Artists Aim for the Heights in Jersey City

via JENNIFER WEISS/ The Wall Street Journal

WSJ HghtsAn arts district approved for a section of Jersey City’s Heights neighborhood could spur new development and bring more creative types to an area that is already home to many artists.

The Riverview Arts District in the eastern part of the Heights was designated back in the 1980s but never fully materialized. Zoning changes permitting live-work and studio spaces for artists were formally adopted by the city in February.

Artists have lived and worked in converted industrial buildings and other spaces in the neighborhood for many years. More recently, the neighborhood has drawn white-collar professionals and families priced out of other areas or looking for more space for their money. Brokers and residents say the creation of the arts district makes it still more desirable.

“We have a branding opportunity to promote the area for both commercial and residential use and make it more attractive, really create an identity for the Heights as a concentrated arts area,” said Becky Hoffman, president of the Riverview Neighborhood Association.

Another recently approved measure allows ground-level restaurants on a portion of Palisade Avenue, a key street in the neighborhood.

“It’s something to watch,” said Joshua Tedeschi, a sales associate with American Homes Realty. “It means that there are going to be a lot of commercial conversions.”

Central Avenue, a main street for retail and restaurants, is dotted with inexpensive eateries, mostly Latin American, Italian and Chinese. Food favorites on the strip include Rumba’s Cafe, Andrea Salumeria and Goehrig’s Bakery.

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