The 12/19 Patch article characterizing New Providence as “a Town in Dire Straits” is wrong. To suggest that the issues facing New Providence are more severe than the issues facing most other communities across New Jersey is irresponsible. New Providence is changing. Just take a look around downtown New Providence and you will see the signs of economic life.
The title of the Patch article should have been “New Providence: a Town Poised for Growth”. New Providence is not on life support and I’ll tell you why:
- We have a new downtown streetscape paid for by the downtown business and property owners.
- The borough will be selling liquor licenses to attract new upscale restaurants.
- The Village Shopping Center has been completely refurbished.
- We have a New A&P Fresh Super Market
- Three new restaurants opened in the Village Shopping Center: Angelo’s Pizzeria, Smashburger & Muscle Maker Grill
- Braunschweiger’s opened a brand new jewelry store.
- Scott McGrath built a new hardware store.
- Bellariva Pizzeria built a new restaurant in the Adams shopping center.
- China Fan is expanding and adding a dinning room.
- Bill Ferdinand is renovating his jewelry store,
- Strawberry Fields is coming to town.
- A new bagel shop is opening in part of the old McGrath's space.
- The Grammarie Coffee Shop just opened on Springfield Avenue
- We have a brand new post office
- Providence Liquors opened a brand new store
- Paolo’s Kitchen just opened on South Street
- Jimmy and Harry Vardas completely renovated The Prestige Diner.
Sure, everyone would like to see more non-food establishments open in town, but the public appears to want and support restaurants. We get new restaurants because the ones we have are busy. Have you ever waited in line at the Prestige Diner, Dunkin’ Donuts or Noah’s Bagels? The best way to get more retail establishments is to support the ones we already have, like Adams, Kidding Around or Colonial Appliance. As far as evening downtown foot traffic is concerned, the best way to create it is for all of the downtown businesses to maintain regular evening hours.
Members of the New Providence business community invest time and money in supporting this wonderful town. Investors Bank stepped in to save the Fireworks. The summer concerts, Street fair, 5k race, and other activities are made possible by local business. Not to mention the hundreds of donations made by local businesses each year to support community organizations.
Building a thriving local business district requires community support.
Gary Kapner is a twenty year resident of New Providence and along with his wife, Rachel, owns Creative Wallcoverings & interiors located at 560 Central Avenue. Gary is a past president of the New Providence Business and Professional Association, a board member of the New Providence Downtown Improvement District, a member of the New Providence Planning Board, and a board member of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce.