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I Remember Edgewater, New Jersey

Growing up in northern New Jersey a number of decades ago, I was aware that Edgewater existed but only because it was next door to Fort Lee.

That was before most of the mid-rise and high-rise apartment buildings rose along the New Jersey Hudson River waterfront and thousands of families and singles moved into luxury condominiums and rental apartments in Edgewater and Fort Lee, NJ.

I happened to be in Fort Lee, NJ the other day and wandered into Edgewater. It is not the Edgewater of my youth by a long shot.

From an industrial town a few miles south of the George Washington Bridge, Edgewater, New Jersey has grown into a bustling community of almost 10,000 people, many of whom live in luxury rental buildings with Hudson River views, within its 2.4 square miles. When I returned to my office I checked out the stats on Edgewater to satisfy my curiosity.

  • Edgewater, NJ was first incorporated as “Undercliff” in 1894, but renamed “Edgewater” in 1890.
  • Edgewater has 3.5 miles of Hudson River waterfront with the Palisades Cliffs on its western border.
  • The towns on the other side of the Cliffs are Fort Lee, New Jersey and Cliffside Park.

Edgewater has several notable distinctions including the River Walk, a promenade along the Hudson and over 200 Monk Parakeets that formed a colony sometime after 1980. The Parakeets live in Edgewater's Memorial Park. They certainly are not native to the area.

The River Walk Promenade is part of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway which one day will be part of a system of promenades stretching from Bayonne, New Jersey, past the George Washington Bridge and into New York State, allowing renters at many luxury rental communities in Edgewater to enjoy living on the Hudson River. In the future it may connect with the "Sculpture Trail" established a few years ago in Rockland County, New York, as part of the Harbors at Haverstraw, a lifestyle condominium and townhome community that currently is also featuring Parkside luxury apartment rentals.

Before the area was colonized by Europeans, the Lenni Lenape and Tappans were the local Native American tribes in the area. In the 18th and 19th centuries Edgewater was home to industrial and chemical operations. Today, of course, Edgewater, New Jersey is primarily known as a residential and shopping center.

From about 1930 to 1990 the population remained at about 4,000 to 5,000. The current population of almost 10,000 lives in a very different environment than the one I knew years ago. In fact, property values increased to the point where Edgewater is sometimes now called the "Gold Coast", and is an extremely popular area for waterfront rental apartments with Hudson River views.

Lots of things have changed in my lifetime, some good, some not so good. I would say Edgewater has changed for the better, and is an exciting place to own or rent a Hudson River apartment.