Don’t forget to visit the New Providence Farmers Market. It will be open each Wednesday afternoon, Noon – 6 PM, rain or shine, through October 28. The market will be held in the highly visible parking lot of the Presbyterian Church on Springfield Avenue.
Thank you for making the 2015 Summer Concert program a success! New Providence Business is proud to sponsor community programs like the summer concert series. Please join us on November 1, 2015 for the New Providence Street Fair on Springfield Ave. between South Street and Livingston Ave. There will be fun for the whole family!
by Michael M. Shapiro, TAP into New Providence
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – During the last year, businesses in New Providence donated more than $100,000 to sponsor local events and provide funding to organizations and charities in the borough. By supporting the merchants who give back to the borough, New Providence residents enable money to stay within the community, creating a virtuous circle benefiting the entire community.
Jimmy Vardas, owner of the Prestige Diner and president of the Downtown Improvement District, has taken the circle one step further by using as many local businesses as possible for the needs of the diner. Zita’s supplies the ice cream for the diner. The Prestige Diner’s bagels are purchased from the Bagel Café in New Providence. Vegetables are sourced from Murph Farms. The diner’s website was done by local web designer and resident Karin Souren. Even the diner’s renovation was designed by a local architect.
“If within the community, we can work with each other, we can create a thriving business environment,” said Vardas. “By supporting the merchants who give back to the town, the money stays in the community, creating a virtuous circle of support within the community.”
Vardas concluded, “So, while you do your shopping this holiday season remember to shop New Providence and support the local businesses that have been donating to so many charities, foundations and events throughout 2014.”
FESTIVITIES BEGIN at 4:30pm
SANTA ARRIVES at 6:00pm
at Provident Bank on South Street
Please come out and join us in kicking off the Holiday Season!
Come watch Santa arrive in town with a parade
led by the Pioneer Band and the NPFD.
The kids can also enjoy Christmas Carolers, a stilt walker, sand art and more!
This event is proudly sponsored by
New Providence “Family Fun Night” Summer Concerts Return
New Providence Business is proud to present four summer concerts offering music and entertainment for the whole family. The free concerts will include face painting and magician Simon Mandel to entertain the kids, along with free hot dogs from The Prestige Diner and free ice cream from Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream for all to enjoy.
The concerts will kick off on Thursday, July 16 with the always popular and famous Tim Gillis Band. Thursday, July 23 will feature the Bruce Springsteen tribute band, Asbury Fever, and Thursday, July 30 will showcase local favorite Cindy Gelormini. This year a fourth concert will be added on Tuesday, August 4, which coincides with the National Night Out program, and will feature the wonderful Elefante Family Band and include additional activities presented by the New Providence Police, Fire, and Recreation Departments.
The first three concerts will be held on Thursday evenings and the fourth concert on Tuesday evening in Centennial Park starting at 7:30 PM, rain or shine. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the sounds of the evening. If rain prevents an outside performance, it will be held inside in the municipal gym.
Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in our backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs. Tragically though, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
- Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
Warm Weather and Swimming Go Hand in Hand
Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it’s important to know how to be safe while you’re in the water. The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or beach:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Maintain constant supervision.
- Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
Summer safety tip provided by NPBPA Member,
Peter E. Rovtar; President
The Lantern Agency, Inc.
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.
The New Providence Business Community is proud to announce that they are funding $3,000 in scholarships for two 2012 New Providence High School graduating seniors.
The scholarships will be awarded as one $1,500 scholarship for each student in need (one male and one female) who has an interest in business and shows entrepreneurial spirit. The high school will select the recipients who best meet the qualifying criteria. Students must apply for the scholarships through the high school.
“We are particularly pleased to be able to provide these educational scholarships to deserving students,” said Jimmy Vardas, New Providence Business Community spokesman. “The business community is always looking for meaningful ways to give back to New Providence, and this scholarship program is a great way to do that. We want local kids to know that we are proud of their accomplishments. In many cases, we have watched them grow up.”
“Because of the great relationship that exists between the residents of New Providenceand the business community, we are able to fund these scholarships,” according to Michelle Brugger, New Providence Business Community spokeswoman. “The more people shop inNew Providence, the more resources we have to funnel back into the town. This is one way for us to say thank you to the families and kids who support us.”
The scholarships will be presented during the June 7 awards ceremony at New ProvidenceHigh School.
Jimmy Vardas is the owner of Prestige Diner in New Providence. Michelle Brugger is owner of Martial Arts for Life in New Providence. For more information about the New Providence Business Community and the scholarships, go to www.NPBPA.org