An article in the Jersey Journal, "Square Revival Plan Draws Fire" (10/10/02) prompted us to respond to Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham. His proposal to revive Journal Square would waste $4,500,000 of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation's money on facade improvements at Journal Square, which are inconsistent with the City's approved Redevelopment Plan. In addition, the Mayor's proposal would, in essence, reward a delinquent property owner.
The Journal Square Redevelopment Plan's objectives are very clear: remove the decrepit buildings and replace them with new development such as modern office towers, retail stores, housing and much needed parking. The Jersey City Planning Board and the Municipal Council have already reviewed and approved this vision and plan for Journal Square.
This Administration's proposal does not advance the objectives of the Redevelopment plan. It sets it back! It does not create new economic opportunity. It does not create new and improved retail. It does not create new housing. It does not relieve the parking congestion. It does not restore Journal Square to its original prominence. Journal Square deserves better!
Why would this Administration frivolously throw money at this problem when the Jersey City Planning Board and the Municipal Council have already approved a well thought out plan for the Square? As the jewel of Jersey City, with its New York City view corridors, transportation hub, and back office potential to the Jersey City waterfront, Journal Square can reinvent itself. This Administration needs to commit itself by leading the charge to expand Jersey City's waterfront development to Journal Square as well as other parts of the city.
The Administration's proposal is like having a hole in the wall and placing a poster over it to hide it. We call upon this Administration to follow through on its campaign promise for Golden Neighborhoods, not fool's gold.
Our vision for Journal Square is one of "Times Square West", with signature buildings, neon lights, quality retail, vibrant theaters, upscale restaurants, educational facilities, municipal government offices and improved housing. There is a plan in place that would accomplish this, and we demand that Journal Square be redeveloped now.
Steve Lipski, Ward C Councilman & Commissioner of the Redevelopment Agency
Mariano Vega, Jr., Councilman at Large & Former EDC Chariman
E. Junior Maldonado, Ward E Councilman & Chairman of the Redevelopment Agency