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Alpine, New Jersey
Borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
In 2012, Forbes ranked Alpine as America's most expensive ZIP Code with a median home price of $4.25 million, after being ranked 4th in the magazine's 2010 listing of "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", with a median home price of $3,814,885. In 2009, Forbes ranked Alpine first, along with Greenwich, Connecticut, with a median home price of $4.14 million. Alpine was tied with Greenwich for first in both 2006 and 2007 on the ABC News list of most expensive ZIP Codes, with a median home sale price of $3.4 million. In 2019, PropertyShark ranked Alpine as the 53rd most expensive ZIP Code in the country with a median sales price of $1,785,000, a drop from a ranking of 33rd nationwide in 2018 due to a decline of 19% in sales prices. Based on data from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, the borough had a per-capita income of $107,604, ranked second in the state.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Alpine as its 15th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 9.232 square miles (23.910 km2), including 6.411 square miles (16.604 km2) of land and 2.821 square miles (7.307 km2) of water (30.56%).
The 611 households accounted 32.9% with children under the age of 18 living with them; 73.8% were married couples living together; 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.4% were non-families. Of all households, 11.8% were made up of individuals, and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the borough, the population age was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 16.0% from 25 to 44, 36.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 101.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 100.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $172,054 (with a margin of error of +/- $23,256) and the median family income was $192,188 (+/- $56,076). Males had a median income of $124,375 (+/- $28,708) versus $56,719 (+/- $21,358) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $107,604 (+/- $18,758). About 2.3% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.
Same-sex couples headed four households in 2010, down from the eight counted in the 2000 Census.
There were 708 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.0% were non-families. 9.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the borough the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 20.9% from 25 to 44, 34.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.
The median income for a household in the borough is $130,740, and the median income for a family is $134,068. Males have a median income of $87,544 versus $45,536 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $76,995. 6.2% of the population and 5.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.5% are under the age of 18 and 6.4% are 65 or older.
Alpine is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 of 565 municipalities statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey. The governing body is comprised of a Mayor and a Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Alpine is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2020[update], the mayor of Alpine is Democrat Paul H. Tomasko, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the Alpine Borough Council are Council President Vicki Frankel (D, 2021), Michael Cacouris (D, 2021), Arthur I. Frankel (D, 2020), Gayle Gerstein (D, 2022), John Halbreich (D, 2022) and Laurence A. Shadek (D, 2020).
Joan Ornstein was appointed by the Borough Council in February 2012 to fill the vacant seat of her husband Steve, who had died the previous month after being sworn in for a three-year term of office.
In 2018, the borough had an average property tax bill of $21,299, the highest in the county, compared to an average bill of $8,767 statewide.
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year; a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore are selected from among its seven members at a reorganization meeting held each January.
As of 2018[update], the County Executive is Democratic James J. Tedesco III of Paramus, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Bergen County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman ends 2018),
Freeholder Vice-Chairwoman Germaine M. Ortiz (D, Emerson, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder vice-chairwoman ends 2018),
Freeholder Chairman Pro-Tempore Mary J. Amoroso (D, Mahwah, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman pro-tempore ends 2018),
David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn, 2020),
Steve Tanelli (D, North Arlington, 2018),Joan Voss (D, Fort Lee, 2020) and
Tracy Silna Zur (D, Franklin Lakes, 2018), Bergen County's constitutional officials are
County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale, 2021),
Sheriff Michael Saudino (D, Emerson, 2019) and
Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,352 registered voters in Alpine, of which 341 (25.2% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 372 (27.5% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 638 (47.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 73.1% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 94.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 458 votes (45.5% vs. 41.1% countywide), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 419 votes (49.7% vs. 54.2% countywide) and other candidates with 23 votes (2.5% vs. 3.0% countywide), among the 921 ballots cast by the borough's 1,480 registered voters for a turnout of 62.2% (vs. 73% in Bergen County). In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 522 votes (59.0% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 342 votes (38.6% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 9 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 885 ballots cast by the borough's 1,416 registered voters, for a turnout of 62.5% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 532 votes (54.0% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 434 votes (44.1% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 8 votes (0.8% vs. 0.8%), among the 985 ballots cast by the borough's 1,378 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.5% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 588 votes (56.1% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 451 votes (43.0% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 8 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 1,048 ballots cast by the borough's 1,394 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.2% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Republican Kim Guadagno received 53.0% of the vote (229 cast), ahead of Democrat Phil Murphy with 46.1% (199 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (4 votes), among the 436 ballots cast by the borough's 1,416 registered voters (4 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 30.8%. In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 76.1% of the vote (348 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 23.2% (106 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (3 votes), among the 465 ballots cast by the borough's 1,347 registered voters (8 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 34.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 328 votes (54.8% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 227 votes (37.9% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 34 votes (5.7% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 3 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 599 ballots cast by the borough's 1,347 registered voters, yielding a 44.5% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
Alpine is home to the tower and laboratory built by Edwin Howard Armstrong after RCA evicted him from the Empire State Building. Armstrong's experimental FM station, W2XMN, used various frequencies to broadcast from the tower, first on 42.8 MHz; later on 44.1 MHz; and finally on 93.1 MHz in the modern FM band. The laboratory building and the tower still stand; the 400-foot (122-m) tower is home to many two-way radio users, one modern FM station (Fairleigh Dickinson University's WFDU), and backup transmitters for several of New York's television stations. The tower served as a primary tower for the stations after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center. There was some local opposition to this scheme, but the move was temporary, as the stations affected moved their primary broadcast facilities to the Empire State Building. The original lab building is home to a static display of historic communications equipment and offices; the USA Network cable channel operated from this building in the late 1970s.
Points of interest
Rio Vista is an upscale neighborhood in the southern section of Alpine. Rio Vista is home to Devil's Tower, a stone clock tower that is claimed to be haunted; it was originally designed by Charles Rollinson Lamb for sugar baron Manuel Rionda (1854-1943) in order to allow his wife to see New York from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. The legend has it that when his wife saw him with another woman, she committed suicide by jumping off the tower. After becoming upset over his wife's death, Rionda stopped all work on the tower. In reality Harriet Rionda died of natural causes in 1922 and was interred nearby for approximately 20 years; her coffin was moved to Brookside Cemetery, Englewood. The estate was later sub-divided into 197 housing sites consisting of miles of roadway, infrastructure, and related facilities in the mid-1980s.
The New Jersey Section of the Palisades Interstate Park runs the length of Alpine along the top of the New Jersey Palisades and along the Hudson River. The Alpine Boat Basin serves as both a public picnic area and small marina for private boats. The area is a scenic riverfront picnic area and boat basin, plus beach for car-top boat launches (canoe and kayak), with fishing, access to hiking trails and Henry Hudson Drive, restrooms, water, vending machines, and public phones. Alpine Pavilion, an open-air stone picnic pavilion built in 1934 by the Civil Works Administration and available for rental is located here, as well as the historic Blackledge-Kearney House, said to be the site where Lord Cornwallis and his troops landed on November 20, 1776, in their pursuit of the Continental Army following the rout of George Washington's forces in the Battle of New York.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Alpine include:
^Brennan, Morgan. "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", Forbes, October 12, 2011. Accessed June 25, 2012. "It comes in behind two ZIP Codes that regularly grace the top spots of our list: Alpine, N.J., 07620, at No. 1, and Atherton, Calif., 94027, at No. 2. Alpine is an exclusive New York City suburb where the median home price is $4,295,000, street addresses are regularly scrambled on Google and the residents include celebrities like Stevie Wonder and Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs."
^Top Most Expensive U.S. Zip Codes in 2019, PropertyShark, November 18, 2019. Accessed December 14, 2019. "The Mid-Atlantic's priciest zip was 07620 in Alpine, NJ, which ranked #53 nationally with a $1,785,000 median sale price. The Bergen County zip was down 20 positions compared to last year as its median contracted 19%."
^Staff. "Alpine Fills Council Vacancy", The Record, February 28, 2012, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2015. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Joan Ornstein, the widow of Alpine Councilman Steven Ornstein, will fill his council seat for the remainder of the year, local officials said.The 73-year-old councilman was sworn to a new term on Jan. 1 and died Jan. 28 after a six-year battle with colon cancer."
^Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
^Alpine School District 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 22, 2017. "The District's students in Grades 9 through 12 can attend Tenafly High School which is the partner school in a sending-receiving relationship. Enrollment is free for students with the cost of their tuition paid by the Alpine School District. Both Alpine and Tenafly continue to be ranked high among top performing schools in the state."
^Gemignani, Joseph. "Tenafly student registration recount lacks parent cooperation", The Record, June 20, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 19, 2016. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Students from Alpine, which has no high school, may attend Tenafly High under a so-called sending agreement that reimburses Tenafly. When the 2011-12 school budget was adopted, the cost per pupil was put at $14,392, though Trager said that figure has since been increased because Trenton has recalculated the formula to add items like special education."
^ abHistory, Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Accessed August 26, 2015. "Charles Nordhoff, an author and newspaper editor, built an estate nearby (it's said that it was Mrs. Nordhoff who first proposed the name 'Alpine' for the area), as did J. Cleveland Cady, the architect who designed Nordhoff's home (and who also designed the beautiful stone Community Church at the top of Closter Dock Road, still in use)."
^Johnson, Brent. "How N.J. native Conway got Trump over the finish line", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, November 9, 2016. Accessed November 9, 2016. "Conway, who grew up in the Atco section of Waterford Township in Camden County, was hired in August, at a time when Trump was suffering from gaffes and drooping poll numbers.... Conway, her husband, and her four children now live in the northern part of the state, in Alpine in Bergen County."
^Associated Press. "O'Kelly Isley", The New York Times, April 3, 1986. Accessed December 24, 2011. "He was 48 years old and lived in Alpine. Born Dec. 25, 1937, Mr. Isley grew up in Cincinnati and began his musical career singing gospel with his brothers, who performed with their mother accompanying on piano."
^Keil, Jennifer Gould. "Hockey jersey", New York Post, November 12, 2010. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Kovalchuk, whose NHL contract is worth $100 million, has paid $4.5 million for 2 empty acres on Frick Drive in Alpine, NJ. Kovalchuk plans to build a 20,000-square-foot home."
^Ogunnaike, Lola. "Big House Didn't Break Lil' Kim, Rap Diva", The New York Times, August 31, 2006. Accessed December 24, 2011. "Alpine, N.J., Aug. 29 -- With several million albums sold, a Grammy and high-profile friends in music, fashion and sports, the glam-girl rapper Lil' Kim was not the typical inmate. So it came as little surprise when her fellow inmates treated her less like a prisoner and more like a princess on her first night in jail last September. 'They threw me this big party,' she said earlier this week at her rambling home in this affluent Bergen County town."
^Gulitti, Tom. "McGuire Open to Rangers", The Record, April 5, 2000, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 7, 2016. Accessed September 6, 2017. "Count Alpine native Pierre McGuire among those who will be keeping a close eye on the reconstruction of the Rangers' management."
^Friendly, David T. "The Eddie Murphy Script Derby: Winner Takes All", Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1985. Accessed September 5, 2017. "On a recent Sunday morning, Eddie Murphy glanced out the living room window of his Alpine, N.J., home and noticed a neighbor standing in the front yard. Under his arm the man carried a script, a sight that made Murphy take a deep breath as he opened the front door."
^Strauss, Robert. "So Jersey, He Deserves His Own Rest Area", The New York Times, August 7, 2005. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Mr. Piscopo's father, also named Joe, was a lawyer and the family mostly lived in Essex County, the younger Joe graduating from West Essex High School in North Caldwell. With his Saturday Night Live fame, he moved to one of the richest corners of New Jersey, Alpine, persuading Mr. Murphy to join him there in that wealthy enclave by the Palisades."
^Ritacco, Joseph. Circus Atmosphere; John Ringling's castle on the cliffs, (201) magazine, January 2015. Accessed January 11, 2015.
^Staff. "Gray Crag", Cliff Notes, May-June 2010, Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Accessed January 11, 2015. "It was in 1918 that John Ringling (that Ringing) and his wife Mable (née Burton) bought two big properties here and merged them into the hundred-acre estate they named Gray Crag."
^Rodrick, Stephen. "Gary Sheffield is the Yankees' MVP. Just ask him.", New York (magazine), August 7, 2005. Accessed December 24, 2011. "'Why shouldn't I tell the truth?' asks Gary Sheffield from the living room of his Alpine, New Jersey, home. The Yankees' right-fielder turns toward the cook, the nanny, the publicist, the wife, and the car detailer who occupy his vast kitchen."
^Staff. "Jailed Snipes feels the pinch", New York Post, May 16, 2011. Accessed September 6, 2017. "Wesley Snipes has been hurting for cash while serving time for tax evasion. The Blade star is seeking advice from a lawyer on how to refinance his Alpine, NJ, mansion for $1.6 million, a source tells us."