Express Week

Mayor Fulop Creates Board to Establish Jersey City’s 6th Special Improvement Business District

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JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced April 20 he has created an advisory board, the first legal step required, in order to codify the creation of the Exchange Place Special Improvement District - the sixth SID in the city. 

The goal of the Exchange Place SID is to change the Jersey City waterfront from a community that is mostly active only 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays into a place that attracts visitors regionally. 

Special improvement districts support the business growth of an area while providing maintenance services, capital improvements and event programming for the district they serve. They create an added assessment for membership which is used to enhance programming. For example, many of Jersey City’s special improvement districts host farmers’ markets, concerts and other community building events that promote the city as a destination for commerce and culture. 

“Special Improvement Districts have played a strong role in the growth of Jersey City’s small businesses and work closely with local neighborhood associations to add vibrancy to a community,” said Mayor Fulop.  “An Exchange Place SID would enhance the already bustling commercial district and further develop Jersey City as a destination by providing increased services and programming to be enjoyed by employees, residents and visitors to Jersey City.” 

The Exchange Place SID advisory board, created last week by executive order, is the first step in the process per city statute in establishing a new Special Improvement District (SID).  The seven-member committee will review the proposal and make recommendations to the council, who would then create legislation establishing the SID later this summer. 

The members of the advisory committee are:  Ilene Jablonski, Vice President of Marketing, Mack Cali Realty Corp.; Mike DeMarco, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mack Cali Realty Corp.; Andrew Marshall, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mack Cali Realty Corp/Roseland; Richard Branca, Principal, Hyatt House /Concord Hospitality; Steve Pozycki, SJP Properties; Diane Kaese, President, Historic Paulus Hook Neighborhood Association; Candice Osborne, Ward E Councilperson; and Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil (alternate). 

The Exchange Place SID would cover the area roughly of the Goldman Sachs tower at Essex and Hudson Streets through to Harborside Plaza 10 on Second Street. It would include downtown commercial properties such 70 Hudson, 90 Hudson, 101 Hudson, 30 Montgomery Street, the Harborside properties, and the Hyatt Hotel, among others. 

“As a true live/work/play environment on the waterfront, this improvement district will help activate the area by promoting programming that appeals to tenants, residents, and visitors alike,” said Michael DeMarco, Mack-Cali president. “This area is the first point of entry for many people traveling from New York City and it’s imperative that the first impression upon entering this great city be a positive one.” 

Special Improvement Districts are funded by a special tax assessment on commercial properties that fall within the boundaries of the district.  Single-family homes and residential condos would be exempt from the assessment.  Once established, a board would be created to execute the priorities of the district members. 

Some of the capital improvements that an Exchange Place SID would consider include upgrades to the PATH station, improved wayfinding and branding, improved lighting, improved landscaping and streetscape, and increased frequency of PATH and ferry service.   Maintenance services to be considered include powerwashing of streets and sidewalks, landscaping, security, trash and snow removal.   Event planning and branding of the district would also be items considered by the SID board and management corporation. 

The city’s five other special improvement districts, which cover primarily main streets throughout the city, are the Journal Square, Central Avenue, Historic Downtown, and McGinley Square SIDs, and the Jackson Hill Main Street Management Corporation.  - Jennifer Morrill, Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop.

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