Middlesex County, the Greatest County in the Land...
LOCATION: Middlesex County, “The Greatest County in the Land,” is located squarely in the center of New Jersey and stretches from the Rahway River south to Mercer and Monmouth counties and from Raritan Bay on the Atlantic Ocean west to Somerset County. Middlesex County is 310 square miles in size, has 25 municipalities and includes extensive industrial, office and residential areas.
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES: Approximately 100,000 primary- and secondary-school students are served by 185 public schools, 70 parochial and private schools and the Middlesex County Vocational-Technical High School system, which consists of five campuses. Middlesex County College, a two-year education center for academic and technical training, was one of the first in the State. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, offers undergraduate and graduate study at its five main campuses, all located in Middlesex County: Rutgers, Cook, and Douglass in New Brunswick; and Livingston and Busch in Piscataway. Adjacent to Cook College is the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, a nationally recognized research center. The University of Medicine and Dentistry is located in Piscataway. The Forrestal Campus of Princeton University is located in Middlesex County, with Princeton University’s main campus nearby. Rounding out the higher education offerings in the County are Strayer University in New Brunswick and DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management in North Brunswick.
HOUSING AND POPULATION: Middlesex County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the State, having a population increase between 1980 and 2000 of 154,269 persons. The 2011 U.S. Census population estimate for Middlesex County is 814,217.
This is an average of 858 units per square miles. Firms relocating to Middlesex County bring jobs and people and offer the progressive developer various opportunities.
HEALTH CARE: Middlesex County has six major hospitals. They are: John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro and St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, and Raritan Bay Medical Center, with campuses in Perth Amboy and Old Bridge.
RECREATION: The Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation operates 21 county parks, encompassing 6,625 acres. Fourteen of these parks contain active recreational facilities and six others are conservation areas or are being held for future recreational development. The County has acquired over 7,000 acres of open space through the Open Space Trust Fund, and an active farmland preservation program has preserved 5,000 additional acres. The Middlesex County Improvement Authority operates three golfing facilities: The 36-hole Tamarack Golf Course in East Brunswick, the Meadows at Middlesex in Plainsboro, and the Raritan Landing Golf Course in Piscataway.
County parks offer a wide range of excellent facilities, such as East Jersey Olde Towne, a collection of restored, reconstructed and replica buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries in Johnson Park and a family skating rink that is open year-round. Popular programs are also featured, including the “Plays-in-the-Park” series at the Stephen J. Capestro Theater in Roosevelt Park. There also are numerous private recreational complexes in the County, including golf centers and courses.
Among the historic sites that dot the County are the Cornelius Low House, which is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture and serves as the County museum, and the Edison Memorial State Park built on the site of Thomas Alva Edison’s Menlo Park Library.
BUSINESS PARKS: Although much land is available for individual development, many businesses prefer industrial and office parks. The County now has nearly 100 of these parks, grouping diversified industries and office operations in exclusively business environments with essential utilities and transportation facilities.
TRANSPORTATION: Middlesex County is the major transportation corridor county of New Jersey, and for this reason, has experienced continued increases in population and economic activity. Major highways located in the County include the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 287, U.S. Routes 1, 9 and 130, the Garden State Parkway and State Routes 18, 27, 34, 35 and 440. There are a total of 324 miles of County roads alone. Middlesex County’s major highways and the Northeast Rail Corridor directly link the County to the major markets in the New York and Philadelphia areas.
There are three major passenger rail lines and 16 rail freight lines serving the County. Passenger rail service is provided by NJ Transit on the Northeast Corridor Line, the North Jersey Coast Line and the Raritan Valley Line. Amtrak runs on the Northeast Corridor Line, extending passenger service to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Amtrak also operates Boston-to-Washington service, with stops in Middlesex County.
On the highways, NJ Transit, Academy Transit, Suburban Transit and private carriers provide local, inter-county, and interstate bus transportation between New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Over-the-road hauling is provided by nearly 250 common carrier truck/van lines, guaranteeing efficient and affordable freight handling service. In terms of travel demand, Middlesex County is among thd highest in New Jersey in vehicle miles traveled, with over 21 million of the State’s total of 199 million of vehicle miles traveled.
Deep water shipping facilities are available at the mouth of the Raritan River and along the Arthur Kill, and have channel depths of 30 feet at mean low tide. A short distance north of the County, the Port Authority of New York, the world’s most complete port, handles more cargo than any other port in the United States, and the 2,000-acre Port of Elizabeth handles 85% of the tonnage that passes through the Port of New York.
Middlesex County has a highly skilled and productive labor force, complimented by training programs that increase skill levels both on- and off-the-job. This has made the County a haven for businesses seeking to support their growth with a productive and capable workforce.