On September 25, 2018 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, the Scotch Plains Township Council endorsed the Tier 1, Phase 1 Downtown Redevelopment Plan and authorized the issuance of Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals (RFQ/RFP) for redevelopers to submit plans for downtown revitalization.
The Scotch Plains Downtown Redevelopment (SPDRC), which consists of residents, business, and property owners, was tasked by the Town Council on March 20, 2018 to work with Township Planners, Harbor Consultants, to write a downtown redevelopment plan to make the downtown more vibrant and encourage a mix of commercial, residential, and recreational uses that promote economic development opportunities for all residents to enjoy. The downtown redevelopment plan was also drafted to help satisfy Scotch Plains’ court-mandated affordable housing settlement requirements.
On September 12, 2018, all 21 members of the SPDRC unanimously approved the draft downtown redevelopment plan and sent it to the Township Council for endorsement on September 25, 2018. After 34 years of past Township administrations conducting studies and reports, this Township Council moved to endorse a downtown redevelopment plan and seek real proposals from developers to make downtown redevelopment a reality.
“The Township Council made history last night as the first Township Council to endorse a real downtown redevelopment plan,” said Mayor Al Smith, Chairman of the SPDRC. “I thank my Township Council colleagues for endorsing the plan. We couldn’t have done it without the hard work of the citizen and business leaders in the SPDRC. This is the result of a public-driven process, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished so far. I am looking forward to the design competition amongst developers to finalize an outstanding plan.”
“Our public outreach efforts have been second to none,” said Thomas Strowe, Project Coordinator for Redevelopment. “We have had an open and transparent process with over 20 public meetings, posted agendas, minutes, and videos, and key information on the Township website and social media. We have sought community input at Township events and through town-wide surveys, which over 4,200 people participated in.”
The Township maintains full control over its public properties and has full negotiating power with developers to finalize a plan for downtown. The RFQ/RFP is expected to be released in October of 2018.
Questions about the plan can be directed to Thomas Strowe, Project Coordinator for Redevelopment, at (908) 322-6700 ext 317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of scotchplainsnj.gov.