Business & Finance

Scotch Plains Council Hears Downtown Planner Presentations

0bbe1278ce5e0028ea97_wrt.jpg
Nando Micale and Woo Kim (with mic) presented for WRT.
ee95bfc00ab8681da992_Burgis.jpg
Joseph H. Burgis presents slides to the Scotch Plains Council.
0bbe1278ce5e0028ea97_wrt.jpg

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Prior to Tuesday night’s business meeting in Scotch Plains, a professional services work session was held to discuss possible improvements to the district’s downtown businesses.

Mayor Glover and council members viewed presentations from two separate planning consultants, Burgis Associates and Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT).

Joseph H. Burgis, who led redevelopment plans for the City of Hoboken, Summit, Newark, and the Township of Union, opened his presentation with a list of qualities that make a successful central business district (see photo).

Sign Up for E-News

“We emphasize the need to bring the entire community – by that I don’t only mean the Planning Board and governing body – but the citizens, the stakeholders, the owners of stores or renters of stores in the business district in an effort to get a lot of focus on what people feel is good for their central business district and what is not working,” Burgis said.

Burgis stressed the competition that local businesses have with online markets, and suggested web branding to highlight what Scotch Plains has to offer. Parking would be analyzed on a block-by-block basis, and determine whether meters would be effective.

The second proposal, from WRT, was presented by Nando Micale and Woo Kim, who introduced their national collaborative planning firm’s imaginative plan to the council.

“WRT has both national experience and local experience to bring to bear here and we’re very interested because we also, as you know, did the plan in 1996,” Micale said. “One of the things I think would be interesting to us as a firm would be to come back and think of this as an update.”

The straightforward approach from WRT heavily involves the town council’s vision as opposed to a "prescribed formula," according to Kim. Signage in downtown Scotch Plains was praised (John’s Meat Market), but with WRT improvements, there would be more continuity to uncover several businesses.

WRT pointed to improvements they’ve made in Highland Park’s streetscape that implement outdoor space and invite more pedestrian traffic.

Deputy Mayor Colleen Gialanella expressed her concerns with the previous “failed attempts with what has been labeled downtown revitalization,” and encouraged the planners to consider public discussion.

“There are resources – a lot of resources – more than our business owners and our landlords know about  –  that are available to people even right here in Union County,” Gialanella said. “We really need somebody who is going to come drive those conversations and make people aware of what’s available.”

Mayor Glover responded to WRT’s presentation by agreeing the town needs to catch the attention of public thoroughfare because there is “a lot of bus traffic in this town,” and “a thousand cars that come through here.”

View the presentations below:

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

Send a Message to Nick Scutari and His Cronies: Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start.

To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million County ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

An Evening with Dianne Grossman, Mallory's Mom & Founder of Mallory's Army

July 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Mallory Rose Grossman, a 12-year-old girl from Rockaway, NJ, took her own life on June 14, 2017, after enduring horrific bullying. Following the pain of this senseless tragedy, her parents, Dianne and Seth Grossman, started a charitable foundation called Mallory’s Army™. Its mission is to change behavior, provide education to parents, and create enrichment ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b3322a9af399ab00349f_nightsky

Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_99864111416f9af936dd_dsc_2436

Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...

Sports

Carousel_image_989b40b66144f89908a8_pizza_run

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Westfield

Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza

Sports