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Welcome to Lakewood

A Town That is Easy to Find and Hard to Leave

Lakewood is a vibrant, exciting place — a natural beauty set amidst parks, lakes and a quaint Victorian downtown. The town offers old-world charm, a hometown feeling and solid values along with 21st-Century amenities.

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Business opportunities abound in Lakewood not only because of its location, but also because of its ongoing growth and phenomenal development. Lakewood is situated near several major roads, including the Garden State Parkway. It is within an hour and a half of New York City, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, and only a few miles from beaches, boardwalks, and malls.

Lakewood has the second largest industrial park in the state, featuring light manufacturing and clean industry. It is the choice of many businesses, such as the New Jersey corporate headquarters of Blinds-to-Go and the international offices of Gaming Labs, Inc., among many others. The Chamber of Commerce, a dynamic force in the town, has grown to more than 400 members. As a designated UEZ (Urban Enterprise Zone), the only one in Ocean County, Lakewood offers a 3.5 percent sales tax in the Zone, providing significant business incentives and shopping advantages.

Its central location in the state and access to major roads have continued to spur on major building projects, touching all aspects of life in Lakewood. In April 2001, a $22 million baseball stadium was built with UEZ funds, opened with the first game of the Lakewood BlueClaws, a “Single A” Minor League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. By April 2003, the Lakewood BlueClaws became the fastest team in New Jersey and South Atlantic League history to draw one MILLION people to its stadium, FirstEnergy Park. The BlueClaws continue to be a family-friendly attraction, drawing record-breaking crowds each year.

The Historic Strand Theater, designed by world-renowned theater architect Thomas Lamb in 1922 and listed on the NJ and National Register of Historic Places, offers year-round entertainment in plush, air-conditioned surroundings. The Strand continues to be a perfect venue to showcase its season of comedians, musicals, dinner theater, stars from television and movies, and legendary musical entertainers. A new gallery in the Strand, with a dance floor, restrooms, and an option for catering, is perfect for theater-in-the-round, dinner theater, and smaller shows and receptions.

In 2008, the Hilton Garden Inn, a $12 million luxury hotel designed for business and pleasure, opened on Route 70, just off Parkway Exit 88 in Lakewood. The Hilton contains a catering facility, meeting rooms, a business center, a fitness center, and an indoor pool. It is flanked by several restaurants: Ruby Tuesday, The Longhorn Steak House, and Starbucks. Houlihan’s Restaurant has recently opened on Route 70 East.

Kimball Medical Center, originally a 16-bed hospital, is now a 350-bed fully accredited facility. The hospital, which has continued to grow with Lakewood, has finished a $27 million renovation and expansion of its Emergency Department, enabling the hospital to expand its services from 42,000 to more than 60,000 people. Kimball is one of 200 hospitals in the world and the only hospital in Ocean County to offer the newest, state-of-the-art 16 multi-slice CT scan. Its expanded neonatology services for mothers and their newborns seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is one of a kind in the county.

Besides business opportunities, Lakewood abounds in leisure and cultural activities. Lakewood has 10 free municipal playgrounds, its own park, a lake, three County parks, and two public golf courses, a private golf course, historical sites to visit, many fun-filled summer events and the parking is free!

Parks are popular for relaxation, picnics, and recreation of all kinds from hiking, biking, and fitness trails to volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, and open playing fields for almost every sport. Ocean County Park, once the 323-acre estate of John D. Rockefeller, has three lakes, one for swimming and one for fishing. Many recreational activities surround the third, beautiful Lake Carasaljo, which includes an exercise trail; a 4.5-mile walking, running, and bike path; fishing and picnicking. Rowboats and paddle boats can be rented through Labor Day. The amphitheater at Lake Carasaljo is the site of many community events and concerts, scheduled throughout the summer. Most sites have restrooms and are handicapped accessible.

Education in Lakewood mirrors the town’s old-world values set alongside 21st-Century progress. The high school offers traditional courses along with the latest in technology. Graduates of the public school system have attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia among other prestigious colleges and universities. Lakewood itself has two institutions of higher learning. Beth Medrash Govoha is a world-famous school for rabbinical and Talmudic studies. Georgian Court University, a renowned comprehensive Catholic college with a strong liberal arts core including master’s degree programs, is a national historic landmark whose campus was the former estate of George Jay Gould.

An important educational and cultural link between the town and the schools is the Lakewood Branch of the Ocean County Library, which prides itself on Connecting People — Building Community — Changing Lives. In 1999, before its merger into the County library system, the Lakewood library had six Internet computers. Today, there are 27. Besides a comprehensive collection of more than 110,000 books, videos, magazines, and CDs, the library offers 160 different programs, products and services for the entire family.

With the skilled management of the mayor and the township committee, taxes have been stable without reducing services for residents, a diverse population comprised of senior citizen communities, and multi-ethnic and religious groups.

For business or pleasure, leisure, excitement and fun — it’s Lakewood! Lakewood looks like a small, scenic town, but its 25 square miles encompass everything: large corporations, small businesses, a baseball stadium, a historic theater, all kinds of leisure and recreation, and even an easy commute to the hustle and bustle of nearby cities. Come see for yourself. Call the Chamber of Commerce at 732-363–0012 for more information.

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