Summit’s downtown was completely refurbished a few years ago, with new sidewalks, trees, benches, parks, curbs, crosswalks, lighting, and upgraded facilities. The area is recognized by many as an important asset to the city and the region. In particular, the Mayor’s Building Improvement Award, presented annually to stores and businesses that have enhanced their appearance through capital improvements, encourages reinvestment in the downtown. Volunteer committees that promote ambiance and retail enhancement have improved the appearance of and instilled pride in the Central Retail Business District.
A wide variety of stores and shops, selling high-quality merchandise and offering first-rate service to the customer, grace the nine blocks of Summit’s downtown retail area. Home furnishings and decorating and antiques are to be found, along with clothing, sporting goods, jewelry, shoes, stationery and gifts, music, and gourmet foods adding to the mix. Many excellent restaurants, offering a varied cuisine, are located in the downtown area, and in the warmer weather, outdoor café-style dining is offered. The plentiful seats are usually filled.
Two small parks offer seating and shade, and ample parking (free to shoppers) is provided by five Park & Shop lots and two multi-level garages. Downtown events are held monthly and bring many people into the area.
New Providence and Berkeley Heights also offer ample shopping opportunities to their residents. New Providence stores are located in a tidy “downtown” commercial district, which is being refurbished with new sidewalks, benches, trees, and curbing. In addition, a downtown park was recently installed where summer concerts are held in a lovely gazebo.
Berkeley Heights’ commercial ventures are located in several “strip mall” locations spread out along Springfield Avenue. In both towns, many fine restaurants cater to the area population and parking is plentiful for shoppers in area lots. Downtown events are offered on a regular basis to encourage use of the local stores, including a summer concert series that attracts an audience from a wide area.
For those who love shopping and dining and entertainment, there are plenty of choices for everyone in our three communities!