SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Anyone living in South Plainfield for more than two years can remember what the entrance to town off Route 287 north looked like just a few years ago. As you exited you saw a trailer and storage-container graveyard on the right, and as drove further you saw a string of rundown houses. This was what said “welcome to South Plainfield.”
But change has come.
“As you get off Route 287 now, you see a brand new Progressive Insurance headquarters,” said Joe Wolak, who serves on the Planning Board and who helped guide the Progressive project. “It’s a totally different feel.”
“What a change,” added Councilman Rob Bengivenga, who is seeking reelection. “The rundown homes are now gone too, which makes a huge difference.”
Bengivenga said business growth is leading the revitalization of what he calls the “Route 287 Gateway,” and he said more is on the way.
“Sky Zone is about ready to start work on a 25,000 square foot jump park on Hadley Road,” he said. “It’s geared toward family fun and recreation, and it will be a great addition to South Plainfield.”
Bengivenga also pointed to infrastructure improvements at the Route 287 Gateway.
“When McDonald’s went in, the zoning board required it to realign the intersection, which reduced wait times substantially,” he explained. “We’re also anxious for the county’s reconstruction work to finish.”
“In addition, as part of its soon-to-start expansion, Quick Check will also be adding a “Welcome to South Plainfield” sign with brick pillars at the corner of Durham and McKinley,” added Bengivenga.
Wolak likes what’s happening so far, and he wants to keep it going.
“Rob and I want to keep the revitalization going at the Route 287 Gateway, and we also want to work on other areas of town.
A good example, according to Wolak, is the Plainfield Avenue business district. As part of CVS’s plan to add a training center, the Planning Board just required it to repave and restripe the parking lot, paint the building, replace the bumper blocks, and add landscaping.
“We’re looking for other opportunities to spruce up our business districts,” Wolak explained.
“We want to keep our business-friendly reputation,” said Bengivenga, “but we also want to take our business neighborhoods to a new level. It’s all part of keeping South Plainfield safe, affordable, and growing.”