Mayor of Woodbridge NJ touts economic development plans for 2022

WOODBRIDGE – Main Street is set to open new luxury apartments with street-level retail and dining this year as the township’s focus on economic development helps create new jobs and new income, according to Mayor John E. McCormac.

The Avenue and Green apartments are renting quickly and will fill up soon, McCormac said.

“We’ve said time and time again that luxury apartments will accelerate our downtown improvement on Main Street, and it’s happening right before our eyes,” the mayor said during his annual state of the township address. this week.

The township predicted the housing project would bring more activity to Main Street even before Port Reading resident Mike Strickland signed a lease for a former bank building to bring Strickland’s Steak House to the heart of downtown. city, McCormac said.

“He owns the West Shore Inn, which was voted the best steakhouse on Staten Island, and his plans for our downtown are incredible,” the mayor said.

John E. McCormac, Mayor of Woodbridge

McCormac said Siwa Thai Restaurant and Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop opened and renovations began bringing Knot Just Bagels back. Shinko Japanese Steakhouse is set to open next to the Vito Mazza Spa and Salon soon, and the owner of the building at the corner of Route 35 is about to begin a complete facelift, the mayor said.

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“The most famous project though will be the Eric LeGrand Coffee House, which is just months away from opening at Avenue and Green where QuickChek was located. Work has started and the plans are beautiful, but you don’t have to wait. because you can get LeGrand coffee online,” McCormac said, adding that LeGrand hopes to open his business at Green Street and Rahway Avenue in the first half of this year.

Eric LeGrand's Coffee House at Green Street and Rahway Avenue is set to open this year.

Beyond the city center

But not everything new for 2022 is downtown.

The mayor said Woodbridge recently purchased the Springwood Swim Club in the Colonia section, which gives the township four pools. Lifeguards, aged 15 and over, are already in demand for summer work.

“We are planning major renovations to the grounds to include a spray park and miniature golf course, as well as a new clubhouse and more side parking lots, and expect it to open in time before Memorial Day.” , said the mayor.

The Woodbridge Community Center will also see some upgrades this summer, and the Woodbridge Club is undergoing an overhaul, according to the mayor.

He said the club recently opened the Hockey Den with a mock ice room for practice, and recently hired the professional golfer from Colonia Country Club to give lessons.

“We are upgrading the heating and air conditioning and have purchased new weight and cardio equipment, and we plan to reopen the old Clubhouse Café soon,” McCormac said. “The best project of all, however, was the opening of the new rink, which is already selling out. With our rink at the community center, we can now attract big tournaments, which people will be driving to at hours of road and will stay in our hotels and shop in our stores and dine in our restaurants.”

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The township’s recreation department will continue to work on expanding its marina this year following the purchases of the Pirate’s Cove and Captain Hook marinas at the end of 2020. McCormac said the township has 77 boat slips with plans for a waterfront restaurant, tiki bar, ice cream shop and fish market to go along with an expanded dog park and trail. walk surrounding a boat storage area.

The township also has a bridge over Smith’s Creek to connect to county-owned Williams Park.

“Significant engineering work is currently underway on the additional dredging of Smith’s Creek as well as the reconstruction of bulkheads and piles at the Pirate’s Cove site which has deteriorated significantly over the past 20 years,” said the mayor. “We have $6 million in state and county funding for the project with the promise of many more millions to come.

The mayor’s speech, which included thanks to residents, employees and businesses for their efforts in the success of the township, also focused on the township’s relationship with the school district and investment in school infrastructure and the security by funding the township’s economic development efforts.

McCormac said the school district and township have invested more than $150 million in school infrastructure over 10 years. In addition to new and expanded school buildings, all schools will have enhanced security, improved technology and various projects for air conditioning, electricity, classroom capacity and improved sports facilities, both indoors and outdoors. outside buildings, he said.

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“The township covers the cost of all these constructions and improvements because of our successful economic development efforts that have produced two power plants, dozens of warehouses and several transit village housing projects that pay payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to our budget, “The council funds the work, and we cover annual debt service by allocating only 25% of the funding we receive from these PILOTs so ordinary taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill. of these works. “

During his speech, McCormac also paid tribute to Councilor Nancy Drumm, who died in January after months of battling cancer. He said a building in Woodbridge proper or in Sewaren, the area she represented, would be named after Drumm in recognition of her community service. He hopes that will happen this year.

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Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for covering crime, the courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.