Throughout this election Broadway has been cited as a pivotal issue. The candidates need to realize Broadway will never be what it once was. A major reason for this is the shopping centers along 440. However, that does not make these shopping centers a bad thing for Bayonne. On the contrary, I think they are very good for our city, but I also think this does not mean we should not try to pump some life back into what is an essential part of Bayonne.
While the shopping centers are a contributing factor to the plight of Broadway, this does not necessarily make these areas bad for Bayonne. Quality stores, a movie theater and great places to eat help to attract people and money coming into our municipality that would not be coming in without these shopping centers that help to create jobs. What I view as the primary contributor to the deterioration of Broadway are the property owners of the buildings where people would like to open up businesses because of their unreasonable demands for rent and because of the conditions, which they let their properties lay in. I know of several people in town who have an interest in opening up shops on Broadway. When they have approached property owners about renting out the property, they are met with unreasonable demands for rent and refusals to even negotiate the price. The owners claim that they make more off taxes from claiming it as vacant rather than allowing a business to open up there. It is this selfish greed of maximizing their own pockets rather than looking out for bettering the community that has me disgusted with these individuals.
Going after these property owners would include the enforcement of violations for buildings, which are serving no purpose but looking like garbage until the violations are addressed, as well as issuing heavy fines and tickets for littering. Bayonne should also develop a plan similar to that implemented in New York late last year, called Start Up NY, which was initially met with great success. That program establishes tax-free zones throughout New York for businesses. The program was launched in late October of 2013 and within the first two weeks over 800 businesses had applied to set up shop within these tax-free zones. In applying for these zones there are certain criteria. Bayonne can establish all or some of Broadway as a tax-free zone and can set the same criteria for applying businesses. As to development, Bayonne has seen great success in the residential area, but business development is something that needs to be addressed. Establishing Broadway as a tax-free zone will make it an attractive location for businesses, and with more businesses comes more jobs, more shoppers, and more money into our city, which helps pump life into the heart of Bayonne.