Jersey City Creates Special Improvement District at Exchange Place

December 21, 2016 Catherine Hecht

 Exchange Place Plaza – JCI file photo © Harmony Media, NJ

The following press release was sent out last week by Jersey City Press Secretary, Jennifer Morrill, regarding the City Council’s approval for and the formation of the “Exchange Place Alliance,” Jersey City’s newest Special Improvement District (SID):

December 16, 2016

Jersey City Creates Sixth Special Improvement District at Exchange Place

“Exchange Place Alliance” Aims to Energize the Waterfront and Turn it into a 24-Hour, 7-Day-a-Week Community

Councilwoman Candice Osborne, Mayor Steven Fulop, and the municipal council announced the formation of Jersey City’s Exchange Place Alliance Special Improvement District, the sixth SID to be established in Jersey City. The Exchange Place Alliance, approved by unanimous vote of the City Council on December 14, aims to promote more programming, make capital improvements, and energize the Jersey City waterfront. The Exchange Place Alliance has also committed to investing substantially in Peninsula Park, which has long languished under State control.

“With a bold mission to transform our Downtown Waterfront from a 9-5 commuter walkway to a world-class space, the Exchange Place Alliance will develop and invest in cultural and capital projects that will attract residents from all over Jersey City,” said Councilwoman Osborne, who sponsored the legislation forming the Special Improvement District and will sit on the board. “In particular, I am thrilled with the District’s significant commitment to save Peninsula Park from continued erosion, creating a legacy that will last for generations to come.”

The SID will cover the area from the southern end of the city north to 6th Street and operate on a proposed $3 million yearly budget. Funding for the SID’s operations will come from a special assessment on commercial property owners and large multi-unit rental complexes – not individual taxpayers.

“Jersey City’s waterfront area has seen great progress over the years, but there is still so much untapped potential, particularly along the walkway itself. Now, at no cost whatsoever to the City budget, we will be able to invest private dollars into this public asset,” said Mayor Fulop. “I am confident that the improvements made throughout the Exchange Place Alliance district will pay dividends for our entire city.”

The Alliance’s initiatives include a variety of capital improvements—including the development of informational kiosks, public restrooms, seating along the Hudson River Waterfront walkway, additional Citi Bike stations, and Wi-Fi and charging stations. Additionally, it will focus on enhancing wayfinding and will increase access to park and recreational areas for children and families to enjoy through several improvement projects at Colgate Center Park and Peninsula Park.

The Alliance will also promote public improvement projects to repave streets, power wash streets and sidewalks, maintain landscaping, as well as improve lighting and snow and trash removal. Upkeep will be provided by a dedicated cleaning team.

In order to promote social growth throughout the area, the Exchange Place Alliance plans to work with a variety of local charities and neighborhood groups, while also organizing events, including a weekly Tuesday evening Farmer’s market, regular street fairs, art shows and exhibits, a food truck festival and an Annual Jersey City Seafood Festival.

“Mack-Cali is committed to supporting Jersey City’s development and to continue making Jersey City a vibrant place for families and individuals to live and work,” said Michael DeMarco, President of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. “The Exchange Place Alliance will not only increase the number of amenities Jersey City employees, residents and visitors enjoy throughout the year, but it will nurture the rich diversity that Jersey City has to offer.”

The Exchange Place Alliance will also aim to promote economic growth in Exchange Place by attracting new businesses to the area, supporting and providing resources to businesses and landlords throughout the district, and utilizing an ongoing branding campaign to further distinguish the Exchange Place community as a top destination to live, work and play.

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