Count the ways why you should; you’ll be glad you did

Netcong has been a business hub ever since the year it was founded at the end of 19th century. Its proximity to the old Morris and Sussex turnpike and the Morris Canal, which was a thoroughfare for commerce between New York City and the Delaware River from 1831 through the 1920s, made the town the center of activity that continues today.
Twenty-first century Netcong hosts a cohesive small-business and residential community centered on a quaint downtown, and enjoys assets that support opportunities for small businesses to start up or relocate to the town:

  • rail and bus service to and from Manhattan, Newark and Hoboken
  • a strategic location at the intersection of Interstate Route 80 and state routes 46, 183 and 206 connecting New York City and the Pennsylvania border
  • major stores and national chains within a vibrant 10-mile-wide trade area
  • walkable shopping and dining
  • ambitious plans in the works for upscale commuter homes and rental housing
  • Borough staff who are responsive to new business needs


Total Population200020102012
Morris County470,212489,811493,472
New Jersey8,414,3508,721,5778,793,888
Total Population3 Miles5 Miles10 Miles
Housing Units13,09318,57363,187
Median Household Income$93,036$93,417$102,543


Rental units on the Roxbury border

New housing developments will expand business opportunities within the next few years, including:

  • 72 apartments within walking distance of the train station and Main Street
  • Mixed-housing retail complex at the train station — part of Netcong’s transit-oriented development village (TOD) program
  • 110-120 apartment units along Furnace Pond/Musconetcong River, also within the TOD area
  • A large housing development on the Netcong-Roxbury border.

Given the student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1 in the town’s K-8 elementary-middle school, children entering the Netcong school system will easily be accommodated. Students in grades 9—12 attend the Lenape Valley Regional High School in Stanhope, two miles away.


More than 80 major stores and national chains earning over $2.25 million in annual sales have chosen to locate in Morris County to serve the 160,000 people living within ten miles of Netcong as of spring 2016


The NJ Transit train station centrally located at the north end of Main Street provides service on the Morris & Essex and Montclair-Boonton lines with weekday direct service to Summit, Newark, Secaucus Junction (Newark Airport) and Hoboken. Service to Jersey City and Penn Station New York can be accessed by changing in Dover and other stations along the way.

Service to and from Manhattan is also provided by Lakeland Bus Lines.


“A lot of it has to do with low start-up costs”, said Leigh Ann Von Hagen, a member of the Netcong Borough Community Partnership Special Improvement District and a researcher at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. “The rents are reasonable and compare well to the greater Netcong, Morris County area. Even more, the Borough and the Netcong Community Partnership make the paper work as painless as possible.”

“If someone is looking to open a business in town, Borough Hall is a very welcoming, open place,” Ms. Von Hagen said. “They do everything they can to help you figure out what needs to be done, what permits to get, how to do it quickly and how to get your business up and running; some places are move-in ready, some need alterations.
“The first faces you’ll meet when you walk into Borough Hall are the clerk and borough administrator. He and our mayor are very hands-on, meeting with prospective businesses. If there are problems or issues, we are here to help out, too.”

The NCP Special Improvement District (SID) area covers the entire 1-square mile of the town. “So anywhere a new business decides to locate enjoys the benefits of NCP’s business campaigns and everything else NCP has going on,” she said.


Residents and visitors are looking for more variety, especially sit-down restaurants or interesting retail and other small businesses, said Netcong mayor, Joe Nametco, a 37-year town resident.

The NCP is working with the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, and partnering with Morris Arts on several projects to help attract and retain businesses in town, including addressing “Placemaking.”

“Placemaking,” Ms. Von Hagen explained, “means you’re creating an environment that’s attractive for people to just to hang out and be there. It can include having fun events; a place to sit; pocket parks with chalk; bike parking and a structure for kids to climb. Things that make a place interesting, that make it kind of a throw-back to the history of the area; that take the ordinary and make it unusual or better. That involve the community in their environment,’ she said. “It’s about making the town an attractive and fun place to walk to services and food. The key tenet is you’re designing the place for people, not vehicles.”

“There is a considerable amount of wealth in Netcong and in the primary trade area, and substantial drive-by and transit traffic too; it’s full of potential,” said Ms. Von Hagen. “That’s pretty much the take-away.”

By K. Olstein