Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop continued his State of the City tour yesterday, speaking in front of a standing room audience at P.S. 20 in Greenville where he announced bold measures to revitalize the long-neglected neighborhood.
By Marc Bussanich/Hudson County View
He first provided an overview of the Cityâ€™s progress as whole, proclaiming boldly that the state of the city is as strong as ever.
He then focused on a series of initiatives that he said would help equalize the economic outcomes in neighborhoods like Greenville, while simultaneously being fiscally responsible.
â€œDuring the past three-and-half years, we have built a city that has become the economic engine of the entire region,” began Fulop.
A city that has become an example of innovative solution to social issues, and a city that has accomplished it all while remaining fiscally responsible to our residents. We have seen unemployment in Jersey City drop to the lowest rate it has been in 25 years.”
Placing a big emphasis on public safety, the mayor candidly said to the crowd that itâ€™s no secret that crime is still an ongoing problem in Greenville. Saying that building a safer city begins with building a stronger police force, he highlighted an important first for the city in training new police officers.
â€œOur most recent class of recruits spent their first month of training immersed in the communities they will soon be serving, which was the first time our training program ever started this way.â€
Fulop also recognized that Greenville has long been overlooked when it comes to economic development.
He subsequently touted that two of the most important projects in the city are happening right in Greenville â€” the expansion of the New Jersey City University Campus and the Bayfront Project, which he claimed will have positive economic impacts similar to Newportâ€™s impacts in the 1980s.
The project calls for thousands of new residential units on the Hackensack River on a former industrial site.
â€œThis once contaminated site will also include three incredible public parks, additional open space, new transportation options and extensive retail and office space,â€ exclaimed Fulop.
â€œThis incredible transit-oriented development will spark the creation of Jersey Cityâ€™s second Gold Coast, and will bring new opportunities that this neighborhood will benefit from. This project will be to the West Side of Jersey City what Newport was to downtown in the 1980s.â€
And to advance more economic opportunities for Greenville residents, he added that City Hall is looking at ways to incentivize private investment along an important commercial corridor of Martin Luther King Drive.
â€œThe Jackson Avenue Redevelopment Plan lays out a road map for attracting residential and commercial development along the 2.5 mile long commercial corridor connecting McKinley Square all the way down to Greenville, including major stretches of Martin Luther King Drive that extends into this very neighborhood,â€ Fulop said.
The Mayor rounded out his speech to Greenvilleâ€™s residents by announcing the expansion of City Hallâ€™s Tenant-Landlord Relations Office so that long-term Jersey City residents can stay in their homes.
â€œThe Office hasnâ€™t been significantly upgraded in decades, so this year weâ€™ll provide additional resources, add caseworkers and revamp the website so that tenants have easy access to important information.”
“And weâ€™ll also create a database of lawyers who can help and advocate for tenant rights when problems arise,â€ Fulop stated;
He added that he hoped that the initiatives for Greenville his administration would be pursuing this year would change residentsâ€™ perception of City Hall.
â€œI know residents in this neighborhood in particular for decades have felt forgotten, but in reality Greenville is full of many residents who have been here for decades, who simply want more opportunities and renewed commitments from their elected officials in moving this community forward.”