From the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs:
Today, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs announced today that Springfield Avenue Partnership, the non-profit organization that manages the Springfield Avenue special improvement district in Maplewood, has received a designation to the Main Street New Jersey Program.
“Over the years, both public and private investment have built up Springfield Avenue, remaking it from a county thoroughfare to a neighborhood business corridor. For this community effort, Springfield Avenue and the Springfield Avenue Partnership are honored to receive the Main Street New Jersey designation,” said Nicole Wallace, Executive Director of the Springfield Avenue Partnership. “In the coming year, the Partnership aims to invest in placemaking and wayfinding, and to increase the number and diversity of events.”
“Springfield Avenue is a cornerstone of Maplewood and as a municipality we are always looking for ways to enhance our business district. Being named a new Main Street New Jersey district provides the opportunity for our bustling area of commerce to strengthen its live, work, play, and learn environment and add tasteful signage, which will enhance the dining and shopping experience of patrons and residents throughout New Jersey. Thank you for this honor,” said Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee.
The Partnership promotes local businesses, works to attract new businesses, and performs services such as cleaning sidewalks, maintaining an online business directory and database of available commercial space, and assisting with façade renovation projects.
The Main Street NJ program is an initiative aimed at encouraging and supporting the revitalization of downtown business districts throughout the state. With the designation, the Springfield Avenue Partnership can now receive technical assistance and training in how to “restore their main streets as centers of community and economic activity.” Other commercial districts in Bernardsville, Fair Lawn and Toms River also received designation today.
This is the first time in six years that the MSNJ Program has added new communities to its roster. There are now 23 communities participating in the program, including the newly designated communities announced today.
“Our Main Street New Jersey Program has shown that when a community participates in a comprehensive revitalization effort, its downtown can experience a return of economic vitality,” said Lt. Governor Shelia Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We welcome these newly designated communities into the program and look forward to helping them take full advantage of all the resources and training that is now available to strengthen their downtowns and create a positive image of their business district.”
Since it was established in 1989, the MSNJ Program has brought significant numbers of new businesses and jobs to the downtown districts participating in the program. In addition, façade improvements and building rehabilitation projects have upgraded the image of downtown business districts across the state.
The MSNJ Program is a Coordinating Program of Main Street America, which is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Main Street America approach is to help downtown districts develop a transformation strategy around four main points – economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization – that is unique to their community and based on local and regional market data.
Designated MSNJ communities receive an array of services, including customized design assistance, access to state and national specialists, training on key downtown issues, and ongoing marketing and promotions support. They can also receive grant funding for small business support and neighborhood improvement projects.
In order to apply for Main Street New Jersey designation, communities had to meet the following basic requirements:
- One identifiable downtown or main street;
- Historic buildings and character;
- Walkable scale and pedestrian-oriented district;
- Predominance of mixed-use buidings;
- Commitment to revitalization through financial, people, and policy resources; and
- Commitment to employ a full-time executive director with an adequate program operating budget for a minimum of four years if the community has a population over 20,000.
For more information on MSNJ, visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/lps/msnj.html#1.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: