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"Main Street New Jersey" Goes Urban

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Monticello Avenue Main Street Message Board

Jersey City Guide

Posted by C. Stribling on July 17, 2005 at 10:19:52:

The Main Street New Jersey Program, established in 1989, encourages
and supports the revitalization of commercial districts throughout
the state. Every two years the New Jersey Department of Community
Affairs (DCA) accepts applications and designates selected
communities to join the program. These communities receive valuable
technical support and training to assist in restoring their
commercial district as a center of community and economic activity.

The results in New Jersey have been impressive. Main Street New
Jersey Communities have brought significant numbers of new
businesses and jobs to their respective areas. In addition, facade
improvements and building rehabilitation projects have upgraded the
image of Main Street.

So, how did Monticello Avenue come into the picture? Through the
Monticello Community Development Corporation (MCDC).

Facing a weary community that had been informed over the years that
redevelopment for Monticello was looming, MCDC forged ahead and
successfully galvanized and championed the cause for improvement of
this once viable neighborhood-shopping district. MCDC impressed
upon the city, its departments, agencies, area businesses and
residents, the importance of proper planning and development.

Formed in 2001 as the Monticello Steering Committee, MCDC gained
sound support through community partnerships, hosting community-wide
meetings, and informing all city departments and agencies of their
accomplishments and goals for a secure commercial district and well-
rounded community.

MCDC's pursuit of Main Street New Jersey designation continues the
effort to solidify Monticello Avenue and its surrounding area as a
historically valued, economically viable, resident-sensitive
corridor that will service all who reside and visit the area.

Part of the Historic Bergen Hill district, the Monticello Avenue
Redevelopment area is 16 square blocks resting north to south
between Communipaw and Fairmount Avenues, and east to west between
Bergen and Summit Avenues. Over 90% of the buildings along
Monticello Avenue were built between the late 1800's and 1945.

Resting off of Communipaw Avenue, designated Jersey City's "Gateway
to the Monuments," Monticello Avenue will transform into a
destination spot for all visitors seeking shopping, dining, and
entertainment. Applying Main Street philosophy will bring about the
transformation - a proven formula for making the process work.
MCDC's strategy and results are:

Proper Redevelopment of Monticello Avenue into a
Neighborhood Shopping District with an Arts Overlay

Overwhelming support from Jersey City and the Jersey City
Economic Development Corporation

Guaranteed monies needed for improvements over the next
year, including:

o 1.5 million from the NJ Department of Transportation for new
streetscape project, to begin in spring of 2005
o Over 1 million recently approved by the Jersey City Council
for a Block Front Program
o $60,000 from the DCA' Smart Growth grant earlier this year,
specifically for planning efforts on Monticello Avenue

MCDC is a volunteer-community based organization comprised of
community leaders, business and property owners, residents and other
relative stakeholders.

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