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City Living in New Jersey: Newark and Jersey City Spotlight

New Jersey’s cities are centrally located, highly connected, and bustling with opportunity. New Jersey is the #4 most diverse U.S. state, and we are home to the #1 most culturally diverse city in the U.S., Jersey City. New Jersey is also the #1 state for education at every level, and our cities house a high density of top talent from our nationally ranked research universities. Two of New Jersey’s largest cities – Newark and Jersey City – are hotbeds for innovation and among the best places to live, work, play and do business.

Newark

Newark is a strategically located city, just a 20-minute train ride to New York City. With ample access to transit lines, a plethora of restaurants, and plenty of other amenities, Newark is in the middle of all the action.

A city of character and culture, Newark is home to a thriving business community and potential talent pipeline. Thousands of college students are living and studying in Newark, mostly within the University Heights neighborhood. That’s why Newark is a hub for top talent.

Newark is quickly becoming a leading U.S. technology hub. Global venture capital firm SOSV recently chose Newark for its new HAX headquarters because of its impressive innovation and startup ecosystem.

Business Ecosystem & Talent Pipeline

Newark’s ever-growing business district is the perfect place for employers and employees alike to live, work, and play. With convenient access to recent graduates from the city’s higher education institutions, employers will have no trouble finding highly educated talent in Newark.

Newark’s business ecosystem would not be what it is today without its talent pipeline, stocked by the city’s many colleges. Between Rutgers University-Newark, Seton Hall Law School, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Essex Community College, approximately 60,000 college students are living and studying in Newark.

Halsey Street is located in Downtown Newark, parallel to Broad Street and Washington Street. Part of Newark’s original settlement, Halsey Street was named after William Halsey, a former Mayor of Newark. Many of Halsey Street’s original rowhouses remain intact today alongside newer commercial buildings.

As part of Newark’s 2008 “Living Downtown” redevelopment plan, Halsey Street features plenty of new apartments and affordable housing options, a “Restaurant Row” full of exceptional dining options, and restored buildings full of character that give Downtown Newark a vibrant new life. The Hahne & Co building, for example, was recently renovated for adaptive reuse, creating vibrant educational, residential, and retail spaces. Tenants include Whole Foods Market, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, CoolVines, and Express Newark.

Apart from Halsey Street, most of Newark’s office buildings are located at the intersection of Broad Street and Market Street, also known as the “Four Corners.” Prudential Financial, Mars Wrigley, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Panasonic, and PSEG are all headquartered here. Sills Cummis Gross, Genova Burns and Ørsted are also based in Newark.

Additionally, Washington Street serves as a home for Audible’s headquarters and the Audible Innovation Cathedral, an abandoned church turned high-tech office space. This unique office space preserves the building’s original stained-glass windows and pipe organ while creating an innovative workspace. Audible aims to be an active player in Newark’s resurgence by creating economic and educational opportunities for its residents.

Audible’s founder and executive chairman Don Katz founded Newark Venture Partners (NVP), an early-stage venture fund that supports tech startups. Many of NVP’s portfolio companies chose to stay in the Newark metro area, including the innovative 1Huddle.

Public Transit & Walkability

In the heart of one of the most connected metro areas in the U.S., Newark is strategically located. In fact, more than a million people travel through Newark daily. Choose New Jersey’s Newark office is located in the Gateway Center in the Central District, where WebMD is relocating 600-700 employees from New York City. Onyx Equities is currently redeveloping the Gateway complex to include pedestrian access to new retail and restaurant options. 

Directly across the street from Newark Penn Station, those living and working in the Central District can take advantage of quick and convenient access to Amtrak, NJ Transit, the PATH and Newark Light Rail, as well as a 10-minute train ride to the Newark Liberty International Airport station.

Public transit in Newark is both affordable and simple to navigate. Apart from Newark Penn Station, the Newark Light Rail will take you exactly where you need to go. Comprised of 17 unique stations extending from Grove Street to Broad Street, Newark’s Light Rail is only 75 cents to ride and will get you across the city with ease.

In terms of walkability, Newark’s Ironbound District is a walkable residential community full of accessible amenities. Located just east of the Central District, Ironbound is within walking distance of Newark Penn Station. Packed with plenty of well-known restaurants, Ironbound is the perfect place for workers and students to take lunch.

Food, Entertainment, & Unique Destinations

New Jersey’s deep immigrant roots contribute to a diverse dining scene, which is undoubtedly reflected in Newark. That’s why we were named the most edible state in America. Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood is recognized for its Brazilian and Portuguese cuisine. While the best restaurants are difficult to narrow down, some honorable mentions include Mompou Tapas Bar & Restaurant, The Taste of Brazil, and Sabor Unido.

Another Newark staple is the notorious Tops Diner, which recently opened its doors at its new next-door location. The family-owned diner was deemed the best diner in America by NJ.com and is absolutely worth visiting if you ever find yourself in East Newark.

Along with food, Newark is also known for its abundance of art and culture. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is one of the largest performing arts centers in the U.S. and is located right in downtown Newark. Moreover, the Newark Museum of Art at the Rutgers-Newark campus holds multiple curated collections, from contemporary art to ancient exhibits.

Newark is also home to the longest mural on the East Coast. Located on McCarter Highway, the PORTRAITS mural is part of the Gateways to Newark project, a public art and landscape beautification initiative in Newark. Newark Downtown District and the City of Newark collaborated in commissioning 18 different artists to paint the 1.39-mile mural along the previously untouched wall.

For quality entertainment, the Prudential Center is the place to be. Located in the Central District, Prudential Center serves as the home stadium for the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the Seton Hall Pirates NCAA Division 1 basketball team. The arena also hosts multiple concerts and other events throughout the year.

For a unique activity in Newark, the Newark Downtown District hosts a Downtown Market every Thursday from 11AM – 3PM. Located in the PSE&G Plaza, visitors can browse dozens of curated arts and crafts vendors, a farm market courtesy of the Urban Agriculture Cooperative, and various information tables detailing community organizations and local businesses. The market even hosts live music acts.

Jersey City

Jersey City sits on the Hudson River waterfront and is an excellent location for employers and employees alike. A national fintech hub, Jersey City is the best place for fintech and financial services companies to set up shop. With convenient access to transportation, a handful of nationally ranked colleges and universities, and a reputation as the #1 most culturally diverse U.S. city, Jersey City has it all for your business.

Business Ecosystem & Talent Pipeline

In recent years, Jersey City has been developing a reputation as a leading fintech capital in the U.S. After all, several top names in financial services have headquarters here, including Goldman Sachs, EY, BlockFi, Zelis, CarrotFi, and JP Morgan Chase. The Exchange Place, colloquially known as “Wall Street West,” is Jersey City’s financial district which boasts a high concentration of financial services companies.

Jersey City attracts financial services companies for its close proximity to Manhattan and Wall Street and its affordability compared to neighboring New York. Also, Jersey City boasts the best view of the New York City skyline on this side of the Hudson River.

Along with its financial reputation, Jersey City is also a college town full of future talent. New Jersey City University (NJCU), Saint Peter’s University, Hudson Community College, and NJIT all have campuses in Jersey City.

NJIT@JerseyCity notably offers as M.S. in Data Science, and NJIT’s home campus recently introduced a B.S. in FinTech, which is the perfect program for students looking to intern and work in Jersey City. Financial services companies can partner with NJIT and other universities in the area and offer internship opportunities to students.

The biggest companies in Jersey City extend beyond financial services and fintech. Jersey City is also home to countless companies in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and more. Notable names include LibertyHealth, AvePoint, Goya Foods, and iQuanti.

Public Transit & Walkability

Jersey City boasts an incredibly accessible public transit system. The PATH connects Jersey City to Newark Penn and Manhattan respectively, and is an affordable alternative to standard commuter rail services. It takes about 30 minutes to travel from Journal Square to Newark Penn, and about 35 minutes from Journal Square to Manhattan via PATH. Jersey City also has its own Light Rail with several lines that span all across the city. Long story short: public transit is plentiful in Jersey City.

When it comes to walkability, Jersey City has several options. Jersey City’s Waterfront district is a picturesque neighborhood with several parks, running trails, and breathtaking views of the New York skyline. For shopping and dining, the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall is worth exploring. Liberty State Park runs along the Hudson River and offers visitors access to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty ferry rides.

Food, Entertainment, & Unique Destinations

As the #1 most diverse U.S. city, Jersey City offers plenty of authentic dining options, including Ethiopian, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, and much more. Visitors and residents can explore neighborhoods such as Little Manila or Little India for countless cuisines.

New Jersey takes pizza very seriously, and the best New York pizza is made at Jersey City’s Razza according to The New York Times. Owner and chef Dan Richer was born and raised in New Jersey and is dedicated to serving the best artisanal pizza. That’s why Razza exclusively uses fresh ingredients, even down to the flour, which is locally sourced from a mill in Clifton, New Jersey.

For seasoned foodies, Smorgasburg is an open-air food market that recently expanded to Jersey City. The festival takes place every Saturday at Harborside. For arts and crafts lovers, the Artist & Maker Market in Downtown Jersey City is a great place to support local artists and craftsmen.

If you’re looking for exceptional art within the city, Jersey City is home to a few options. In 2021, Centre Pompidou chose Jersey City to house its North American contemporary art satellite. Set to open in early 2024, the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City museum will serve as a cultural hub for the community. Another great option located right on Newark Avenue is Mana Contemporary, an expansive arts center for the visual and performing arts.

For quality entertainment, White Eagle Hall is a music and theatre venue in Jersey City’s Village neighborhood. The venue hosts concerts, comedy shows, plays, and more nearly every week. For an interactive and educational experience, the Liberty Science Center is a quick ride on the Light Rail and is fun for the whole family.

Discover All Newark and Jersey City Have to Offer

New Jersey offers individuals and companies alike plenty of opportunities to innovate and succeed. Newark and Jersey City are two hotbeds for innovation and are the perfect places for your business to grow and thrive. With access to mass transit lines, new talent, arts and culture, and walkable communities, our State’s cities are perfect for anyone to live, work, and play.

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Ryan Fox
Business Development Officer