Daniel Tabao Switched from Homeownership to High-End Rental Living at Boutique Rental Building in Bergen-Lafayette

JERSEY CITY, NJ, June 2024  – For Daniel Tabao the ease of apartment living in Downtown Jersey City was a perfect fit for him and his young family.  Mr. Tabao, a co-founder of Milk and Cream Bar on Newark Avenue, moved to the Hudson County city in 2019 when he began construction of the novelty ice cream shop, initially living in luxury Downtown apartment buildings.

“We bounced around a bit after moving to Jersey City at the beginning of 2019, starting in Monaco, now part of the BLVD collection, then moving to the VYV during the height of the pandemic,” Mr. Tabao said.

After those first few years of renting, Mr. Tabao decided it was time to expand the living space for his growing gamily and purchased a home in Jersey City’s revitalized Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.  While the financial benefits were attractive and apparent, Daniel quickly realized the drawbacks of homeownership didn’t mesh with his lifestyle.

“We purchased the residence in 2021,” he said.  “Homeownership comes with a lot of pros, there’s also different challenges.  We realized we loved the convenience and comfort of amenitized buildings and decided we wanted to go back to living in a high-end rental building.”

Mr. Tabao searched apartments throughout Jersey City, from the Hudson River waterfront to the Heights, hoping to find a home that provided enough space for his growing family. 

“While an indoor basketball court and rock-climbing wall had it’s perks, we didn’t want to compromise our personal living space,” Daniel said.  “Having growing children made space-to-value ratio a high priority on our list.”

As part of his search, Daniel toured The Hazel, an upscale rental developed by partners Alpine Residential and Fields Grade in Bergen Lafayette.    While the building offered everything they needed, a sister property located at 66 Monitor also caught their attention.  Called Starling, the six-story boutique building featured a collection of oversized homes that were sure to meet the family’s needed room to grow.

“On our way to The Hazel, we heard of the Starling’s completion,” Daniel added. “When we visited, we were floored by the amount of space the apartment offered.  Also, there is something endearing about a boutique apartment with limited residences.  The large homes, aesthetic of the building, clean lobby and amazing art work checked all our boxes.”

Earlier this year, the Tabao’s moved into a three-bedroom apartment at Starling.  The property has offered all they have wanted in an apartment residence, with a great location close to the Milk and Cream Bar, a cereal infused ice cream shop which is located at 175 Newark Avenue in the heart of Jersey City’s pedestrian plaza.  The highly-popular shop has built its popularity by premier ice cream with a bit of nostalgia in every bite. 

The Tabao’s are one of the first families to begin enjoying a complete rental lifestyle at Starling.  The building features a mix of studio to three-bedroom homes and apartments just steps from Liberty State Park and a short trip to Downtown Jersey City and Manhattan.  

With architecture by GRT Architects, Starling artfully fuses modern aesthetics with historic charm, paying homage to its past through the careful preservation of a century-old building's façade that once adorned the site. The restored exterior is joined inside by a dramatic double-height lobby that features reclaimed trusses and wood finishes salvaged from its original structure. These elements were also repurposed to craft furniture found throughout the property’s common spaces. 

Residences at Starling feature oversized windows with complimentary treatments, luxury plank flooring throughout, custom modular closets, in-home washer and dryer, smart lock entry, and remote thermostats. Gourmet kitchens boast stainless steel Energy Star appliances, Quartz countertops with a waterfall edge, Kohler fixtures, under-cabinet lighting, and full height tiled back splashes. Sleek bathrooms are adorned with Kohler fixtures, full height tiled baths and showers and soft close cabinetry. Select homes offer outdoor terraces. 

Apartments are priced from $2,595, and offered with limited-time incentives that include up to two months free. South Oxford Management, an affiliated company of Alpine Residential, is handling its leasing program and management.

Starling’s suite of amenities includes a rooftop lounge, outdoor dining and seating area, state-of-the-art fitness center, co-working spaces, and a golf simulator. Services encompass a virtual doorman, package room, bike storage, access to electric scooters, and Tulu, an on-demand smart rental store offering high-quality household and lifestyle products.

Throughout Starling, a carefully curated collection of artwork captures the essence of Jersey City’s vibrant art scene. From murals by world-renowned artists to the diverse architecture and neighborhood life, the collection celebrates the city's creativity. Upon entering the building, residents and guests are welcomed by works showcasing Jersey City's street art scene, a theme that continues throughout amenities spaces adorned with local art and stocked with books from local authors, providing a connection to the Jersey City art community.

Street-level retail spaces at Starling will soon be filled by MochiDough/BoberTea, a premium Japanese donut and bubble tea shop, and The Roxy, a new venture from some of the team behind Corto in Jersey City Heights.

Starling lies in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood which is gaining notoriety for its open green spaces, small-town neighborhood charm and dynamic lifestyle options. Access to Downtown Jersey City is effortless, thanks to the Liberty State Park Bridge. The scenic route through the park strengthens connections between neighborhoods, including the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Liberty Park Station. Nearby Route 78 offers convenient access to the Holland Tunnel and points west.  For outdoor enthusiasts, Liberty State Park provides over 1,200 acres of open space, a two-mile waterfront promenade, an outdoor performance area, and a celebrated restaurant with panoramic views of the Hudson River, Manhattan skyline, and Statue of Liberty.

For additional information on Starling, please visit  or call 201-928-5584.

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