Councilman DeFusco’s Small Business Expansion District Plan Approved by City Council
Plan is First Major Change to City’s Zoning Since 1980s, Will Attract Innovative New Businesses to Hoboken
HOBOKEN, N.J. — Small businesses in Hoboken struggle with cripplingly high costs and bureaucratic barriers to entry, causing far too many vacancies on Washington Street and missed opportunities in other prime locations in the city. City officials have pledged to solve the problem for years, but now a new plan spearheaded by Councilman Mike DeFusco and passed by the City Council will finally make the revolutionary policy changes needed to support small businesses in Hoboken, the first major changes to the city’s zoning laws since the Reagan administration.
The City Council gave final approval to Councilman DeFusco’s Small Business Expansion District Plan on Wednesday night. The plan will re-establish Washington Street as the city’s primary commercial hub, lowering barriers to entry for small businesses like restaurants and shops to open on the main street by opening new sections to business uses previously prohibited. Secondly, the plan creates three new neighborhood business districts and defines and expands permitted uses in these areas, which will encourage innovative new businesses like restaurants, cafes, co-working spaces, tech incubators and more to open. It also encourages more neighborhood retail and corner stores, bringing vibrancy to neighborhoods in need. Taken together, these long overdue policy changes will remove many of the barriers to entry that have been stopping businesses from investing in the city while activating parts of the community where residents have long desired more local shopping, dining and entertainment options.
“Small businesses play a vital role in our community, making it critical that we find ways to help mom and pop shops succeed in Hoboken,” said Councilman DeFusco. “The Small Business Expansion District Plan does exactly this by enacting a proactive policy that will encourage makers, creators and innovators to invest in our city. When small businesses thrive, our neighborhoods are more vibrant, new jobs are created and we lower the burden on residential taxpayers. I am proud to have worked with the City Council and Mayor to expand neighborhood business districts and look forward to bringing new and exciting business concepts into our community.”
The Small Business Expansion District Plan includes:
Expanding neighborhood retail the entire length of First Street, which will create a new business corridor between the Waterfront and Southwest Park
Expanding neighborhood retail along 14th Street from the Waterfront to Willow Avenue
Expanding the Central Business District from Fourth Street to Seventh Street along Washington Street
Expanding retail on Washington from Seventh Street to 14th Street, with the exception of certain blocks on the eastern side
Creating a neighborhood retail district on Jackson Street between First and Fourth Streets to serve the west side of Hoboken