Business & Finance

Murphy, Oliver and Montclair Leaders Discuss $3M Revival of Main Street NJ and Neighborhood Preservation Progams

c49aa6bfeb1a036f57e4_20180413_001549_resized.jpg
0add32bc9958d56a2ecf_20180412_134441_resized.jpg
43134ae7247bf1260e71_20180412_135528_resized.jpg
f723b1d7349e6b322ac3_20180412_135244_resized.jpg
ae332e6e06256e07924a_20180412_135248_resized.jpg
1351e39d2970cecf173d_20180413_001507_resized.jpg
741e831077c33477e1ec_20180412_140032_resized.jpg
0ae0a79f94436d9da0ef_20180413_001226.jpg
1f8c66dcc6f8c4dddd8a_20180412_124955_resized.jpg
2d33826e7065126d9ee9_20180413_001252.jpg
398b8cdbf46de9885365_FB_IMG_1523563689746.jpg
c49aa6bfeb1a036f57e4_20180413_001549_resized.jpg

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Governor Phil Murphy visited Montclair Thursday to roll-out plans to restore funding for two of the Department of Community Affairs’(DCA) neighborhood improvement programs. 

The two programs, Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) and the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP), were designed to strengthen the economic vigor of New Jersey’s downtown areas and to encourage private investment in some of the state’s hard-pressed communities. Murphy’s proposed budget provides $3 million for these programs – $500,000 for MSNJ and $2.5 million for NPP.

Murphy invited several panelists of elected and local leaders to the Montclair Fire Headquarters for a roundtable discussion.

Sign Up for E-News

Panelists for the afternoon discussion included Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill, Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia, Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren, Montclair Center Business Improvement District President Phil Cantor, BID Director Israel Cronk, BID Secretary Lisa Johnson and Executive Director of Bloomfield Center Alliance Ollyn Lettman.

In welcoming the attendees, Jackson acknowledged the presence of members of the Township Council, including Councilor Renee Baskerville, Deputy Mayor Robin Schlager, Councilor Robert Russo, Township Manager Tim Stafford and Councilor Rich McMahon.

Jackson said, "We're here today to take the opportunity to discuss and listen and share with other townships about economic growth and development and to hear what the Governor has to say." 

Murphy opened the discussion saying, "Today we are here to talk about two things Main Street NJ and Neighborhood Preservation. For whatever reason, these two programs have been set aside for decades and not funded by prior administrations. We're here to talk about reinstating these two line items back, considering that when they were in place they were of major importance and made a difference to communities." He added, "If we are going to grow as a state, we need to grow together as communities like Montclair, Orange and Bloomfield."

The proposed $500,000 to the Main Street NJ program, would provide technical assistance and historic preservation funding while seeking more money to assist small businesses with beautification grants. The funding will also provide opportunities for developing affordable housing, supporting new businesses and preservation. 

“For many years, New Jersey proudly had two programs that fostered economic growth partnerships – Main Street New Jersey and the Neighborhood Preservation Program. After decades of success helping communities throughout the state, both programs unfortunately were neglected during the previous administration,” said Governor Murphy. 

The governor anticipates that the funding for MSNJ, will enable the State to once again support the renewal of historic downtowns, village centers, and neighborhood commercial districts by utilizing a comprehensive stakeholder-driven approach based on public-private partnerships. 

MSNJ, which is part of the National Main Street Program, was established in 1989 and operated until 2017.

“By re-instating funding for these critical initiatives, we are demonstrating our responsibility as government officials to empower and strengthen our communities with the economic tools they need to ensure we are building an economy that lifts all families and residents.”

According to published reports, the infusion of $2.5 million for NPP will be the first time the program is funded since 2009. The program had operated for 34 years.

Several years ago, Montclair officials stated that Montclair had a below 55% vacancy rate for businesses and has since worked to strategically decrease that number to 6% in 2017. In 2015, Montclair won the coveted national Great American Main Street Award for their outstanding downtown revitalization work. In 2015, the MSNJ program itself won the national Innovation on Main Street Award.

Murphy added, "If we are going to grow as a state, we need to grow together as communities." 

In the past, $56 million dollars had been invested in the Neighborhood Preservation Program. However, the program was de-funded in 2010. 

Murphy 's budget proposes to put $ 2 5 million back in an effort to encourage new development such as affordable housing, aiding small businesses and supporting community programs spreading monies over a three to five year period.

From 1990 to 2017, State-supported MSNJ efforts have leveraged more than $1.2 billion of private reinvestment in Main Street districts. For the last two decades, MSNJ districts created a net gain of 10,301 full-time jobs in 2,560 new and expanded businesses. Additionally, MSNJ local districts have supported more than 6,000 building preservation, improvement and construction projects, resulting in more than 1,700 downtown residential units at all affordability levels.

Lt . Governor Oliver, who chairs the Department of Community Affairs, stated, "The Governor wants this administration to be a positive one where it can say 'yes' to these two programs."

She added, "The communities here today are becoming major hubs so it's important that NJ transit be involved. Monies in the amount of $293 million has been appropriated to invest into the transit system, tying in Main Street NJ and Neighborhood Preservation." 

Oliver continued to discuss the goal of getting the trains to run on time in New Jersey, working with small  businesses along the corridor, and making it inviting for others who use the transit system to foster growth. 

She added, “The resurgence of Main Street NJ and the Neighborhood Preservation Program brings visibility to communities, encourages small business job creation, improves residents access to decent and affordable housing, and invites greater business and community involvement in economic development.”

The discussion continued with each mayor and panelists thanking Murphy for recognizing their towns and pledging their support of the plan to restore funds that would assist In maintaining neighborhood preservation goals and investing in small businesses.

Murphy continued, “By re-instating funding for these critical initiatives, we are demonstrating our responsibility as government officials to empower and strengthen our communities with the economic tools they need to ensure we are building an economy that lifts all families and residents.”

In closing the discussion, Murphy thanked all that attended and opened the floor for a few questions. Among topics discussed, were the possibility of bringing Amazon to Newark and he and Lt. Governor Oliver's commitment to education.

New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach applauded Governor Murphy's call to reinstate Main Street New Jersey and the Neighborhood Preservation Program.

He stated, "Vibrant downtowns are key to strong, healthy neighborhoods that attract residents, and the Main Street Program has a long track record of success revitalizing downtowns," said Kasabach.

"Now is the time to engage the many stakeholders involved in downtown and neighborhood redevelopment to expand both programs' reach, build new public-private partnerships, and attract new resources to these efforts."
 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

Ironbound Residents Plead for Parking at Zoning Board Meeting

July 15, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The city zoning board of adjustment yesterday approved variances for one of three new residential Ironbound developments despite a group of residents voicing concerns over parking.

The board approved variances for YK Group Development Consulting, based in Newark and Lakewood, to build a four-story 28-residential unit development at 526-532 Mulberry St. with 16 on-site parking ...

Safety in Numbers: NJ Computer Scientist Races to Develop Unhackable Code to Protect Everyone’s Data

July 15, 2018

Newark boasts a large – and growing – tech force. Brainwalk, an occasional series, will introduce you to some of its rising stars.

You’ve seen the ominous headlines. Armies of hackers working at the behest of hostile nation-states 24/7 to steal intelligence from our defense agencies. Apolitical hacker-thieves breaking into companies to cop trade secrets and our credit ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 16, 7:30 PM

Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_967d6f84545049a66b3f_giacometti_nose

Tue, July 17, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Giacometti at Montclair Public Library

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 18, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Montclair Police Blotter: Business Burglary, DWI Arrests and More

July 8, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was released on July 3, 2018 from the Montclair Police Department:

Arrest:
06-28-2018 (Porter Place) Mr. Lonnial Hargrove (48yoa from Irvington) was arrested and charged with
DWI.
06-29-2018 (Bellevue Avenue) Mr. Avi Shvetz, 52yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged with
DWI after striking a parked vehicle.
06-30-2018 (Lackawanna Plaza) Mr.

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Festival of the Sea at St. Francis in Brant Beach, Aug. 8-12

July 15, 2018

BRANT BEACH - Everyone enjoys the excitement of a summer carnival.  It brings out the child in all of us.  Since 1975, St. Francis of Assisi Parish has been hosting the Festival of the Sea Carnival, annually.   The Festival of the Sea begins Wednesday, August 8, and continues through Sunday, August 12. The carnival will be open nightly (weather permitting) from 6:00 to ...