Paterson Top Stories

Downtown Nightlife Holds Key to Train Station Development Plans

All photos by Charlie Kravovil Thursday's meeting.

PATERSON, NJ - A public meeting Thursday night about possible redevelopment plans involving the Paterson train station ended up becoming a discussion of the city's downtown.

Several people at the meeting said a major obstacle to the revitalization efforts in Paterson was the lack of a vibrant nightlife scene in the downtown area.
"This is a ghost town!" said Luis Velez, a candidate for the 5th Ward City Council, pointing to the area on a map.
Fred Heyer, a consultant working on train station plans, said the presence of many government buildings that close at the end of the business day was both a blessing and a curse for Paterson.

"You have a captive audience during the day...  But the night comes and you don't have that activity," he said.
Potential revitalization efforts discussed included construction of new apartments, potentially targeted towards young people including professionals and newlyweds.

Thursday's meeting was hosted by Heyer, Gruel, and Associates, the firm hired to create a long-term plan for future developments near Paterson's main railroad station. The session was designed to get public input and kick off the planning process.

Just under a dozen people turned out to Passaic County Community College, including newly-elected Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter.

Noting that transit-oriented development (TOD) has helped transform other urban communities, Fred Heyer said Paterson would likely find the best opportunities for redevelopment within a half-mile of its train station.

Heyer cited Harrison as an example of a community that found success with TOD, noting a new mixed-use residential development has exceeded the expected demand, and two new hotels are opening in the vicinity of the city's PATH train station.

Ekaterina Valiotis, of Alma Realty, said her 81-unit residential property at the corner of Market and Church Streets were doing well despite the economy, with over 80% occupancy.  But she also said that her tenants desire more from the surrounding area.

"Their major complaint is that the lights go off at 6pm... What's missing is food uses, night activity, and just hustle and bustle," she said.
Other ideas put forth to the planners included fixing sidewalks and streetlights, installing way-finding signage, implementing uniform awnings for businesses on Market Street, and identifying a site near the train station to serve as a permanent taxi stand.
Another idea discussed during the informal session was a "restaurant row" with several dining establishments on the same block.
"There's a synergy with restaurants where they're better together," said Heyer, admitting it may seem counter to the conventional wisdom that the increased competition would hurt the restaurants overall.
Heyer and partner Susan Gruel brought with them maps identifying the "preliminary TOD boundary," the area their plan will cover.  It is roughly bounded by Main Street, Broadway, Summer Street, and Railroad Avenue.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar


Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...