the Trust Company Building, and the PATH subway plaza. General street beautification such as specialty sidewalks, old style street lamps, specially landscaped plaza and traffic islands for pedestrians, and a fountain, have lured new businesses and residents to the neighborhood. ADP, Dreyfus, and the NY/NJ Port authority are important tenants there.

The HUB at Martin Luther King Drive is a redevelopment project that has won awards and recognition both regionally and nationwide. Its community owned shopping center alongside a light rail station has helped to raise the home values and income levels in its vicinity.

The Warehouse Historic District, nicknamed WALDO with the accompanying acronym Work And Live District Overlay, was an area of mostly empty warehouses left after three major railroads withdrew from the area. Visual artists, dancers, musicians, and writers were attracted to the neighborhood, prompting the Planning Board and City Council to pass a re-zoning ordinance which allows and encourages people to live and work in the warehouse district if they are engaged in the fine arts as a career. Sensing that too much office space would deaden the area, the new WALDO ordinance actually limits use of office space and reserves 51 percent of space for artists' live/work use.

The Saint Peter's College/McGinley Square Improvement project proposes general street repairs and improvements such as trees, better lighting, new sidewalks, upgrading McGinley Square Park, renovating the Armory Building, attractive new facades on retail structures, and a new dorm at Saint Peter's College.

Recent residential developments are many. Of note is the Gotham, a 220 unit luxury highrise with amenities such as a 24 hour concierge, two restaurants, a fitness club, and indoor and outdoor play areas for children; and Port Liberty, known as "Venice on the Hudson," which features quaint old world style townhouses and will boast a $30 million golf course overlooking the Statue of Liberty.

Commercial and industrial development centers around Greenville Yards in Port Jersey Industrial Park, which houses Summit Imports Group's food warehouse, which the company recently moved from Manhattan's TriBeCa section; a BMW vehicle preparation center; Hudson Eagle; Anheuser-Busch and Tropicana beverage distribution centers; and the 135 acre Liberty Industrial Park, home to Snow Bird bottling company, and printing facilities of the New York Daily News and Cunningham Graphics. Claremont Industrial Park and Montgomery Industrial Park also attract businesses with a skilled blue collar labor force, with access to all types of transportation, and proximity to big markets.

Economic Development Information: Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, 30 Montgomery St., Eighth Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302; telephone (201)333-7797; fax (201)333-9323. New Jersey Economic Development Authority, CN990, Trenton, NJ 08625-0990; telephone (609)292-0369

Commercial Shipping

Jersey City, with 11 miles of waterfront on the Hudson River, is part of the bustling Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Port Jersey's geographic location provides excellent access to the Atlantic Ocean from the Port of New York's Upper Harbor. Docks on the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay accommodate freighters, ocean liners, and coastal and river vessels. Port Jersey is divided into a 100 acre industrial park and a modern 110 acre port, with bulk capabilities, roll-on, roll-off, breakbulk facilities, and fully computerized operations. Port Jersey provides a large terminal for containerized shipping.

The Greenville Yards of Conrail are adjacent to the port, whose own railroad system services the port's seventeen berths and its industrial complex. Truck terminals and warehousing accommodate the more than 100 motor carriers servicing the city. Jersey City is only 10 minutes away from Teterboro Airport, the nation's busiest corporate hub. Other airports certified for carrier operations nearby are the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall St. about five miles away, and Newark Liberty International, about eight miles away. Other public use airports less than 10 miles from Jersey City are the West 30th St. in New York, the Newark NR 1, and New York Skyports, Inc.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Jersey City has an abundance of skilled laborers of many ethnic origins. The state of New Jersey as a whole experienced record employment levels in 2004 and the state's jobless rate was well below the national average for the eighteenth straight month as of October 2004, a full one percent below the national rate at that time. Non-farm employment in an 11-county Northern New Jersey Region grew in 2004 after three years of losses, and employment in the region is expected to continue to grow moderately in 2005 and beyond. Sectors expected to enjoy the most growth in employment include government, education, health and social services, and retail trade. Construction is expected to continue steadily, while manufacturing, information, and trade, transportation and utilities are expected to continue a downward trend.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Jersey City metropolitan area (including metropolitan New York City) labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 8,278,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 329,700

manufacturing: 499,600

trade, transportation, and utilities: 1,582,400

information: 289,300

financial activities: 769,700

professional and business services: 1,223,500

educational and health services: 1,358,000

leisure and hospitality: 606,700

other services: 346,000

government: 1,273,000

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.24

Unemployment rate: 5.4% (February 2005)

Largest county employers Number of employees
United States Post Office 4,032
The Port Authority of NY and NJ 3,900
County of Hudson 2,700
HealthCare Staffing and Consulting 2,000
Deutsche Bank Trust Co. NJ Ltd. 1,833
Insurance Service Office Inc. 1,217
Fleet, NJ Company Development Corp. 1,000
Equiserve, Inc. 850
Provident Bank 850
Bon Secours New Jersey Health System, Inc. 818
JP Morgan Chase Bank 600
Port Authority Trans-Hudson, Inc. 600
Saint Francis Hospital, Inc. 600
National Discount Broker Group, Inc. 568
Lehman Commercial Paper, Inc. 525
US News World Report LLC 500
Top Job Personnel, Inc. 500

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Jersey City area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $990,800 (Manhattan/metro NY-NJ)

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 216.0 (Manhattan/metro NY-NJ) (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 1.4% to 8.97% ranging over six income brackets

State sales tax rate: 6.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $45.48 per each $1,000 of assessed value

Economic Information: Hudson County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 574 Summit Ave., Suite 404, Jersey City, NJ 07306; telephone (201)653-7400; fax (201)798-3886. Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, 601 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07036; telephone (201)420-7755; fax (201)420-0304

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Jersey City: History

Jersey City: History

Dutch Explore Tribal Land

Before the coming of Europeans, the indigenous Algonquian tribe who called themselves Lenape, "the People," lived in the Hudson County region. A peaceful people, they were respected by other tribes and often called to settle disputes between rivals, hence they became known as the "Grandfather tribe." White settlers renamed the Lenape Delawares, for the Delaware River they had designated for Lord de la Warr, then governor of the Jamestown Colony.

In 1609, English navigator Henry Hudson, financed by the Dutch East India Company, explored the area in his third unsuccessful attempt to find a passage to Asia by setting out north and west from Europe. Jersey City abounds with Dutch street names because it was Michael Pauw, an agent of the Dutch West India Company, who purchased and pioneered a permanent European settlement there in 1630. Pauw and his fellow trappers encountered Native Americans of the Delaware tribe and began trading with them. For the next 20 years the peninsula served as a western gateway for trade with other Native American tribes. This land of present day Jersey City and Hoboken, which the Indians had called Communipaw and Harsimus (both are spelled at least 15 different ways in historical documents) was dubbed Pavonia, by Pauw's Latinization of his own name, and Paulus Hook, after the next governor of the area, Michael Paulusen. In 1638, William Kieft was sent to Pavonia as the new director general of the colony. His swindling trade practices and brutality, culminating in 1643 in an un-provoked massacre of the Raritan tribe, (who had come to the Dutch for refuge from their warring enemies to the north, the Mohawks) resulted in an eight month war with the Indians, and sickness and poverty spread over the settlement. In 1647 Petrus Stuyvesant became the new director general of New Amsterdam and enacted a policy of conciliation that led to an uneasy peace with the Indians for a while. This peace was disturbed in 1655, when a Delaware maiden was killed for trespassing in a settler family's peach orchard in what is now lower Manhattan. The natives fled back across the Hudson River to Pavonia, then exacted revenge by driving out all white people from the Jersey Shore. Whoever did not flee was killed; livestock was slaughtered, and every building burnt down. The Dutch fled to New Amsterdam (now New York) to escape, but after five years went by, they wished to return to the fertile farmlands and hunting grounds of Pavonia. Stuyvesant re-bought the land from the Indians in a ceremony which included nine chiefs, and made sure the new settlement was built so as to be more easily defended.

The settlement shifted to English rule in 1664 when Charles II, who had always thought he owned it, gave it to his brother James, Duke of York. After a brief period of struggle with the Dutch, they asserted permanent control there in 1674, renaming the land New Jersey in honor of the largest island in the English Channel, where James' friend George Cartaret was born. Jersey City itself was known during this early English time as the Towne of Bergen. For the next century, agriculture and transportation occupied the region, where ferries traveled across the Hudson to and from New York. Jersey City was also an important stop on first the road route and then the stagecoach route from New York to Philadelphia.

Bergen, Paulus Hook, Harsimus, Communipaw Coveall the old communities that became the core of modern Jersey City and Hobokenplayed crucial parts throughout the Revolutionary War. After the earlier skirmishes at Lexington and Bunker Hill, it became obvious the British were turning their focus, and their naval strength, to the New York-New Jersey area in late June 1776. George Washington recognized the strategic importance of the region, ordered fortifications to be made quickly, and named the Bergen militia. Skirmishes and all out battles went on between the patriots and the British, along with their many Tory sympathizers in the region, but the British maintained an outpost on Paulus Hook until the night of August 18, 1779, when American Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee led a surprise attack on the fort. Lee captured about a third of the English garrison while Americans suffered only two casualties. The humiliating loss of Paulus Hook was followed by a brutal winter of 1779-1780 wherein people could walk back and forth from New York to New Jersey on the ice to buy and sell increasingly rare and expensive firewood. The English forces began to lose their strength and resolve. In October of 1780, General Lafayette joined with the American forces to challenge the English at the place Jersey City Cemetery is now. The British retained a small hold on the area for the next couple of years but were finally driven out of America in 1783.

Modern Jersey City Emerges

In 1812, steam ferry service began with Robert Fulton's Jersey. Old Paulus Hook was incorporated as Jersey City in 1820, but only a small part of the size it is now, and was still considered part of the town of Bergen. Jersey City's first police force, the "watch," was formed in 1829. When an 1834 treaty settled the middle of the Hudson River as the boundary between New York and New Jersey, development of Jersey City began in earnest. The Morris Canal extension to Jersey City in 1836, then two railroad lines arriving in the same year, bolstered the city's transportation and distribution capabilities. Coal from Pennsylvania could be shipped in to fuel factories, and the factories' goods readily shipped out anywhere in the United States. Resulting industry included the Colgate-Palmolive Company, makers of soaps, perfumes, and toiletries, which relocated from New York City to Jersey City in 1847. That year the Hibernia, was the first Cunard (luxury yacht makers of the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II) liner to dock at Port Jersey. Jersey City also became home of the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company, famous for lead pencils; the Dummer's Jersey City Glass Company, known for its flint glass; Isaac Edge's fireworks factory; and the American Pottery Company. From 1860 to 1870 Jersey City's population shot from 7,000 to 29,000, a tribute to the economic strength of the city's factories, but also due to several municipalities in the area voting to consolidate themselves under the name Jersey City in 1869. Among the immigrants arriving through Port Jersey to work in the plants were Germans, Polish, Irish, and Italians. Prior to and during the Civil War, Jersey City was an important station on the Underground Railroad for escaping slaves, who entered the city hidden aboard Erie Canal boats. Jersey City was also a major embarkation point for Union soldiers.

Following the Civil War, activity centered around struggles between competing railroads and political infighting in municipal government. In the 1870s the first paid fire department was hired and the first public high school was opened. A railway tube between Jersey City and New York City opened in 1910.

Jersey City suffered from World War I aggressions when, on the night of July 30, 1916, German saboteurs exploded ammunition-laden railroad cars into Black Tom Island (which now comprises a south side portion of Liberty State Park, across from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.) The blast was felt as far as Manhattan and Philadelphia, Connecticut and Maryland. Property losses were estimated at $22 million, $1 million of which went to replace glass in Jersey City windows.

A three decade political era began in 1917, when Frank Hague became mayor; his Democratic machine remained in power for the next 30 years. The Colgate clock, largest in the world, with a face spanning 50 feet in diameter and a 23-foot minute hand weighing over a ton, was erected in 1924, and in 1927 the Holland Tunnel opened. In 1937 Roosevelt Stadium opened and eventually became one of the fields upon which the great Jackie Robinson played when he broke major league baseball's color barrier in 1946.

Jersey City's population peaked at 299,000 in 1950. Residents and businesses, lured to suburbs accessible by new highways, began to leave the city in the 1950s. In response, older brownstone row homes were rehabilitated and massive downtown redevelopment projects were sponsored by private, municipal, state, and federal government dollars. Liberty State Park opened in 1976, and the first New Jersey Waterfront Marathon was run in 1985. By the late 1980s, Jersey City had become a "back office" site for businesses fleeing high rent and other exorbitant business costs in New York City. In fact, Jersey City was the only one of the state's six largest cities to gain both in population and employment during the recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1994, ten major firms relocated to the city, bringing more than 6,000 new jobs. Nearly 30 firms moved to or began operations within the city during the 1990s, and the skyline was transformed from rail yards and warehouses along the Hudson River to modern office towers and trendy artist's neighborhoods. Massive ongoing development projects into the new millenium promise continuing prosperity for Jersey City.

Historical Information: Historian, Jersey City Library, 472 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302; telephone (201)547-4503

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Jersey City: Recreation

Jersey City: Recreation

Sightseeing

Jersey City is a city of neighborhoods, many of which contain national historic landmarks. Among its most famous communities are Paulus Hook, Van Vorst Park, Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, Bergen Hill, and Washington Village. The Van Vorst House, the city's oldest building, is a 1740 brownstone. The Grace Van Vorst Church reflects the early English Gothic style of architecture and was built over an 11-year period in the mid-1800s. Old Bergen Reform Church is a Greek Revival structure built in 1841. Other historic buildings include the Ionic House, built between 1835 and 1840, and Old Hudson County Courthouse, opened in 1910. Apple Tree House, now a privately owned funeral home, was the site of a Revolutionary War-era supper between General George Washington and his aide, the Marquis de Lafayette.

Perhaps the most famous of Jersey City's landmarks is the Colgate Clock, located on Hudson Street facing the bay. The gigantic timepiece boasts a dial 50 feet in diameter, with a minute hand weighing 2,200 pounds and moving 23 inches every minute. The clock was erected in 1924 and is still one of the largest clocks in the world.

Jersey City's parks are known for their historical landmarks. Liberty State Park, along New York Bay and overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, features the restored terminal of the Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Liberty Walk along the waterfront offering panoramic views of Manhattan. Three major ferry lines run daily from Liberty State Park to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Liberty Science Center in Liberty State Park presents exhibits and activities exploring health, environment, and invention. Opened in 1993, the Center also houses what is billed as the world's largest OMNIMAX theater.

The Fourth Regiment Armory Arch decorates Pershing Field, while Lincoln Park boasts Earle Faser's statue of President Abraham Lincoln,, a sculpture known as "the mystic Lincoln." A sunken garden, playground, and fountain also adorn Lincoln Park.

Arts and Culture

In recent years, Jersey City has experienced an arts explosion. As of 2000, there are more artists living and working in Jersey City than in New York's traditional artist haven, the SoHo district. This is most likely due to the WALDO (Work And Live District Overlay) ordinance that helped create a thriving community of various artists where there had been only empty warehouses and desolate railyards. The Friends of Music and Art of Hudson County, a nonprofit vocal and instrumental music ensemble, was formed to encourage young, gifted students to continue their work. The Friends perform at the Public Library Auditorium.

The magnificently ornate, 3,000-seat Loew's Theater in downtown Journal Square, after being closed for many years and facing demolition in the mid-1980s, recently underwent a complete renovation and is now serving as a non-profit arts and entertainment center for the city. Local volunteers, from inexperienced helpers to expert craftsmen, spent countless hours on all aspects of the renovation. New Jersey City University presents dance, musical, and dramatic productions at its Margaret Williams Theatre. Dinneen Theater at Saint Peter's College offers concerts, dance groups, repertory and traveling theater and other cultural events.

The Kennedy Dancers, a contemporary traveling company, is based in Jersey City. Other local dance troupes include the Anahi Galante Dance Company, the Carol Hayes Dance Studio, The Hudson Repertory Dance Company, and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.

The Jersey City Museum is known for its exhibits of local artist's painting and sculpture, with a good representation of the more avant garde works. The museum is also known for its Otto Coctzke gem collection, and displays items of historic relevance, especially local artifacts. Once part of the Jersey City Public Library, both financially connected and physically housed on the library's fourth floor, the museum separated fiscally from the library in 1987 and began moving to its own climate-controlled building in the 1990s. In 1993 the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency donated an ideal building in the Van Vorst Historic District for the new museum, and after an $11 million overhaul, the new museum was completed in 2000 and opened its doors to the public in 2001.

The Afro-American Historical Museum concentrates on the lives of prominent African American residents of New Jersey and contains an exhibit showing a typical African American household of the 1920s. Several organizations exist to help artists in the region, including the American Artists Professional League of New Jersey, the Cultural and Historic Affairs group, Artsgenesis, and the Artist's Association, which sponsors an annual juried art show.

Twelve artists working with eight student interns produced the Columbus Drive Mural, said to be the largest mural in the eastern United States; the mural spans 10 buildings and about 15,000 square feet on the city's Columbus Drive, just west of the Grove St. PATH station. The panoramic mural, whose design elements were partly decided upon by residents, is about 60 feet at its highest point and 350 feet long.

Festivals and Holidays

Jersey City is alive with festivals throughout the year, reflecting its greatly diverse population. Each April, New Jersey City University hosts a four-day Jazz Week festival with entertainment by nationally known performers. The Fourth of July is celebrated with the Jersey City Cultural Arts Festival in Liberty Park, which also offers free summer concerts. Liberty Park is again the setting for the New Jersey State Ethnic Festival in mid-September. The Annual Carribean Carnival is a new addition to the celebration scene. The July festival highlights the West Indian Community's food and lively music, arts and other entertainments. All Jersey City's ethnic neighborhoods abound with celebrations throughout the year, with Asian Indian, Filipino, Irish, Korean, and Latino parades and festivals.

Sports for the Spectator

New Jersey City University (NJCU) competes in NCAA Division III sports, with men's teams in baseball, basketball, soccer, indoor and outdoor track, cross country, and volleyball, and women's teams in bowling, softball, volleyball, basketball, cross country, and indoor and outdoor track. Saint Peter's College has NCAA Division I teams in men's and women's baseball, softball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and cross country, and volleyball.

Although Jersey City does not have any professional sports team of its own, close proximity to New York City offers the full spectrum of all pro sports.

Sports for the Participant

Sports for the active participant in Jersey City center around the 70 parks and playgrounds the city maintains; its summer programs attract more than 2,000 young participants. Liberty Park is the largest recreational area, with miles of biking and running paths and its River Walk Promenade showcasing a stunning view of New York City. Lincoln Park has football fields, basketball courts, a running track, and miles of winding trails. In winter sledding and skiing can take place on the park's long hills. Pershing Field also offers tennis, track, baseball, basketball, many playground areas, and year-round indoor swimming. Two smaller parks of note are Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park. Festivals, dance recitals, and Shakespeare in the Park programs are held in these parks, and Van Vorst hosts a Farmer's Market from June to November.

Shopping and Dining

Shoppers come to Jersey City because of the city's variety of one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques, as well as the reduced three percent sales tax available from qualified retailers in the Urban Enterprise Zones. Jersey City has 13 major shopping districts. Perhaps the most popular shopping facilities are the Hudson Mall and the Newport Mall, the latter being part of a huge waterfront development with condominiums, office buildings, and recreational facilities.

Dining in Jersey City tends to revolve around small informal eateries found in the city's many ethnic neighborhoods. Cuisines represented include those of Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Germany, Italy, and Poland. One of the most popular dining spots is not in the city but on the ship Spirit of New Jersey, as it cruises New York Harbor, offering music and dancing on its decks. Some of the newer, more upscale additions to the restaurant scene are found in the waterfront developments, where diners can enjoy spectacular views of New York City's skyline with their food and drink.

Visitor Information: Hudson County Visitor Information, 583 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306; toll-free (800)542-7894

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Jersey City: Education and Research

Jersey City: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Jersey City public school system, the state's second largest, was taken over by the state of New Jersey in 1989, when low test scores and high drop-out rates led officials to believe that poorer students were being disenfranchised. Now such programs as a Gifted and Talented Program in music and art, an Accelerated Enrichment Program for the academically gifted, and the Projects and Career Exploration (PACE) summer program, have turned these figures around. In just three years, the PACE program was seen to have lowered drop-out rates from 14.9 percent to 9.3 percent, and 80 percent who participated in PACE benefited from improved grades, attendance, and behavior. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School, with its all-honors curriculum, was named best high school in the state six years in a row by New Jersey Monthly magazine, and 15th out of 27,668 in the nation by Newsweek magazine in a May 2005 article.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Jersey City public schools for the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 30,646

Number of facilities elementary schools: 31

junior high/middle schools: 26

senior high schools: 7

other: 10

Student/teacher ratio: 17:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $40,000

maximum: $47,220 base, plus $2,800 per year with more than 10 years service

Funding per pupil: $13,750

Public Schools Information: Jersey City Board of Education, 346 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07305-1634; telephone (201)915-6160

Colleges and Universities

New Jersey City University (NJCU) opened in 1929; after several name changes throughout the years, in 1998 the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education gave it university status and it became known by its present name. NJCU offers 32 undergraduate and 19 graduate degrees in three colleges (Arts and Sciences, Education, and Professional Studies) to about 10,000 students. In 2002, the College of Education opened University Academy Charter High School to its first ninth grade class of 125 students. In 2003 a huge new Visual Arts Building opened with a centerpiece of a sculpture by Maya Lin of Washington, D.C.'s Viet Nam Memorial fame. The Bayside Development Project features a six story Arts and Sciences building designed by renowned architect Michael Graves, which the university is building in cooperation with the city, board of education, and New Jersey Transit. It nears completion in 2005.

Saint Peter's College, a four-year Jesuit liberal arts school, offers 38 major programs leading to a bachelor's degree and numerous associate's degree programs. Saint Peter's was founded in 1872, and has a total enrollment of 3,282 and a full time enrollment of 1,926.

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) was established in 1974 and now offers a full gamut of associate degrees and certificates in business, culinary arts, education, social sciences, allied health, computer science, liberal arts, and engineering/technology. HCCC has agreements with partner colleges for students to transfer credits toward a four-year degree. It also interacts with community organizations to allow some students to begin work in their chosen fields right away, and for job placement when they complete their programs.

Jersey City Medical Center hosts the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Saint Francis Hospital and Christ Hospital both oversee schools of nursing in Jersey City. The Chubb Institute offers diplomas in modern technology occupations such as graphic design, computer networking and securities, and several careers in the medical field.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Jersey City Free Public Library System consists of a main library, four regional branches and seven smaller neighborhood libraries and a bookmobile. Its collection includes 400,000 print, audiovisual, and electronic materials. In 2002 the library automated its on-line catalog available from its own growing number of terminals or from the patrons's own homes. In August 2004, the library opened a new branch serving the Martin Luther King HUB area, named Glenn D. Cunningham Library after Jersey City's late Mayor and State Senator. Jersey City Free Public Library System has resources in many languages as well as music and art collections. The Jersey City Room provides information about the history, economy, and government of the area.

Other libraries in Jersey City are the Hudson County Law Library, research libraries maintained by Block Drug Company and Pershing & Company, and the libraries at New Jersey City University and other schools. In 1999 and 2000 NJCU renovated two of its libraries: the Forrest Irwin library, which was equipped with a high tech research facility, and NJCU Library, which was rededicated Congressman Frank J. Guarini Library. The Guarini Library features wide-open and well-lit study spaces, numerous PCs, including those built to accommodate physically handicapped people, laptop docking, a touch screen Library Information Kiosk, and a Bibliographic/Information literacy program centered around the Machuga Technology Center room.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry at Jersey City Medical Center specializes in eye research in its Opthalmic Facilities. It also hosts a BRANY, Biotech Research Association of New York, facility. New Jersey City University has a vast new research center in its newly renovated Forrest Irwin Library. New Jersey City University (NJCU) is also home to the Center for Public Policy and Urban Research. A 48 mile corridor in the state of New Jersey that includes Jersey City, stretching from Newark down through Princeton, is known as the global epicenter of pharmaceutical and medical research and manufacturing. Nineteen of the 25 largest pharmaceutical companies are represented as well as over 120 biotech research companies. Just as finance companies are continuing to be attracted to the northern New Jersey region over Manhattan's high rent and utility costs, so are life science researchers from New York City's prestigious universities and research facilities.

Public Library Information: Jersey City Public Library, 472 Jersey Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07302; telephone (201)547-4500

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Jersey City

Jersey City, city (1990 pop. 228,537), seat of Hudson co., NE N.J., a port on a peninsula formed by the Hudson and Hackensack rivers and Upper New York Bay, opposite lower Manhattan; settled before 1650, inc. as Jersey City 1836. The second largest city in the state and a commercial and industrial center surpassed only by Newark, it is a port of entry and a manufacturing center. With 11 mi (17.7 km) of waterfront and significant rail connections, Jersey City is an important transportation terminal point and distribution center. It has railroad shops, oil refineries, warehouses, and plants that manufacture a diverse assortment of products, such as chemicals, petroleum and electrical goods, textiles, and cosmetics.

The city has benefited from its position across from the island of Manhattan, and many Jersey City companies are extensions of those in New York. Further developments have included increased housing and shopping areas and a waterfront-renewal project, including the towering Goldman Sachs building (2004). Other parts of the city, however, remain run-down after years of commercial activity. Many ethnic groups throughout U.S. history have settled in Jersey City. The city has a modern medical center and is the seat of Jersey City State College and St. Peter's College. In Lincoln Park is a statue of Lincoln, built in 1929. Liberty State Park, on the waterfront, is the site of a science museum and provides an excellent view of New York harbor.

The area was acquired by Michiel Pauw c.1629. The Dutch soon set up the trading posts of Paulus Hook, Communipaw, and Horsimus. In 1674 the site fell permanently under British rule. The fort at Paulus Hook was captured by Light-Horse Harry Lee under Washington's plan, Aug. 19, 1779. Nearby Bergen was a stockaded Dutch village dating from before 1620 and had New Jersey's first municipal government, church (Dutch Reformed), and school (1662). Jersey City was consolidated with Bergen and Hudson City in 1869; the town of Greenville was added in 1873. The city's industrial growth began in the 1840s with the arrival of the railroad and the improvement of its water transport system. In 1916, Jersey City docks were the scene of the Black Tom explosion that caused widespread property damage.

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Jersey City: Population Profile

Jersey City: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 556,972

1990: 553,099

2000: 608,975

Percent change, 19902000: 9.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (CMSA)

City Residents

1980: 223,532

1990: 228,537

2000: 240,055

2003 estimate: 239,097

Percent change, 19902000: 4.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 61st

U.S. rank in 1990: 67th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 73rd (State rank: 2nd)

Density: 16,111 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 81,637

Black or African American: 67,994

American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,071

Asian: 38,881

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 181

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 67,952

Other: 36,280

Percent of residents born in state: 42.6% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 16,631

Population 5 to 9 years old: 17,321

Population 10 to 14 years old: 16,383

Population 15 to 19 years old: 15,542

Population 20 to 24 years old: 19,094

Population 25 to 34 years old: 46,541

Population 35 to 44 years old: 37,799

Population 45 to 54 years old: 28,268

Population 55 to 59 years old: 10,463

Population 60 to 64 years old: 8,575

Population 65 to 74 years old: 12,534

Population 75 to 84 years old: 8,099

Population 85 years and older: 2,805

Median age: 32.4 years

Births (2002, Jersey City)

Total number: 3,743

Deaths (2002, Hudson County)

Total number: 4,576 (of which, 64 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $19,410 Median household income: $37,862 Total households: 88,617

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 13,002

$10,000 to $14,999: 6,188

$15,000 to $24,999: 10,567

$25,000 to $34,999: 11,437

$35,000 to $49,999: 13,759

$50,000 to $74,999: 15,335

$75,000 to $99,999: 8,174

$100,000 to $149,999: 6,523

$150,000 to $199,999: 1,851

$200,000 or more: 1,781

Percent of families below poverty level: 16.4% (48.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 12,182

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Jersey City: Health Care

Jersey City: Health Care

Health care needs are met by five hospitals in Jersey City. Liberty Health System's Jersey City Medical Center is the largest, with a 15-acre campus overlooking New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. It is the only designated Level II Trauma Center in the county and has the only designated Perinatal Care facility in Hudson County; there are more than 400 doctors, 100 of whom are teaching physicians. A major teaching affiliate with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Jersey City Medical Center includes the Fanny E. Rippel Foundation Heart Institute, the Children's Hospital of Hudson County, the Port Authority Heroes of September 11 Trauma Center, Provident Bank Ambulatory Center, (for outpatient needs such as physical therapy,) and Kazmir Family Regional Perinatal Center.

Also part of Liberty Health System, Greenville Hospital underwent recent modernization and includes a new emergency room, new patient rooms, treatment rooms, diagnostic equipment, and a renovated lobby. Liberty Health also runs two smaller Family Health Centers in Jersey City. Christ Hospital specializes in various forms of community service for seniors, women, children, and the disadvantaged. It also has a sleep disorders lab and extensive behavioral health services, Hartwood Heart Center, obstetric and oncology services, a diabetes clinic, emergency department, in- and out-patient surgery, pediatric services, and a school of nursing. Saint Francis Hospital is a 243-bed acute care hospital occupying five buildings in downtown Jersey City. The Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center, originally the Hebrew Home for Orphans and also known as simply the Jewish Hospital, specializes in long term care and rehabilitation for senior citizens. It provides an Alzheimer's Day Care Center, Adult Medical Day Care Center, and Podiatric, Dental, and Total Eye Care clinics for the elderly.

Health Care Information: Jersey City Medical Center, 50 Baldwin Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07304; telephone (201)915-2000

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Jersey City: Transportation

Jersey City: Transportation

Approaching the City

Newark International Airport, a 15 minute drive from Jersey City, offers comprehensive international and domestic travel service. Buses, trains, helicopters, and limousines all carry commuters between the airport and Jersey City. Intra- and inter- state bus lines, rapid transit, ferries, tunnels, and trains form important parts of the Jersey City transportation network. NY Waterway runs a rush hour commuter ferry route to mid-town Manhattan from Jersey City.

PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson), the local mass transit service, connects Jersey City with Manhattan, Newark, Harrison, and Hoboken. Construction of the 20.5 mile Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit System, which runs from Bayonne to Ridgefield, was completed in 2000 and has won national awards and recognition for creating an excellent and innovative transit system through a public-private partnership. Its clean, electric powered 90-foot modern trolleys are intended to help air quality as well as decongest New York-New Jersey traffic.

Major east-west arteries approaching Jersey City include Interstate-280; U.S. Routes 1 and 1A, with the Pulaski Skyway alternate, and the New Jersey Turnpike, I-78, with four exits in the city. NJ Highway 440 runs north-south through the city while I-95 bypasses it to the west.

Traveling in the City

As is typical of the New York City hub, traffic is heavy throughout the day in Jersey City. Commuters to Manhattan use the Holland Tunnel, PATH rapid transit system, buses, ferries, and highway bridges. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates the main passenger facility for buses and other mass transit, the downtown Journal Square Station. More than 200 buses operate on more than 35 lines within the city. Service began in 2000 on a new two mile rail spur between West Side Avenue in Jersey City and Liberty State Park.

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Jersey City: Communications

Jersey City: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Jersey Journal, Jersey City's major newspaper, is published each evening except Sundays. Other local newspapers include the Hudson Dispatch, the Spanish weekly El Nueva Hudson, and the collegiate newspaper of New Jersey City University, the Gothic Times. This Week in Jersey City chronicles weekly community news. New York City and New Jersey metropolitan papers also enjoy a wide reader-ship. Older publications in the city include the Journal of Accountancy, a monthly publication for certified public accountants, and the weekly Mansfield Stock Chart Service.

Television and Radio

WFMU-FM radio station and WGKR-AM broadcast from Jersey City. While no other radio or television stations originate in Jersey City, area residents enjoy a full range of news and entertainment via New York City channels.

Media Information: Jersey Journal, 30 Journal Square, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306; telephone (201)653-1000

Jersey City Online

City of Jersey City. Available www.cityofjerseycity.com

Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. Available www.hudsonchamber.org

Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. Available www.jcedc.org

Jersey City Free Public Library System. Available www.jclibrary.org

New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Available www.njeda.com

Selected Bibliography

French, Kenneth. Jersey City, New Jersey, 1940-1960 (Arcadia, 1997)

McClean, Alexander. History of Jersey City, N.J.: A Record of Its Early Settlement and Corporate Progress (Jersey City: Smiley, 1895)

Witcover, Jules. Sabotage at Black Tom: Imperial Germany's Secret War in America, 19141917 (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1989

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Jersey City

Jersey City

Jersey City: Introduction
Jersey City: Geography and Climate
Jersey City: History
Jersey City: Population Profile
Jersey City: Municipal Government
Jersey City: Economy
Jersey City: Education and Research
Jersey City: Health Care
Jersey City: Recreation
Jersey City: Convention Facilities
Jersey City: Transportation
Jersey City: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1630, (incorporated, 1820)

Head Official: Mayor Jerramiah Healy (D) (since 2005)

City Population

1980: 223,532

1990: 228,537

2000: 240,055

2003 estimate: 239,097

Percent change, 19902000: 4.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 61st

U.S. rank in 1990: 67th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 73rd (State rank: 2nd)

Metropolitan Area Population

1990: 553,099

2000: 608,975

Percent change, 19902000: 9.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (CMSA)

Area: 14.9 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 20 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 52.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 47.4 inches of rain; 27.8 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Trade, services, government, manufacturing

Unemployment rate: 5.4% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $19,410 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 12,182

Major Colleges and Universities: Jersey City State College, St. Peter's College, Hudson County Community College

Daily Newspaper: Jersey Journal

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Jersey City: Convention Facilities

Jersey City: Convention Facilities

Jersey City is part of the meeting destination area known as Metro New Jersey Meadowlands, one of the state's busiest destinations; its popularity is due in part to its proximity to the attractions of Manhattan (Newark is also part of the Meadowlands destination area). Convention planners choosing Jersey City as their destination may select the Quality Inn, with 7,000 square feet of meeting space, or facilities at Jersey City State University. Of the area's many hotels, the four largest business class hotels are Doubletree Suites, which features a Business Center along with 1,830 square feet of meeting space; Candlewood Business Suites; the Hyatt Regency South Pier with a panoramic view from its Manhattan Ballroom, which is part of over 20,000 square feet of meeting space offered by the Hyatt; and the Courtyard by Marriott.

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Jersey City: Geography and Climate

Jersey City: Geography and Climate

Jersey City lies on a peninsula between the Hudson and Hackensack rivers in northeastern New Jersey. Seven miles to the west is Newark, and across the Hudson River to the east is New York City's lower Manhattan skyline. The terrain ranges from low-lying flood plains to gently rolling hills. While Jersey City's climate tends to be continental, influenced by winds from the west, it does experience temperature extremes throughout its four seasons. Summers are hot and humid and winters are moderately snowy.

Area: 14.9 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 20 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperatures: January, 30.6° F; July, 74.6° F; annual average, 52.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 47.4 inches of rain; 27.8 inches of snow

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Jersey City: Introduction

Jersey City: Introduction

Jersey City, once touted as "the city with everything for industry," still fulfills that promise. Its waterfront on the Hudson River, dubbed the Gold Coast, has been the focus in recent years of billions of dollars of development projects that are luring financial giants and others from Manhattan and the world. The second largest city in New Jersey, Jersey City attracts business with major air, water, rail, and highway transportation arteries, abundant utilities at reasonable rates, a growing service sector, and an established manufacturing base. Respected health care and educational facilities, along with blocks of reclaimed brownstone houses and impressive new developments, make Jersey City a desirable place to live as well.

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Jersey City: Municipal Government

Jersey City: Municipal Government

Since a charter revision in 1960, Jersey City has operated with a mayor-council form of government. There are nine council members, six elected by wards and three at large; they and the mayor all serve four-year terms. The mayor does not vote on legislation, but may veto ordinances within ten days of passage by the Municipal Council. The Council needs six votes to override the mayor's veto. Jersey City is also the seat of Hudson County government.

Head Official: Mayor Jerramiah Healy (D) (since 2005, current term expires 2008)

Total Number of City Employees: 2,500 (2000)

City Information: Office of the Mayor, 280 Grove St., Jersey City, NJ 07302; telephone (201)547-5200

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