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Secaucus ( SEE-kaw-kəs) is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 16,264, reflecting an increase of 333 (+2.1%) from the 15,931 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,870 (+13.3%) from the 14,061 counted in the 1990 Census.
Located within the New Jersey Meadowlands, it is the most suburban of the county's municipalities, though large parts of the town are dedicated to light manufacturing, retail, and transportation uses, as well as protected areas.
Secaucus is a derivation of the Algonquian words for "black" (seke or sukit) and "snake" (achgook), or "place of snakes", or sekakes, referring to snakes.
Sikakes, once an island, was part of the territory purchased by Director-General of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant in 1658. The territory was part of what is considered to be the oldest municipality in the state of New Jersey which was first chartered in 1660 as Bergen in the province of New Netherland and, in 1683, became Bergen Township.
Settlement had begun by at least 1733 by the Smith family, whose namesake Abel I. Smith Burial Ground is part of the lore of Secaucus.
Secaucus was originally formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 12, 1900, from portions of North Bergen. On June 7, 1917, Secaucus was incorporated as a town, replacing Secaucus borough, based on the results of a referendum held on June 5, 1917.
Secaucus was originally an agricultural community specializing in flowers. It later became known for its pig farms in the first half of the 20th century. In the early 1900s the town was home to approximately 55 pig farms, which housed nearly 250,000 pigs, which outnumbered humans 16 to 1. These farms served the meat demands of Newark and New York, and made the farmers wealthy. Many of them were local politicians, most notably pork peddler Henry B. Krajewski, who ran for New Jersey senator, three times for governor and twice for U.S. President. The town's pig farms, rendering plants, and junk yards gave the town a reputation for being one of the most odorous in the New York metropolitan area. In the 1950s the pig farms began to dwindle, partially due to construction on the New Jersey Turnpike, which would carry tourists who would not appreciate the odor. In 1963, debris from the demolition of Pennsylvania Station was dumped in the Secaucus Meadowlands. In later decades Secaucus became more of a commuter town. In a non-binding referendum in 1969, 90% of voters in Secaucus chose to leave Hudson County and join Bergen County, as that county was more similar in character and had lower taxes. However, only the state has the authority to change county lines, so it never came to fruition. Today it remains the most suburban town in Hudson County.
On February 9, 1996, two NJ Transit commuter trains collided at Bergen Junction in Secaucus when a train operating on the Bergen Line ran a signal and sideswiped a train running on the Main Line. The accident occurred during the morning rush hour just south of the current Secaucus Junction station. With three fatalities, the incident is NJ Transit's deadliest accident and was the first to involve fatalities of the passenger and crew on NJ Transit.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Secaucus as its 182nd best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey, after ranking the borough 11th in its 2008 rankings.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 6.599 square miles (17.090 km2), including 5.822 square miles (15.078 km2) of it is land and 0.777 square miles (2.012 km2) of water (11.77%) is water.
At the southern end of Secaucus is Snake Hill (officially known as Laurel Hill), an igneous rock diabase intrusion jutting up some 150 feet (46 m) from the Meadowlands below, near the New Jersey Turnpike.
Being partly surrounded by the Hackensack Meadowlands, Secaucus provides opportunities to observe the recovery of natural marshes in the town's post industrial, post agricultural age. Some marsh areas in the northeast part of town have been filled to provide a new commercial area, and some to build footpaths for nature walks with signs illustrating birds and other wildlife to be seen there.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the town include:
As its name suggests, the North End in Secaucus, New Jersey, is the section of town north of New Jersey Route 3 and the Secaucus Plaza Central Business District, to which it is connected by Paterson Plank Road. The Hackensack River and its tributary Mill Creek create the other borders for the district.
The North End is one of the older, traditional residential neighborhoods of Secaucus which itself has been transformed to a commuter town and retail and outlet shopping area in the late 20th century. It is home to Secaucus High School, whose athletic fields are used by the Bergen County Scholastic League. Nearby Schmiddt's Wood is one of the last original hardwood forests in urban North Jersey. As part of the New Jersey Meadowlands District, the areas along the river are characterized by wetlands preservation and restoration areas. Mill Creek Marsh is park administered by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and will eventually connect to the Secaucus Greenway. It southern counterpart is known as Riverbend. The Mill Creek Mall, also north of Route 3, but on the other side of Mill Creek close to New Jersey Turnpike Eastern Spur is part of Harmon Meadow
Harmon Cove is the western section of Secaucus, New Jersey along the Hackensack River, south of New Jersey Route 3. The name is portmanteau taken from Hartz Mountain, a corporation that owns much land in the New Jersey Meadowlands, which originally developed the area as a gated community in the 1970s with townhouses and highrise residential buildings. Part of the Hackensack RiverWalk Secaucus Greenway passes through the neighborhood, which is north of Anderson Marsh and Snake Hill, home to Hudson County's Laurel Hill Park.
NJ Transit maintained a Harmon Cove station from 1978 until the re-routing of the Bergen County Line and the opening of Secaucus Junction in August 2003. The HX Draw is used by the line to cross the river. NJ Transit bus 329 serves the area. The Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center and several hotels are located in Harmon Cove, whose main thoroughfare is Meadowlands Parkway, along which office and manufacturing buildings are found. The Harmon Cove Outlet Center is an outlet shopping district further inland from the Hackensack riverfront. Hartz Mountain Industries operates many facilities and properties in Harmon Cove.
About 20% of the town's employed residents commute to New York City to work.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,264 people, 6,297 households, and 4,112 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,793.7 per square mile (1,078.7/km2). There were 6,846 housing units at an average density of 1,175.9 per square mile (454.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 68.40% (11,125) White, 4.11% (668) Black or African American, 0.20% (32) Native American, 20.40% (3,318) Asian, 0.04% (6) Pacific Islander, 4.38% (713) from other races, and 2.47% (402) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.60% (3,025) of the population.
There were 6,297 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town, the population was spread out with 19.3% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $82,289 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,523) and the median family income was $96,475 (+/- $10,189). Males had a median income of $58,902 (+/- $7,548) versus $54,665 (+/- $4,626) for females. The per capita income for the town was $38,375. About 4.7% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2000 United States Census there were 15,931 people, 6,214 households, and 3,945 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,706.7 people per square mile (1,044.3/km2). There were 6,385 housing units at an average density of 1,084.8 per square mile (418.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 78.54% White, 4.45% African American, 0.11% Native American, 11.80% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.79% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.26% of the population.
There were 6,214 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the town, the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $59,800, and the median income for a family was $72,568. Males had a median income of $49,937 versus $39,370 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,684. About 3.9% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
There are several large retail areas in Secaucus. Secaucus Plaza is the "downtown" area of Secaucus, just off of Route 3. The Outlets are a collection of outlet shops selling discounted name-brand merchandise in southwest Secaucus. Many factory retail outlets are scattered throughout the Harmon Cove industrial section, often located in warehouses or converted factories. Harmon Cove Outlet Center is the largest outlet mall, on Enterprise Avenue. The Mill Creek Mall is a mall on Route 3 on the west side of the Turnpike. Harmon Meadow Plaza is a large hotel, restaurant and shopping complex that features gyms, a pool hall, the Meadowlands Convention Center, a 14-screen Showplace Theatres and a Wal-Mart and Sam's Club located east of the New Jersey Turnpike, near Route 3 and Interchange 16E. Best Buy, Raymour & Flanigan, Ashley Furniture, Home Depot and Daffy's are located on Paterson Plank Road off Interchange 16E. National Retail Systems is another large employer. Secaucus is home to several corporate headquarters, including The Children's Place, FiberMedia and Hartz Mountain Industries. Goya Foods previously had its headquarters there. According to a 2016 Fundera study, Secaucus ranked as the best city in New Jersey for entrepreneurs.
In 2011, two companies announced that they would be leaving Secaucus. The Manischewitz Company announced that it would relocate its administrative offices to Newark after being located in Secaucus for seven years. Panasonic's North American headquarters, with 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of offices and 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of warehouse space, had been located in Secaucus since 1973. After considering new locations in New York, California and Georgia, the company announced it would relocate to Newark and would receive an Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit of $102 million from the State of New Jersey for the relocation 8 miles (13 km) from its Secaucus location. The company also cited the environmental benefits possible by reducing the need of 1,000 employees to drive to work.
As of the 2014–15 NBA season, Secaucus became the official review headquarters of the National Basketball Association. All reviews of controversial calls and plays take place in the replay center. Referees consult the headquarters for guidance on the correct call. The high-tech center features over 94 HD televisions, with multiple feeds of every live NBA game.
Sports companies headquartered in Secaucus include Red Bull New York, Major League Baseball's MLB Network, </ref> National Hockey League's NHL Network, and NBA Entertainment/NBA TV (whose studios are also the site of the NBA Draft Lottery). It is also home to men's soccer team Secaucus FC, which is part of the Garden State Soccer League, and was founded in 2003 by Nick Farinola.
Secaucus was the headquarters of Major League Lacrosse for the first four seasons of the league. The headquarters have since moved to Boston, Massachusetts.
Secaucus held a pre-Super Bowl "Winter Blast" party during the first weekend of February 2014 to celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII being played in New Jersey. The party featured a number of activities, including an ice skating rink. The town had planned for large crowds, even planning special court sessions in advance to handle the projected surge of potentially disruptive visitors. The turnout was much lower than expected, with Mayor Gonnelli citing the NFL's focus on activities in Manhattan aimed at visitors.
Secaucus is governed under the Town form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Town Council made up of six council members elected from three wards. A Mayor is elected at-large directly by the voters. The Town Council consists of six members elected to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats up at the same time as the mayor and three seats the following year, followed by two years with no elections.
As of 2018, the Mayor of Secaucus is Independent Michael Gonnelli, whose term of office ends December 31, 2021. Members of the Town Council are James J. Clancy Sr. (I, 2018; Ward 2), Robert V. Constantino (I, 2021; Ward 1), Mark Dehnert (I, 2021; Ward 2), John Gerbasio (I, 2018; Ward 1, elected to serve an unexpired term), William McKeever (I, 2021; Ward 3) and Orietta Tringali (I, 2018; Ward 3).
Orietta Tringali was chosen in January 2018 to fill the Ward 3 seat expiring in December 2018 that had been held by Susan Pirro until she resigned from office.
In October 2016, Gary Jeffas resigned from office to fill the position as Town Administrator; his Ward 1 seat expiring in December 2018 was filled by John Gerbasio, who served on an interim basis until the November 2017 election, when he was chosen to serve the balance of the term of office.
Richard Steffens was chosen unanimously by the council in August 2009 to step in as mayor to finish the term of Dennis Elwell who resigned amid corruption charges on July 28, 2009, and was later convicted. Michael Gonnelli then won a full four-year term in November 2009 and was re-elected to another 4 years in 2013.
Secaucus is served around the clock by five volunteer fire companies that make up the Secaucus Fire Department, with a combined fire apparatus fleet of five Engines, two Trucks, one Rescue, one Squad (utility unit) and one boat, operating out of five fire stations located throughout the town.
Secaucus is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 32nd state legislative district.
New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 32nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nicholas Sacco (D, North Bergen) and in the General Assembly by Angelica M. Jimenez (D, West New York) and the other seat is vacant. Vincent Prieto (D, Secaucus) resigned from office in March 2018 to head the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Parts of the town are in Hudson County's 8th and 9th freeholder districts. Freeholder District 8, comprising North Bergen, the North End of Secaucus and northernmost tip of Jersey City near Transfer Station. is represented by Anthony Vainieri. Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders District 9, comprising the West Hudson towns of Kearny, Harrison, and East Newark and most of Secaucus, is represented by Albert Cifelli. The Hudson County Executive, elected at-large, is Thomas A. DeGise.
According to The Hudson Reporter, Secaucus is "arguably Hudson County's most conservative town." As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 10,298 registered voters in Secaucus, of which 5,886 (57.2%) were registered as Democrats, 876 (8.5%) were registered as Republicans and 3,531 (34.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 61.1% of the vote (4,188 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 38.1% (2,609 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (56 votes), among the 6,893 ballots cast by the town's 10,819 registered voters (40 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 63.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 53.0% of the vote here (3,889 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 45.6% (3,348 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (63 votes), among the 7,344 ballots cast by the town's 10,650 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.0%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 50.6% of the vote here (3,460 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 48.6% (3,320 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (33 votes), among the 6,838 ballots cast by the town's 9,767 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.0.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 54.5% of the vote (2,214 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 42.8% (1,738 votes), and other candidates with 2.7% (108 votes), among the 4,376 ballots cast by the town's 10,966 registered voters (316 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 39.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 50.7% of the vote here (2,959 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 35.9% (2,096 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.4% (315 votes) and other candidates with 2.3% (132 votes), among the 5,833 ballots cast by the town's 10,158 registered voters, yielding a 57.4% turnout.
Students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade are educated by the Secaucus Public Schools. As of the 2011–12 school year, the district's four schools had an enrollment of 2,156 students and 148.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.55:1. The schools in the district (with 2011–12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Clarendon Elementary School (grades K-5; 610 students), Huber Street Elementary School (K-5; 654), Secaucus Middle School (6–8; 309) and Secaucus High School (9–12; 583). The athletic teams of Secaucus High School are nicknamed the "Patriots."
Immaculate Conception School, the town's only Catholic private day school, serving grades pre-K through 8th grade, closed in 2008.
The Nicholas G. Hayek Watchmaking School, established in 2005, offers a two-year training program that prepares students to service watches.
Secaucus contains a wide variety of road and rail transportation. Because of its central location, many shipping warehouses and truck freight transfer stations are located in Secaucus, both for shipping companies such as UPS and for numerous retailers. For example, Barnes & Noble's "same day delivery" service to Manhattan operates from a warehouse in Secaucus. The town also has a large rail yard and multimode terminal run by CSX and Norfolk Southern where loads are switched between trains or transferred to or from trucks.
As of May 2010, the town had a total of 47.16 miles (75.90 km) of roadways, of which 38.08 miles (61.28 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.56 miles (4.12 km) by Hudson County and 1.75 miles (2.82 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.77 miles (7.68 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The town is roughly divided into four parts by the intersecting roads of Route 3, which runs east and west, and the Eastern Spur of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), which runs north-south. Two turnpike interchanges are located within the town: Exit 16E/17 for Route 3 and Route 495 (which leads to the Lincoln Tunnel), and Exit 15X for the Secaucus Junction station (which opened in late 2005).
Secaucus is the site of NJ Transit's Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction train station. As the station is in the south end of Secaucus, access from the rest of Secaucus is limited via County Avenue, Meadowlands Parkway or NJ Turnpike Interchange 15X. The station opened in December 2003, with a 1,100-spot parking lot that allows commuters to park and ride. Discount curbside intercity bus service is also provided outside the station by Megabus, with direct service to Boston and Philadelphia, among other locations.
Numerous NJ Transit buses serve Secaucus, including the 124, 129, 190 and 320 buses to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, the 78 bus to Newark, the 2 and 85 routes to Jersey City and local service provided on the 772 route. There is a bus park-and-ride at the northeast corner of Secaucus.
In the first half of the 20th century the Jersey City, Hoboken and Rutherford Electric Railway operated a trolley line through the then main business district of Secaucus, on Paterson Plank Road from Jersey City and across the Hackensack River to East Rutherford.
The closest airport with scheduled passenger service is Newark Liberty International Airport, which straddles Newark and Elizabeth.
Secaucus is located within the New York media market, with most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. Local, county and regional news is covered by The Jersey Journal, the daily newspaper that relocated its offices to Secaucus in 2014 from Jersey City's Journal Square, an area of the city that was named for the newspaper that operated there for 90 years. The Secaucus Reporter is part of The Hudson Reporter group of local weeklies.
Locally, Secaucus is covered by weeklies the River View Observer and El Especialito. The town had been served by the Secaucus Home News, a weekly newspaper that published for 107 years before abruptly shutting down in 2017.
WWOR-TV, channel 9, is a television station licensed to Secaucus, serving the New York metro area television market as the flagship station of the MyNetworkTV programming service. Its studios and main offices are located in Secaucus. The 1987–89 talk show The Morton Downey Jr. Show was among the WWOR-TV programs filmed in Secaucus.
The warehouse at 10 Enterprise Avenue was used as the primary filming location for the hospital drama Mercy, which aired on NBC from 2009–2010.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Secaucus include the following:(B) denotes that the person was born there.
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