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East Brunswick, New Jersey
Township
Township of East Brunswick
Typical suburban neighborhood (Dunhams Corner) in East Brunswick
Typical suburban neighborhood (Dunhams Corner) in East Brunswick
Location of East Brunswick Township in Middlesex County.
Location of East Brunswick Township in Middlesex County.
Census Bureau map of East Brunswick, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of East Brunswick, New Jersey
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Coordinates: 40°25′34″N 74°25′06″W / 40.426249°N 74.418244°W / 40.426249; -74.418244Coordinates: 40°25′34″N 74°25′06″W / 40.426249°N 74.418244°W / 40.426249; -74.418244
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Middlesex
Incorporated February 28, 1860
Government
 • Type Faulkner Act (mayor–council)
 • Body Township Council
Area
 • Total 22.36 sq mi (57.91 km2)
 • Land 21.78 sq mi (56.42 km2)
 • Water 0.57 sq mi (1.48 km2)  2.56%
Area rank 123rd of 565 in state
6th of 25 in county
Elevation
131 ft (40 m)
Population
 • Total 47,512
 • Estimate 
(2019)
47,611
 • Rank 38th of 566 in state
7th of 25 in county
 • Density 2,189.6/sq mi (845.4/km2)
 • Density rank 276th of 566 in state
20th of 25 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
08816
Area code(s) 732
FIPS code 3402319000
GNIS feature ID 0882163

East Brunswick is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The suburban community is part of the New York City metropolitan area and is located on the southern shore of the Raritan River, directly adjacent to the city of New Brunswick. According to the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 47,512, reflecting an increase of 756 (+1.6%) from the 46,756 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,208 (+7.4%) from the 43,548 counted in the 1990 Census.

East Brunswick was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1860, from portions of both Monroe Township and North Brunswick Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Washington town within the township (February 23, 1870; became independent as South River on February 28, 1898), Helmetta (March 20, 1888), Milltown (January 29, 1889) and Spotswood (April 15, 1908).

As of the 2010 Census, the United States Census Bureau calculated that New Jersey's center of population was located a few hundred feet east of Nenninger Lane, near the New Jersey Turnpike. Based on the results of the 2000 Census, the state's center of population was located on Milltown Road in East Brunswick.

History

The general area of central New Jersey was once occupied by the Lenape Native Americans. According to a 1677 bill of sale now in the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas Lawrence, a New York baker, purchased thousands of acres of land from local Native Americans named Querameck, Kesyacs, Isarick, Metapis, Peckawan, and Turantecas. In this document, the area is called Piscopeek, which later become known as Lawrence Brook, after its purchaser. Around the late 17th century, settlers began arriving in the northern part of East Brunswick, and by the mid-19th century, a small village had formed in the southeastern part, known as the Old Bridge section of the town, an area that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

The area today known as East Brunswick was incorporated in 1860 from parts of North Brunswick and Monroe townships, including the community of Old Bridge. Originally a farming community, suburban settlement started in the 1930s with improved road access. Large scale housing and road construction, especially after World War II, transformed East Brunswick into a more suburban community. The extension of the New Jersey Turnpike to East Brunswick in 1952 led to a sharp spike in population growth, with the 1950 Census population of 5,699 more than tripling to 19,965 as of the 1960 enumeration.

In the early 1970s a citizens group Concerned Citizens of East Brunswick sued the New Jersey Turnpike Authority over a proposed major widening project. The citizens group effectively won this case gaining concessions in turnpike design, scale and mitigation measures for noise and air quality. The citizens group presented technical data from their own experts and prevailed in what was one of the earliest technical confrontations regarding urban highway design related to environmental factors in U.S. history.

East Brunswick was also the site of the gunfight at Turnpike exit 9 shortly after midnight on May 2, 1973, in which a car being driven by Zayd Malik Shakur (born James F. Costan), with Assata Shakur (formerly JoAnne Chesimard) and Sundiata Acoli (born Clark Squire) as passengers, was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike State Trooper James Harper, backed up by Trooper Werner Foerster in a second patrol vehicle. After Zayd Shakur was asked to step out of the car to address a discrepancy in his identification, a shootout ensued in which Trooper Foerster was shot twice in the head with his own gun and killed, Zayd Shakur was killed, and both Assata Shakur and Trooper Harper were wounded.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 22.270 square miles (57.679 km2), including 21.699 square miles (56.200 km2) of land and 0.571 square miles (1.479 km2) of water (2.56%).

The township lies on exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike. Its Municipal Building, named for 1970s Mayor Jean Walling, is located 31 miles (50 km) southwest of New York City's Times Square and 49 miles (79 km) northeast of Center City, Philadelphia. It takes approximately 45–60 minutes to reach Midtown Manhattan or Center City, Philadelphia, depending on traffic and destination. Route 18 runs through the eastern part of the township.

Lawrence Brook, a tributary of the Raritan River, runs along the western border of the township. Farrington Lake and Westons Mill Pond are sections of the Lawrence Brook that have been widened by the presence of man-made dams.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Brookview, and Westons Mills.

The township borders the Middlesex County municipalities of Edison Township, Helmetta, Milltown, Monroe Township, New Brunswick, North Brunswick Township, Old Bridge Township, Sayreville, South River, South Brunswick Township and Spotswood.

Climate

Climate data for East Brunswick, 1979-2003
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(21.7)
75
(23.9)
88
(31.1)
95
(35)
95
(35)
97
(36.1)
103
(39.4)
101
(38.3)
98
(36.7)
88
(31.1)
82
(27.8)
76
(24.4)
103
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 38
(3.3)
41
(5)
50
(10)
61
(16.1)
72
(22.2)
80
(26.7)
85
(29.4)
84
(28.9)
77
(25)
65
(18.3)
54
(12.2)
43
(6.1)
62.5
(16.94)
Daily mean °F (°C) 30
(-1.1)
32
(0)
41
(5)
50
(10)
61
(16.1)
70
(21.1)
75
(23.9)
73
(22.8)
66
(18.9)
54
(12.2)
45
(7.2)
35
(1.7)
52.7
(11.48)
Average low °F (°C) 21
(-6.1)
23
(-5)
31
(-0.6)
40
(4.4)
50
(10)
59
(15)
64
(17.8)
63
(17.2)
55
(12.8)
43
(6.1)
35
(1.7)
27
(-2.8)
42.6
(5.88)
Record low °F (°C) -13
(-25)
-7
(-21.7)
6
(-14.4)
16
(-8.9)
30
(-1.1)
40
(4.4)
45
(7.2)
40
(4.4)
35
(1.7)
25
(-3.9)
13
(-10.6)
-7
(-21.7)
-13
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.10
(104.1)
2.98
(75.7)
4.11
(104.4)
4.08
(103.6)
4.57
(116.1)
3.86
(98)
4.97
(126.2)
4.46
(113.3)
4.38
(111.3)
3.39
(86.1)
3.95
(100.3)
3.93
(99.8)
48.78
(1,239)

Demographics

Welcome to East Brunswick
Illuminated sign entering into East Brunswick on Route 18
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,436
1870 2,861 17.4%
1880 3,272 14.4%
1890 2,642 −19.3%
1900 2,423 −8.3%
1910 1,602 −33.9%
1920 1,857 15.9%
1930 2,711 46.0%
1940 3,706 36.7%
1950 5,699 53.8%
1960 19,965 250.3%
1970 34,166 71.1%
1980 37,711 10.4%
1990 43,548 15.5%
2000 46,756 7.4%
2010 47,512 1.6%
2019 (est.) 47,611 0.2%
Population sources: 1860-1920
1860-1870 1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 47,512 people, 16,810 households, and 13,179 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,189.6 per square mile (845.4/km2). There were 17,367 housing units at an average density of 800.4 per square mile (309.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 69.36% (32,954) White, 3.98% (1,890) Black or African American, 0.10% (48) Native American, 22.80% (10,835) Asian, 0.01% (6) Pacific Islander, 1.68% (798) from other races, and 2.06% (981) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.70% (3,184) of the population.

There were 16,810 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the township, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.5 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 90.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $100,655 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,929) and the median family income was $110,948 (+/- $3,838). Males had a median income of $80,527 (+/- $3,109) versus $54,162 (+/- $2,066) for females. The per capita income for the township was $41,518 (+/- $1,366). About 3.0% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 205.94 miles (331.43 km) of roadways, of which 176.11 miles (283.42 km) were maintained by the municipality, 19.65 miles (31.62 km) by Middlesex County, 5.48 miles (8.82 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.70 miles (7.56 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Route 18 passes through East Brunswick, and is an important artery connecting New Brunswick, U.S. Route 1, the Jersey Shore, and the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 95 (which also passes through the township). Route 18 connects with exit 9 of the Turnpike around mile marker 83.43. Currently, there are 15 lanes at the 9 toll gate. The Turnpike's Joyce Kilmer service area is located between interchanges 8A and 9 northbound at milepost 78.7. Major county roads that pass through include CR 527 and CR 535. Other limited access roads are accessible outside the township, such as the Garden State Parkway in neighboring Sayreville and Old Bridge, and Interstate 287 in neighboring Edison Township.

The Turnpike's "dual-dual" configuration (car-only and truck lanes) was extended from exit 10 in Edison Township to just south of exit 9 in 1973, then to exit 8A in 1990, and finally to exit 6 in 2014.

Public transportation

NJ Transit bus service is provided on the 138 route to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 68 to Jersey City, and on the 811, 815 and 818 local routes. The MCAT shuttle system provides local service on the M2 route serving The Brunswick Square Mall, Monroe and Jamesburg.

Suburban Transit operates bus routes to New York City every 10–15 minutes from both the Transportation Center and Tower Center; it takes about 30–50 minutes depending on traffic. Service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal is available on Line 100 from Princeton and on Line 400 from the Transportation Center, to 59th Street and Madison Avenue on Line 300, to the United Nations on Line 500, and to Wall Street on Line 600.

East Brunswick is 22 miles (35 km) from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth, via the New Jersey Turnpike. John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens is 33.7 miles (54.2 km) away, traveling via the Belt Parkway after crossing through Staten Island. LaGuardia Airport is 34.3 miles (55.2 km) miles away.

The former Raritan River Railroad, now part of Conrail, runs through the town, where two businesses still receive weekly freight shipments of plastic. There have been proposals to turn the line into a light rail corridor.

Tourism

  • The Tower Center complex includes two 23-story office towers, a 15-story Hilton Hotel and a Holiday Inn Express hotel, located near the intersection of the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 18. The two towers are among the tallest structures in Central Jersey, and can be seen for several miles.
  • Playhouse 22, East Brunswick's Community Theatre and Performing Arts Center, resides in the multi-purpose Community Arts Center at Heavenly Park. Recognized in 2000 as Community Theatre of the Year in New Jersey, Playhouse 22 has staged many hit musicals, dramas, comedies and original works.
  • Farrington Lake and Westons Mill Pond, two segments of Lawrence Brook, are available to canoeists, kayakers and nature lovers.
  • The town also has a public golf course (Tamarack), operated by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority; as well as the Giamarese Farm. The County Fair Grounds, located on Cranbury Road (County Route 535), is where the Middlesex County Fair is held every August for seven days, providing festivities and food for families throughout Central Jersey and surrounding regions.

Economy

With easy access to major highways like Route 18 and the New Jersey Turnpike, East Brunswick's proximity to cities such as New Brunswick, New York, Newark, and Philadelphia has contributed in the township being a longtime premier economic center in the Central New Jersey region.

Agriculture

Giamarese Farm & Orchards is a family owned business covering 35 acres (14 ha) and dating to 1941. It is a popular seasonal attraction for East Brunswick residents, located on Fresh Ponds Road in the southern section of the township.

Commerce

Opened in 1970, Brunswick Square is a single-story regional shopping mall, located on the corner of Route 18 and Rues Lane. The mall is currently anchored by Macy's and JCPenney and it has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 769,041 sq ft (71,446.2 m2). Outside of Brunswick Square, the township itself has many other shopping malls and plazas, mostly dotted on Route 18. There are some other notable shopping destinations near East Brunswick, including the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, the Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, and The Shoppes in Old Bridge.

Hospitality

Grand Hilton Hotel at The Tower Center complex
Grand Hilton Hotel at The Tower Center complex

The Tower Center complex includes two 23-story office towers, a 15-story Hilton Hotel and a Holiday Inn Express hotel, located near the intersection of the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 18. The two towers are among the tallest structures in Central Jersey, and can be seen for several miles.

Education

The East Brunswick Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 11 schools, had an enrollment of 8,260 students and 687.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2018-19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Bowne-Munro Elementary School (with 220 students; in grades K-5), Central Elementary School (415; PreK-5), Murray A. Chittick Elementary School (498; K-5), Robert Frost Elementary School (472; PreK-5), Irwin Elementary School (473; K-5), Lawrence Brook Elementary School (454; PreK-5), Memorial Elementary School (568; PreK-5), Warnsdorfer Elementary School (450; K-5), Hammarskjold Middle School (1,279; 6-7), Churchill Junior High School (1,282; 8-9) and East Brunswick High School (2,095; 10-12). In the 2012 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the district's high school was ranked 45th in New Jersey, after being ranked 48th statewide in 2011.

Eighth grade students from all of Middlesex County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at Middlesex County Academy in Edison, the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge Township and at its East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.

Hatikvah International Academy Charter School, a Hebrew language charter school that offers an International Baccalaureate program opened in September 2010 for grades K-7, with plans to add a new grade each year until an eighth grade is offered. A lottery is held each year, with separate draws for residents of East Brunswick Township and non-residents, to allocate the limited number of positions available for each class. The school plans to build a permanent structure as part of the Campus for Jewish Life (formerly known as the YM-YWHA of Raritan Valley) to replace its current facility the school has rented located near Trinity Presbyterian Church. Concerns have been raised regarding the funding for the school, which will come from the East Brunswick Board of Education budget, including $1.34 million for the 2010–11 school year, and that the district will not be able to reduce expenses by the amount that will be paid to the charter school. Hatikvah school officials emphasize that charter schools can often educate students at a lower cost than traditional public schools and that "taxpayers do not pay an extra penny for having a charter school in town, period". The school received $75,000 in grants from foundations to cover the costs of applying for a charter and for getting the school operational. Hatikvah budgeted $11,033 per student for the 2010–11 school year, while the East Brunswick Public Schools budgeted $12,782 per pupil for that same year. As of the 2017–18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 442 students and 34.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1.

Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley, a Conservative Jewish day school, closed its doors before the start of the 2013–14 school year in the wake of sharply lower enrollment and financial difficulties. During the 2009–10 school year, the school was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.

Saint Bartholomew's School is a Catholic elementary school serving 323 students in Pre-K through eighth grade as of the 2017–18 school year. The school operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with East Brunswick include:

  • T. Frank Appleby (1864–1924), represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1921 to 1923.
  • Robert Asaro-Angelo, labor leader and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
  • Michael Barkann (born 1960), sports host, anchor and reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia.
  • Amir Bell (born 1996), basketball player for Hapoel Be'er Sheva B.C. of the Israel Basketball Premier League.
  • James Bornheimer (1933–1993), politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1972 to 1982 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1982 to 1984.
  • Jeanie Bryson (born 1958), singer.
  • Catch 22, ska punk band.
  • Chris Cimino (born 1969), WNBC weatherman.
  • Wally Dallenbach Sr. (born 1936), professional car racer.
  • Steve Dildarian (born 1969), creator, writer, producer, and the voice of HBO's The Life & Times of Tim.
  • Marc Ecko (born 1972), clothing designer.
  • Hallie Eisenberg (born 1992), actress, sister of Jesse Eisenberg.
  • Jesse Eisenberg (born 1983), actor who has starred in The Squid and the Whale, Zombieland, Adventureland, The Social Network and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Bryan Fortay (born 1971), former football quarterback who played for the Frankfurt Galaxy and the Miami Hooters.
  • Skott Freedman (born 1979), award-winning independent singer/songwriter.
  • Irving Freese (born 1903), mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut, and the third Socialist mayor elected in the United States.
  • Margaret Kemble Gage (1734–1824), who allegedly spied on her husband General Thomas Gage in order to supply military intelligence to the American Revolutionary Army.
  • God Forbid, heavy metal quintet.
  • Peter I. Haskell, broadcaster on WCBS 880 radio.
  • Dulé Hill (born 1975), actor who has appeared on The West Wing and the USA Network series Psych.
  • Sabah Homasi (born 1988), mixed martial artist who competes in the welterweight division.
  • Ghilene Joseph (born 1997), footballer who plays as a midfielder / forward for the Guyana women's national team.
  • Tomas Kalnoky (born 1980), singer and guitarist of Streetlight Manifesto and formerly Catch 22.
  • Mr. Lawrence (born 1969), voice actor and comedian, best known for voicing the SpongeBob SquarePants character Plankton.
  • Sam Mattis (born 1994), track and field athlete who competes in the discus throw.
  • Coleman Mellett (1974–2009), jazz guitarist.
  • Anne Milgram, New Jersey Attorney General from June 2007 to January 2010.
  • Josh Miller (born 1970), NFL Super Bowl-winning punter.
  • Jackie Miskanic (Jax) (born 1996), singer who finished third on the 14th season of American Idol.
  • Adam Mitzner (born 1964), attorney and writer of legal thrillers.
  • Ari Ne'eman (born 1987), autism rights activist.
  • Heather O'Reilly (born 1985), three-time Olympic games gold medalist as a member of the United States women's national soccer team.
  • Jack Petruzzelli, guitarist and singer with The Fab Faux, a Beatles tribute band.
  • Nancy Pinkin, politician who has served as County Clerk of Middlesex County since 2021, before which she served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2014 to 2020, where she represented the 18th Legislative District.
  • Matt Pinfield (born 1962), MTV VJ and writer for Rolling Stone.
  • Badal Roy (born 1945), tabla player.
  • April Saul (born 1955), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles written for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Brian Selznick (born 1966), author and illustrator of children's literature.
  • Jack Sinagra (born 1950), former mayor of East Brunswick and New Jersey State Senator.
  • Sterley Stanley (born 1966), politician and businessman serving as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 18th district.
  • Philip Streczyk (1918–1958), World War II hero.
  • Streetlight Manifesto, ska punk band.
  • Greg T The Frat Boy, radio personality on WKTU and formerly on Z100.
  • J. C. Thom (1835–1898), artist.
  • Cenk Uygur (born 1970), host of The Young Turks on Current TV.
  • Jim Vallely (born 1954), Emmy Award-winning writer from Arrested Development.
  • Lenny Veltman (born 1967), contestant on The Apprentice.
  • Stefan Weisman (born 1970), composer.
  • Dave Wohl (born 1949), Assistant General Manager of the Boston Celtics.
  • Henrietta Christian Wright (1854–1899), children's author.
  • Aaron Yoo (born 1979), actor who starred in the film 21.

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