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Area in Need of Rehabilitation

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just watching:
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.

Editor:
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, Hackensack’s 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 city’s 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 area’s 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 Hackensack’s 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 didn’t 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 don’t 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)

just watching:

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.

Editor:
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

Editor:
Latest article in the Wall Street Journal atttached, below.

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