2 Acres of Nothing Sold for Record $5M in Alpine, NJ

There aren’t many pictures of this property since it is literally just a piece of overgrown land.
That little red area contains millions of dollars worth of homes and property.

How much would you pay for a 2 acre plot of land? Obviously your answer would depend on several factors- location, potential for development, surrounding market, etc. But still- is there an upper limit?

It seems that limit is quite high in Bergen County. The town of Alpine is one of the priciest communities in the country- its popularity much due to the area’s comparatively low taxes and close proximity to Manhattan. Why pay exponentially more to live in a cramped city when you can spread out, pay less taxes, and still only have about a 15 minute commute? After all, Alpine is only 9 miles from the George Washington Bridge.

At least Google street view shows the property with some greenery.

The 2 acre plot of land at 8 Stone Tower Drive has outdone even the high expectations of its elite community. The $5 million deal is believed to set the record for the sale of a single-family plot of land in Bergen County. The seller, Jane Huang, had bought the property from her brother in 2002 for $1.9 million, meaning that she has more than doubled her investment despite the housing crash, proving another example of the trend that luxury real estate was the least affected by the crash in the long term. The property is part of the Rio Vista neighborhood, a grouping of multi-million dollar homes just off Rt. 9W, and Huang’s brother acquired this plot from the original developer.

Just to give an idea of the caliber of houses on this street.
Wesley Snipes’ former home is actually right across the street from the record-breaking property.

While staying within the town’s zoning regulations, any potential house built on this property will still be huge. At most, the house can be 15,000 square feet spread over two floors, which will be plenty of space for a single family. Such a house would not be out of place in this neighborhood, though- Wesley Snipes former mansion is on the same street, and even the least expensive home in Rio Vista listed at nearly a million dollars (and had much less square footage- only four bedrooms). Other notable inhabitants of Alpine include Chris Rock, Lil’ Kim, Stevie Wonder, and P.Diddy.

She also might have been annoyed because her tower has a better view of Yonkers than Manhattan.

The Rio Vista neighborhood was originally the property of sugar baron Manuel Rionda, and was sold to the neighborhood’s developer by one of his descendants. It also contains one of Alpine’s interesting landmarks- the  “Devil’s Tower”- built by Rionda for his wife to catch views of New York City. The legend is that Rionda’s wife often enjoyed the views from her tower, and one day spotted from above her husband with another woman, causing her to leap to her death. Since then, strong paranormal activity has often been reported, enough to even disrupt  attempts to tear the building down, and local lore has sprung up about shadowy figures and disembodied screams. In reality, Harriet Rionda died of natural causes, and her death so upset Manual that he halted all work on the tower.

Huang has decided to withhold the identity of the buyer- so enjoy your new plot of land, whoever you are!

Photo Credits

8 Stone Tower Drive
Bergen County, NJ
4 Stone Tower Drive
Wesley Snipes’ Former Home
Devil’s Tower



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