West Orange, NJ
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Lying just 18 miles west of New York City, West Orange is in the center of suburban Essex County, New Jersey. Its 12.15 square miles spread over two ridges and two valleys of the Watchung Mountains; the rolling terrain gives variety to the township and is responsible for its division into several neighborhoods most commonly referred to by the elementary school that serves the area.
Although many of its residents are New York-oriented, West Orange maintains its own identity. There are two shopping centers in town, more than 1,000 acres of dedicated woodlands in two large parks, and several first-class restaurants. West Orange is also home to the Turtle Back Zoo, with more than 750 animals, that is open year-round, the Richard J. Codey Arena for public ice skating and NJ Devil practices and the Edison National Historic site.
West Orange Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods in West Orange are identified by the elementary school that serves that section of town, the exception being Llewellyn Park, a historical gated community located near the downtown area. In addition to the numerous neighborhoods of single-family homes, West Orange offers a wide range of condominium choices in all price ranges. Whether you’re a single first time home buyer or a family looking for a larger luxury home or a couple ready for retirement, West Orange has housing options for you.
The Gregory section has become a favorite among those who like the charm and history of Maplewood and South Orange but want more house for their money. Colonial homes on standard sized lots with tree-lined streets are the norm here. Some streets are within blocks of the Mountain train station in South Orange and the entire area is serviced by the West Orange Shuttle Bus service that takes commuters to both Mountain and South Orange train stations. Homes prices typically range from $350,000-$850,000.
The Hazel section is located southeast of the Gregory section and is comprised by moderately priced homes. Some streets within this section have access to the West Orange Shuttle Bus. Home prices range in the $300,000-$400,000s.
The Mt. Pleasant section is located north of Mt. Pleasant Avenue and is comprised mostly of post-war split-level, Cape Cod and ranch style homes. Home prices range in the $300,000-$400,000s.
Located west of Pleasant Valley Way, the Pleasantdale section consists of mostly post war split level and Cape Cod style homes with some pre-war colonials as well. Home prices typically range in the $400,000s.
Located north of Eagle Rock Avenue, the Redwood section offers a diverse range of housing from smaller Cape Cod and split-level homes to new construction larger scale homes and luxury townhomes. Prices run the gamut, from $300,000-$1,300,000.
Located off of Northfield Avenue and east of Pleasant Valley Way, the St. Cloud section offers diverse housing of both pre- and post-war styles. Quiet, traditional neighborhoods with tree-lined streets are found in the St. Cloud section with
The Washington section is the residential section around downtown West Orange and is characterized by less expensive homes on smaller lots. Home prices in this section range from $250,000-$400,000.
The most unusual neighborhood in West Orange is Llewellyn Park, a 420-acre reserve of suburban charm, with its own front gates and security. The community was established by Llewellyn S. Haskell, a wealthy importer, in the 1850’s and is thought to be one of the nation’s first planned residential communities. It was in Llewellyn Park, just down Main Street from his lab, that Edison bought Glenmont, a 23-room Queen Anne style mansion on 15 acres.
Home to many stately turn of the century homes, this picturesque neighborhood feels more like communities in Somerset County than a more cosmopolitan suburb just 35 minutes from Manhattan. Many homes here have well over 2 acres and the tight knit community organizes events for residents. Please visit Llewellyn Park for more details about this truly special community.
Located off Rt. 280 near downtown West Orange, Llewellyn Park is in the Redwood Elementary school district and home prices range from $600,000-$3,000,000.
Crestmont Gardens is a quiet garden condominium complex built in the 1960s offers one and two bedroom units with wood floors in the price range of about $210,000 for a one bedroom and $260,000 for a 2-bedroom. The complex is located off of Eagle Rock Road behind West Orange High School.
Crystal Woods is a great condominium complex located east of Pleasant Valley Way near Rt. 280, in the Pleasantdale section, offers several different townhome styles with community amenities like tennis courts, an outdoor pool and playground. Units range in price from the $400,000-$600,000.
The Eagle Ridge complex is located off Prospect Avenue near Rt. 280 offers many great amenities like indoor and outdoor pools, exercise room, clubhouse, tennis courts, playgrounds, a jogging path and NYC bus transportation at the front gate. These townhouse units range in styles and sizes. Prices range from the $300,000-$500,000.
The Pointe is an upscale townhouse community off of Prospect Avenue, built in 2000-2001, offers spacious units and amenities like an outdoor pool, clubhouse with exercise room and jogging path. Price ranges from $600,000-$700,000s.
Crown View Manor and Villas provide an 8 story building and detached townhomes in a luxury gated community with valet and concierge where you can enjoy the outdoor pool, tennis, billiards, gym, pond for fishing, meeting room, etc. 24/7 security. Prices range from $180,000-$500,000.
Bel Air Townhomes at West Orange is a luxurious townhouse community of 250 homes featuring upsale kitchens with a separate breakfast area, formal dining room, spacious master suites, some of which are on the first level… offering amenities such as a clubhouse with gym and party room, outdoor pool and hot tub. Prices range from $575,000 to $800,000.
West Orange is 12 miles from Manhattan and many residents commute to the city. The buses are easily accessible, with a commuting distance of 50 minutes to the Port Authority. Route 280, an interstate spur linking West Orange with the New Jersey Turnpike, the Holland Tunnel and Route 80, cuts through the community. While there is no NJ Transit train station in West Orange, train stations in Orange, South Orange and Montclair are only a short drive from most neighborhoods in West Orange. The town of West Orange also offers a shuttle bus in the Gregory and St. Cloud neighborhoods to and from the Mountain and South Orange train stations during the morning and evening rush hour, Monday through Friday. The Park N Ride from the Richard J. Codey Arena/Turtle Back Zoo provides express bus service into Port Authority via Coach USA.
The school district in West Orange can be characterized by dedication to meeting the needs of its growing student body. There are seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and one comprehensive high school educating the 6,900 plus student body.
With $3 million in renovations in place, Thomas A. Edison Central Six School has become the home for all the district’s sixth graders. Liberty Middle School and Roosevelt Middle Schools provide education to West Orange’s seventh and eighth graders.
West Orange High School students and faculty are reaping the benefits of years of construction and expansion: new gymnasium and cafeteria, science labs, technology labs, arts rooms and academic classrooms, as well as newly constructed walkways. The substantially larger facility can accommodate the growing high school population and the administration is working to ensure that all the students feel part of a smaller community within the larger campus. For example, many of the ninth grade academic classrooms are grouped together on the first floor of the building to help the newest high school students acclimate to the high school environment.
Accomplished scholars, however, are not new to West Orange. In the fall of 1977, the West Orange Board of Education recognized the need to establish a centralized program where gifted youngsters could learn from interaction with their peers of similar ability. Teachers who were specially qualified to provide intellectual stimulation and challenge for these third to seventh grade pupils were hired to conduct the program. Students in grades 3 to 7 who meet the criteria may be nominated to participate in the High Aptitude Program-HAP.
With its new facilities, expanding curriculum and its successful athletics it is easy to see that West Orange believes in and supports its students.
About one-fifth of the land is open space, consisting of municipal and county parks and playgrounds, private and public golf courses and undeveloped acreage. Portions of Essex County’s South Mountain and Eagle Rock Reservations contain public areas, hiking trails, ball fields and bridle paths in the woods. Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Skating Arena are in South Mountain Reservation. Eagle Rock Reservation includes a lookout from which one can see the skyscrapers of New York, the Statue of Liberty, and the George Washington and Verazzano bridges.
Performing arts events can be found throughout the area at various venues including The Cooperman JCC and the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center both located in West Orange, The Papermill Playhouse in nearby Millburn and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.