Alpine Is the Beverly Hills of New Jersey: Why Celebs Are Drawn to This Bergen County Hamlet

Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Kellyanne Conway and Britney Spears have all called Alpine home.

The former Frick family estate in Alpine
The former Frick family estate in Alpine Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty

The list of residents and one-time residents of this Bergen County town reads like an awards-show nominations bill. Alpine is replete with well-known residents like comedians Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan, as well as political pundit Kellyanne Conway. One-time residents include musicians (Britney Spears, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and O’Kelly Isley of the Isley Brothers, who is now buried in Paramus), athletes (Patrick Ewing), entrepreneurs (Norman Sas, inventor of electric football, and John Ringling of Ringling Brothers Circus)—and others.

With a median house price of $5.8 million, what is it about this tiny enclave of fewer than 2,000 residents that attracts celebs? Yes, it sits on a cliff that overlooks the Hudson and is close to New York City, but that can be said of other nearby towns. “There are three reasons celebrities flock to Alpine: proximity to New York, lower taxes and privacy,” says Realtor Joshua Baris of (Coldwell Banker). Baris, who sold Diddy’s seven-bedroom, nine-bath house in 2016, has been selling million-dollar properties in Alpine and other tony towns since 2002. He has had his share of celebrity clientele and, he says, understands what they are looking for. “Even though it is a wealthy town, it has a close-knit feel,” Baris says. “I wouldn’t say everyone knows everyone, but everyone knows who is there.”

Chris Rock at Oscars

“I had to make miracles happen to get that house,” Chris Rock said of his Alpine pad in his 2009 special, Kill the Messenger. “I had to host the Oscars to get that house. To this day I don’t even believe it’s my house; that’s why I keep a bag packed right at the door.” Photo: Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

At 9.22 square miles, this low-profile town has no downtown, no postal delivery, no supermarket and a single restaurant. In other words, if privacy is paramount, this is a place not to be fan mobbed. “Everyone has a P.O. box,” says Baris. “Without postal delivery, one less person comes to your front door.”

In grammar school, Alpine kids enjoy a 1-to-6 teacher ratio. There is no high school in town; students attend Tenafly’s secondary school. Other neighboring towns, including Cresskill and Closter, provide services like shopping, coffee shops, drugstores and restaurants minutes away.

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