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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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When the junky stores close, the poor people will no longer shop The Avenue. Doesn't the plan call for the breaking up of the big stores into little shoppes and petites boutiques? Does anyone really think that at least one purpose of this upgrade is to attract nice stores and subtract the current clientele? Well maybe we will have one place called Ye Old 99 Pence Shoppe or something like that.

If Newark Avenue can come close to duplicating the variety of shops that Washington Street has in Hoboken, I would be quite pleased. Off the top of my head, I don't recall any chain stores like the GAP - the only chains being the drug stores and fast foods, I think.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 17:51
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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The bargain hunters come to Newark Ave because that's where the bargains are. The Gap/Land's End hunters go to the mall or into Manhattan, but that doesn't mean they don't live in downtown JC. You can't expect high-end folks to flock to Newark when there is nothing there for them. There are a few very high-end boutiques elsewhere downtown (on Grove and in Paulus Hook) that seem to be surviving and even prospering. I think there needs to be room for a variety of retail stores, because there are a wide range of incomes and needs in JC. And there are a few of us who actually enjoy and patronize both boutiques and dollar stores.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 17:34
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

alb wrote:
Quote:

Stranger wrote:
What's with the elimination of the hardware store?


.


- My impression is that Newark is already a wonderful street, and that the mix of shops is not so great because the rents must be too high. Maybe one part of the redevelopment project should be an economic analysis that would look at what the property owners want to collect in rent, what they need to collect to pay their bankers, what the business people are actually willing to pay, and how much business the residents around here really can support.

My impression is that even the people around here who have nice homes are pretty cash poor once they've paid for their homes, cars, school/daycare and travel to see families back home. So, even though we all would like to see something other than dollar stores (maybe a $5 store?), I'm "not sure whether that's realistic.

If Newark ended up attracting a bunch of Gap type stores, and it turned out all typical people here really can afford is a Goodwill store, that could cause a lot of disappointment.

- Some economist needs to go to places like Hoboken and Williamsburg and explain why they have so much more yuppie commercial life. Do the people there earn that much more? Is there disposable income that much higher? Are their tastes different? Are rent structures different? Is commercial regulation different?



My impression, regarding
"trading-up" (as they used to say in the rag business
when they wanted to charge more money for the same
old schlock ) is that the Newark Avenue average
shopper is not in the Banana Republic/Land's End catagory.
Take a look at what walks on that street day and nite,
and realized that a few bricks underfoot and ivy
dangling from the lampposts will not change a thing.
Newark Avenue is a poor person's shopping street,
and folks come from far and wide in search of
junk and bargains. Old people come by the jitney-
full and head into the dollar stores to spend their
pension money on crap.
It simply seems to me that so many of the
folks calling for the upgrading of The Avenue
are champagne sippers on a beer budget.
You gotta remember that big talk costs nothing --
and this area is packed full of big talkers.
I truly wish we could be more like Smith Street
or Montague Street, but my eyes tell me it's
gonna be a while.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 17:15
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Thanks Steve. I like the plan. Hopefully it will keep people from parking on the sidewalk as well.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 16:53
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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I need to correct something that Minnie posted -- I did not say that I support "parking on a slant" on Newark Avenue that was the view held by a small merchant "Wilson Kim, owner of Nature's House at 159 Newark Ave"

If there is to be "diagonal parking" then Newark Avenue must be "One Way." Newark Avenue is clearly not wide enough for parking on both sides and two way traffic. It sadly isn't a wide Boulevard like say Washington Blvd is in Hoboken-- instead it is a beautiful diagonal street resulting in lots of interesting triangular buildings. Newark Avenue needs to be pedestrian friendly, not car friendly; it needs to be a "destination" not something amounting to a strip mall.

Street Lamps and more trees should be immediately added all the way down Newark at least to Brunswick or better, to the new condo building being built by the turnpike overpass.

It will look silly just to improve the area next to the new Grove Pointe towers and the Grove PATH Station. I am sure this is all the developers care about but downtown needs more vision than that -- it needs to ALL be integrated together into one unified neighborhood.

I am very happy that the city is getting $990,000 to repave Newark Avenue -- again, this must be used to resurface Newark at least up to Brunswick or better to the turnpike overpass. (I also hope that all sewer and water main work is completed before repaving or it will just be torn up and it will be back to the pothole mess that it is now.)


Quote:

Minnie wrote:
Quote:

Wilson Kim wrote:

Wilson Kim, owner of Nature's House at 159 Newark Ave. for 10 years, said he likes Fulop's ideas and hopes to see other initiatives.

'I hope they can create parking on a slant, because a lot of customers don't shop on Newark Avenue because there's not enough parking,' said Kim.



2 hour parking on a slant would make sense.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 15:41
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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What are the new Entertainment revisions?

Will i have to use a guitar player?

Posted on: 2006/11/20 15:27
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Wouldn't slant parking require Newark Avenue to be one way? Is that in the cards?

Posted on: 2006/11/20 15:13
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Minnie wrote:
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GrovePath wrote:

"I hope they can create parking on a slant, because a lot of customers don't shop on Newark Avenue because there's not enough parking," said Kim.



2 hour parking on a slant would make sense.


Aside from the fact that slant parking would create more parking, it would help make Newark safer by narrowing the street and slowing traffic without actually turning the street into a pedestrian mall.

My understanding is that pedestrian malls usually turn into desolate, dangerous ghost towns, but that slowing traffic on a commercial street without blocking it tends to make the street safer.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 14:56
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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GrovePath wrote:

"I hope they can create parking on a slant, because a lot of customers don't shop on Newark Avenue because there's not enough parking," said Kim.



2 hour parking on a slant would make sense.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 13:02
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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A NEW Newark Avenue?
Redevelopment plan considered; neighbors want more info

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Huson Reporter -- 11/20/2006

A NEW-ARK AVENUE � This is the southern side of Newark Avenue in Jersey City that City Councilman Steven Fulop is proposing to revitalize.
There are plans to put the NEW into a section of Newark Avenue.

The City Council at its meeting on Nov. 7 passed a resolution for a swath between Newark Avenue and Christopher Columbus Drive from Grove Street to Jersey Avenue to be studied for redevelopment or rehabilitation by the Jersey City Planning Board.

Someday, the streetscape could include bike racks, trees, historic lighting, new businesses and apartments, and improved cross-walks.

The resolution was introduced by Councilman Steven Fulop, who represents the area to be studied.

Fulop said he put forward the resolution after meeting recently with business owners and representatives of the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District to discuss upgrading the streetscape on Newark Avenue and bringing in new businesses.

By law, an area designated for redevelopment can have its zoning changed, and the city can use the power of eminent domain to transform the area.

Presently, the section of the street in question includes a McDonald's, a pizzeria, pet and hardware stores, and a small city park.

Fulop said last week that he expects to see the Planning Department present the findings of their investigation sometime between January and March.

"In my mind, it is a very positive thing to pursue improving this side of Newark Avenue," said Fulop.

What is the plan?

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Fulop wants zoning changed for the area (which is zoned Neighborhood Commercial) to see the large retail spaces on Newark Avenue be split into two spaces to allow for more businesses on Christopher Columbus Drive, and bring more life to an area that is currently dominated by a mural painting.

"The spaces on Newark Avenue are too large for one retail store, and I would like to help create a streetscape where the mural is currently located," said Fulop. "We need visible storefronts on Christopher Columbus Drive, as it is not an inviting atmosphere for people seeing the gates down."

Thus, the idea of pushing for a study of "an area in need of rehabilitation."

Fulop said he has in mind a "streetscape and conceptual plan," something that is also described on his website (www.stevenfulop.com). The streetscape element would include bike racks, trees, historic lighting, and improved cross-walks, to promote a more pedestrian friendly area to shop and sightsee.

Also, the streetscape plan includes elements are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified to be environmentally friendly and allowing grants to be pursued.

Fulop said his plan came out of looking at what already exists in the area. There is a streetscape on the north side of Newark Avenue spanning from the intersection at Christopher Columbus Drive to Barrow Street. The streetscape includes several buildings with a brickface façade and a street-based clock stationed at the corner of Barrow and Newark.

He also has looked at the new businesses and new developments that have opened on Newark Avenue. He cites the examples of the It's Greek To Me restaurant on the northwest corner of Jersey and Newark avenues, and the construction of the Grove Pointe, a 29-story building on Columbus Drive near Newark Avenue that will consist of 67 condominiums and 458 rental apartments. The developers are revamping a one-block section of Newark Avenue and the triangular park area at the entrance to the Grove Street PATH station.

Fulop's plan for revitalizing Newark Avenue is another of a number of initiatives that he has pursued since coming into office last year, such as a "Restaurant Row" ordinance that has extended hours for alcohol to be served at restaurants and other establishments.

"I think we're pushing the process," said Fulop. "By the end of my first term in 2009, I want to see a thoroughfare filled with restaurants."

But what does the public think?

When the resolution sponsored by Fulop was passed at the previous meeting, there was no public speaking since it is not permitted during the approval of resolutions.

But some in the public weighed in on Fulop's plans last week.

Dan Levin, a Third Street resident who lives only blocks from the Newark Avenue area, said he only learned about Fulop's proposal by reading about it in the Nov. 12 Jersey City Reporter. He has hoped that Fulop would have spoken to residents before any resolution was passed.

"A powerful redevelopment plan can take property through eminent domain, as business owners have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Levin. "You don't need a redevelopment plan to do streetscape improvement."

Fulop said he did not intentionally avoid informing the public, and noted that he deals with 13 neighborhood associations. After the interview, Fulop posted information on his website including renderings of how Jersey Avenue and Newark Avenue could look if the area undergoes the transformation.

Fulop also presented his ideas to the Harsimus Cove Neighborhood Association Wednesday night.

Valerio Luccio, the outgoing president of the association, said he was on board with Fulop's proposal.

"My understanding is what Steve is doing is an ongoing process and he was doing a little bit of both upgrades and changing the zoning to really promote Columbus Drive and Newark Avenue," said Luccio. "We need more forceful action besides aesthetics."

Luccio also said there has been talk about doing streetscape upgrades for years, but Fulop's plan is first in a long time that is close to reality.

Business owners in the area said they welcome any upgrade project.

Steve Kalcanides, owner of longtime Newark Avenue business Helen's Pizza, said last week Fulop has spoken to him about upgrade ideas.

"There has been a couple of years passed since the city did a facade program on the north side of the Newark Avenue, but grant money ran out to do any work on the south side," said Kalcanides. "I look forward to seeing it happen. Steve Fulop is really taking bull by the horns."

Wilson Kim, owner of Nature's House at 159 Newark Ave. for 10 years, said he likes Fulop's ideas and hopes to see other initiatives.

"I hope they can create parking on a slant, because a lot of customers don't shop on Newark Avenue because there's not enough parking," said Kim.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2006/11/20 12:06
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:

Where is the funding coming from? It would be nice to at least carry the new lights and trees "look" to Brunswick -- if not all the way to the turnpike overpass.


Steve:

I agree totally with carrying the streetscape further down Newark to Brunswick. There are so many businesses down here, without question more than on Christopher Columbus.

To end the street scape short of Brunswick gives the impression that The Village is not part of downtown, which it most certainly is. When approaching downtown via Newark, The Village acts as the gateway.

In the other parts of the city, Central Ave. in particular, The consistent street scape seems to go on for miles. We're only talking about a few more blocks.

I echo others on this post by saying, thanks for including us in the process. Keep up the good work.

Posted on: 2006/11/18 2:04
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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alb wrote:
- Some economist needs to go to places like Hoboken and Williamsburg and explain why they have so much more yuppie commercial life. Do the people there earn that much more? Is there disposable income that much higher? Are their tastes different? Are rent structures different? Is commercial regulation different?


I've had a number of conversations with folks about this and the best guesses point to the zoning and liquor laws reducing the restaurants and bars, and there's a synergy between those and retail.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 5:09
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Are they 3 blocks away from a gigantic MALL? Maybe that has something to do with it....?

Posted on: 2006/11/16 4:47
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

Stranger wrote:
What's with the elimination of the hardware store?


I guess from what someone said in another post the store is already on the market. But that's really sad. It's a great store.

Also:

- I don't have a car, but I think the city should think hard before closing Newark or any other commercial street to car traffic. My understanding is that most streets turned into pedestrian malls fail horribly.

- My impression is that Newark is already a wonderful street, and that the mix of shops is not so great because the rents must be too high. Maybe one part of the redevelopment project should be an economic analysis that would look at what the property owners want to collect in rent, what they need to collect to pay their bankers, what the business people are actually willing to pay, and how much business the residents around here really can support.

My impression is that even the people around here who have nice homes are pretty cash poor once they've paid for their homes, cars, school/daycare and travel to see families back home. So, even though we all would like to see something other than dollar stores (maybe a $5 store?), I'm not sure whether that's realistic.

If Newark ended up attracting a bunch of Gap type stores, and it turned out all typical people here really can afford is a Goodwill store, that could cause a lot of disappointment.

- Some economist needs to go to places like Hoboken and Williamsburg and explain why they have so much more yuppie commercial life. Do the people there earn that much more? Is there disposable income that much higher? Are their tastes different? Are rent structures different? Is commercial regulation different?

Posted on: 2006/11/16 4:06
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Stranger wrote:
What's with the elimination of the hardware store? I like apartments and restaurants as much as the next guy, but we also need hardware stores downtown. Is it about eliminating local business and replacing them with big box? Why is that one store singled out in the concept drawings? Because it's one story? Because it has a bunch of ugly power and light poles out front? Are there really plans to put them underground or is that artistic license?
I can tell you for a fact, that the owner of the hardware store has been trying to find a developer to buy his property for a number of years. He is ready to retire and sees the writing on the proverbial wall in regards to development in the area and Home Depot’s eminent arrival. Sometimes a cigar is, just a cigar.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 3:59
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

Stranger wrote:
What's with the elimination of the hardware store? I like apartments and restaurants as much as the next guy, but we also need hardware stores downtown. Is it about eliminating local business and replacing them with big box? Why is that one store singled out in the concept drawings? Because it's one story? Because it has a bunch of ugly power and light poles out front? Are there really plans to put them underground or is that artistic license?
I can tell you for a fact, that the owner of the hardware store has been trying to find a developer to buy his property for a number of years. He is ready to retire and sees the writing on the proverbial wall in regards to development in the area and Home Depot’s eminent arrival. Sometimes a cigar is, just a cigar.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 3:59
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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What's with the elimination of the hardware store? I like apartments and restaurants as much as the next guy, but we also need hardware stores downtown. Is it about eliminating local business and replacing them with big box? Why is that one store singled out in the concept drawings? Because it's one story? Because it has a bunch of ugly power and light poles out front? Are there really plans to put them underground or is that artistic license?

Posted on: 2006/11/16 3:41
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Thanks for your efforts on this, Councilman.

My own suggestion, to make for a more pedestrian friendly environment on Newark Ave., would be to break up the extremely long and dangerous crosswalks at Newark and 1st (the north and south sides of the street) and Newark and Bay (north side) with a triangular median similar to the one at Newark and 2nd. Without traffic lights at these 'diagonal' intersections, drivers often do not come to a full stop, leaving pedestrians caught in no man's land while crossing.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 3:29
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Can the new lights and trees be taken all the way down Newark Avenue?

I understand there might not be enough money to brick sidewalk everything but lights and trees would really pull all of downtown Newark Avenue together.

Where is the funding coming from? It would be nice to at least carry the new lights and trees "look" to Brunswick -- if not all the way to the turnpike overpass.


Also, if possible, please expand the streetscape on both Grove and Grand streets all the way down to Grand.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 2:35
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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I like it! I just hope this is what we end up getting.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 21:02
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Steve,

Thank you for posting this.

I have seen those metal plates that goes around the trees. They were put in on Bergen Avenue between Journal Square and McGinley Square. I find that they are too big for the sidewalks. The metal plates take up half the sidewalk. That leaves very little sidewalk for people to walk on.

Please visit Bergen Avenue and see for yourself.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 20:23
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Thanks so much for this information.

One question -- Columbus Drive is included on the map but not in the conceptual drawings -- does this mean that the stretch of Columbus between Grove and Jersey will also be renewed?

Posted on: 2006/11/15 20:04
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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To h3ll with columbus. Use the money for columbus to renew Newark Ave to at least the gas stations on newark and brunswick. It seems to me thats where the majority of foot traffic stops.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 20:00
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Can the new lights and trees be taken all the way down Newark Avenue?

I understand there might not be enough money to brick sidewalk everything but lights and trees would really pull all of downtown Newark Avenue together.

Where is the funding coming from? It would be nice to at least carry the new lights and trees "look" to Brunswick -- if not all the way to the turnpike overpass.


I agree. There is life after Jersey Ave and it's frustrating that small businesses there who are trying to make it are left out a lot. (and yes, I am affiliated with one of them)

But, any improvement is good. For sure.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 19:46
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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EthanCrane wrote:
Love the concept drawings, and the fact that they're almost identical to the pictures except for the addition of trees. I agree, trees would be a good idea.

Also, Borinquen hardware is on notice. See ya.


I've heard they've been on the market a while asking an astronomical sum for that big lot well situated lot.

The drawing are also notable for showing more people and no cars.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 18:50
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Agree, thank you sharing this information so quickly-

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EthanCrane wrote:
Thanks for keeping us informed. Seriously, I think it looks like a great plan so far.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 18:23
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Thanks for keeping us informed. Seriously, I think it looks like a great plan so far.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 18:09
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Thanks for the feedback

1) We havent focused on the traffic pattern, but we wil take the feedback of course. We really want to see some of the info from the downtown traffic study that is currently being done

2) Funding will a mix between public, private, grants, and we setting up that way

3) As you can see from the drawings the goal is to explore streetscape options for the entire area and to look at the one story buildings that are in need of repair. It is important that you feel comfortable that we are not looking to just create high rises on this stretch but rather to be thoughtful on how we can push the area in the right direction. That is why I outlined where we are and how we are going to continue to move this forward

Steve

Posted on: 2006/11/15 17:52
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Re: Steven Fulop - Newark Avenue Update
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Love the concept drawings, and the fact that they're almost identical to the pictures except for the addition of trees. I agree, trees would be a good idea.

Also, Borinquen hardware is on notice. See ya.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 17:45
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Can the new lights and trees be taken all the way down Newark Avenue?

I understand there might not be enough money to brick sidewalk everything but lights and trees would really pull all of downtown Newark Avenue together.

Where is the funding coming from? It would be nice to at least carry the new lights and trees "look" to Brunswick -- if not all the way to the turnpike overpass.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 17:36
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