Welcome to Fort Lee

Atop the Palisades sits a cosmopolitan borough with historical heft.
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Before there was Hollywood, there was a small Bergen County borough across the Hudson River from Manhattan. That borough is Fort Lee, widely recognized as the birthplace of the motion-picture industry when it was the home of Universal Studios, Fox Film and Metro Pictures at the turn of the 19th century. Now, Fort Lee draws residents searching for cosmopolitan living in New Jersey. A 47-story luxury high-rise shares the skyline with the George Washington Bridge, a combination that makes for a dream commute into the Big Apple.

Don’t let its small 2.88-mile footprint and proximity to the city fool you—Fort Lee has plenty of parkland and recreational opportunities. The cliff-top Fort Lee Historic Park (within the larger 2,500-acre Palisades Interstate Park) has hiking trails with the bonus of scenic Hudson River views, while the nearby Ross Dock Picnic Area is perfect for a riverside meal. In a nod to its Colonial history, the park includes a reconstructed Revolutionary War encampment, to the delight of history buffs. Looking to delve further into this community’s history? Visit the Fort Lee Museum inside the Judge Moore House for exhibits on the Battle of Fort Lee, 1950s singing group The Royal Teens and the George Washington Bridge.

Recently named one of the top 5 safest large municipalities in the state by ValuePenguin.com, history isn’t the only thing Fort Lee has to offer. Quieter residential neighborhoods give way to an active downtown, where mom-and-pop shops are mingled with national retailers and the new upscale iPic movie theater. The borough has also become a mecca for foodies, thanks to its wide variety of ethnic restaurants.

Fort Lee also boasts highly ranked schools, a number of which are receiving state-of-the-art overhauls, with additions such as a 2,700-square-foot media center, plus additional classroom and computer space underway at School 2.

 

Locals Love

  • The Fort Lee Museumn Café Gateaux’s trendy Manhattan style
  • The “Shakespeare in the Park” performances at Monument Park
  • Hiram’s Roadstand’s hot dogs
  • Fort Lee Historic Park—home of a reconstructed Revolutionary War encampment
  • The brand-new iPic luxury movie theater––the first of its kind in New Jersey {talk of the town}
  • Take a seat and enjoy a fresh brew at Café Gateaux.

 

Fun Facts

  • The Bennett sisters were all born in the borough. Joan Bennett was best known for her starring role in the television show Dark Shadows, Constance Bennett was at one point during the 1930s the highest-paid actress in Hollywood and Barbara Bennett made appearances on Broadway and in silent films.
  • Fort Lee got its name from Gen. Charles Lee, who defended New York City after Gen. George Washington and his troops retreated during the Revolutionary War.
  • Portions of the Academy Award–winning film Goodfellas were shot here.
  • The 30-acre Palisades Amusement Park, one of the most visited amusement parks in the country, called the borough home from 1898 until 1971.

 

Dining

For brunch, the Eggty 8 Café is the place to be. When lunchtime comes around, you’ll find the locals at BCD Tofu House, Mood ‘Wiches and The Tea Bar. Looking for a more hefty meal? Dinner choices are seemingly endless: JD’s Steak Pit and Prime & Beyond draw steak-lovers, while those craving Asian cuisine will have plenty of Japanese, Chinese and Korean options, including Dong Bang Grill, Myung Dong Noodle House (pictured), Hachi Sushi, Soup Dumpling Plus and Sushi House. For a night out, head to The Beer Spot & Grill or New York Wing Factory.

 

Median Household Income

Approximately $67,100, according to the latest statistics from the U.S Census Bureau.

 

Housing Costs

According to Zillow, the median home value is $519,600—unchanged from last year, but expected to rise by 0.7% in the upcoming year.

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