East Brunswick NJ Community Guide


Welcome

On behalf of the township, I would like to welcome you to East Brunswick.

Our community sits at the Center of New Jersey and consistently ranks among the best communities in the Garden State. If you were to look at our township seal you would find the following three words proudly displayed — Home, Education and Commerce.

Home to approximately 50,000 residents, East Brunswick is one of the most diverse collections of individuals and families. With houses of worship representing every major religion, people of all faiths are welcome in the township. Our schools teach ESL to students who come to the township speaking over 100 different languages and hailing from every part of the globe. It is our differences that make us unique, but it is our bond as residents of this township that makes us strong and resilient. Ranked as the best police department in Middlesex County, the East Brunswick Police Department consistently helps the township remain one of the safest communities in the state.

Our superior Blue Ribbon public school system has been a consistent source of pride. We are consistently ranked among the best school systems in the state and the country. Public education continues to be the number one reason that residents move to East Brunswick. Residents remain the driver of the Board of Education’s high standards. This is reflected in the regular resetting of expectations and goals as the public schools are constantly benchmarking to the highest levels of quality. The entire township takes pride in our public schools as they embrace their motto, Excellence in Academics, Athletics and the Arts.

Long recognized as a main center for commerce, our most important commercial corridor is getting a long needed facelift. Redevelopment is well under way and will make way for a mixed use, downtown, walkable community that will qualify as a Transit Oriented Development. With ease of access to public transportation and connectivity to surrounding communities, East Brunswick is poised to return to being a leading commerce center. The Route 18 corridor connects neighboring New Brunswick with the Jersey Shore. Our location at the center of the state and near major roads allows us to attract major commercial, industrial and manufacturing businesses.

So whether you are attracted to the great schools, safe community, diverse cultural makeup, beautiful parks, top rated public water park, award winning public Library, wide variety of arts opportunities, or community/sports programs — East Brunswick is a great place to live.

Brad J Cohen, MD

Mayor – Township of East Brunswick


History of East Brunswick

The early township was comprised of three distinct settlements and several villages. The section once known as Old Bridge Village was a bustling area of commerce and trade and is known today as the Old Bridge Historic District. With roughly 80 homes listed on state and national historic registers and occupied by residents, the district is also the home of the East Brunswick Museum.

“The museum building was formerly the Simpson Methodist Church for 100 years,” said Mark Nonestied, museum volunteer. “It was built in 1862 and purchased by the township for use as a museum in 1977.”

The museum preserves a rich legacy, documenting the life and times of early settlers.

By Cathy Cuthbertson


Present Day East Brunswick

East Brunswick has plenty of options when it comes to entertaining, from Broadway shows at Playhouse 22 to parks full of fun. Running paths, tennis courts, nature trails and kiddie parks are just a few of the plethora of options offered. And Crystal Springs Family Waterpark, which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a wide variety of surprises for the big event.

“This year, we are providing some more programming, including swim lessons through the YMCA, youth parties, arts and crafts programs, family swim nights, movies in the park, a dog day at the park when we close in September and some other 25th anniversary surprises,” said Mike Reissner, director, Department of Recreation, Parks & Community Services.

Seniors looking to stay engaged can get active at the Senior Center and Department of Aging. The department runs a full schedule of programs and services for seniors. There are courses, hot lunches, intergenerational classes with the kids in school, free tax services, State Health Insurance Program counseling, season parties and many other programs. And for those who cannot make it there on their own, there are buses that can pick up residents.

The township isn’t just alluring to residents and visitors. It’s also attracting plenty of businesses, with more than 50 new businesses coming to the Route 18 corridor alone during 2017 and 2018. That number is expected to rise in the coming months.

“We’ve had a noticeable upswing in businesses coming to our main commercial corridor over the past couple of years with major retailers like HomeGoods, Burlington and Aldi’s choosing to open new stores here,” said Jonathan Sternesky, economic development officer for the township of East Brunswick. “Realistically, with our residents, central location and easy access to major transportation arteries, we expect that trend to continue.”

Located near open fields, away from Route 18 but easily accessible from exits 8A and 9 on the turnpike, sits one of East Brunswick’s newest jewels, the Park Chateau. Reminiscent of Versailles, this venue was so highly rated after its first wedding season, that it currently sits in the top 20 places to have a wedding in New Jersey. People literally come from all over the country to East Brunswick just to have their weddings there.

Bustling with business and ideal for all ages, the township of East Brunswick is the ideal place to live, work and play.

By Brooke Payne

Present Day East Brunswick Demographics

Population (2017) 48,840
Educational Attainment (2012-17)
High school graduate or higher, percentage of persons 25+94.2%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percentage of persons 25+53.4%
Median Household Income (2012-16) $101,435
Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing (2012-17) $379,800


Future of East Brunswick

New construction and redevelopment lead the way, with two major initiatives moving forward in the near future. Both will spur economic development and create pedestrian-friendly communities in an urban-like setting — thus creating a downtown in one of New Jersey’s busiest commercial corridors.

“The main initiative is the redevelopment of the Route 18 corridor in the northern end of the township,” said Mayor Brad Cohen. “The idea is to stimulate new development that attracts businesses and residents, enhancing the community and reducing the tax burden for all residents long term.”

The redevelopment project is slated to begin at the end of 2018 or early 2019 and is expected to be well underway by 2020, hence the project name — 2020 Vision.

“First, the old Wonder Bread factory at 110 Tice’s Lane is scheduled for demolition and will be replaced with a mixed-use and high-amenity development,” Cohen said. “We are also working with the developers on the creation of a community-use center within this project site.”

The new properties will be highly accessible thanks to planned construction of a new cut-through roadway that will pass through the properties and connect to existing roads. This will create a parallel artery along Route 18 from Eggers to Tices and connects back to Route 18 near Lowe’s.

The second part of this initiative shaping the township’s future is centered on creating a downtown. This should bring a fresh new vibe and pedestrian-friendly community in the middle of the largest commercial corridor.

“The areas that we have identified as most conducive to this community are the currently dilapidated and under-utilized shopping centers on Route 18 South, right by the turnpike exit,” Cohen said. “We are moving forward in the first steps, which is to assemble all of the various properties. Plans call for commercial development with first-floor, service oriented businesses, an office center, hotel and residential living.”

A key component and draw of this redevelopment is centered on the township’s key location as the statistical center of the state with easy access to New York City, Jersey City, Newark and Philadelphia. With two township owned bus terminals, plus the creation of a third, this development is perfectly situated for an urban transportation center feel.

“Usually transportation centers are directly focused on proximity to trains. However, our approach is distinctly different and provides for an opportunity for us to be leaders in bus centered of development,” Cohen said. “Our bus terminals already bring more commuters into New York City than all but four or five train stations, and with significant potential for growth, we see this as a key component and draw for people to want to come to an area where they will be able to live, work and play.”

East Brunswick’s commercial corridor is already making a strong comeback, but this type of development will provide the catalyst to push that into overdrive.

By Cathy Cuthbertson


Health Care

When an emergency arises, a complex procedure is needed or an annual physical is in order, health care providers in the township of East Brunswick are equipped to handle all of the above and so much more.

Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge provides a growing array of health care services. With 113 beds, Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge has provided acute inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical care for nearly 40 years. Raritan Bay Medical Center prides itself on patient- and family-centered care, an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families. A state designated stroke center, Raritan Bay-Old Bridge is home to a fully integrated medical and surgical pavilion containing physician offices, a surgical suite, and outpatient testing; truly a single destination for every health care need. An additional medical arts building houses physicians specializing in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, infectious disease, orthopedics, behavioral health, integrative health, and more.

Raritan Bay Medical Center administration is committed to meeting the health care needs of the community, including attracting the best physicians in needed specialties, providing essential clinical services, and adding leading-edge medical technologies. In recent years, several enhancements have launched at Raritan Bay-Old Bridge, and planning is currently underway to complete a major emergency department expansion and facility renovation, with construction set to begin in 2019.

Raritan Bay-Old Bridge is home to the da Vinci Xi®, a robotic assisted surgical system that enables surgeons to operate through a few small incisions. Designed to further advance minimally invasive surgery, the da Vinci Xi® can be used across a broad spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures including gynecology, urology, thoracic, and general surgery including colorectal surgery. The da Vinci Xi® allows for just a single incision or three to four 8mm incisions so patients benefit from less scarring, less of a need for pain medication, and quicker recovery for a shorter hospital stay.

In light of the prevalence of diabetes and endocrine disorders in the community, Raritan Bay opened the Joslin Diabetes Center, Affiliate at Raritan Bay-Old Bridge. The Center provides screening, comprehensive care and management for a host of metabolic and endocrine disorders, including; diabetes, thyroid, PCOS, calcium, pituitary, adrenal disorders, low testosterone, hirsutism, and osteoporosis. It has been awarded the prestigious American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for its high-quality diabetes self-management education program. The Center’s multidisciplinary team of caregivers includes two board certified endocrinologists, a certified nurse educator, and registered dietitian among others.

Rounding out Raritan Bay-Old Bridge’s host of services is the Center for Sleep Medicine, Center for Balance, Center for Women, Institute for Weight Loss providing medical and surgical options for weight loss, Pulmonary Rehabilitation program, and Human Motion Institute, a comprehensive orthopedic program.

With these services in place and more on the horizon, there is increasingly less reason for residents to travel far for expert health care. For more information about Raritan Bay-Old Bridge, visit www.rbmc.org. To find a physician and make an appointment, call 1(800) 560-9990.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick’s Comprehensive Stroke Center has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and its Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award – two of the highest honors that a center can receive from the organization for exceptional stroke care.

The Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. RWJUH’s Comprehensive Stroke Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health; get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

In addition, RWJUH’s Comprehensive Stroke Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“This honor is testament to the unwavering commitment to quality, pursuit of innovation and implementation of the most current, best practices to deliver the best possible outcomes for stroke patients in our state,” explains Kiwon Lee, MD, Chief of Neurology at RWJUH and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Medical Director of the RWJUH’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “We are proud that the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have recognized this commitment and we are equally proud to continue providing residents of our state the most advanced stroke care available anywhere in the nation.”

RWJUH’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by the Joint Commission. Joint Commission certification recognizes those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. RWJ underwent a rigorous on-site re-certification in the fall of 2017. Joint Commission experts reviewed RWJ’s compliance with the Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

To learn more about RWJUH, please visit www.rwjbh.org/newbrunswick. For a referral to a physician affiliated with RWJUH, please call 1 (888) MD-RWJUH. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rwjuh and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RWJUH.

Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a non-profit, acute care facility sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s is a technologically advanced, 478-bed teaching hospital that provides a broad array of services including cardiology and emergency angioplasty, cancer care, diabetes, genetics, general and robotic surgery, orthopedics, and wound care, to name a few. Saint Peter’s has one of the most sophisticated maternity and midwifery programs in the area, delivering as many as 5,600 newborns each year. We treat more than 23,000 inpatients and 253,000 outpatients yearly, and nearly 68,000 in our adult and pediatric emergency departments.

As a state-designated acute care children’s hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital offers a full range of specialized pediatric healthcare services, including one of the largest and most advanced neonatal intensive care units in the country as part of the hospital’s state-designation as a Regional Perinatal Center.

We care for 9,000 inpatients and more than 45,000 outpatients each year in our children’s hospital facilities and pediatric emergency department.

Saint Peter’s is only the fifth hospital in the world to earn Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence five times in a row from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Our intensive care and neonatal intensive care nurses have received the Beacon Award for excellence in critical-care nursing from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the fifth and second consecutive times, respectively. Saint Peter’s is state-designated primary care stroke center and is fully accredited by the Joint Commission. Saint Peter’s cancer program and breast center are accredited by the American College of Surgeons.

Saint Peter’s is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and sponsors Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved residency programs in internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. n


Transportation

Transportation and roadways are vital for thriving in any community or metropolitan area. Just as transportation played a vital role in the township’s growth in the past, it’s significance remains today. East Brunswick occupies an excellent position on the most direct route to markets north and south, establishing it as a transportation hub.

East Brunswick has multiple major roadways running through the township, including roughly 4 miles of Route 18. The northern part of Route 18 sees more than 100,000 vehicles per day. Numbers of that magnitude should not be surprising since the northern portion of Route 18 intersects with the New Jersey Turnpike and provides easy access to New York City, while the southern portion of Route 18 provides access to Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore. Because of the town’s centralized location within the state, many find East Brunswick the perfect place to live and commute to work in NYC as well as Philadelphia.

In light of the township’s highest volume of commuters, it should come as no surprise that East Brunswick owns its own bus terminals that transport thousands of commuters north-bound every day.

“If our bus station was a train station, we would rank as the fifth largest train station going into NYC,” said East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen in regards to the township’s two bus stations.

Cohen added that the demand for commuter transportation is so large the township has redevelopment plans to add a third bus station in the future.

The volume of commercial and private traffic that these roads bring to East Brunswick is one of the key draws in the revitalization of the commercial corridor. Major national retailers like HomeGoods and Burlington are choosing to come to Route 18 in East Brunswick because it is one of the only commercial corridors in the state that has traffic visibility numbers that high with an active consumer base living short distances away, according to Jonathan Sternesky, the Township’s Economic Development Officer.

The stretch of Route 18 within the township, and its adjacent roads have supermarkets, movie theaters, and several shopping centers, the largest of which is Brunswick Square Mall, a 1-million square-foot shopping complex. Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Township added an average of two and half new businesses per month on these roads.

In addition, the township recently announced improvement plans to a number of its roadways.

Many of these roads connect or run parallel with major highways such as Route 18 and the Old Bridge Turnpike. East Brunswick with the assistance of state and county representatives has plans to makeover more than 10 of the towns most traveled roads. In addition to this work, the township has committed $1.7 million to township road improvements. In total, it is expected that approximately 14 to 15 miles of road will be repaved in 2018. n By Gennie Taylor


Government

Mayor Brad Cohen

Mayor Brad Cohen was elected to the office in November 2016. The Mayor began his public career in 2010 when he was elected to the East Brunswick Board of Education. Working with a dedicated group of Board members, he helped navigate the schools through difficult economic times in the wake of the Recession and the draconian cuts in State Aid. He was named Board President in 2014 and helped select the new Superintendent of Schools. Balancing fiscal responsibilities with massive needs in information technology, strategic planning, and infrastructure, the future Mayor chose to use his skills to improve the quality of life for all the resident of East Brunswick.

The campaign of 2016 focused on property taxes, the abandoned Route 18 commercial corridor, and quality of life issues here in the township. Within a few months, the Mayor has recruited a professional team with the goal of addressing each of these needs. To date, he has spearheaded the “Shop East Brunswick” program which allows residents to obtain property tax credits for shopping in small stores in town. This has been followed by the “Estate Card” which also allows residents another option for property tax relief. There has been significant progress in defining areas in need of redevelopment on Route 18, and there are active talks regarding developing and implementing a “transit center” approach to the corridor.

The township has employed an economic development officer to bring in new businesses and organize the business community. The Township has streamlined the Planning, Engineering, and Construction process in order to help move projects through faster and more efficiently. The Township has employed newer technology and applications to identify infrastructure needs anywhere in our 300 miles of roads.

The Mayor is a 25 year resident of East Brunswick and is a practicing gynecologist with an office in neighboring Old Bridge Township. He lives with his wife, Penny-herself a Dermatologist in Somerset. He has two children, Rachel and Daniel who are both graduates of the East Brunswick Public School System (2006 and 2008).

As a graduate of Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa, UMDNJ (now Rutgers) New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers Business School, the Mayor holds an MD and MBA degree. The Mayor is an active member of Congregation Bnai Tikvah, North Brunswick and East Brunswick Jewish Center here in East Brunswick.

“I am thrilled to represent such a large, diverse, talented, and tolerant community. We have such an exciting opportunity to write our future and I want every resident to have been part of that success story.”

Councilwoman Camille Clark

A resident of East Brunswick since 1984, Councilwoman Clark began serving on the Township Council in 2010. In addition to serving on Council, she has participated in, or currently participates on the following Boards and Advisory Committees: Water and Sewer Advisory Committee; Middlesex County Housing and Community Development; Commuter Parking Advisory Committee (CPAC); Cable Television and Telecommunications Advisory Committee; Planning Board; Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee Municipal Emergency Management Council.

Councilwoman Clark stated that her goals remain the same as when she first took office 9 years ago. They are to use shared services and other cost sharing reduction methods to reduce the tax burden of our residents; to open communication and dialogue with the public; and to continue to serve in government with a spirit of sharing of ideas, a generosity of spirit and a willingness to cooperate.

Her other civic activities included serving as a Board member of the Friends of the Library until her election and serving as an instructor for St. Bartholomew’s religious education program. She is an active participant in the Presidents Streets Neighborhood Watch where she resides with her two dogs.

Councilman Sterley Stanley

Known as a community leader and expert in the financial sector, Councilman Sterley Stanley, who was elected in 2016, proudly represents the township of East Brunswick.

As a councilmember, Sterley is extremely active in East Brunswick. He regularly writes columns for TAPinto East Brunswick, which highlights important information on jobs, the community and other related topics for residents. He also serves on the newly launched East Brunswick Redevelopment Commission.

Sterley spends his time focusing on giving back to the community through various outreach programs that benefit those living in East Brunswick.

Sterley lives in East Brunswick with his wife and their three children.

Councilman Dr. Michael Spadafino

Councilman Dr. Michael Spadafino has been a resident of East Brunswick for 50 years. He
is a graduate of East Brunswick High School and has practiced chiropractic medicine here for 30 years.

While Spadafino’s higher educational pursuits took him to the University of Northern Colorado and Palmer College in Iowa, he knew he wanted to come back to East Brunswick to make a life.

Currently in his second term with the town council, Spadafino is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and has also coached football and track at the high school.

Spadafino and his wife, Kathleen, a retired music teacher, are proud to call East Brunswick home. Their three children are all graduates of East Brunswick High School.

Councilman Jim Wendell

Councilman Jim Wendell has been a lifelong resident of East Brunswick, having moved here with his family in 1970.

Because of the outstanding experiences had during his own childhood the councilman, and his wife, Barbara, felt East Brunswick would be the best place to raise their own family. Jim and Barbara have two boys: Matthew, 19, a sophomore at Marymount University; and Jimmy, 25, a graduate of Marymount University, who is employed an JP Morgan in Jersey City, and a homeowner in East Brunswick as well.

Being raised in East Brunswick, and being of product of the East Brunswick School system, has allowed Councilman Wendell to participate in a great many of the programs and services during his childhood, and then as well experiencing many similar programs with his own children.

Jim has been involved with the St. Barts Buffalos Youth Football and Cheer program, having played there as a child, and serving on their board of directors for the past 20 years, and the past eight years as their president.

Jim also was board member and past president of the Blackhawks Youth Lacrosse program here in town, coached with the EB Soccer Club and EBBL youth baseball. Jim has also been involved in many of the school booster clubs, and an active supporter of the East Brunswick Education Foundation, and Jim was also a volunteer firefighter with the Brookview Volunteer Fire Co. and the East Brunswick District #1 Fire Co.

Councilman Wendell has served on Council for the past eight years, and during that time, also served on the planning board for six of those years and the recreation Parks Advisory Board for two years.

In addition to that, Mayor Cohen appointed Councilman Wendell to Lead the newly formed East Brunswick Redevelopment Agency. In his professional career, Jim is Vice President of Construction for Waypoint Residential LLC, a national construction/development company and has been involved with many successful projects throughout the region and the country.