Named "beautiful town" in French, the city of Belleville, N.J., is one of the most charming communities in the Newark/New York City area. Head northwest on Interstate 495 out of Manhattan and you won't miss this fast-growing town. With a population of more than 34,500, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, this is the perfect city to live in if you want the close-knit and welcoming atmosphere of a small town with all the amenities of the nation's largest metropolis close by.
The beginnings of Belleville date back more than 300 years. Its close proximity to the Passaic River made it a natural center of manufacturing and river-routed industry because the waterways were once the primary source of transporting goods. The town was originally slated to be named Washington after the Revolutionary War hero and president, but to avoid confusion between the newly developed district and national capital, Washington, D.C., officials decided to name the city Belleville.
The city volunteered more than 100 soldiers during the Civil War who were instrumental in covering the retreat of the Union Army during the Battle of Bull Run. The city continued its history of military volunteerism in World War II, sending more than 3,500 soldiers overseas, and attracting many returning soldiers to the area once the war was over in 1945. At the time, Belleville had 60 plants, an attractive commodity for military servicemen after the job drought during the Great Depression.
Belleville was a major manufacturing city in automobiles with the Kent and Kelsey motor companies, but they also became known for their baking goods as well. Today, Belleville is largely a bedroom community of stores and residences that serve the surrounding areas of Newark and New York City.
According to Essex County's Northern Regional Community Fact Book, the largest industry trends in the area are in trade and transportation, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Despite a lagging economy, these areas in Essex County are projected to add nearly 5,000 private-sector jobs, making it a promising place to find a job. Whether you are staying the city to work or traveling to Newark or New York City for work, finding rentals in Belleville near Interstate 495 is your best bet for reducing your commute time to and from work.
Belleville is home to Bloomfield College. An independent, four-year college founded in 1868, this school attracts an ethnically diverse community to its beautiful, tree-lined campus. Students here take advantage of the outstanding pre-med program and study abroad opportunities that Bloomfield offers. The area is also home to Eastern International College, a community college that offers two-year degrees and certifications in numerous fields of medical fields of study like nursing, dental hygiene and medical assisting.
Because Belleville is situated nearby one of the world's largest cities with high real estate property, the cost of living in the area is higher than the national average. According to information from city-data.com, the 2009 median gross rent was $1,077 per month. However, the city's median household income rose by around $9,000 per year from 2000 to 2009, so residents here should be able to live affordably and comfortably.
Belleville Park has been a mainstay in the community since 1922. Complete with a senior citizens center, playground, two soccer fields, four softball fields, a jogging path, and connections to greenways and a local golf course, there is plenty of outdoor recreation for residents of all ages here.
To find your next rental apartment or house in Belleville, take a look at our listings on Rent.com®.