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Update On MCDC and Monticello Main Street

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Posted by C. Stribling on July 17, 2005 at 10:23:02:

MCDC Organization Development


- Formed in 2001 as the Monticello Avenue Steering Committee
- Formed as the Monticello Community Development Corporation in 2003.
- MCDC has 10 Board Members and one Executive Director.
- MCDC members consist of area stakeholders who live, work or do business in the Monticello Avenue community – business owners, property owners, community leaders, area employees, and residents.


Monticello Redevelopment Plan (MARP)

- The current Monticello Avenue Redevelopment Plan was approved in 1987. It does not classify Monticello Avenue as a Commercial District. Hence, a mixture of all residential housing and other inappropriate development.
- MCDC, frustrated with inappropriate development and proposal for development took on the responsibility to rewrite the MARP.
- First draft completed and submitted to the Jersey City Division of Planning.
- MARP area is Fairmount to Communipaw Avenues, North side of Communipaw Avenue from Crescent to Bergen Avenues.
- Plan will define Monticello Avenue as a Neighborhood Shopping District w/an Arts Overlay.
- MCDC and the Jersey City Planning Department will host meetings with Monticello businesses, property owners and other stakeholders to review and comment on the plan.
- Once the community and the JC Division of Planning accept the plan it will be presented to the City Council for adoption. Once adopted it will serve as the guideline for future development on Monticello Avenue.

Smart Growth Grant

- Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) received a “Smart Growth” grant from the Department of Community Affairs. The $60,000.00 grant, specifically for Monticello Avenue, was awarded to assist with the proper planning for the revitalization of the corridor.
- JCEDC has acquired the services of the planning consultant group JGSC Group, LLC to work with MCDC/Main Street to identify and implement economic improvements for Monticello.
- JGSC recently presented the a report, the culmination of several surveys conducted throughout the city to identify what businesses, and activities will be sustainable within the Monticello Avenue Redevelopment area.
- Surveys included Shopper’s, Residential and Business Surveys.
- JGSC/Community Insights will be working with MCDC throughout the year. A major part of their responsibility is to assist and train MCDC with recruiting new businesses to Monticello and how to work with existing businesses to improve their overall presentation and marketing.

Streetscape

- Jersey City was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation $1.5 million dollars for streetscape upgrades for Monticello Avenue.
- The vision is to create a historic looking streetscape to complement the existing structures.
- MCDC has worked very closely with the Jersey City Department of Public Works to see the project implemented.
- Project is scheduled to begin late summer, early fall.

Façade Rehabilitation

- MCDC has been working very closely with the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation in planning for Block Front rehabilitation along Monticello Avenue.
- JCEDC approved over $1 million dollars to begin the Block Front program.
- The initial block to benefit from this program will be on the east side of Monticello Avenue between Brinkerhoff Avenue and Astor Place. Chosen because it has the most contiguous buildings with operating, or plans to operate, commercial space on the ground level. Additionally, the majority of those buildings were slated for demolition to expand P.S. #12 School by the Jersey City Board of Education. After meeting with the JCBOE it was agreed that sparing these structures would increase the opportunity for proper revitalization.
- JCEDC’s architect, Herb Solomon, has visited the site, photographed the buildings, interviewed property owners and has completed renderings for the pilot block.
- The intent is to restore storefronts to their original appearance, as much as possible.
- Plans have been approved by the Jersey City Planning Board.
- The project is slated to begin this fall.


Main Street New Jersey

- Main Street is a national program created by the National Historic Trust, and New Jersey’s Main Street Program is under the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. For more information about log on to mainst.org
- In 2003 Board Members Michele Massey and Charlene Burke completed the Downtown Revitalization Institute’s quarterly workshops, hosted by Main Street NJ.
- In July 2004 MCDC submitted an application to Main Street New Jersey, pursuing designation for Monticello Avenue.
- City agrees, through a resolution, commits to a matching grant for the next four (4) years of no less than $70,000 through the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation.
- Monticello Avenue was designated a New Jersey Main Street on November 5, 2004 and MCDC was named the managers for the program.

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