Acting Governor Oliver Announces Main Street New Jersey and Neighborhood Preservation Program Grants Awarded to Communities in the State
Grants Will Help Communities Advance Downtown and Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts
HAMMONTON, NJ – Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver today announced the award of $2.5 million in Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) grants to 20 municipalities in New Jersey and of nearly $350,000 in Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) grants to 17 Main Street district organizations throughout the state. The grants from both programs will help improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents by assisting communities with their downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts.
This year marks the first time in its 30-year history that the MSNJ Program has awarded grants to designated MSNJ district organizations around the state. Also, it is the first time in 11 years that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has awarded NPP grants. The grant funding is part of a larger effort by the Murphy Administration to commit more resources to community revitalization programs that focus on small businesses and neighborhood improvement projects.
“We are renewing our commitment to community revitalization and to these worthwhile programs after years of neglect by the previous administration. Governor Murphy and I recognize how important these programs are to the economic and social health of our communities, which is why we have invested significant resources in them,” said Acting Governor Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The grant funding will be used to create places filled with energy and ambience that draw people to live, work, and visit. We can’t wait to see how they positively impact neighborhoods and downtowns around the state.”
Today’s announcement took place on the front lawn of the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, which received a $125,000 NPP grant and a $24,000 MSNJ grant. The town, which has the second longest running Main Street program in the state, will use its MSNJ grant to continue work on the Hammonton ArtsWalk, which will provide an outdoor gathering space downtown featuring kinetic art, seating, lighting, landscaping, and water features. The town will use its NPP grant to expand the Eagle Theatre, which was restored and reopened 10 years ago and has successfully drawn residents and visitors of all ages to Downtown Hammonton; to increase public parking downtown in areas where it is lacking; and to improve the exteriors of commercial and residential buildings downtown to create a more inviting environment.
“Hammonton is on a roll and has become a destination,” said Mayor Stephen DiDonato, Town of Hammonton. “Grants like these by the State of New Jersey, along with local, county and private investment, will continue to keep us growing and thriving.”
“We are excited for Hammonton’s business owners, residents and visitors. Projects and funding like this spark more interest and momentum in our town. We are very thankful for the State’s faith and support,” said MainStreet Hammonton Executive Director Cassie Iacovelli.
The MSNJ Program helps municipalities improve the economy, appearance, and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources. Municipalities must apply and be selected to join the MSNJ Program, which was established in 1989. These designated communities receive technical support and training to assist in restoring their Main Streets as centers of economic and social activity. This year, designated communities were also eligible for the MSNJ grants, which are funding awards of $25,000 or less aimed at assisting projects such as storefront improvement, placemaking, and transformation strategies development that can be completed in six months or less.
The NPP program provides direct financial and technical assistance to municipalities over a three- to five-year period to conduct activities that strengthen threatened but viable neighborhoods through local planning, community participation, and building local capacity and coordination. Eligible grant activities include community development planning, commercial retail and residential property renovations, code enforcement, historic preservation, support of community/neighborhood organizations, and public facilities improvement. Municipal grantees had to show a commitment of resources from the neighborhood and municipality, as well as support from community organizations and residents.
2019 Neighborhood Preservation Program Grant Recipients:
Berlin Township $125,000
Burlington City $125,000
Cape May City $125,000
East Orange $125,000
Egg Harbor City $125,000
Mount Holly $125,000
New Brunswick $125,000
Passaic City $125,000
Perth Amboy $125,000
2019 Main Street New Jersey Grant Recipients:
Bloomfield (Bloomfield Center Alliance) $9,750
Boonton (Boonton Main Street) $23,000
Bridgeton (Bridgeton Main Street Association) $17,500
Denville (Downtown Denville BID) $25,000
Hammonton (MainStreet Hammonton) $24,000
Highland Park (Main Street Highland Park) $25,000
Metuchen (Metuchen Downtown Alliance) $23,000
Millville (Millville Development Corporation) $15,000
Montclair (Montclair Center BID) $25,000
Mount Holly (Main Street Mount Holly) $20,750
Red Bank (Red Bank River Center) $13,000
Salem City (Stand Up for Salem) $23,000
South Orange (South Orange Village Center Alliance) $21,500
Vineland (Vineland Downtown Improvement District) $20,500
Westfield (Downtown Westfield Corporation) $20,000
West Orange (Downtown West Orange Alliance) $20,250
Woodbury (Main Street Woodbury) $23,500
For more information on NPP, visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/np.html.
For more information on MSNJ, visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/lps/msnj.html.
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.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/.