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Marie and Tom Schiavone shop for fresh produce at DePiero's Country Farm, a landmark in Montvale since 1924. The old-fashioned farm stand sits on 250 acres and is a family destination.
Marie and Tom Schiavone shop for fresh produce at DePiero's Country Farm, a landmark in Montvale since 1924. The old-fashioned farm stand sits on 250 acres and is a family destination.
Posted: Friday February 24, 2012, 3:02 PM
At Home in Montvale
By JENNIFER PINTO; Special to Open House of The Record

On the border of New York State, Montvale offers residents a convenient commute into the New York City or throughout New Jersey thanks to the nearby Garden State Parkway and bus and train service. Several corporations call Montvale home, which helps not only with employment opportunities, but also with property-tax relief.

And the country-like atmosphere provides residents with serene surroundings, but if the desire to go shopping or partying strikes, the lure of the City isn't too far away.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS

Montvale Mayor Roger Fyfe, a resident of the borough for 26 years, said there are a number of attractive features in the community. From a low crime rate and "friendly neighborhoods" to active volunteers and good schools, Montvale is a great place to call home.

"We also have a very good recreation program," Fyfe said. "They offer a lot of different programs throughout the year, and they also run a summer camp for kids. Throughout the rest of the year, a lot of the programs are for adults, like basketball, volleyball and baseball."

Fyfe said Montvale has a number of nice athletic fields, such as one with artificial turf on the north side of town. He said on good-weather days, the fields can get packed, especially because the borough's corporate residents also like to make use of the facilities with their own softball leagues.

"We have a very good corporate presence in Montvale," Fyfe said. "We have world headquarters of a couple companies and several other big companies with office buildings in town."

Older residents can utilize the senior community center, and all residents can make use of the library. The town hopes to bring back Montvale Day in the Park in the future when more funds can be secured, but until then, other groups in town have picked up the slack.

"We have a very active Chamber of Commerce," Fyfe said. "Last year they hosted a street fair, and it was estimated that 20,000 people came. It was the first one that they put on and it was really successful."

CONVENIENT LOCATION

Residents of Montvale who like to travel to nearby towns or New York City will find commuting easy, said Sharon Vallario of Re/Max Elite Associates, Montvale "because Exit 172, which is the last New Jersey exit on the Garden State Parkway, puts you out smack dab on Grand Avenue, which is one of the main arteries in Montvale."

CORPORATE PRESENCE

Thanks to Montvale's corporate presence, property taxes are lessened, said Slava Zborovsky of Re/Max Elite Associates.

"Because the corporations are in town, they pick up a lot of the tax burden and that gives us a bit of a tax break," he said. "When you compare towns similar to Montvale, we always come out better because of the tax rate. Without that help, you would have to pay much higher taxes for the area."

Zborovsky said the corporations also bring more people into the community.

"We have a huge rental market from all the relocation from the corporations, which helps the town out," he explained.

In addition, Vallario said the corporations are generous in terms of donating goods and services to civic groups and other types of fundraising events.

RANGE OF HOUSING OPTIONS

Montvale is primarily made up of single- family homes, but there are a number of condo communities, including a newly constructed active-adult community called Four Seasons at Ridgemont, Vallario said.

"Single-bedroom condos at just under $200,000 are some of Montvale's most affordable housing," she said. "There are also condos that cost $1.5 million. Single-family homes that have three bedrooms and one bath usually run from the high $300,000s, and larger homes with more bedrooms and baths can cost close to $2 million. There's something for everyone."

Vallario said there are two sections in town that are known for larger homes:.

• Donny Brook section, located in the northeast part of the borough

• Blue Hill section, located in the northwest part of the borough

"Housing prices have held up very well in this area because we're really tied to the New York City market," Zborovsky said. "We're seeing a lot of the rents going up in the New York City area, which is forcing a lot of people into this area. There are a lot of educated buyers coming in and looking at the tax rolls, looking at the education, and they still have to have the proximity to the City."

ACCESS TO IT ALL

The country feel that Montvale has is a nice attribute of the town, Zborovsky said, but residents are still close to entertainment and shopping options in nearby cities. Within town, there are fun destinations such as DePiero's Country Farm, which sells produce, baked goods and gift items.

"Montvale still has the country farms, but you also are so close to the highways that you can get to any of the cities or go up for skiing or go down to the Shore," he said. "Proximity to all the arteries is great."

Along with a municipal swimming pool and athletic fields, residents also can enjoy all the greenery in town thanks to the area not being densely constructed.

"There are eight different towns that make up what is collectively called the Pascack Valley, and Montvale is definitely one of the most desirable of these towns," Vallario said.

ABOUT TOWN IN MONTVALE

Population

7,844, including:

• White, non-Hispanic: 6,395

• Asian: 866

• Hispanic: 419

• Black: 81

Housing Figures

• Avg. Residential Tax Bill: $ 10,976.44

• Median Sales Price: $587,238

Public Schools

Memorial Elementary School, Fieldstone Middle School and Pascack Hills High School

• Graduation rate for Pascack Hills High School: 99% (State: 94.7%)

Points of Interest

• Montvale Free Public Library:

montvale.bccls.org

• Senior Citizen and Community Center: One Memorial Drive

• Municipal Pool: off of Chestnut Ridge Road

• DePiero's Farm: depieros.com

Town events

• Chamber of Commerce Street Fair

• Montvale Day in the Park

History

• According to the borough's website, "The Borough of Montvale was chartered in 1894 as a Borough Council form of government in which the mayor is elected to a four-year term and six council members are elected at large to serve staggered three-year terms."

"Part of that is because people want that high school and the school district. It's also known for having some truly lovely homes."

, and now with the creation of the upscale active-adult community that's only about a year old and upscale condos - those things only add to the desirability and prestige of the town."

Corporations with a presence in Montvale include:

X: Mercedes-Benz of North America

X: Benjamin Moore & Co. Inc.

X: Butler Telecom Inc.

X: Empire American Holdings LLC

X: Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea

"Montvale borders New York State, so just ever so slightly over the border, you're in New York and that leads you onto the New York State Thruway," she added. "Montvale has bus and train service at Exit 172 on the GSP. There's a big rest area with plenty of parking where you can shop or eat, and there are express buses that pick up people there. It would be hard to find a town in Bergen County more ideally serving its neighborhood in terms of accessibility, whether you're providing your own transportation or hopping on public transportation."

Vallario said there's a small commercial district on the eastern side of town where the train station is located, and there is a big strip mall off of Chestnut Ridge Road that is home to restaurants, a gym and an upscale food market.

"There's Davey's Locker Irish pub, which has been around for a very long time," she said. "It's like your friendly, neighborhood pub. There's a nice restaurant in the Marriot Courtyard that's popular for people to head to when they get out of work. There's also a number of Japanese restaurants in town and a nice array of affordable restaurants for whatever you like to eat."

The education the kids receive here with the amount that's budgeted for each child is enormous.", and they all have their own laptops. On all levels from kindergarten to high school, it's a great system."

You get the best of both worlds here. The schools are a big draw as well."

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