North Essex brings together the envious lifestyle of peaceful residential communities with quick access to the resources of New York City. The attractive way of life, removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city, is complemented by an extensive real estate market featuring a variety of home styles and prices. Turn-of-the-century homes are intermixed with modern architecture throughout North Essex County. Quality single-family homes are chief here, with sprawling estates, spacious townhomes and garden apartments rounding out the selection. Well-kept homes and lawns along quiet, tree-lined streets reflect pride of ownership in neighborhoods. No matter what stage of life, the distinct communities of North Essex truly offer something for everyone.
Situated in the county’s northwest section is the Borough of Caldwell, a charming town of more than 7,300 residents. Caldwell embraces its rich heritage, which stretches back to the 18th century and includes the presence of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S., who called Caldwell his birth home. This pride of the past comes together with the modern conveniences of today.
The Borough of North Caldwell incorporated in 1898 from a part of Caldwell and has since evolved into a wonderful, upscale suburban community of approximately 7,000 civic-minded residents. Its location places it atop the highest point in Essex County, giving way to beautiful rolling hills and forested areas.
The last of the Caldwells is the Township of West Caldwell, a sleepy suburban community of 11,000 proud residents. West Caldwell incorporated as a borough in 1904 and ultimately chose to become a township in 1982. Today, West Caldwell covers 5.28 square miles in western Essex County.
Nestled within the scenic area between the First and Second Chain of the Watchung Mountain range is the Township of Cedar Grove, a 4.5-square-mile suburb with a population of 12,300. Cedar Grove exudes an appealing small-town charm with the cultural and entertainment conveniences of neighboring Montclair and New York City at its fingertips. Cedar Grove’s economic drivers are discovered within its large industrial park and central commercial district.
While the Borough of Essex Fells stands as the smallest community in the county, spanning just 1.6 square miles, it is considered to be one of the finest communities in New Jersey. Incorporated in 1902, Essex Fells ultimately came to fruition from the perseverance of Anthony Drexel of the Philadelphia banking family in the late 1800s. The modest town of just over 2,100 is exclusively residential.
Situated at the northernmost tip of the original Horseneck Trail in northwestern Essex County is the Township of Fairfield. The 10.5-square-mile town is bisected by I-80 and Route 46, which provide easy access to New York just 15 miles east. Although Fairfield’s history lies in the agricultural endeavors of Dutch settlers in the late 1660s, it did not become its own entity until seceding from Caldwell in 1964—making it the youngest town in the county. Today, Fairfield is home to 7,500 residents, a number that rises to approximately 60,000 during the day due to the community’s strong commercial and industrial base.
Montclair Township is a vibrant, family-oriented community with a colorful heritage. Over the years, Montclair has managed to preserve its “country” charm while investing in the sound development needed to meet the various demands of today. The diverse town of more than 37,000 residents is filled with ample opportunities for shopping, cultural arts, recreation and entertainment. Montclair is blessed with the resources of Montclair State University, the medical resources of Mountainside Hospital and the spiritual existence of numerous houses of worship. The area also boasts of a strong business community that is dedicated to enhancing the downtown business district and retail areas.
Originally recognized as the Centerville section of Livingston, the Borough of Roseland is a small town covering 3.6 square miles on the southern side of the county, along I-280. Roseland was incorporated as a borough on April 10, 1908, recently celebrating its Centennial in 2008 with events such as the Centennial Ball, Chicken BBQ, Centennial Picnic, town parade, and Wine & Cheese Celebration, held throughout the year. Its deep history includes the impact of the Becker Dairy Farm, which, at one point, encompassed approximately half of the land in town during its operations from 1880 to 1964. Today, that land is home to several well-planned corporate office complexes.
Just east of the Caldwells is the Township of Verona, a picture-perfect town that combines affordable residential areas comprised of single-family homes, townhomes and apartment complexes with sections zoned for commercial and industrial use. Verona was incorporated in 1907 and has evolved into a wonderful upscale residential community of more than 13,000. The high quality of life discovered here has led to Verona’s recognition as No. 3 of the “Best Places to Live 2008” by New Jersey Monthly magazine.