The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs announced April 18 the awarding of nearly $1 million in Main Street New Jersey Transformation Grants to Main Street New Jersey district organizations across the state.
The goal of the grants is to improve the appearance, quality of life, and local commerce within these Main Street New Jersey districts. The MSNJ Program assists municipalities to improve the economy, appearance and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources.
There are three types of projects eligible for the grant funding:
- Storefront and Façade Improvement Projects: Improvement and restoration of mixed-use and commercial buildings and storefronts following the minimum standards of the MSNJ design guidelines for facades and storefronts;
- Placemaking: Improvement and creation of placemaking projects in public and publicly accessible spaces that meet or exceed the MSNJ placemaking project criteria; and
- Organizational Capacity: Services, training and consultation in support of the implementation of the MSNJ district management organization’s transformation strategies, including costs of professional services directly related to the implementing the project.
“As part of its mission, DCA has prioritized strengthening traditional downtowns at the heart of our communities through programs such as Main Street New Jersey,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA commissioner. “Today’s announcement marks the fourth time in as many years that DCA has awarded funding to Main Street New Jersey districts. This demonstrates that we aren’t paying lip service to downtown revitalization, but providing actual money to the cause.”
Since 2019, the program has awarded more than $4.3 million in grants.
The grant recipients were: Bloomfield Center Alliance Inc., Boonton Main Street Inc., Downtown Bernardsville, Downtown Westfield Corp., Fair Lawn Economic Development Corp., Main Street Highland Park, Main Street Mount Holly, Main Street Woodbury Inc., Metuchen Downtown Alliance, Montclair Center for Business Improvement District, South Orange Village Center Alliance, Springfield Avenue Partnership in Maplewood, Summit Downtown Inc., and Vineland Downtown Improvement District Management Corp.
“The grant dollars DCA has given out in recent years have proven to be essential to helping Main Street districts withstand the pandemic and position themselves to find success in the changing commercial and retail marketplace,” said Sean Thompson, director of the Division of Local Planning Services, which administers the MSNJ Program.
“This most recent round of grant funding will help our Main Street districts take the transformation strategies they’ve developed on paper and make them into a tangible reality,” he added.