by Michael M. Shapiro, The Alternative Press
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Over one hundred New Providence business owners packed Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors on Wednesday night for the New Providence Business Bash, a networking event and awards presentation that also featured the unveiling of a new logo and marketing for the New Providence business community, New Providence Business: Small Community, Big Choices.
Summit Medical Group was presented with the Corporate Neighbor Award while Investors Bank was named Business of the Year. The New Jersey Sharing Network won Humanitarian Business of the Year.
Michelle Brugger, President of the New Providence Business & Professional Association, told the attendees, “you are what helps make New Providence a great place in which to work, live and have fun!”
She noted that the New Providence Business & Professional Association provides scholarships at New Providence high school, and organizes and funds the summer concert series, Farmers Market, and Independence Day fireworks and festivities, among other contributions.
Gary Kapner, founder of the New Providence Business & Professional Association and Councilman in New Providence said, “I am thrilled to see how many people turned out for tonight’s event. It shows just how involved our business community is in our town and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
In unveiling the new logo and marketing for the New Providence business community, Barbara Singer of Different by Design, who designed the new logo, said that the concept is to shop locally and come to New Providence while also attracting new businesses to New Providence. She said that the logo and marketing is about linking the community to the business community.
Jimmy Vardas, President of the New Providence Downtown Improvement District and owner of the Prestige Diner, said “Besides the unveiling of our new logo and the awards given out, tonight’s event proves the great relationships between New Providence business owners. It was almost like attending a friend’s party where all knew each other and the “new” guests were welcomed as part of the family. It all proved that we a true Business Community and not just business owners in a great town.”
Elefante Music supplied the entertainment for the event while Paolo’s Kitchen catered it and Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors hosted it.
Investors Bank Donates $10,000 to New Providence Independence Day Celebration.
Investors Bank stepped up to the plate on Thursday, April 18, and delivered a homerun for the Borough of New Providence and its residents, donating $10,000 to the New Providence Independence Day Committee to fund the Fourth of July fireworks this year. Daniel White, Vice President and Market Manager for investorsBank, who recently joined the company, told TheAlternativePress.com, “We look to continue to support the Borough of New Providence and surrounding communities. We view ourselves as active community partners.”
This is not the first time that investorsBank has financially supported the event, which is a mainstay in the Borough for young and old alike. While traditionally, fireworks on the Fourth of July had been funded by the Borough through tax dollars, when the recession hit, many town governments, including New Providence, eliminated funding for the event rather than financially burden taxpayers. Since then, in New Providence, with the assistance of the Borough, the New Providence Business & Professional Association (NPBPA) took over planning and organizing the event and investorsBank came on board as the primary sponsor and funder for the past several years.
Ted Kapuscinski, Chair of the New Providence Independence Day Committee and member of the NPBPA, said, “We are very grateful that investorsBank is the major sponsor of this event. The NPBPA is about giving back to the community and investorsBank has been consistently supporting our community for years. Without such support, this event would not happen. And without the support of the NPBPA and other businesses, other cherished events in our town would likewise not occur.”
“Both the NPBPA and investorsBank are about giving back to the community. It’s a perfect partnership for everyone involved. Our residents need to understand that the more they shop in our local businesses, the more resources we have to give back to the community,” said Jimmy Vardas, President of the New Providence Downtown Improvement District (NPDID) and owner of The Prestige Diner.
New Providence Councilman and founding member of the NPBPA, Gary Kapner, said, “I’m pleased to see that investorsBank once again is sponsoring our Independence Day fireworks celebration. I’m thrilled to see the level of community involvement continue to grow on the part of the NPBPA and our local business community.”
Michelle Brugger, President of the NPBPA and owner of Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, concluded, “The New Providence business community does so much for the Borough but it takes businesses like investorsBank to provide what is really needed to make the Borough’s events such a huge success.”
Saturday, May 18, 2013 will be a Day of Service in New Providence. Local residents will have an opportunity to participate in several planned service events, which will benefit local agencies and also generate a pay-it-forward gift for the Newtown Fund (supporting victims of the December 14th tragedy and their families).
How Does it Work?
Local residents (kids and their families) are invited to participate in a Day of Service from 9am-12:00noon.
Several service projects will be set-up, and people can volunteer multiple places throughout the morning. Sponsors will donate $5 per participant to the Newtown Fund ($500 max per sponsor). The total amount will be sent as a gift from New Providence to Newtown. Additional donations may also be given by participants. The event will be promoted through the Recreation Department’s Community pass system, flyers, posters, e-mail blasts, social media, and via press releases to local news outlets.
Schedule of Events
- Making Lunches for Bridges Outreach~Kids will decorate bags and make the lunches. [9am–11am]
- Bingo with Seniors~Kids will play Bingo with Seniors. [10am–11:30am]
- Jump Rope for Newtown~Kids will jump rope at their own pace. [9am–12pm]
- Making Cards for US Troops~Kids will make cards, which will be sent to US Troops through Bonds of Courage. Bonds will also be collecting summer items for the Troops (baby wipes, sunscreen and chapstick) at this location.
Businesses have an opportunity to participate in New Providence’s first Day of Service project. Sponsors will receive:
- Logo on all posters, flyers and promotions of the event
- Mentions in press releases, as available
- Opportunity to feature your products at the event (for use in project, or as Bingo prizes)
- Tax receipt for your donation to the Newtown Memorial Fund
Sponsors are asked to donate $5 per participant (suggested maximum of $500 or another amount designated by you). Individual donors also welcome.
Have a Question? Need Additional Information?
New Providence’s Day of Service will be a great way for our community to come together, do some good deeds in town, and pass it on to Newtown and the many beneficiaries of the projects. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, beneficiary, or volunteer group, please contact NPBPA member, Lisa Barfield email@example.com, or Allison Smith firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Newtown memorial Fund is a 501c3 charity whose mission is to create a sustainable fund to provide for the immediate and ongoing needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, to construct a physical memorial honoring the lives lost on December 14, 2012, and to establish academic scholarships to honor those lost in this tragedy for future generations of Newtown students.
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – In tough economic times, maintaining a successful business is a challenge and, in New Providence, one organization that does its best to help local businesses thrive is the New Providence Business and Professional Association. Since it began in 2006, it has helped the downtown grow and flourish and on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at the Town Council reorganization meeting Assemblyman Jon Bramnick recognized these efforts with a resolution from the State of New Jersey.
Bramnick, who attends meetings often in the 16 towns in his district, said he was quite impressed with the work done by the NPBPA.
“In New Jersey we really encourage these kinds of business organizations to work with local businesses,” he said. “They’ve done a terrific job.”
The work that Michelle Brugger, the President of the NPBA, and Jimmy Vardas, a board member of the organization and President of the DID in New Providence, do is phenomenal, he said. The assemblyman said he enjoys going to their meetings because it is important to find out what is going on locally, hear their concerns and do his best to support them.
In his 10 years as a legislator, there is nothing he loves more than helping people, he said.
“The closer you are to the ground, the better you are as a legislator,” Bramnick said.
Vardas, who is the owner of the Prestige Diner, accepted the resolution and was elated the NPBPA was honored. While he knew Bramnick was going to recognize them, actually receiving the accolade was a great feeling, he said.
“Everyone in the organization has worked hard to be where they are today,” Vardas said. “Downtown New Providence is growing and improving each day,” he added. “Anyone that shops there can see its beauty and he hopes this award will cause more people to get involved.”
“We have done a lot,” he said. “We work together; we have common goals and everybody’s behind the community.”
Brugger could not contain her excitement. “I think this is amazing,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be president.”
Normally the NPBPA sponsors the Annual Holiday Party for the Borough of New Providence around mid December. However, Super Storm Sandy wrecked extreme havoc on the Jersey Shore, and caused considerable hardship here in New Providence as well.
Therefore, instead of having the usual Holiday Party, we are going to have a special reception at 8:00 pm on Monday, January 7, 2012 at the Senior Citizens Center. In addition to expressing our appreciation to all of the employees and volunteers dedicated to the Borough, we will also recognize and honor all of those who helped New Providence through this extreme storm. Proceeds of the event will be donated to the Community Service Association of New Providence (CSA). CSA is a New Providence based non-profit organization that helps New Providence residents through tough times.
A number of our local restaurants have volunteered to provide the food for the reception, so the majority of all sponsorships will be donated to CSA.
There are 3 levels of sponsorship …
Hosts – $500.00 – will be included on the community invitations, the NP Business Community Website and will have the opportunity to post a banner at the event.
Sponsors – $250.00 – will be included on the NP Business Community Website and will have their names on the welcome signs at the event.
Helpers – $100.00 – will be included on the NP Business Community Website.
Please let us know if you can help. All members of the Business Community (the New Providence Business & Professional Association and the New Providence Downtown Improvement District) will be invited, along with all Borough employees and volunteers.
Checks can be made payable to: New Providence Business & Professional Association and mail to: NP BPA, 360 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
Thanks for your support.
NP Business & Professional Assoc
NP Downtown Improvement
For additional information, or to talk to someone about becoming a sponsor, please contact Pam or Joe Steiner at 908-598-2532 or send an email to email@example.com.
Many residents and visitors are unaware that the Business Community sponsors so many New Providence activities and events. If you shopped at the Farmer’s Market or Street Fair, you can thank the Business Community. Watched the fireworks, ran in the 5K Race, or took your kids Trick or Treating? All sponsored by the Business Community. Listened to a summer concert or saw Santa downtown? Again, brought to you by the Business Community. Surprised? Don’t be. The New Providence Business Community, comprised of local retailers, restaurants, service providers, and professionals, has been working hard to make New Providence a great place to eat, shop, and live. “Many people don’t realize that if it weren’t for the Business Community, there would be no community events,” said Jimmy Vardas, Business community spokesman. “Due to budgetary constraints, the borough was unable to continue funding these events. The Business Community thought it was important to enhance the quality of life in New Providence, and stepped up to sponsor all of these activities. We are happy to do this because the people who live here are our customers and clients. We want them to know that they are important to us.”
In addition to sponsoring virtually every public event in the borough, they also funded a $3,000 Scholarship Program for deserving high school students. They contributed generously to school events and functions, providing gift certificates, discounts, and merchandise for fund raising activities. They also supported local charities and civic organizations with sponsorships and contributions. “Because of the great relationship that exists between the residents of New Providence and the business community, we were able to fund these activities,” according to Michelle Brugger, New Providence Business Community spokeswoman.
Beyond these contributions, the Business Community also creates a forum for interaction among the various businesses in town, the borough, and local government officials. For example, in November, they invited Assemblyman Jon Bramnick to address the public about issues stemming from Hurricane Sandy. “We are always looking for ways to facilitate cooperation and communication within the borough, and inviting public officials to address our membership and the community at large is another way of doing that,” said Michelle Brugger.
“It’s very gratifying to be able to help our community, and we are proud of all the accomplishments we had this year,” said Brugger. “But stay tuned – next year is going to be even better!”
Michelle Brugger is owner of Martial Arts for Life in New Providence. Jimmy Vardas is the owner of Prestige Diner in New Providence. The New Providence Business Community serves its members and supports the local community by funding and operating numerous community events and activities. They also hold membership meetings to inform, educate, and create a forum for members to exchange ideas and experiences in order to build a proactive and vibrant business community. If you are a New Providence resident or business who’d like to be more involved, or for more information, visit www.NPBPA.com.
One of our newest members, NJ FILM SCHOOL, kicks off its Screening & Lecture Series with a showing of “WIN WIN” on Friday, November 30th at 8:00pm.
Set in NEW PROVIDENCE, this charming indie film was written by natives (and childhood friends) Tom McCarthy and NPBPA member Joe Tiboni of Tiboni & Tiboni, LLP in New Providence, and stars Paul Giamatti as a small-town lawyer who coaches the local high school wrestling team.
In addition to viewing the film, NJ Film School is delighted to have JOE TIBONI as their Special Guest Speaker, who will discuss his experiences throughout the making of the film, from writing the script to showings at film festivals.
Itʼs an evening of local color not to be missed! Join NJ Film School at their brand-new studio at 755 Central Avenue in New Providence.
Tickets are $10 at the door, but seating is limited. Reserve your space now at Tickets@NJFilmSchool.com.
For more information, visit NJ Film School’s website at NJFilmSchool.com, or call (908) 508-0800.
Berkeley Heights student marching in Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Parade – Highlander Band To Perform at NPHS on Thanksgiving Day!
Independent Press, Posted: 11/17/2012 8:20 AM
Many will celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with family around their table. One student from Berkeley Heights, who attends Governor Livingston High School, will be traveling to Philadelphia this year. Andrew Savino, a clarinet player in the Highlander Marching Band, will represent the school at the annual Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast over NBC.
A true Philadelphia tradition, the 1.4-mile Thanksgiving Day parade is the oldest in the country. The parade includes floats and giant balloons, plus local performers from choirs, dance groups, marching bands and more. Santa also arrives in grand fashion, welcoming Philadelphia into the holiday season.
Andrew will march with the 2012 Tournament of Band All-Star Band, which draws students from nine states. The band will be led by fine instructors from all across the region, including Raymond Troxell, assistant band director for Governor Livingston High School. Andrew is the first student from the Highlander Band to participate in the All-Star Band. He will be playing saxophone, and will wear the traditional plaid uniform of the Highlanders. He was awarded a scholarship from the GL Band Parents Organization, and like other students, will have participation costs covered by the Tournament of Band.
The Highlander band recently won the TOB Atlantic Coast Championship, New Jersey State and their Chapter X Championship. Come and see this award-winning band perform locally at New Providence High School during half-time on Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 22 (11 a.m. game time). Visit highlanderband.org.
Come out for some holiday fun, and see Santa on the rooftop of the Provident Bank!
When: Friday, November 23, starting at 6:00 pm
Where: On the roof of The Provident Bank, 65 South Street, New Providence, NJ
Details: Visit the stores around town for refreshments, fun & Happy Holiday wishes.
- Visits with Santa
- Clown & Magic Show—Sand Art
- Say “hello” to Mrs. Claus
- Candy Canes—Balloons—A Rose—Hot Chocolate
- Live Animals
- Hot pretzels from the New Providence
High School Band Parents
Thank you to the New Providence Downtown Improvement District, New Providence Fire Department & Pioneer Band for sponsoring this terrific event!
For information call 908-598-2532.
NEW PROVIDENCE High School has been getting a lot of attention lately. First it provided the setting for “Win Win,” a film about a high school wrestling team that became an indie hit last year. This September it was named New Jersey’s top-rated high school by a statewide magazine, which led to a feature segment on one of New York City’s evening news broadcasts a few weeks back.
All this notice has been a bit heady for the school, and the people who live in New Providence, many of whom speak of the small-town atmosphere in a place whose low profile they relish. “Because it’s so tiny, people tend to buzz right through it,” said Michele DiBenedetto, a 17-year resident and a broker with Prudential. “But distinctions like being named top school are starting to put us on the map.”
In addition to the schools, this Union County borough appeals to would-be buyers with its wide range of affordable housing, particularly in comparison to neighboring Summit and Chatham.
There is also its hassle-free commute thanks to the two train stations serving the town, and the neighborliness appreciated by many of New Providence’s 12,000 residents.
That helpful spirit was recently put to the test in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which plunged the downtown area and most residences into darkness, while downed trees throughout town had the public works department on overtime. About a third of residents remained without power a week later, according to the police department. But the borough’s recently institutedCode Red alert system proved valuable to residents like Ms. DiBenedetto, who said she had been appreciative of the frequent status updates on her cellphone during the days she was without power.
Jen and Scott Wetzel, who moved to town in March, have already developed a close circle of friends: six couples in their Murray Hill Farm neighborhood who, in good weather at least, get together for cookouts, outdoor movie screenings and dinners while their children ride bikes and play together.
So eager was the neighborhood for the family to move in, Ms. Wetzel recalled, that the welcome wagon arrived before the paint dried. “Everyone was so friendly,” she said. “We weren’t even living here yet, we were just painting and putting in new floors, and neighbors were bringing over cookies and brownies and inviting us over.” The house, a 3,700-square-foot four-bedroom colonial, cost $875,000.
Raymond Hu and Maggie Lin’s son is just 7 months old, but the couple are planning ahead: schools were the most important factor in their house hunt. They settled on New Providence not long before its high school was cited as the state’s top school.
“I had a feeling New Providence would do well, but my wife was really surprised,” Mr. Hu said. “She was singing when she heard.”
The high school principal, Paul Casarico, was thrilled byNew Jersey Monthly’s top ranking of the school, which knocked out a neighboring rival, Millburn High School, the previous two-time winner. And success was all the sweeter coming as it did after the school’s brush with fame as the setting for “Win Win,” a 2011 film starring Paul Giamatti and written by two alumni.
Citing programs like the senior internship project and the “iPad initiative,” which is to provide each student in Grades 9, 10 and 11 with a tablet computer, Mr. Casarico said his school had worked hard to stay ahead of the curve, but credited the honor to the students themselves. “We’ve got great students,” he said. “They come well prepared, from their parents and from the lower schools. So a recognition like this is just a confirmation that what you’ve been doing is working.”
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Situated on 3.6 square miles on the western slope of the Watchung Mountains, this community 28 miles west of New York is marked by hilly, tree-lined areas like the aptly named Tall Oaks, whose larger properties and a Summit ZIP code command higher prices.
The houses most typically seen, however, are the split-levels, Capes and ranches found along the main thoroughfares and dotting the streets of several pocket neighborhoods convenient to the downtown area.
Many of the houses were built in the 1950s and ’60s, after Bell Labs moved its headquarters to the area known as Murray Hill. Today Bell’s parent company, Alcatel-Lucent, maintains its domestic headquarters just across Mountain Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The New Providence area is also home to BOC Gases, Bard medical products, LexisNexis and the New Jersey Sharing Network, among others.
The last major housing development, built in the mid-1990s, was Murray Hill Farm, 81 homes that, because the developer was held to a “no look-alike” requirement, offer architectural variety. Across from the Murray Hill train station is Murray Hill Square, a onetime retail complex converted in the 1980s to 50 Williamsburg-style town houses. Also near that station are Green Way, a complex of 26 town houses completed this year, and Foley Square, 22 town houses now being built.
The downtown area, along South Street and Springfield Avenue, includes a strip mall, a larger shopping plaza with a new A & P supermarket, and several local stores, like McGrath Hardware and Barth’s Market, a third-generation German butcher.
WHAT YOU’LL PAY
The wide range of housing prices makes New Providence a desirable town for young families looking to establish a foothold. “The town grows with you,” said Kara M. Thoms, a lifelong resident and a broker with Lois Schneider Realtor. “You’ve got starter homes and million-dollar houses. You can start with a condo and move up without having to move out.”
There are 59 homes on the market in New Providence, ranging from a one-bedroom one-bath condominium listed at $258,000 to a five-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath house on Countryside Drive listed at $2.95 million. The average sale price in the first three-quarters of 2012 was $567,773, compared with $573,870 over the same period in 2011, according to the Garden State Multiple Listing Service.
Houses in the Murray Hill Farm area average around $900,000, although some have sold in the $1.3 million range, while properties in the Tall Oaks section range from the $500,000s to more than $700,000. The four-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath split-level in the Murray Hill section that Mr. Hu and Ms. Lin recently bought for $622,000 is fairly typical of the community. The couple pay almost $13,300 in taxes.
As for town houses, they start in the high $200,000s, for a one-bedroom at Murray Hill Square, and approach $1 million at the new Green Way complex.
Looking to move from a high-rise apartment in Jersey City, Alex Prather and Akiko Matsuo quickly found Summit out of their price range, and earlier this year they shifted their focus to New Providence. With a 4-year-old son and a baby on the way, a good school system was a top priority, as was an easy commute for Mr. Prather, who travels to Newark for his management job at Prudential.com. In late September they moved into a three-bedroom 1960 colonial that they had bought for $410,000. With its sizable backyard and large deck, Mr. Prather said, it “offers lots of potential.”
WHAT TO DO
With two Olympic-sized pools, the New Providence Community Pool is a big draw in the summer, as is the private Crestview Swim and Tennis Club. The 2,065-acre Watchung Reservation in neighboring Mountainside offers hiking and horseback trails, fishing streams and a nature center.
Cultural offerings within a short drive include the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, the Center for Visual Arts in Summit, and the theaters and museums of Newark, 13 miles away. For shopping, most go to the Mall at Short Hills.
Students attend two elementary schools, Salt Brook and Allen W. Roberts, which have 612 and 627 students respectively. The New Providence Middle School, with 337 enrolled, shares its campus with the high school, where there are 623 students. SAT averages atNew Providence High School last year were 600 in math, 566 in reading and 571 in writing, versus 517, 493 and 496 statewide. The high school marching band has 120 members.
New Providence is also home to the Summit Speech School for the hearing-impaired.
New Jersey Transit trains run from the New Providence and Murray Hill stations directly to Pennsylvania Station, with a one-way charge of $9.25 and $10, respectively. The commute takes about an hour. The area is also served by Interstate 78, which feeds into the Holland Tunnel.
Settled by Puritans in 1720, the town was originally called Turkey Town because of the abundance of wild turkeys. Then, one Sunday morning in 1759, the choir loft at the Presbyterian Church collapsed onto mercifully empty pews below. Declaring the timing of the incident “providential,” the pastor suggested changing the town’s name to New Providence.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 12, 2012
A picture with this article, of a three-bedroom Victorian on the market on Springfield Avenue in New Providence for $550,000, has an incorrect street number. It is 1483, not 83.