Author Topic: Area in Need of Rehabilitation  (Read 91288 times)

Offline just watching

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Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« on: May 17, 2011, 11:06:52 PM »
Could someone please post the maps from the May 11, 2011 Planning Board meeting. 

It would be good to see the areas determined to be in need of redevelopment.  It appears that one area affects the Anderson Park area over to Clinton Place and including Sears.  Also another large area that appears to be in the vicinity of Union Street, Central Ave, State Street, and Essex Street.  It's hard to follow the streets listed on the Planning Board docket:

PROPOSED RESOLUTION BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF 
       HACKENSACK DESIGNATING AN AREA IN NEED OF REHABILITATION

Pursuant to Resolution No. 112-11 adopted by the City Council of the City of Hackensack
on March 1, 2011 the City Council authorized the undertaking of an investigation to
determine whether the city blocks and lots listed and marked in cross-hatch on the map
entitled Area in Need of Rehabilitation, City of Hackensack New Jersey Delineation
Map Study Area, prepared by DMR Architects, dated January 18, 2011, including
the portions of the following right of ways that border upon and/or bind together the
cross-hatched city blocks and lots: 

Bergen County Place, Essex Street, State Street, New York Susquehanna / Western Railway, Union Street, Central Avenue, State Street, Ward Street, Union Street, Anderson Street, Pangborn Place, Clinton Place, Main Street, University Plaza Drive and River Street. (hereinafter the Study Area) constitute an area in need of rehabilitation (the Investigation)   

Said investigation is authorized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-14.  Prior to the adoption of a resolution designating an area in need of rehabilitation, the City Council is required to submit its proposed resolution to the Planning Board for its review.  Within 45 days of receipt of the proposed resolution, the Planning Board shall submit its recommendations regarding the proposed resolution, including any modifications it may recommend to the City Council for its consideration.  Thereafter, or after 45 days if the Planning Board does not submit recommendations, the City Council may adopt the resolution, with or without modification.  In connection with the foregoing, the map entitled  Area in Need of Rehabilitation, City of Hackensack New Jersey Delineation Map Study Area, prepared by DMR Architects, dated January 18, 2011, the report dated April 18th, 2011, and the proposed resolution of the City Council have been prepared and are available for inspection at the Offices of the City Clerk, City Hall, 65 Central Avenue, Room 303 Hackensack, New Jersey, and the Secretary of the Planning Board, 410 East Railroad Avenue Hackensack during normal business hours.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:19:17 AM by Editor »



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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 10:25:16 AM »
Hackensack council declares Main Street a rehabilitation zone
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
BY MONSY ALVARADO
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK A large portion of Main Street and surrounding blocks have been designated an area in need of rehabilitation by the City Council paving the way for significant improvements to the downtown district.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday night for the change after the Planning Board made the recommendation last month. Mayor Karen Sasso and city officials said the next steps include a detailed review of the zoning and building codes that exist in the area.

This designation will provide the city with helpful tools to pursue a successful rehabilitation of the downtown, Sasso said, noting that the power of eminent domain is not one of the tools provided under an area in need of rehabilitation.

Sasso said preliminary analysis indicate that the designated area has the potential to expand from approximately three million square feet of retail, office and residential space to five million square feet. The area, she said, once rehabilitated would consist of mixed-use neighborhoods, with varying levels of retail, office and residential space. Some sectors would also contain government, cultural, and educational buildings.

In effect, Hackensacks Main Street area will become a series of clearly defined neighborhoods, appealing to those who wish to live where they may also work, play, eat and shop, she said.

The action was lauded by members of the Upper Main Alliance, which oversees the citys special improvement district. The group has been pushing for the designation. Two years ago, the alliance hired Street-Works LLC of White Plains, N.Y., a consulting company, to explore ways to rehabilitate the retail corridor. The alliance and representatives of Street-Works held several public meetings to present their ideas for the district.

A tremendous amount of study and due diligence has brought us to where we are tonight, said Jerome Lombardo, chairman of the alliance. I think the entire council can feel extremely confident that what is being recommended for the downtown has the backing of the business community and has been created by professionals in downtown planning.

Lombardo added that the next step is to review and revamp zoning laws to allow for taller buildings that may include a residential component over retail space. He said the move also will allow the city to apply for federal funds to improve the infrastructure of the area, including sewer and water lines.

A couple of residents raised concerns about the designation.

Kathleen Salvo, a regular attendee of the meetings, wondered whether the new status would lead some property owners to sue the city. She said in the past, when the council voted to declare sections of Main Street in need of redevelopment, some property owners sought legal action.

We tried that and it cost us a lot of money, and it went no where, she said. I just hope it moves on without anybody suing us.

The delineated area consists of approximately 163.8 acres stretching 39 city blocks. The city blocks contain 10 separate zoning classifications, including residential, commercial, office, city, county parks and recreation, redevelopment office, and parking, according to a study submitted to the city by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, which was hired as a planner by the council to work with Street-Works to define the areas boundaries.

A study of the district and surrounding area by DMR determined that it qualified for the change in designation because it meets a state criteria that requires that a majority of the water and sewer infrastructure in the area is at least 50 years old and is in need of repair and substantial maintenance.

DMR representatives determined that the city met that criteria by interviewing the city engineer, department of public works staff, and pointing to a $2 million bond ordinance the city approved in 2009 to repair Hackensacks combined storm and sanitary sewer system at various locations.

The designation was also recommended to prevent further deterioration of the street, and promote overall development of the community, the study states.

Versha Uberoi, the owner of Uneek Fashions, said she didnt know about the designation, but had heard that officials were looking to make changes. She said she is not sure if having residential units above retail stores is the answer, but said the idea of increased parking and attracting other stores is necessary for a successful Main Street.

This is a business place, but people dont come and shop here. said Uberoi, who has had her store on Main Street for 25 years. There are too many offices, restaurants and beauty parlors.

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com

(image below from North Jersey Media/Google)

Offline just watching

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 12:04:41 PM »

Thanks for the update and the map.

Let's hope that something actually comes of it.  There's a history in Hackensack of great studies being done for Main Street, and then they sit and gather dust.

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 10:41:37 PM »
Section of Hackensack's Main Street named rehabilitation zone
Friday, July 8, 2011
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle


A section of Main Street and adjoining blocks have been declared in need of rehabilitation, a move meant to spur redevelopment downtown. JOE CAMPOREALE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Hackensack City Council on June 21 approved a section of Main Street as being in need of rehabilitation.

The Hackensack City Council made the decision with a unanimous vote at the June 21 public meeting following a Planning Board recommendation made last month.

The designated area consists of nearly 164 acres located along 39 city blocks. According to a study prepared for the government by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, the group hired by the council as planners of the redevelopment, these blocks have 10 different zoning classifications. These classifications include city, commercial, county parks and recreation, redevelopment office, residential and parking.

The DMR study of the newly-designated rehabilitation area stated that the declaration was justified because it meets state criteria for change because the water and sewer infrastructure is at least 50 years old and in need of repair. After interviewing city officials, DMR further determined that the area met the change criteria and also noted a 2009 city-approved $2 million bond ordinance meant to repair Hackensack's combined storm and sanitary sewer system.

City officials indicated after initial study that the rehabilitation area could expand from nearly 3 million square feet of retail, office and residential space to approximately 5 million square feet, with mixed-use neighborhoods sharing all three different kinds of space.

Some residents questioned whether the designation of the rehabilitation area would ultimately improve downtown.

"How many people are going to be suing us because of this?" said Kathleen Salvo, a city resident and business owner who regularly attends Planning Board meetings. "They should go in and work with the owners of businesses along Main Street and do things like improve building facades some more."

However, Jerome Lombardo, chairman of the Upper Main Alliance, the organization that presides over the city's special improvement district, believes that the rehabilitation designation of the area is an important first step in attracting more commerce and customers to Hackensack's downtown.

"It's a tool that allows us to re-zone the area and to be eligible for federal funds to fix our infrastructure," Lombardo said, noting that the rehabilitation designation does not include the use of the power of eminent domain. "It's good news for people in the designated area. It should add value to people's properties."

Lombardo added that the alliance has also been working closely with Street-Works LLC of White Plains, N.Y., a development consulting company that the group hired two years ago, to find ways to invigorate Hackensack's downtown. The alliance and Street-Works representatives have held several public meetings in recent months during which they presented their redevelopment concepts.

"These people are professional planners, and their plans are carefully thought out," said Lombardo. "This has been tried so many times before in the last 40 years, but this is different because this is being done by professionals. We have a lot of confidence that we're going to have a successful outcome here."

"This is an important step in moving the process forward," said Councilman John Labrosse. "It's important that people know that eminent domain is not involved. People have the chance to take advantage of an opportunity, especially if they are a business owner around here. This effort working with the alliance seems to be much better than before."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 10:31:45 AM »
Latest article in the Wall Street Journal atttached, below.


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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 09:07:49 AM »
Designing Elements for a Hackensack Rehabilitation Project
Downtown Hackensack could get an upgrade in the future
By Joseph Dunsay
September 16, 2011

In its summer issue, the Hackensack Community Link reported that the Hackensack Planning Board considers downtown Hackensack an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. The Hackensack Mayor approved their recommendation. This designation could lead to the transformation of the blocks around Main Street from University Plaza Drive to Essex Street.

A large portion of this area is currently parking lots. Most of the buildings range from 1 to 5 stories with a few structures rising above the rest. Landowners in downtown Hackensack may want to borrow ideas from the construction in downtown Jersey City over the past decade.

Jersey City reinvented the Newport and Exchange Place neighborhoods to accommodate more commercial and residential space. New high-rises punctuate the sky, freeing up land for plazas and parks. These slender buildings echo the proportions of the skyscrapers across the Hudson. Their staggered arrangement allows a viewer to admire each one individually from a close range, but they combine to form a pleasing skyline from a distance.

Generous setbacks ensure that ample sunlight reaches the ground in downtown Jersey City. Pocket parks and private landscaping fill the area with plants. A walkway along the Hudson River provides an alternative to automobile traffic. Curved streets discourage through traffic to make the area a destination rather than a corridor. The Path and light rail provide local mass transit while the Hoboken train and bus terminals link the area to the rest of the state. Low-rise parking garages keep parked cars off the street.

Downtown Hackensack benefits from having two train stations, a bus terminal, and several bus lines. It has the potential to grow like downtown Jersey City. Of course, the property owners in the neighborhood should have the final say on any changes to their land, but here are a few humble suggestions for the area.

First, the town could remake the roads. River Road would remain the same and serve as a beltway. Main Street would turn to feed directly into State Street at the intersection with Ward Street. State Street would be enlarged to handle three lanes of traffic in each direction and it would undulate so that only people headed downtown would want to use it. Between Ward Street and Essex Street the old Main Street would become a pedestrian and cyclist pathway that connects to the Johnson Park pathway.

Making the jump to high-rise construction would free up space in downtown Hackensack. The taller buildings currently there could be preserved. Replacing shorter buildings with lean high-rises and parking lots with parking garages would make new pocket parks possible. Hackensack need not dictate the details of these new buildings. If the town raises the high limit, mandates setbacks, and establishes a floor to area ratio like in Fort Lee, developers are sure to build structures that are appropriate to the area. The rebuilt business district would be a boon to Bergen County.

Offline just watching

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 09:45:40 AM »
I had suggested something similar back in early 2007, to make most of Main Street in the middle of the downtown a pedestrian/bicycle corridor.  I'm shocked to see it in print today.

At the time I suggested that Main Street would be auto-free and bus-free from Court Street to Camden Street, and to make this happen by diverting traffic entering Main Street at the Court House onto Moore Street.  Moore Street would be one-way northbound, and then bending into Camden Street one-way westbound, and finally returning to Main Street one-way northbound at the library.

If I were to dust off that proposal today, I would suggest instead that the return of traffic to Main Street could instead happen at Berry Street, since the Oratam Field Club is now known to be closing down. Moore Street could be punched through one more block north.  The old Main Street could be completely retrofitted, with a huge area along the left and right sides of the street for outdoor cafes. There would be places for shade trees and lamps, benches, and other points of interest.  And straight down the middle would be a wide sidewalk that can handle a fire truck or ambulance (in a local emergency, not to reach emergencies on other streets).

The entire block bounded by Main Street, Berry Street, Passaic Street, and River Street can be redeveloped along with the 7-acre Ford-Mazda property. Imagine the pedestrian extension of Main Street extending from the current corner of Main Street and Berry Street straight to the Hackensack River somewhere near the northern side of the Ford-Mazda property. That would be a direct connection to the Waterfront Walkway. It would have to arch over River Street, but it could be done. Look at map to envision it. And there would be shops and stores, offices, and residential towers, lining the entire length. Lets throw in a name-brand Hotel, like a Marriott, why not.  If you want to make downtown Hackensack into something incredible, almost a tourist destination, that's how it can be done.

This proposal would mean that Main Street north of Berry Street would still be for automobiles, but I just cannot envision a viable street network any other way.

I would also require that the redevelopment of the 30-acre Record Campus include the block bounded by Moore Street, Mercer Street, River Street, and the Bus Terminal, along with Tucci's dead bank building at Main and Mercer.  Tucci's been sitting on it for long enough. At some point he loses the right of ownership. Again with a direct pedestrian connection arching over River Street to link up the 30 acres of new development and the riverfront with the center of the downtown.

As for State Street become 3 lanes each way, and undulating, I don't get that part at all.  I don't see the reason to lose all the parking along State Street, and losing the parking would turn it into a high-speed road dangerous to pedestrians.

I also think that the biggest obstacle would be getting the merchants and the Upper Main Street Alliance to endorse any version of Main Street becoming a pedestrian street.  Many are still fixated on having it become a 2-way street. Having it become zero-way and losing all the parking spots along the Street is the furthest thing from their minds.

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 10:12:10 AM »
Walkable urbanism, the new trend
Sunday, March 11, 2012
BY CHRIS LEINBERGER
The Record

Singles and childless couples are the emerging household types of the future.


Walkable urbanism, suburban-style: architect's rendering of Westmont, under construction on the Curtiss-Wright site in Wood-Ridge.



Chris Leinberger is president of LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers and investors advocating for sustainable environments in metropolitan areas. He is also a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute. It was first published by New Jersey Future, a statewide smart-growth land use policy organization.

A 2008 SURVEY found that 77 percent of millennials the generation of 20-somethings want to live where they are "close to each other, to services, to places to meet and to work, and they would rather walk than drive."

New Jersey, with its extensive rail transit network and "streetcar suburbs" with pedestrian-friendly downtowns that surround many of their stations, is well-poised to take advantage of the rise in demand for this walkable urbanism.

New Jersey is an anomaly among the 50 states in that it is highly urbanized yet lacks a major center city to claim as its own. The state's homegrown urban centers all live in the shadows of their much larger neighbors, New York and Philadelphia. In fact, New Jersey is widely perceived as consisting mainly of suburbs serving these two cities, even if many of its small towns do not fit the low-density, single-use stereotype of a "suburb."

The distinction, however, between city and suburb as the defining paradigm for describing the built environment is giving way to a new dichotomy: walkable urbanism versus drivable sub-urbanism. New Jersey is well positioned to take advantage of this change.

Today, too many walkable urban projects are derailed by lack of zoning, lengthy approval processes and local resident opposition. The majority of those who oppose such projects are often the very residents who would benefit the most from increased walkable urbanism, and at no cost to themselves.

The pent-up demand for walkable urbanism today is the result of a number of factors, but is broadly a story of demographics. Millennials, and their parents in the baby boom generation, make up more than half of the country's population and both are in transition. Baby boomers are now empty-nesters and will soon become retirees, and are likely to downsize their housing as they age. Studies show that millennials those just graduating from college and starting out in life greatly prefer the characteristics of urban living, including proximity to friends and events, nightlife and not needing a car, to those of the drivable suburbs where many of them grew up. Millennials are delaying marriage and family, something that, when paired with the empty-nester baby boomers, is creating a boom of childless households. Singles and childless couples are the emerging household type of the future, a trend that is already having a profound effect on the built environment and will continue to do so for decades to come.

To see the rise of walkable urbanism in action, one need look no further than down the Northeast Corridor to the Washington, D.C., metro region. Thirty years ago, when the region's Metro system was in its infancy, Washington's suburbs looked like the suburbs of any other car-oriented metro area. But since then, places like Silver Spring and Bethesda, Md., and the Carlyle and Reston town centers in Virginia, have transformed from auto-oriented suburbs into walkable communities, mixing shops, restaurants, services and a variety of housing types within walking distance of each other. In addition to functioning as local centers, nearly all of these places are anchored by rail transit, offering access to jobs, culture and entertainment in the larger hub of Washington.

Perhaps the most remarkable transition has been in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor in Arlington County, an inner suburban county with a population of 208,000. There, thanks to a conscious policy of concentrated growth around Metrorail stations, what was once a fading, auto-oriented suburb has boomed to a point where the walkable urban parts of the county, representing 10 percent of the county's land, now account for more than 50 percent of the county's tax revenue. Moreover, the influx of singles and childless couples, who pay school taxes but have few children, have contributed to making Arlington's public schools among the best in the country. And surprisingly, while residential densities have doubled along the corridor since 1985, absolute traffic counts have actually gone down, as more people are able to get around by transit, biking and, most important, walking.

Those living in existing single-family housing within walking distance of these new urbanized places in Arlington have also seen their quality of life improve, as evidenced by the premiums, often 80 percent to 100 percent, in the values of their homes over single-family housing in Arlington that is not within walking distance of urban amenities. These residents have access to both the suburban environment they desire and walking convenience to great urbanism the best of both worlds.

Like Arlington, New Jersey has the right mix of assets to benefit from the pent-up demand for walkable urbanism, including an extensive transit system and proximity to a major city in fact, two major cities. But unlike Arlington, most New Jersey municipalities have not capitalized on the potential benefits of these trends by providing a supportive development climate around rail transit stations.

There are people all across New Jersey who want to live in or close to walkable urban places, and plenty of developers who want to create them. Now it's up to the planners, neighbors, regulators, policy makers and others to let them do it.

Offline just watching

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 09:44:46 AM »
There are two issues with this. (1) The first is to make the new zoning standards ONLY for those areas.  Not apply them to other parts of Hackensack, either by zoning or by variance.

(2) The second is to write the new zoning criteria in such a way as to prevent construction of tiny low-end units. Those who follow zoning and planning in Hackensack will note that every multi-unit building completed from 1989 onwards have been large units, with large room sizes, and selling or renting for higher amounts.  That was because of the change from 1.5 to 2.1 parking spaces per unit, and the new 15-foot unpaved side yards.  The impact of those changes meant that the number of units that could be built was determined by the number of parking spaces that could be built onsite, NOT by building height, building setback, or other such criteria.  So if a developer could only provide 42 parking spots, that meant 20 units.  It became economical to build larger and much nicer units. The first building built under that criteria was 60 Moonachie Road. Other projects with larger units include State and Clay, State & Central, Polifly & Kaplan, First St just north of Arena Diner, the new building on Linden Street, and a few others.

In contrast, most of the mid-rise buildings built up until the mid-80's building boom are tiny units.  Tiny kitchens, tiny bedrooms with tiny closets. "New construction" at the time, but not holding their real estate value in the long run, and really not helping Hackensack.  For instance, the cluster of four buildings on the north side of Union Street at Sussex.  Also the two "Aztec" buildings, one on the lowest block of Euclid, one on Oak St a few blocks from Route 4.  In fact, the whole cluster around Jefferson Street. These units were built small because developers could pack as many units as possible onto a property.  PARKING wasn't the limiting factor. 50 small units selling at $100,000 each was more profitable than 30 spacious units selling for $135,000 each. Do the math. That's exactly what the builders were looking at.  So why build higher-end condominiums ? When the 2.1 parking space per unit criteria was adopted, there was no way to build 50 units on that same property because there was only room for parking to supply 30 units.  So if a developer has the choice to build 30 tiny units or 30 spacious units, they are going to build 30 spacious units.  Those who were pushing for the zoning changes in December 1987 had no clue whatsoever that this would be the impact, all people were thinking about was preventing street parking crisis and adding some green space (not to have parking lots abutting more parking lots, the sea-of-asphalt effect around Jefferson Street).  What actually happened was a big surprise to everyone. Those who toured new buildings saw the larger units and were happy. 

The same was true for rentals, and that's how Park Street was trashed with 333 Park Street (built 1985) and 370 Park Street (built 1975). Those were all tiny apartments with high turnover rates, and low rents. Those buildings are little better than housing projects. Had 370 Park Street been higher-end housing, that would have strengthened that neighborhood at a key time in its' history.

Do we want to return to building tiny units with tiny kitchens that look like walk-in closets (aka: Quail Heights and other Swensen Construction buildings), with 90 square foot bedrooms and without walk-in bedroom closets ?  That's not progress, that's not going to help Hackensack. Fortunately Swensen is a really good landlord or their buildings would be hell-holes.

So with this lesson in mind, if there are any new zoning criteria coming, somehow Hackensack has to make sure that tiny little units aren't constructed.  I was told once, many years ago, that the city could theoretically set minimum sizes for units, or for rooms inside units such as bedrooms, kitchens, etc.  Unsure if this can be done through zoning or health codes.  Any new criteria needs to be analyzed with an eye towards QUALITY construction, not tiny little units.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 10:11:15 AM by just watching »

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 11:15:41 AM »
Hackensack officials unveil Main Street redevelopment plan
Wednesday April 18, 2012, 10:01 PM
BY REBECCA D. O'BRIEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK City officials on Wednesday night embarked on the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street, which has languished in recent years.

The rehabilitation would promote the creation of a livable and real downtown district, said Francis Reiner, a planner who presented the plan at a City Council meeting Wednesday.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on the citys Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, new businesses, residences and open space.

Mayor Jorge Meneses said the city is on the cusp of greater things.

What gives me the confidence, and even cockiness, to say this is the fact that we have this plan, and the tools to move our city into the future, Meneses said. We dont really have an alternative. We either make this work or our beloved city will go down the drain.

The council unanimously approved the resolution in support of the plan.

In a recent interview, Reiner said Hackensack the Bergen County seat, home to Hackensack University Medical Center and ample public transportation is ideally positioned for a revival, but restrictive zoning had inhibited growth.

This document really opens that up and takes away the component that was holding back development, Reiner said.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin contributed to this article. Email: obrien@northjersey.com

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 12:16:43 AM »
Hackensack unveils plan for rebirth
Saturday, April 21, 2012
BY REBECCA D. O'BRIEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK City officials unveiled their vision for a revitalized downtown this week, proposing an ambitious zoning overhaul that they said would lay the foundation for a new urban center within a decade.

The plan marks the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street, once the commercial heart of Bergen County.

The rehabilitation would "promote the creation of a livable and real downtown district," said planner Francis Reiner, who presented the plan at a council meeting Wednesday night.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on the city's Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, as well as new businesses, residences and open space.

"New zoning is intended to support and strengthen business and property owners while allowing new opportunities for mixed-use projects," Reiner said, clicking through slides with artists' renderings of vibrant streetscapes.

The council unanimously approved the resolution in support of the plan, and members of a small, supportive audience stood to offer congratulations.

"The objective of the plan is to stimulate the economic engine now lying dormant in our downtown," said Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the city's Upper Main Street Alliance.

David Sanzari, president of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, said: "As many people know, there have been many groups that have tried to get this done over the years but nothing ever happened. This is the first time I've seen something come this far."

In a recent interview, Reiner said that Hackensack the Bergen County seat, home to hospitals and schools and a hub of public transportation was ideally positioned for a revival, but restrictive zoning had inhibited growth.

"This document really opens that up and takes away the component that was holding back development," Reiner said.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin contributed to this article. Email: obrien@northjersey.com

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 12:19:51 AM »

Offline just watching

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 11:22:01 AM »
Thanks for posting the plan.  It's a good read.

A few comments

1. It talks about a minimum 450 sf per unit.  Does that mean 450 sf of lot size per unit, or does that mean an apartment can be built with 450 sf of floor space ?
2. I most strongly disagree with the high parking requirements for retail and restaurant. It's way, way too high, and a disincentive for retail and restaurant construction. Most of the patrons of the retail or restaurant will be coming from office or residential in the immediate area, and parking is ALREADY provided for those persons at the office or residential structure.  Instead I would keep to the 2.1 spots per unit for residential (for 2 or more bedrooms), and perhaps go to 1.5 if it is a one-bedroom unit. Restaurants and retail should have no parking requirements, zero. That's how we're going to lure in the big national stores.
3. Please prohibit advertising on bus shelters and garbage receptacles. There are companies out there that specialize in "maintaining" bus shelters if they are allowed to use them as billboards.  It's tacky. 
4. I see that they finally found a planning consultant to agree with the basic presumption in downtown planning for Hackensack, that all the problems of Main Street stem from it being one-way traffic.  So we now have a plan based on two-way traffic.  Yipppeee ????  Great, we'll return to traffic gridlock conditions of the early 1970's, and when driving up or down Main Street, I will only be able to look for a spot on ONE side of the street.  Right now I can surf for spots on both sides of the street as I drive northbound. I like that option.  To me, this proposed change is going not one, but TWO steps backwards.  If this HAS to be done, at least keep the side streets as one-way.  To reduce the traffic gridlock.  I could imagine some of the side streets being converted from two lanes in ONE DIRECTION to one lane in ONE DIRECTION.  And that would open up street parking opportunities.
5. I'm pleased to see that the sidewalks are being widened, but I think the 18' could be 20'.  That will allow for 13' sidewalk, which is still much less than Washington Street in Hoboken.
6. It would be good to include The Record campus in the study area, in order to take control over that development.  Otherwise we could be stuck with a big WalMart
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 11:24:29 AM by just watching »

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 03:48:38 PM »
Hackensack officials showcase downtown plan
Friday, May 4, 2012
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK A new plan geared toward the revitalization of Hackensack's downtown was unveiled at the April 18 City Council meeting, The effort to bring the city's Main Street corridor back to its former commercial strength includes zoning changes to spur economic and residential growth.

The rehabilitation plan focuses on a designated 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on Main Street and the surrounding area, remembered as a commercial and entertainment Mecca in the 1940s and 50s. The proposal incorporates a mix of new housing and businesses along with open space. Enhanced infrastructure, including improved roads and sidewalks, are also part of the plan.

Planner Francis Reiner of DMR Architects laid out the plan before the council and approximately 40 residents and business people, displaying slides with scenes of the city to come.

"New zoning is intended to support and strengthen existing businesses and property owners while allowing new opportunities for mixed-use projects," Reiner said. "Great downtowns require active streets, which require mixed residential and commercial uses."

The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution supporting the plan. Members of the community also spoke out in support of the proposal.

"This plan does not contemplate [the use of] any eminent domain, or the taking of any property, bur rather seeks to harness the power of the marketplace to rebuild our downtown," said Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the city's Upper Main Street Alliance. "It utilizes solid urban planning techniques, forward-thinking zoning, and transit-oriented solutions, all of which are now being used successfully in other parts of the country. The objective of the plan is to stimulate the economic engine now lying dormant in our downtown."

David Sanzari, president of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, also expressed his backing for the plan, remembering other downtown redevelopment plans that never got off the ground.

"This is the first time I've seen something come this far," Sanzari said.

Albert Dib, executive director of the Upper Main Street Alliance, explained why he felt this plan has a real chance to succeed where others have failed.

"This is different because you have the weight of the business community behind it, a fully engaged governing body, and the right team of professionals," Dib said. "When you put those elements together, along with a significant community outreach program to get residents involved, you have the right mix."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com

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Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 12:07:28 PM »
Downtown revival clears another hurdle
Monday, May 14, 2012
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK An ambitious plan to spark downtown revitalization has received unanimous approval from the Planning Board, the second of several procedural steps before the city can take action.

Mayor Jorge Meneses called the approval an important step for the plan, a zoning overhaul that officials say will lay the foundation for a new urban center within a decade. He also urged residents and business owners to participate as the plan moves through the legislative process.

"We are ushering in a new era for Hackensack that will spur investment, creates jobs, raise our property values, and in the long-term lower the tax burden on our residents," Meneses said in a statement. "It is important that we hear from the diverse voices in our community so we can all come together and get this plan into action."

The plan marks the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street once the commercial heart of Bergen County.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 blocks and 389 properties centered on the Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, as well as new businesses, residences and open space.

The document will return to the City Council for an official hearing in June, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said.

Email: akin@northjersey.com

 

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