Berkeley Heights

New Jersey

  • Population: 13183
  • Size: 6.3 sq miles (16.32 km2)
  • Established: 1809
  • Distance from NYC: 30
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 80
  • Distance from Newark: 17

Berkeley Heights, NJ real estate market

Market news - November 2017

Last month | Last year

*Source - Trendgraphix and Garden State MLS. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Sections

Berkeley Heights Biography
Community Life
Education
Transportation
Real Estate
Local Attractions

About Berkeley Heights

When The New York Times recently published a story about the benefits of living in Berkeley Heights, they noted that homes here are “architecturally eclectic,” and gave the article a headline that read “Suburbia, but Not the Cookie-Cutter Kind.” This is a fair assessment, as a walk through any Berkeley Heights neighborhood will confirm.  

 

Being recognized by major media outlets is something local residents have come to expect.  In 2011, New Jersey Monthly magazine placed Berkeley Heights at number seven on its list of 566 New Jersey towns. Newsweek magazine’s 2011 list of America’s Best High Schools ranked Berkeley Heights’ Governor Livingston High School at 155 on a review of over 1,100 high schools across the country. CNN/Money magazine ranked Berkeley Heights number 45 in the Top 100 Best Places to Live nationwide in 2007, an impressive statistic considering there were 2,800 potential locations.

 

This small Union County community was incorporated in 1809 and currently has a population of about 13,000. Residents of the picturesque 6.3 square-mile town appreciate the serene feeling that comes from the their town’s quiet streets and verdant parkland. Another noteworthy feature is a central location less than 30 miles from New York City.


Partially located on the ridge of the second Watchung Mountain, Berkeley Heights is bordered by Summit, New Providence, Scotch Plains, Chatham, Warren Township, Watchung and Long Hill Township.
 

 

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Community Life

Berkeley Heights has a vibrant downtown shopping district along Springfield Avenue, where shops and businesses are joined by the town’s post office, police station, municipal building and train station. A sentimental brick walkway near the train station is inscribed with the names of longtime residents.

Numerous parks and swim clubs are available for Berkeley Heights residents. The largest municipal facility is Columbia Park on Plainfield Avenue with tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields and a playground. Athletic fields along Horseshoe Road and Springfield Avenue are supplemented by playing fields at local schools. The Berkeley Heights Community Pool on Locust Avenue, the Berkeley Swim Club behind Columbia Park and Berkeley Aquatic off Springfield Avenue are three options for swimmers.

Watchung Reservation and Passaic River County Park are situated within the township and maintained by Union County. Watchung Reservation is the county’s largest park, measuring nearly 2,000 acres with horseback riding and hiking trails, Lake Surprise for fishing and canoeing, the historic old village of Feltville, and scenic picnic sites.

Berkeley Heights’ Recreation Department offers a summer camp program for grade school children, outdoor concerts, movies, adult fitness programs and youth sports lessons.
 

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Education

Public school students in Berkeley Heights are served by many schools. Built in 1997, the Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center is for those in pre-kindergarten to first grade.  Three schools are designated for grades two to five: the Thomas P. Hughes, William Woodruff and Mountain Park Elementary Schools. Columbia Middle School is for grades six to eight; and Governor Livingston High School is for upper grades.  
 

The highly-ranked Governor Livingston High School has about 1,000 students in grades 9 through 12. In 2011, Newsweek magazine issued its annual America’s Best High School list, and Governor Livingston High School came in at number 155 from a selection of over 1,100 schools.

 

The high school is comprised mainly of students from Berkeley Heights as well as those from neighboring Mountainside. Governor Livingston High School also provides programs for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Cognitively Impaired, accepting students from all over north-central New Jersey.
 

 

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Transportation

Easy access to Interstate 78 and the New Jersey Transit train station, both located in the southern part of town, make Berkeley Heights commuter-friendly. The New Jersey Transit train station near the intersection of Springfield and Plainfield Avenues stands at the center of town.  Midtown Direct service is offered on the Morris and Essex line for a one-seat ride to New York’s Penn Station in under an hour. Some commuters opt for a Lakeland Bus to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan. For longer trips, Newark Liberty International Airport is about 18 miles east of Berkeley Heights.
 

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Real Estate

Home styles in Berkeley Heights range from condominium complexes to upscale luxury homes. The town’s Cinnamon Ridge section has a selection of newer brick Colonials. Other parts of town offer ranches, split levels, expanded Capes, vintage homes, and older Colonials set along tree-lined streets. Even in neighborhoods where all the homes were built at the same time, the streetscape is typically varied since residents often choose to improve or add onto their existing homes rather than move to another town.

Free Acres is a unique community in Berkeley Heights that once boasted actor James Cagney as a resident. Settled in 1910, residents do not own the property their house sits on, they lease it. The 75-acre enclave is wooded with ancient trees of which the community is quite protective. Spanning Berkeley Heights and neighboring Watchung, Free Acres has its own water system, maintains its own roads, and govern themselves using majority voting.  Children attend township schools, and residents pay property taxes to their corresponding township. No curbs or street lights exist in Free Acres in order to retain its distinctively rural nature.
 

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Local Attractions

Littell-Lord Farmstead Museum at 31 Horseshoe Road chronicles early life in Berkeley Heights. Its 18 acres include two houses, one of which was built by Andrew Littell in the 1750s, and the other near the turn of the last century. The Lord family purchased the property in 1867, and their descendants lived on the property until 1975 when Berkeley Heights acquired the land and buildings under New Jersey’s Green Acres program. Today the museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Watchung Reservation measures 1,945 acres, making it the largest park in Union County.  The reservation is situated along the upper valley of Blue Brook, between the ridges of the first and second Watchung Mountains. A dam near the headwaters of the creek creates Lake Surprise for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Park amenities include playgrounds, golf courses, horse stables, hiking and equestrian trails, and a nature center. Much of the land is densely wooded to protect the natural resources and habitats.

 

The Deserted Village of Feltville at 2 Cataract Hollow Road in Watchung Reservation is part of the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal. In 1845, David Felt bought 750 acres of farmland and built a large mill to produce paper products for his paper business in New York City. Within two years, Felt had created the thriving town of “Feltville.”  By 1850, 175 people lived and worked there as it continued to prosper.After 15 years Felt sold the property, and several successive businesses failed. The place then became known as “the deserted village.” In 1882, it was transformed into a summer resort called Glenside Park. Interest dwindled, however, as more people chose to spend their summers on New Jersey’s ocean beaches instead. After the place was deserted once again, the Union County Park Commission purchased the property and included it in the Watchung Reservation.

 

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