New Brunswick is one of 25 total municipalities in Middlesex County, the second-most populous county of the 21 counties in New Jersey, USA. New Brunswick was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784.
The city is located along the southern bank of the Raritan River, bordered by Franklin Township (Somerset County), North Brunswick and East Brunswick (Middlesex). It is located across the Raritan River from Piscataway, Edison, and Highland Park (Middlesex).
In the largely surburban county, New Brunswick is one of three Middlesex municipalities to officially refer to its government as a "city." Though it is the county's seat of government and its most highly-populated "city," New Brunswick is has less residents than four Middlesex County "Townships" (Woodbridge, Edison, Old Bridge, and Piscataway).
The official population of New Brunswick is estimated to be 57,080, having increased from 48,573 residents in 2000 and 55,181 in 2010. As of 2010, it was the the 27th-largest municipality by population in the State of New Jersey.
New Brunswick is home to thousands of undocumented immigrants and college students, many of whom may not be accounted for in the official data.
Though the population may seem small relative to other cities, the city only occupies 5.8 sq. miles, making it one of the most intense areas of population density in Central New Jersey.
New Brunswick is best known for being home to the main campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as well as the worldwide headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, a global pharmaceutical corporation started in the 1880's by three brothers from New Brunswick.
New Brunswick's Five Wards
Though New Brunswick does not use a system of neighbhorhood-based elections (and whether or not it should has been a contentious issue for more than a century), the city is still divided into five political subdivisions known as wards. There is no Third Ward, as most of that area was destroyed and redeveloped into a hotel and corporate headquarters in the 1980's.
Each of the five current wards includes a mix of neighborhoods and commercial areas. The First, Fifth and Fourth Wards all converge at the same intersection in downtown: New Street and George Street.
The First Ward includes the Eastern half of the city's waterfront along the Raritan River. Route 18, a state highway, connects the Lower George Street neighborhood, Riverside, the New Brunswick Apartments, and Riverside Tower to two of the city's largest apartment complexes (Regency Manor and the Gardens at Raritan), and three neighborhoods: Dewey Heights, Rutgers Village, and Edgebrooke. Route 1 and the New Jersey Turnpike also bisect Ward 1, which ends at the city's borders with East Brunswick and North Brunswick.
The Second Ward includes the "heart" of the city, more than 100 rectangular blocks of housing, stores, parks, and schools between Livingston Avenue and the city's border with North Brunswick Township. It also includes most of the historic Douglass campus of Rutgers University, which is home to some of the most buccolic areas of the city. The line between Ward 2 and North Brunswick Township divides the Cook campus of Rutgers University, another area with a lot of open space. Also near the border with North Brunswick is a newer gated condominium community known as Fulton Square, and two other similar communities without gates: Renaissance Station and Case di Lusso.
The Fourth Ward stretches south to include the area between Route 27 and Livingston Avenue, home to the vast majority of the city's industrial areas, as well as the Jersey Avenue train station, New Brunswick's High School and Middle School, the HUB Teen Center, the Schwarz-Robeson public housing complex, and neighborhoods such as Hampton Road, Lincoln Gardens, and a gated community called the Hampton Club.
The Fifth Ward is the smallest of the Wards, but also includes the largest chunk of the city's rapidly-expanding downtown, which spans every ward except Ward 2. The Fifth Ward stretches from the city's border with Franklin Township, which is located in Somerset County, to the Raritan River waterfront. It is home to a large number of renters, including many Rutgers University students. It is also home to the massive campus of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
The Sixth Ward encompasses much of the area where Rutgers University students choose to live, and like the Fifth Ward, it lies between Franklin Township and the Raritan River. The city's tallest building (The Vue), largest park (Buccleuch Park), and its main train station are also located in the Sixth Ward. It is home to the most historic campus of Rutgers University, known as the College Avenue Campus, and the worldwide headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, as well as St. Peter's University Hospital, and the city's only two highrise buildings located outside of downtown (the Colony House and 10 Landing Lane). Both highrises are located near the border with Franklin Township, where another highrise is located.
Neighborhoods of New Brunswick
New Brunswick's neighborhoods are perhaps its richest asset, home to a bevy of historic architecture, unique businesses, and communities with their own distinct characteristics.
The area near Rutgers University's main campus is perhaps the only place in New Jersey where such a large number of young people are living on their own for the first time.
On some of the same blocks, a large number of Hispanic immigrants from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and many other nations make the Hub City their home.
Downtown New Brunswick can be defined as the expanding area of intense development that currently spans from Somerset Street to somewhere between Morris Street and Commercial Avenue.
However, the term "Uptown" can refer to any one of three different areas on the southern end of town, including the Route 27 corridor, Livingston and Joyce Kilmer Avenues, and the Georges Road neighborhood.
Below is a comprehensive summary of all of the neighborhoods in the city of New Brunswick:
Apartment Buildings & Condominium Complexes
New Brunswick is home to hundreds of apartment buildings and thousands of small and large homes. There are approximately 10,000 rental housing units in the city.
New Brunswick is one of many New Jersey cities that has adopted a rent control law, to limit the rate at which landlords may increase rent on residential tenants.
Here is a complete summary of all sites with a dozen or more rental units or condominiums.
New Brunswick Theological Seminary (Ward 6)
Middlesex County College (Ward 4)
Greater Brunswick Charter School (Ward 4)
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (Ward 5)
St. Peter's University Hospital (Ward 6)
Office Buildings and Complexes
The downtown has become home to several private office buildings including:
New Brunswick's tallest and most recognizable office building is Johnson & Johnson's worldwide headquarters. The company built the complex in the area bounded by the Northeast Corridor rail viaduct, Johnson Drive, Albany Street, and George Street.
The design for the site was made by the company of renowned architect I.M. Pei and includes a large portion of open grassy space, in addition to a sleek 14-story tower, which is connected to an expansive low-rise office complex. In addition, the campus includes a parking deck and daycare facility on the opposite side of the railroad tracks.
A new office building opened in 2010 at the corner of French and Plum Streets. It is home to medical and administrative offices for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and is adjacent to a large parking deck connected to the hospital by skywalk.
Many county and city offices and services have been centralized in a six-building complex referred to as Civic Square. The Middlesex County Administration Building, which is connected to the Middlesex County Courthouse, is directly across the street from New Brunswick City Hall.
The Civic Square Building at 25 Kirkpatrick Street is home to the New Brunswick Police Department, as well as the Municipal Court, and several other county and city offices is located adjacent to City Hall. Because an adjacent historic post office is still a part of the Civic Square development, its construction necessitated the cooperation of municipal, county, state, and federal government.
The city and county also have a number of offices throughout New Brunswick.
Parks and Recreational Facilities
New Brunswick does not have any county, state, or national parks located within the city limits.
The following facilties are operated by the City of New Brunswick's Division of Parks and Shade Trees:
Boyd Park re-opened in 2010 after being closed since 2004. Pedestrian overpasses at the Commercial Avenue and New Street interchanges allow residents and visitors to cross Route 18 to enjoy the park. An amphitheater is the centerpiece of the new design.
Additionally, Frank M. Deiner, Sr. Park is one of many recreational areas that are a part the Rutgers campus. Until recently, the park was owned and maintained by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. When Route 18 was extended across the Raritan River in the early 1980's, the New Jersey Department of Transportation constructed the park over top of the southbound lanes for use primarily by Rutgers students.
The park was home to the University's annual spring festival, Deinerfest, until 1993 when it was re-located to Busch campus and renamed Rutgersfest. Rutgersfest took place on Livingston campus some years as well. However, April 28, 2011's event, held on the Busch campus, caused chaos in New Brunswick prompting the University to permanently cancel the event, under pressure from the city police department.
A small lot in downtown across from Johnson & Johnson worldwide headquarters is a park owned by Johnson & Johnson called Kilmer Park. It is located between Old Man Rafferty's Restaurant and Starbuck's Coffee and began hosting live music events during the summer months in 2010.
Two other city-operated public facilities include the New Brunswick Senior Citizen Resource Center and the HUB Teen Center.
Route 1 developments