Location, transportation, arts and education make it “The Best Town Around”
Woodbridge Township, the oldest chartered municipality in the State of New Jersey, celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2019.
Known as “The Best Town Around,” Woodbridge has grown over those four centuries into the fifth-largest municipality in New Jersey. It encompasses 10 separate and distinctive communities – Avenel, Colonia, Fords, Hopelawn, Iselin, Keasbey, Menlo Park Terrace, Port Reading, Sewaren and Woodbridge Proper.
The township has earned the New Jersey League of Municipalities prestigious Sustainable Jersey Silver-Level Certification and Champion Award for large-size municipalities for 10 years running and has been named an “All-American City” by the National Civic League.
With its ideal location in northern Middlesex County – considered the Crossroads of New Jersey – Woodbridge encompasses 26 square miles and is strategically located between New York and Philadelphia. The community’s 100,000-plus residents have easy access by land and rail to employment, shopping, dining and recreational opportunities throughout the region. Convenient public transportation access, skilled workforce and training facilities, a booming economic development commitment, new housing, updated and expanded recreational facilities and more make Woodbridge Township a natural choice for business and industry.
The plethora of transportation options literally brings business and business travelers to Woodbridge’s front door. Woodbridge’s transportation hub includes easy access to the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway; Interstate 287; U.S. Highways 1, 9, 35 and 27; and Route 440, providing a direct link to New York City via Staten Island. Rail commuters find both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit passage via the Metro Park Station in Iselin and from the downtown Woodbridge and Avenel train stations. Nearby Newark Liberty International Airport speeds business air access to nationwide and international destinations.
When it comes to business development and commerce, the Woodbridge Economic Development Corporation, or WEDCO, continues to connect with international corporations and corporate headquarters, commercial enterprises, businesses and retail outlets looking to make Woodbridge Township their corporate or business home. WEDCO provides a detailed map of development and redevelopment opportunities available to the corporate, industrial and business community looking to invest in Woodbridge Township. Through the outreach of the mayor’s office, WEDCO and the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce, Woodbridge has become home to top industries in health care, professional services, retail trade, international distribution and warehousing.
Employers such as AriZona Beverage, Siemens, Amazon Fulfillment Center, FedEx, CPV-Woodbridge Energy Center, Wakefern, Preferred Freezer, Prudential, Verizon, Plymouth Rock Assurance Company, plus many other international corporations and businesses have been drawn to the community’s strategic location, transportation routes and the availability of unsurpassed commerce support.
A Downtown with a Vision
Blessed with a traditional downtown, Woodbridge Proper boasts pedestrian streets lined with retail shops and restaurants. The Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency and the Department of Planning & Development look to the future via the Downtown Woodbridge Vision Plan, which is geared to spur redevelopment projects in the Main Street business district and surrounding commercial center.
The Vision Plan created separate redevelopment zones to encourage private developers to evaluate each of the zones and to present ideas as to how the downtown area can be enhanced. Redevelopment projects are geared to develop the New Jersey Transit/Woodbridge Train Station area as a Transit Village development project. Today, Parker Press Park – the Town Square gathering place for 350 years – boasts a popular farmers market, art exhibitions, cultural events and numerous concerts.
Education & Recreation
The township government has a special relationship with the Woodbridge School District. They have implemented a partnership to construct the new $30 million Ross Street Elementary School #11 and $20 million in renovations and improvements to Woodbridge Middle School. The administration also has supported the investment of more than $26 million in new community recreational facilities on school grounds that included new multi-use turf football, soccer, softball and baseball field; new running tracks; tennis courts; and gymnasium/auditorium improvements at all of the high schools and middle schools.
The theater at Woodbridge Middle School was renovated and the district installed new playgrounds and recreational facilities at every elementary school. Most importantly, the joint ventures between the school district and the township administration successfully allowed for millions of dollars in improvements to school district facilities without any increased cost to taxpaying residents.
The Woodbridge Community Center and The Club at Woodbridge are recognized as the best wellness and fitness centers in Central New Jersey. The Cypress Recreational Center in the Port Reading section of the township is the permanent home for cheerleading and wrestling, adding to the array of recreational opportunities.
A Regional Performing Arts Hub
The Avenel Performing Arts Center, known as APAC, is the region’s newest performing arts center designed for theater, stage productions and special performances. Theater-goers will enjoy performances at the very best entertainment venue in Central Jersey. The APAC, a multi-disciplinary performing arts center, has energized Avenel and surrounding communities by programming exceptional professional theater, music, comedy, dance and more. The APAC features seating for 200 patrons, a separate performance room and a pre-function lobby area that opens to exterior space for larger gatherings and events. APAC also features the stand-alone Curtains Restaurant.
APAC was made possible through the Woodbridge Arts Alliance, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advocating, activating and animating Woodbridge as a regional destination for the arts. The township has an art-driven economic plan, which includes enhanced arts programming and education representative of the diverse regional population. The arts alliance will expand on existing arts activities to increase Woodbridge’s standing as a regional hub for the arts and to help advance the economic position of artists, creative entrepreneurs and associated entities. Visit the APAC at www.avenelarts.com for box office and performance information.
The Avenel Arts Center, a 13,500-square-foot performing arts facility specially designed for theater, stage productions and special performances, is the centerpiece for regional performing arts. Located in the new Station Village at Avenel, the Avenel Arts Center is destined to be one of the hottest places in Central Jersey.
Welcoming the Business Community
Aiding the township’s already business-friendly environment are organizations dedicated to the well-being of local commerce.
Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization and vital resource for business, industry, retail and professionals working to improve Woodbridge’s economic and civic growth. For more than 50 years, the Chamber has been at the heart of business in the metropolitan area. Representing more than 450 member businesses, the Chamber offers numerous opportunities for growth through networking, educational programs, affordable advertising, member-to-member discounts and referrals and legislative influence.
The Small Business Development Center at the College of New Jersey provides counseling to more than 600 businesses, training 2,000 people each year. The organization offers free membership and technical assistance through one-on-one or group consultations, informational seminars and interactive workshops.
Additional state programs offer a full range of opportunities for businesses in Woodbridge though the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Division. Business can access departments specializing in business retention and expansion, business attraction, real estate services and sustainable businesses.
Working to attract new businesses, as well as support the area’s already established businesses, the Woodbridge Economic Development Corporation has designed a number of programs to create successful ventures for area entities and the Mayor’s Office of Planning & Development, the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, Woodbridge Planning Board and Woodbridge Zoning Board have implemented long-term economic development strategies and business incentives which serve to attract corporate economic development. As a result, several significant development and construction projects demonstrate that businesses view Woodbridge as a sound investment and are changing the face of Woodbridge Township.
The all-new WOODBRIDGE NOW APP – a partnership information source with the Chamber – is the best “one-touch” source for what’s happening in Woodbridge Township. The app offers:
- Business directory: Get info on local businesses. Search by business category to quickly find directions and contact information for the businesses you need.
- Events: Stay “in-the-know” about what’s going on in Woodbridge and send save-the-dates right to your calendar.
- Videos: Check out the latest TV-35 videos of local events, concerts, interviews, sports, business openings and other offerings.
- News: Get the latest local news and updates. Access the latest news feeds from local and surrounding news agencies.
- Parking: Find the nearest parking and explore everything Woodbridge.
- Connect: Connect to other residents and customers through Facebook and Twitter
- Links: Access links to web sites like Woodbridge Township, Woodbridge Community Center, Woodbridge School District and Woodbridge arts and events.